I’ve been working up to a better virtualization and storage setup for my homelab for awhile now. One part of this is cataloguing my media and expanding the virtual side of the media library. I have a legacy collection of DVDs and BDs which I’d like to import, and that means I need to rip them from disk. The decryption and transcoding process requires a decent CPU. The demand for high performance leads me to want to run this in a virtual machine (where it can get low priority access to a wealth of compute resources), but the need for a physical disk drive also makes me not want to walk down to the basement every time a disk is done to change disks.
Inspired by recent a recent video on the basics of PXE booting by ‘Tall Paul Tech’ (formerly known as CWNE88), as well as a comment by Linus of Linus Tech Tips that his new home server could ’network boot everything in his house’, I wondered how easy it would be to network boot everything in my house. In an ideal world, this would solve a lot of problems regarding managing backups of the drives - by simply not having drives at any client, they can all be managed and backed up centrally by the server.