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 Post subject: VM server in the closet, thin clients throughout the house
PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2016 12:53 am 
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LinusTechTips published this video "8 (or is it 10?) Gamers, 1 CPU - Taking it to the Next Level!"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKJw8IKVYQ8

Besides the stupendous about of graphic cards in the server, I found the underlying idea pretty neat. Put all your computing power where it doesn't bother you and work off thin clients. Companies and universities do it (though these are usually as fast as a tied-down cow), so why shouldn't it work at home?


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 Post subject: Re: VM server in the closet, thin clients throughout the hou
PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2016 2:01 am 
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At home I don't see the point unless you have a large number of users and they are going to be using a computer most of the time. The one server would have to be an always on system so that means you're going to be burning through a lot of electricity, even if it is just idling.

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 Post subject: Re: VM server in the closet, thin clients throughout the hou
PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2016 2:18 am 
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edh wrote:
At home I don't see the point

Just for fun.

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 Post subject: Re: VM server in the closet, thin clients throughout the hou
PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2016 3:28 am 
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That's my problem with it. Someone who can justify spending such money on hardware that will have a high depreciation cost and high running cost needs to re-evaluate their finances. If you like burning money, go ahead, it just makes the things that matter to me cheaper as market forces on them aren't so high.

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 Post subject: Re: VM server in the closet, thin clients throughout the hou
PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2016 3:55 am 
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edh wrote:
At home I don't see the point unless you have a large number of users and they are going to be using a computer most of the time. The one server would have to be an always on system so that means you're going to be burning through a lot of electricity, even if it is just idling.
The setup in the video is obviously silly and wouldn't make any sense. However, it would be cool to see something similar developed into a consumer solution. The server could power down when no thin clients are active.


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 Post subject: Re: VM server in the closet, thin clients throughout the hou
PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2016 6:52 am 
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Isn't a side benefit of VMs their immunity to malicious attack?

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 Post subject: Re: VM server in the closet, thin clients throughout the hou
PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2016 7:54 am 
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Idk for you guys, but at my house, any given computer or HTPC is usually on 8-10 hours a day, and the server could easily be off between a given time period (1am to 9am or whatever). Centralizing computing might actually save power when in use anyways. Modern computers idle so low anyways too. Electricity won't be an issue and I feel like this is far from silly, might even be cheaper than investing in a quiet system lol

It gives you more possibilities too, NVR, File Server (keep those pesky HDD vibrations elsewhere without needing a NAS, thin client HTPCs etc

Unless you have an edge server or something, VMs can help isolate the effect of viruses, but if you don't implement it properly, it can be the opposite and make the virus even more devastating. It's also easier to have a backup strategy when most things are centralized

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 Post subject: Re: VM server in the closet, thin clients throughout the hou
PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 2:57 am 
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I am doing exactly this actually for silence and an EMF buffer. I can in theory leave my PC on and sleep in that room without waking up in the morning feeling horrible, which makes me wonder about being around it at all for extended periods. I am just using steam in-home streaming, there is a desktop mode and has Wake On LAN capabilities, I can actually startup the server remotely, turn it off, only thing I can't do is work in the bios or administrate directly. But I could even do this in theory if I was willing to go through the trouble to set it up and use a thin client instead of a $20 Steam Link as a thin client. The thing about steam in-home streaming is it is GPU accelerated which is basically something you just can't do with a normal thin clients without being a big corporate spender. 60hz at up to 4k, I am adding a total of about 25ms to my computing experience at 60hz 1080p, can't test 4k. There is even a headless server setup for this guide on the steam community forums which I used to help me setup to begin with http://steamcommunity.com/app/353380/di ... 608608088/. This might help give you an idea about how technical it is to setup it really isn't that much of a project to do really. And not headless it is as easy as a normal consumer product.

Over WiFi AC I was adding about 35ms ping to my computing experience but WiFi is dependent on your circumstances. You can use surround sound over it and passthrough USB devices to the server with another little piece of software. Funny thing was I basically bought it as a cool little toy to mess with and then toss onto a shelf next to a TV hardly ever use, but for $20 on sale I figured hey why not. Steam Link doesn't have a fan in it and is I have heard running off of something similar to a Rasberry PI at highest quality settings only using 30Mbit of its 100Mbit ethernet capabilities. It can't use the server PC while using it remotely without disrupting each other it it basically just screen streaming and sending a tiny amount of emulated mouse and keyboard data back. Nvidia shield is the same thing but more premium but I haven't used it or you can make your own client if you want, and there is a third party android app for using Nvidia's called Moonlight. For Steams version both server and client need steam running, works on Linux and Windows. Your client needs a H.264 decoder and be able to run the Steam software. They are capped at 60hz but can do 4k. My only complaints are being capped at 60hz and that it wasn't intended as being a low level thin client so remote administration has to be done with a workaround. The ideal setup for me would probably be a Fanless Chromebox I have setup to dual boot or just boot SteamOS or Linux with Steam on it. Have VNC and Steam installed on both client and my mini-itx cheap Chromebox then I could conveniently administrate what is my mostly headless system and if something ever breaks I can still do basic computer tasks on my thin client. You can also run VNC on a smartphone or tablet also and how the guide writer did it. Server chipsets would even let you remotely access the bios from a compatibility VNC client.

So to summarize my setup is my full powered desktop in another room hooked up to my LAN and a Steam link $20 client in my bedroom hooked up to a 27" FHD monitor streaming 1080p 60hz and adding 25ms display latency which for anything but FPS type multiplayer gaming I don't think you will notice. Funny thing is the network connection when I dig into the performance logs say the is only adding about 1ms latency and that the Encoding is taking roughly 10ms and the decoding is taking roughly 10ms and I don't remember the exact stats anymore. I am using a Maxwell 750ti and I read up and Pascal supposedly has a better encoder and the built in IGPU of the Intel CPU's are as good as if not better at decoding than anything done by AMD or Nvidia. So if you had a Kaby Lake Celeron or even an Atom maybe you could decode 4k. I had a old GPU laying around GTX 650 and found it added about 8ms latency and then I read that it didn't have a great h.264 encoder and Maxwell was a lot better so I stopped using it for this. I plan to buy a Chromebook with AC WiFi dual boot it to Linux and steam Stream my full powered desktop to it gaining about 30-35ms ping but while at home have the equivalent of a full powered desktop for the price of 200-300 bucks. Multiheaded isn't something I have gotten into yet, I looked into it seems like it hasn't quiet arrived yet but that it is definitely doable with Multiple GPU's or using IGPU for one client and Full GPU for another just not as easy yet as I would like.


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