Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
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I've been doing this for a year now, and I meant to post a more comprehensive topic about it but I haven't had the time yet. But anyway, I'm running a Windows 7 VM under ESXi 5.5. All TV viewing is done through extenders. With this, I can centralize storage and recording into one VM. I have a Supermicro 24 bay case bought from TAMS a while back. I'm also running another (Windows Server 2012 R2) VM that acts as general backup for random things and Time Machine (among other random VMs such as pfSense, phone system). So with the 24 bay server, I have 8 bays on one M1015 passed through to Windows 7, and another 8 bays on another M1015 passed to Windows Server 2012. The motherboard I'm using has one more PCIe slot for another M1015 if I ever want to use the last 8 bays. Windows 7 uses FlexRaid Snapshot w/pooling, and Windows Server 2012 uses FlexRaid tRAID to manage storage and RAID.
Things I like: I don't have to have a separate computer that records and then transfers the recordings to the server for storage. The extenders have been appliance-like and reliable. I don't have HDMI issues or any other else really. I can make backups/snapshots of the VM, so before any major change, I can rollback if needed. I'm not "wasting" a 24 bay case since I don't have enough TV to fill 24 bays (yet :O)
I haven't tried GPU passthrough since I can't do long HDMI runs, and the extenders work great. I am passing through the M1015s and NICs with no issues though. I'm pretty surprised it works as well as it does. I haven't had any PlayReady issues or missed recordings in the year or so I've been running this.