Thursday 9 January 2014

The Great Rebuild

So right now my whole-house media infrastructure comprises;

  • Windows 8 Quad-Core PC running MediaPortal TV server & client (lounge)
  • Windows 8 Celeron based MediaPortal client (living room)
  • Windows 7 i3 based MediaPortal client (home theatre)
  • Dual Xeon based unRAID NAS

A good deal of bedding in has taken place and I really like MediaPortal. It gives me multiple terrestrial and satellite tuners as well as access to all my media in a single UI.

I don't like running this many computers though, and the virtualization discussions over on the unRAID forums have really got me hankering for an all-in-one solution.

So, I've purchased and assembled the following hardware with a view to consolidating some of the above machines;
There's a push at the moment to get unRAID running on a modern Linux distro with full VM support (XEN and KVM). There are solutions that see it running in a VM but the idea of unRAID in dom0 appeals as there's no need to hardware passthrough of hard drive controllers.

Therefore, this new machine will run;
  • unRAID in host Linux (arch, openSuSe, whatever results from the current discussions)
  • Media Portal TV Server in Windows 7 VM
  • Media Portal client in Windows 8 VM (lounge)
  • Media Portal client in Windows 8 VM (living room)
That will free up my celeron client machine for use elsewhere and allow me donate the current MediaServer8 machine to my son for gaming.

This looks like it's going to be a complex project that requires passthrough of TV tuners, 2x graphics cards, onboard SATA and USB devices to multiple VMs (not simultaneously, obviously).

I'll be logging progress here. Wish me luck!


Anonymous said...

I'm curious why you've gone with AMD over Intel. I've not researched AMD for some time, but Intel HD4000 onboard graphics handle almost everything in video playback, so you get another video card for free with Intel. (maybe just for the secondary display).

Does AMD have a decent onboard video solution now?

MediaServer8 said...

I've always based systems around Intel technology and just thought this time I'd give AMD a try. I've got 8 cores with all the IMMOU goodness I needs, a feature-packed motherboard and all for a good deal less cash than an equivalent Intel set up.

Time will tell but IO look forward to the journey.