Well I got quite a lot of inspiration before starting my Sunday project today. Here's a before and after pic, then some during. I'll also take some time to explain my setup as I think it's pretty neat!
** If you're interested in finding out more about how I did what I did, I blog as I go and all my instructions are available here - blog.ktz.me
During the summer I set out to consolidate my desktop, htpc and unraid server into one box using virtualisation. The results, I'm pleased to say, exceeded my pre-project expectations! I now have one box running 4 OSs concurrently, including a Windows virtual machine with full VGA passthrough which I use as my daily desktop (see pic at the bottom) but also for flawless gaming. Quick rundown of the OSs:
Dom0 (Host) - Arch Linux with Xen 4.3 and XBMC
- Utilises the CPU built-in graphics to run XBMC via a HDMI splitter to my TV in the lounge and kitchen. Only requires 15GB of SSD space and 1GB RAM to run, this is why I love Arch (among other reasons).
DomU1 - unRAID
- 18TB of protected storage available for usage by all VMs and acts as a NAS device
DomU2 - Windows 8.1 (with full 3d VGA passthrough)
- The really nifty bit here isn't the running of Windows as a VM or even the VGA passthrough, it's that I figured out a way using DevManView to automatically eject the card on reboot (this made Windows unusable before). It has been working flawlessly for over 3 months so I'd say it's ready for primetime!
DomU3 - Arch VM
- For Sab, Sickbeard, PLex etc...
My Desk (which I also built from MDF as it's rented accommodation so wanted something cheap!):
** It should be noted that the computer on the desk is my testbench, what's driving the monitors on the desk is the machine pictured above (with the silly blue neon fans that were stock fans). I ran 2x 20m HDMI cables up to the monitors and a USB over Cat6 cable to achieve "remote computing" bliss.