Virtualised Indigo

Posted on
Sun May 17, 2020 9:23 pm
Rjay offline
Posts: 38
Joined: Feb 12, 2019

Virtualised Indigo

While I know it is not likely supported just wondering if anyone is running Indigo inside a virtualised MacOS guest? and if so what the experience is like in general and also any issues with passing a ZWave Device like Aeotec's Stick to the virtualised MacOS?


If there is a forum subsection where this would get more traction or is a better location feel free to move I wasn't sure if here or Indigo Server Software was best location.

cheers

Posted on
Mon May 18, 2020 9:47 am
jay (support) offline
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Location: Austin, Texas

Re: Virtualised Indigo

Rjay wrote:
While I know it is not likely supported just wondering if anyone is running Indigo inside a virtualised MacOS guest?


Correct - it's not a supported configuration for a variety of reasons. One major reason is macOS and driver compatibility issues (we have enough of those on supported macOS/hardware combinations). It may work - but given the sheer number of combination/permutations, we just can't take the time needed to support all the options. I am curious why you're considering this approach.

Jay (Indigo Support)
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Posted on
Mon May 18, 2020 11:49 pm
Rjay offline
Posts: 38
Joined: Feb 12, 2019

Re: Virtualised Indigo

hey Jay! thanks for the response. I had actually included a bit of a spiel on the "why" but then decided to keep it short just to see the responses and user experiences first, also with some google searching discovered this other thread basically covering some of the details I was chasing but things have changed a little since 2018.
viewtopic.php?f=152&t=20331&p=191984#p191984
dillwishlist sounded like he was using a similar solution.

Background: Essentially I am not a big MacOS user, have had a fair bit of exposure to it but just don't think MacOS has that many advantages (iOS/WatchOS i think are better OS examples in their field). So for me the Mac was a means to an end when I settled on using Indigo after testing all the different Automation software 12-18months back when I decided to migrate away from Vera. Back then it came down to between Homeseer and Indigo and one of the advantages of Homeseer was the ability to run it as VM (and could be very flexible when combined with these https://shop.homeseer.com/products/z-wa ... 7658503180), but overall I was happier with some features/logic/plugins of Indigo. Also Homeseer prior to the new v4 had a pretty dated interface.

To expand somewhat as well, have a small home lab for various testing/learning/home infrastructure and having a Hypervisor Host is much more useful as an always on power draw. Also being in IT my thoughts always go to having reliable HA (highly available) services and great disaster recovery options especially when you have everyone in the house relying on the automations that just become fully integrated into your life and virtualised environments just make that so much easier.

Final element would be that in recent times VMWare ESXi officially works on a Mac Mini so these make a great little Host especially if you have a couple and can run them in the 1RU Sonnet rack mount (https://www.sonnettech.com/product/rackmacmini.html), at 25-35watt draw a piece plus say a NAS and a router/switch and you have a very small footprint / quiet home lab with more flexibility and less power draw than a large server. Also means you can run official Mac VM's which you couldn't do on other hardware.

Apologies for the long explanation but just thought it needed the details just to understand it wasn't "just for the sake of it", that there were some distinct advantages. I definitely understand there are some complications though with support/software dev etc so I understand the stance etc.

Posted on
Tue May 19, 2020 8:18 am
dillwishlist offline
Posts: 25
Joined: Sep 16, 2012
Location: New Hampshire

Re: Virtualised Indigo

I run Indigo 6 on a virtualized Mac (10.12.6 running on a dual 2.48 GHz VM with 2 GB RAM). It is hosted on a Mac mini (one of three in a cluster) with 16 GB RAM.

Indigo has a dedicated non-admin user which auto logs in. Indigo automatically starts, and things run well. My Insteon USB modem is connected to the host and passed through to the guest in the VMware configuration. Dedicated USB devices (like the Insteon and ZWave devices) are easy, PCI gets more complicated. If you want US Plug and Play you need to do some more configuration. This setup works quite well. I'll take a snapshot of the machine before I perform any updates/upgrades. This also makes it easy if I want to clone the machine to test any major changes. Current big changes on my roadmap are making the Indigo server run in the background, and upgrading to Indigo 7 (or maybe 8 by the time I get to it). I've been renovating, so I'm not in the software phase yet. Hopefully soon!

My setup runs quite well. I have a HomeBridge server (another VM) running to interface with HomeKit and Siri which works very well. Every once in a while my vMac will decide to log itself out of the user and sit in the login window. I'm not sure if this is a hard reboot, or the window server crashing, or something else. I haven't been able to catch it or find details in the logs. It'll happen a few nights in a row, then be fine for six months. Dealing with that is higher on my to-do list.

If you want to run a VSphere Cluster, I recommend signing up with the VMUG and getting a EvalExperience license. $200 a year is much cheaper than buying the full license! I'm going to play with VSAN and other things included in the evaluation license in the not too distant future as well.

