Jan 25, 2011
I will be relocating to a permanent residence sometime in the next year or two. I've recently begun thinking about the best way to implement a home-based network. It occurred to me that the most elegant solution might be the use of VM technology to eliminate as much hardware and wiring as possible.My thinking is this: Install a multi-core system and configure it to run several VMs, one each for a firewall, a caching proxy server, a mail server, a web server. Additionally, I would like to run 2-4 VMs as remote (RDP)workstations, using diskless workstations to boot the VMs over powerline ethernet.The latest powerline technology (available later this year) will allow multiple devices on a residential circuit operating at near gigabit speed, just like legacy wired networks.
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In theory, the above would allow me to consolidate everything but the disklessworkstations on a single server and eliminate all wired (and wireless) connections except the broadband connection to the Internet and the cabling to the nearest power outlets. It appears technically possible, but I'm not sure about the various virtual connections among VMs. In theory, each VM should be able to communicate with the other as if it was on the same network via the server data bus, but what about setting up firewall zones? Any internal I/O bandwidth bottlenecks? Any other potential "gotchas", caveats, issues? (Other than the obvious requirement of having enough CPU and RAM).Any thoughts or observations welcome, especially if they are from real world experience in a VM environment. BTW--in case you're wondering why I'm posting here, it's because I run Debian on all my workstations/servers (running VirtualBox as a VM for Windows XP on one workstation).