Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Building a Ubuntu Server - Part 2 - Multi-part Series

When starting out to build my server, I took some time to do some research on the different technologies I wanted to tinker with.

Here are some links to important references used in my research and decision making on what technologies to use and implement on my server.

My first stop was a review of the most current LTS Server Guide for Ubuntu. It covers most of the bases on what to setup and where to get more information.

Ubuntu Server Guide (LTS)

What I didnt get was whether I should go with RAID, RAID + LVM or something else. I guess it would seem to many a matter of choice and depend greatly on how "available" you needed the system to be and whether you were doing backups and how they would be done.

For me, I specifically wanted a server which could stay up even if a drive failed. This led me down the path of RAID. But this only addressed my concerns about a drive failure, and not about backups. Using just RAID meant that I needed to take the server down to do a true full backup. This led me to think about LVM, and doing live snapshots. Ok, so this was better and kept my system up and running.

Then I came across ZFS, which was now a part of the new Xenial LTS release. It does both what RAID and LVM do seperately, in one neat package. Here are some links on ZFS and how to implement the filesystem, do backups, etc.

Now that I had my filesystem and storage figured out, my next plan was to install a base system on top of this and virtualize everything else. I was quite familiar with KVM and Virt-Manager, so that's presently what I am reviewing and evaluating. I know LXC/LXD and Juju are possibilities as well, and I may yet end up deploying some "services" using that technology, but for the mission critical, like DNS, Web, Email, etc, I will likely stick to my KVM.

Community Guide - KVM/Installation
Community Guide - KVM/VirtManager

My server arrives this Friday, so I may post up an "unboxing video". I am super excited to get my shiny new server from ZaReason.

Building a Ubuntu Server - Part 1


Building a Ubuntu Server - Part 1 - Multi-part Series

I've been out of the development game for a while now. Last post was circa 2011, and here we are 5 years later.

So, to get myself back into things, I am starting by building a new Ubuntu development server and catching up on all the new shiny bits which have been developed since my hiatus.

First off, I wanted a reasonable system, decent RAM, and hot swap storage. I thought about building my own, and sourcing all the parts, but really didnt have the time or energy to review all the parts for compatibility, etc. So I took the easy route and sourced a system from ZaReason.

Here is what I eventually ended up buying:

Breeze Server 560

CPU: i7-6700 3.4-4 GHz 4-core, 8 threads
RAM: 16 GB DDR4-2133
Storage: 3x500 GB 7200rpm HD
Networking: 2x Gigabit Ethernet ports
Networking Wireless: Intel® Wireless AC Dual-Band (2.4/5ghz) + Bluetooth
Power Supply Breeze Server: 250W

It's a fairly decent system for what I needed and with some room to grow in RAM and Storage.

Over the next few posts I will be detailing my setup and documenting the choices and my reasons. Mostly for my own benefit, but perhaps others may find this useful.

Building a Ubuntu Server - Part 2