I would be happy to answer any questions there are on this subject to the best of my ability.

Good luck!
Alexander

Posted on
Tue May 19, 2020 9:08 am
Rjay offline
Posts: 38
Joined: Feb 12, 2019

Re: Virtualised Indigo

Thanks for checking in Alexander and the detail!

Yes I just found out about VMUG the other day which is what also made me lean towards this config, as it added all the enterprise features I am used to (vMotion etc) back to ESXi for a very reasonable yearly fee.

Had forgotten about clone as a good "undo" option prior to changes (as long as you don't let them grow too large!), good additional point. Similarly as you mentioned there are some other Home Automation VM's I like to run such as HomeAssistant just purely out of interest in the project. Also the fact that Veeam have a community edition for 10 VM's is great as well and ties in to the solution. USB passthrough for ZWave sounds like it is going to be ok. If Indigo eventually supports a ZNet style product then that would allow for migrating the VM between hosts and still remain connected to the ZWave Network.

Are you running vSphere 7? I noticed it now supports Containers which is a great addition as they are efficient resource use as well. vSAN is on my list of things to test

Sounds like I will up the bids on the additional Mac Mini's I have been watching on eBay. That way I can trial it before converting across my currently working Physical Mac Mini. Then once that is done I can run the secondary host up.

Do you find your Mac VM runs ok with only 2gig of RAM allocated, with two 16gb hosts I could easily allocate more? The 16gb limitation and only 2 slots is one of the only downfalls I can see of these scenarios, have to spend a fortune to get a new Mac Mini with 32gi+ and the Late 2012 i7's hold their value (run the same cost as a current model Intel NUC!)

Posted on
Tue May 19, 2020 11:39 am
dillwishlist offline
Posts: 25
Joined: Sep 16, 2012
Location: New Hampshire

Re: Virtualised Indigo

I'm running VSphere 6.7. I'd love to get 7, but not sure it'll run since I'm limited to 6.5 on the hypervisors. Another project on the list!

Didn't realize Veeam has a community version. I have more than 10 VMs, so I'm not sure how useful it will be.

In terms of USB passthrough, I've thought about using some USB over IP device so the guest can be migrated. There must be an open-source solution to do this, I haven't found it yet though.

VMs:
Indigo 83.32 GB provisioned, 47.75 GB used
autoPKG 84.11 GB provisioned, 44.11 GB used
Plex 255.03 GB provisioned, 150.61 GB used

I do use Munki to keep things up to date, so the clients pre-download updates and such. I've never had a problem with ram on Indigo at 2 GB. I had more RAM available when it was on my Xserve, but it didn't use it. I don't use too much at the moment. Easy to increase it if needed. That is my one gripe with the minis I have, the 16 GB RAM limit. That's why I'm running my Dell server, so I can dedicate as many resources on the Mac host to the Mac guests.

Posted on
Tue May 19, 2020 3:14 pm
Asconasny offline
Posts: 160
Joined: Jan 16, 2015

Re: Virtualised Indigo

I’ve been using ser2net on a raspberry pi for Zwave for about a year now. My Mac mini is located in a bad spot for zwave so i set this up for better coverage.
No hickups. Should work fine with this setup for migrating vm’s

Posted on
Tue May 19, 2020 7:33 pm
dillwishlist offline
Posts: 25
Joined: Sep 16, 2012
Location: New Hampshire

Re: Virtualised Indigo

Great find, thanks!

Alexander

Posted on
Wed May 20, 2020 3:22 am
Rjay offline
Posts: 38
Joined: Feb 12, 2019

Re: Virtualised Indigo

This is the sort of great info I was hoping this thread would bring out, cheers Alexander and Aconasny.

Agreed the 16gb is a bit of a pain and bar spending big $$ on a new Mini to get the 32 or 64 (and 10gig Ether net if your lucky) there aren't too many options. In saying that its only 2 slots so even if the limit was higher on the 2011/12's the sticks would cost a fortune.

Yeh if I didn't need the Mac side of things I would just run a low power server either a couple of NUC's or SuperMicro E300-8D or E200-8D, they have the advantage of iLO/iDrac style interface in case anything goes pear shaped with the OS and the SuperMicro's have bulk gig and 10gig NICs. I think for the medium term the two Mini's will do the job.

Yeh the IP based USB converters are out there in hardware form to that work quite well, have used them previously to provide high availability solutions for software license servers that have a hardware dongle (usually CAD or Design based software worth 10's of thousands).

Its great the community edition stuff out there now, you can always do the 10 constant core system backups and it can do unlimited intermittent backups using Veeam Zip. or you can just use the Veeam Endpoint agent free that everyone was using prior to community edition, it would just mean they would be separate to the main repository. If you are interested in hyperconverged gear for lab environment Nutanix does an awesome community edition with pretty much unlimited use, has it's own in built hypervisor called AHV as well which is now supported by Veeam also.

cheers

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