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Old April 20, 2011, 11:41 AM
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Default pfSense, FreeNAS and SABnzbd+ in one box

So my goal is to build a new pc running Linux Mint as the primary OS running SABnzbd+, pfSense and FreeNAS with VirtualBox.

2 DSL connections are coming in, so from what I've been reading, pfSense alone will need 3 NICs, and the fourth will be shared with SAB and FreeNAS.

What do you guys recommend? Should pfSense be it's own box or will a decent mid-range computer be enough to handle all of this? Should FreeNAS have it's own NIC as SAB will most likely saturate that connection (maybe not the actual line, but the DSL connection for sure).

I want SAB to download my TV shows and movies, store them on the FreeNAS and access it in my living room with XBMC.

Suggestions? How beefy does the PC need to be. Looking for mobo with as many SATA connections as possible.

Thanks!
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Old April 20, 2011, 05:10 PM
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I'd go with 8GB of RAM at least (DDR3 is cheap these days anyhow), and a dual-core CPU with hardware virtualization support.

Maybe an SSD for Linux Mint + VMs? Would give you better IOPS, though a HDD should suffice anyhow since most of the time the VMs and host will be nearly idle.

I'm not too sure how well pfSense does being virtualized though. It's probably more ideal to setup an Atom (or similar) to use for that. Run it off a CF card/USB drive (assuming you don't mind slow boot times).

You could also consider running a hyper visor instead of Linux Mint for the host OS though. VMware ESXi or Citrix Xen come to mind.
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Old April 20, 2011, 05:20 PM
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Sounds good, I'll read up on EXSi.

Seems I'm finding information that suggest running pfSense in a virtual environment is a great idea while others say it should be on a dedicated machine.

Is this a Xbox360 vs PS3 type of debate? Or are there actual real benefits to running it on a dedicated machine. Got an old P4 somewhere with at least 3 PCI slots that I could use.

Also, for $$$ reasons, I'm thinking going WD Blue for the OS drive and some Blue or Blacks for storage, I'd like to stay away from the Greens. My Greens are used for backups or documents/pictures.
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Old April 20, 2011, 05:51 PM
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If you are running SAB and want it to automatically unrar your downloads, the older/slower the cpu the longer it may take for it to extract. Now this may not be an issue if you watch tv shows or movies next day or just run hunting programs such as sickbeard (for tv) and couchpotato (for movies), but if from downloading a tv show that evening you want to watch it quickly older hardware will be a severe bottleneck. How do you plan on saturating a 1Gbps line when the fastest most ISPs offer is at most 150Mbps.

I recommend the following set up on your sever as this is what i do.

I run SAB, Sickbeard and Couch Potato on my server, sickbeard manages my tv shows, downloading new ones that come out and SAB moves them to the correct TV folder when they are downloaded. Couch Potato will allow you to go on IMDB and essentially queue up old and new movies as a set and forget. It will then tell SAB when there is something you want to download it, then Couch Potato can rename it and move it into your movies folder. Running a fake raid (Flexraid) i have one shared virtual folder that my XBMC can see and receives updates from sickbeard and couch potato when new content has arrived.
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Old April 20, 2011, 06:33 PM
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That is basically what I have in mind. My desktop is doing exactly that, SAB, SB and CouchPotato but I want to move it to another machine.

What I meant by saturating the line is downloading non-stop from a second ISP and using the same physical line to share my media using FreeNAS to the rest of the house. Downloading from ISP and uploading to house using the same wire, will it cause delay/bottleneck?

What's your main OS Arinoth, and is FreeNAS running as a VM?
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Old April 20, 2011, 09:01 PM
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Since I am a student in engineering I have free access to the MSDNAA Library so I am actually running Windows Server 2k8 with full virtualization (not using it though). I have it running headless after installing the OS, making any changes i need to do (aka maintenance and such) is all through Remote Desktop Connection, actually same goes for when the HTPC was my server as well. I doubt it would cause a bottleneck as I would typically be maxing my line here, which is 70Mbps, and i'd still have quite a bit of network bandwidth to go around for 6-10 devices on my network here. Its not a bad idea what you're doing, though unless you set it up properly it may cause some issues otherwise.
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Old April 20, 2011, 09:41 PM
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After reading up and other discussions I think I'll run pfSense on a dedicated machine since if I have to take my main rig down for update and what not, all Internet access goes down also.

I'm thinking now going the hypervisor route with ESXi, and reading up it is suggested that every VM has a dedicated NIC ... I mean for 25$, I can probably throw in an extra card!

Yeah I also have access to MSDNaa and am currently running W2k 2008 R2, also headless, but I don't know, I just want to simplify it all. 2008 will still be used for files, music and backups, but FreeNAS would hold TV shows and movies.
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Old April 21, 2011, 06:19 AM
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I'm of the KISS principle, I'd rather have all of that on one machine rather then having it in a sense segmented on your 2k8 machine and FreeNAS machine, unless they are going to be the same thing and you're going to virtualize one of them, and in that case I hope you have a half decent processor/system to run that, as again SAB eats up a lot of cycles if you have it autounrar big files as i do
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Old April 21, 2011, 07:07 AM
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A Phenom II x4 thats on it's way!
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Old April 21, 2011, 07:13 AM
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That should be able to handle itself, my server is now in an intel 2100 build and it seems to be able to handle more then i can throw at it for now.
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