Introducing the new shiny: ananke

So…. It’s been while since I’ve updated anything here! Work’s still being quite busy and it means that I’m lacking in spare brainpower to geek out as much as I used to. On the plus side, work is interesting 🙂

I’ve gotten around to buying the Server of Doom core components. I decided on the i3 based build, as the “cheap” Xeon was out of stock and the next one up that was in stock was well over double the cost! The machine (dubbed ananke) is up and running with a couple of old hard drives (750GB and 1TB) in there so I can play with ZFS until I buy the main drives.

My initial plan of using FreeBSD for the OS has been somewhat thwarted by the fact that only one of the ISO images would actually boot from a USB stick (including the USB stick image!), so for now I’m going with Arch Linux. It’s handy having a linux install on there, as I can ‘play’ with the system more because I understand the OS and tools.

So far, getting ZFS up and running was pain-free, if a little time consuming – due to the CDDL license, ZFS can’t be included with the kernel, but it can easily be compiled into a kernel module, following the instructions on the Arch Wiki.

Initial benchmarks are OK, not amazing, but the pair of drives I’m using are fairly old, so I’m not expecting stellar performance numbers! I have discovered that NFS shares are significantly faster than CIFS ones though 🙂 Historically, I’ve always used Samba to provide network shares, but now that I’m using Linux on all the machines bar one, it makes sense to concentrate on getting NFS working optimally.

I’ve been forming A Plan on what services I want ananke to run, at the moment, it stands at:

* DHCP server

* NAT router/firewall

* Transparent squid proxy

* Caching DNS

* File server

* OwnCloud server

* XBMC

* VPN Server

Most of these I’ve set up before, but I’ll check if there are any newer programs that’ll do the jobs I need.

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