This time on Hak5 we’re asking the question, can a three node Virtualization Cluster be built for under $1000? With the help of Proxmox, an open source virtualization environment, some cardboard boxes and a knife — we find out!

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Hacker Challenge Recap
Darren reviews the recent Hacker Challenge and details improvements to this ongoing project.

Clustering with Proxmox
Darren demonstrates building virtualization clusters with proxmox. He also learns a very important lesson about the “any key” and pimps his cardboard case mod.

Virtio drivers and paravirtualization explained
Darren demos a live Proxmox cluster while building a Windows machine using the Virtio drivers.

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  • David Smith 4 years ago

    Thanks for the Virtio ISO Darren!
    I created my first proxmox installation yesterday and booted up an XP image with the virtio network interface only to find the drivers were missing. Well it was really late when I’d finished and decided I’d go to bed and sleep on it.
    Low and behold in the morning hak5 has the solution ready made for me!

  • sk8hack 4 years ago

    hey, what power suppy did you use, i like that thin one, can i get the model?
    thanks, great show

  • ric3125 4 years ago

    Looking to build my first server, can you post the hardware that your using? Thanks

  • Hey!
    Great episode. But what happened to teh XVID goodness?

  • Jonathan 4 years ago

    Hey, what are the specs of the nodes that you implemented?

  • I’d love to see a parts list for an individual node of the cluster.


    • Jamie McClymont 4 years ago

      Me too. PLEASE!!!

    • Ditto please give a detailed parts list. Would love to see this I have the power supply but won ‘t get far with just that
      Apevia ITX-AP250W

  • Hey, I would also like to know what power supply you used.

  • Proxmox isn’t a real “cluster” it is just centralized management of virtual machines. Clustering usually involves Active/Active systems that have ZERO downtime when/if there is a failure of either system. The easiest way to build a cluster is with redundant front-end load balancers and multiple web, app, and DB servers on the back ends. This can become really complex for client/server applications if you don’t want any data loss or need the servers geographically apart from each other.

    If proxmox were a true cluster solution, unplugging the master wouldn’t prevent you from managing all the other servers from a failed over web interface using the same IP of the now “missing master.”

    Still, for what it is, Proxmox is intriguing, but it isn’t a “cluster” by any definition used in the industry.

    • You make a good point, are there any free ones that do real clustering, or is proxmox as good as it gets?

  • Note about the delay with ssh-login: I dont know Proxmox but looks to me like a broken DNS-configuration. (SSH tries to do a reverse lookup of your ip on connect – if the DNS-server is not reachable it takes a while to run into timeout)

  • Coffeeman 4 years ago

    hey Darren, greetings from Romania! I was just wondering, why did you not used thermal paste before mounting the cooler?1 Isn’t that necessary?
    Thanks and great shows!

    • It came pre-installed on the Intel stock cooler. If I had a tube of artic silver laying around I’d have replaced it. Alas I don’t so the Intel paste will have to suffice.

  • You can get that kind of PSU from any store selling mini itx products like minit-itx dot com.

  • Hey, i found this place on [url=]google[/url] and i enjoy it so far :)

  • Great show Darren,
    Proxmox looks really sweet, I have never heard of it before and looks very stable.
    Thank for the tip

  • is there a reason you were going with sandy bridge i-5’s ? because i think for the same money you could get the latest amd 6 cores.

  • Jason 4 years ago

    Darren, quick question what are you using for a storage backend or are you using local storage for everything? In reading the wiki for Proxmox it looks like it uses drbd to rep the storage blocks between nodes. Ive been meaning to test out proxmox, just a timing thing

    Been meaning to check out ovirt have you used this or tested?

    Also a plug for this works great for re-packing customized files into a vmware install. for those that want a HA/FT/DRS setup. Looks like Proxmox has that stuff scheduled for the 2.0 release.

  • Jason 4 years ago

    What are you using for a storage back end? I read over teh wiki briefly and it looks like it uses DRBD to rep storage blocks to the other nodes. Are you using a dedicated interface for this? Also id be intrested to see some numbers after you get this setup on migrate times, I/O, etc.

    A plug for storage platforms: Freenas (my current favorite, but wanting more recent updates),OpenFiler OpenmediaVault (if Volker ever releases it) ZFS Guru, Eopen, NexentaStor. Or roll your own.

  • Enigmachine 4 years ago

    Darren, nice show, but you really need to reload your case modding skills.

    Assembling the machine ON a antistatic bag is a terrible idea. The bags are designed to keep the static charge on the OUTSIDE (Or be conductive – like a floppy Faraday cage). You’re better off working on cardboard. Hopefully your vest wasn’t wool…

    And then you stick a HD inside a bag and put it on a running motherboard? Short circuit much? Cardboard is your friend – for some things.

    But cardboard boxes as cases are a bad idea. They are good heat insulators, so even if the CPU cooler can keep it cool around the CPU opening, I’m pretty sure you’re shortening the life of capacitors further away. Making a large slit all the way on two sides would probably improve this.

    Anyway, bet this isn’t news to anyone watching. :) Keep making the show, I never miss it.

    Greetings from snowy Quebec!

  • rokr1 4 years ago

    Bad selection of processor darren… Core i5 2600K is a bad one…. u could have gone with Corei5 2600 (Intel VT-x + VT-d).

  • keith 4 years ago

    Very nice video on virtualization.
    I need to move a visualized server from virtualbox to proxmox. Have you done this? What sort of problems might I have? What would be the easiest way?

    again, excellent video!

  • Stephen 4 years ago

    What was that Asus MB model? Never got the whole thing in the episode. Thanks

  • Chris 4 years ago

    Heya my names chris and im currently trying to create a virtulisation cluster with proxmox but im still in the process of planning what components i should buy i am looking for low budget i have been searching on ebuyer at the moment but as i am new to this i have no idea how to tell whether the type of system i am looking at can support proxmox does it have to have virtulisation enabled i assume so and how can i tell here is a link to the bare bones im looking at getting any tips or feedback apreciated. Thanks


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