Planning for a homelab with an HP Proliant DL380 G7

So I got caught up with the idea of running a rack mount server at home and setting up virtualization to run a ‘bunch-o-stuff’. As you do. Having never done anything with enterprise server hardware before (although I did recently set up Proxmox virtualization on my Mac Pro), naturally I have a ton of questions:

  • Should I run ESXi or Proxmox?
  • The DL380 has 8 hot-swappable 2.5″ drive bays. What’s the minimum number of disks needed to run, and do you need to configure a RAID array? Question here. A: Yes you do need to configure a RAID array, apparently it can’t be disabled. So you need 2 disks at a minimum for RAID0 (striped) or RAID1 (mirrored). See also HP Smart Array Controller docs here.
  • What about RAID10, what I understand is a combination of 0 + 1. See article here.
  • Can you run regular laptop 2.5 disks, or do they have to be ‘midline’ or enterprise? This seems like a hotly debated question with many varying opinions. The answer is probably ‘it depends’, at least on what you’re planning to use your server for. e.g. is it doing to be running 24/7, are you going to have more than 2 drives (more may cause vibrations that regular laptop drives may not be constructed to handle). A consistent answer if you’re not going to go with the HP branded/supported disks, is that WD Red drives, intended for use in NAS appliances, will work reliably in a rack server. Everything else is YMMV. I’m going with a pair of cheap HGST 500GB drives in RAID1 to get started, and then might add a couple of WD Blacks or Reds for more storage later.
  • 10k and 15k SAS drives are new to me, I’m more familiar with SATA. This might be something I’ll check out. The 146GB capacity seems a common size, but that’s rather small if I’m going to create a bunch of VMs. They’re pretty cheap at around $30 though, so could easily pick up a few for a RAID array.

So many options 🙂


Downloading Proxmox Container images

Before you can create a LXC container on a Proxmox virtualized environment, you need to download the template images first from an available list. You need to pre-download the images first befoe you can create new containers from them in the web ui.

From the docs here, there steps are (while ssh’d into your Proxmox server):

Update catalog of available templates:

pveam update

List the available templates:

root@pve:~# pveam available

system          alpine-3.3-default_20160427_amd64.tar.xz

system          alpine-3.4-default_20161206_amd64.tar.xz

system          alpine-3.5-default_20170504_amd64.tar.xz

system          archlinux-base_20170704-1_amd64.tar.gz

system          centos-6-default_20161207_amd64.tar.xz

system          centos-7-default_20170504_amd64.tar.xz

system          debian-6.0-standard_6.0-7_amd64.tar.gz

system          debian-7.0-standard_7.11-1_amd64.tar.gz

system          debian-8.0-standard_8.7-1_amd64.tar.gz

system          debian-9.0-standard_9.0-2_amd64.tar.gz

system          fedora-24-default_20161207_amd64.tar.xz

system          fedora-25-default_20170316_amd64.tar.xz

system          gentoo-current-default_20170503_amd64.tar.xz

system          opensuse-42.2-default_20170406_amd64.tar.xz

system          ubuntu-12.04-standard_12.04-1_amd64.tar.gz

system          ubuntu-14.04-standard_14.04-1_amd64.tar.gz

system          ubuntu-16.04-standard_16.04-1_amd64.tar.gz

system          ubuntu-16.10-standard_16.10-1_amd64.tar.gz

system          ubuntu-17.04-standard_17.04-1_amd64.tar.gz

For each of the templates you wish to use, download using for example for Ubuntu 14.04:

pveam download local ubuntu-14.04-standard_14.04-1_amd64.tar.gz

Now from the web ui, you should be able to click the ‘Create CT’ button and pick from your available templates:


Getting past Vagrant’s “Authentication failure” error when starting up OpenShift Origin

For getting up and running quickly with OpenShift Origin, RedHat have an all-in-one VM image you can provision with Vagrant. The instructions mention to not use Vagrant 1.8.5 as there’s an issue with the SSH setup – since I already had 1.8.5 installed for some other projects, I tried anyway, and ran into issues with SSH’ing into the VM with SSH keys.

When provisioning the VM, you’ll see:


Kevins-MacBook-Pro:openshift-origin kev$ vagrant up
Bringing machine 'default' up with 'virtualbox' provider...
==> default: Checking if box 'openshift/origin-all-in-one' is up to date...
==> default: Resuming suspended VM...
==> default: Booting VM...
==> default: Waiting for machine to boot. This may take a few minutes...
    default: SSH address:
    default: SSH username: vagrant
    default: SSH auth method: private key
    default: Warning: Authentication failure. Retrying...
    default: Warning: Authentication failure. Retrying...

There’s a number of posts discussing this issue and a few workarounds, for example, here and here.

The suggestions relate to switching from the ssh authentication to userid/password, by adding this to your Vagrantfile:

config.ssh.username = "vagrant"
config.ssh.password = "vagrant"

I tried this, and when running vagrant up I had different errors about “SSH authentication failed”. Next I tried adding this recommendation:


config.ssh.insert_key = false

This didn’t make any difference initially, but doing a vagrant destroy, and then trying to bring it up again initially ran into the same issue, I Ctrl-C’d out and tried again and then it worked second time. I’m not sure what steps got past the ssh keys issue, but at this point I was up and running. There’s a long discussion in both the linked threads above that describe the cause of the issue, so if you’re interested take a look through those threads.