Next Project: Virtual Lab

I’ve finally moved the file server and VM host machine out of my room.  When it’s already sweltering in the room and it hits 92 degrees outside, it’s time to remove that heat source.  This has the added benefit that I can keep things running while I sleep without the buzz of fans.

Before I finally went through with the move (and downstairs instead of just in the empty bedroom next door) I made sure I was able to remotely boot both machines.  That was a pretty painless process.  The little Atom board I have in the NAS doesn’t have an option to Boot from PCI, so I had to re-enable the onboard NIC, and and using an extra cable just for this purpose pretty much.  I found the program WakeUp on the Mac to send the remote boot signal.

So now on to the title of this post.  I recently found clonezilla and that got me started on a kick to figure out management of extensive LANs.  The particular use case I’m thinking of is schools.  Back at Messiah, virtually every break, we’d spend a day running around between labs, re-imaging the machines.  I’m fairly certain they were paying pretty well for that, and I really like the idea of using Linux (free, non-commercial) for that.  Also, the idea of imaging machines with an Ubuntu (Edubuntu coming to mind) distro, just adds to the thrill.  And in looking at Edubuntu, I thought about thin clients.  So I’m going to start to work on setting up a virtual lab environment to be able to test all these diverse elements.

On a related note, I was also able to configure both a Vyatta and pfSense virtual machine, and get the machines behind them talking to the internet.  So these will be crucial to this virtual lab concept.  Ought to be interesting.

One final thing: I really want to get into some BSD stuff.

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