Sunday, October 25, 2020

Running Openshift at Home - Part 3/4 Installing a Two-Node Proxmox VE Cluster

Part 3 - Installing a Two-Node Proxmox VE Cluster

Part 1/4 - Homelab Hardware
Part 2/4 - DIY Silent Server Cabinet
Part 4/4 - Deploying Openshift 4 on Proxmox VE

It all began with a desire to run a full Openshift cluster at home. Not minikube nor minishift nor single node stuff. I shaved yak and ended up building a homelab in an IKEA cabinet that is now ready to run a Hypervisor and then Openshift.


I looked up online for a opensource/free hypervisors and found out about VMWare ESXI, of course Red Hat Vistualization (OVirt) and Proxmox VE. I did not choose VMWare for 2 reasons, in older servers only older versions of VMWare ESXI can be installed. Newer version of ESXI does not support the older Xeon CPUs. It means you won't get the latest versions/updates. I could be wrong but this was what I read. The second reason is that I work for Red Hat, duh. For the same reason, I tried installing OVirt which is the upstream project of Red Hat Virtualization. However I find it too much for a home lab setup. There are too many good features that I do not need in a homelab and the hardware requirements are too high for my current setup. I tried installing it but it requires 10Gigabit Ethernet connection because it uses Ceph storage as the VM storage in a hyper-converge setup (storage and compute on the same nodes). So I gave ProxmoxVE a try and find that the installation is very easy and took only 3 minutes. Then after reboot you can start creating VMs right away. It maybe missing some other Enterprise features that ESXI, RHV and Hyper-V has but it's more than capable for my homelab needs.

Installing Proxmox VE

Installing is as easy as 123. I downloaded the installer ISO image from the Proxmox Website. Burned it on a USB stick. Let the server boot on the USB stick. Follow the instruction nad provide few information et voila!

The first thing I did after installation was to add the Proxmox apt repository, install ifupdown2 and then upgrade to latest binaries. You need to install ifupdown2 so that you can change and apply the network settings from the Proxmox Web UI.

nano /etc/apt/sources.list
# edit the file
# insert this line to add the Proxmox repo for no-subscription
deb buster pve-no-subscription
# save the file
apt update
# install ifupdown2
apt install ifupdown2
apt upgrade

The next thing I did was to configure a second NIC on the nodes in preparation for clustering.

I installed Proxmox VE on two dell servers and created a cluster. I reserved my third HP server as a separate node, not part of the cluster because I am not running this server 24/7. It's too loud. Creating a cluster was also a breeze. Just click the button "Create Cluster" on the UI under the Datacenter menu and follow the instruction. In the network options, choose the second network card, the one that is not used by the VMs (not mapped to vmbr0). On the other node just click on the "Join Cluster" button and provide the Join Information which you will get from the same menu item in the first node. Once the cluster setup is complete you will see all the VMs and storage in one place under the Cluster root item.