I recently picked up a Dell R230 with a Pentium G4500 and 8GB of RAM. This server is much more power efficent than the current servers I’m using in my homelab, so I wanted to move over my services.
I decided to use ESXi 6.7 as I wanted to try something else to manage my virtual machines. Looking back at my services, most of my VMs and Docker containers weren’t being used. I created two Ubuntu server VMs, one for Pi-Hole and one for Docker. One of the only containers I would install was Heimdall as I loved using its dashboards. As for Pi-Hole I just followed the steps of my previous installation and copied over the whitelists. Luckily so far, it seems that the R230 is runnning both VMs fine, but I might add two more sticks of RAM later on.
Moving from Openmediavault
I had one 8TB drive passed through to my Openmediavault VM on Proxmox. I had another 8TB disk that I used on another system to mirror my data. I wiped my backup disk and attached it to my Windows 10 machine. I then used FileFreeSync to copy over all of my files from Openmediavault to the spare drive.
I removed all of my drives from my R720 and put in the three drives I planned to use, two WD SSDs for cache and the 8TB from Openmediavault. I used Unraid’s instructions to create a flash drive and inserted it into the internal USB port on my R720. I then used iDrac’s viewer to boot up the machine. I used JuanMTech’s Tutorial to set everything up. I wanted to set a static IP address so I followed these instructions. I added a static mapping to my PFSense DNS leases and then changed the network configuration in Unraid’s settings. Since I only had one of my disks in the system, I couldn’t set up parity. I created an SMB share and used FileFreeSync again to copy over files from the spare drive to the new Unraid share. After all the files were copied, I installed the disk into my R720 and set the disk as parity. It then began doing a Parity-Sync. An issue I had when booting into Unraid was that the server wouldn’t detect the USB drive as bootable. I then tried booting with BIOS instead of UEFI and it worked. I thought the installer would’ve used UEFI, but I guess I was wrong. The Parity-Sync ended up taking almost 16 hours, after it was done, I was able to add my two cache drives and format them. I had issues without the parity drive as it keep showing as unmountable.
This transition was much easier than I thought it would be. I ended up removing a lot of unused services and the recreation of them on ESXi virtual machines went without a hitch. The installation of Unraid was very straightforward other than the cache. Thought moving my data was quite nerve-racking, I would definitely do it again if given the option.