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Esxi 5 build

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hello all, I'm planning on building a esxi 5 box for use at home. it will be running around 6 to 8 vm's depending on what I'm working on at the time. Here is what I have so far for parts:


SUPERMICRO MBD-X9SCI-LN4F-O http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813182257
Intel Xeon E3-1230 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115083 Or
Intel Xeon E3-1220 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115084
Kingston 16GB (2 x8) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820139931
Intel 320 120GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820167050 Or
Samsung 470 120GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147161
Antec 300 http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0283272

I already have a 550w power supply, so one is not needed. Not entirely sure if I need ssd, but looking from a performance per dollar aspect, its hard not to consider one. Any suggestions for better, or cheaper parts that would work for this would be appreciated cheers.gif .
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post #2 of 16
Looks good thumb.gif

Believe me you will need an SSD or two in RAID for the VMs, will so many OSs all on the same drive ordinary drives will get incredibly bogged down, SSDs will be essential to ensure smooth and quick operation of your VMs.

How much RAM will you need per VM? ESXi takes up a GB or so, leaving you with 15GB RAM or 1.9GB - 2.2GB per VM at the max.

CPU should be able to cope, but again it depends what your doing with them. If your VMs will be subject to a heavy workload then I would consider a dual/quad proc Opteron machine.
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post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
2gb per vm was my goal. Some like my untangle vm would make do with 1 gb. Most are learning/test vms that are not real resorce intensive. My biggest concern is compatability first, performance second.
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post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by mica3speedy View Post

2gb per vm was my goal. Some like my untangle vm would make do with 1 gb. Most are learning/test vms that are not real resorce intensive. My biggest concern is compatability first, performance second.

Should be good to go with the current Hardware then thumb.gif.

Just to let you know, as I said before an SSD or even two in RAID is a must. My storage HDD was beginning to get bogged down just handling 2-3 VMs just now. mad.gif
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post #5 of 16
This is *not* a must unless your VMs are going to be doing disk I/O intensive tasks, such as running a high-load SQL server. And even then, the recommended practice is NOT to put a SQL server in VM.

SSD in RAID-0 is pointless unless you have 10GigE between servers - which is not the case here. Your VMs are still going to be accessing a storage device with a 0.1ms access time, whether it be a single drive or a RAID-0 array.

Multiple mechanical HDDs in a RAID configuration would be useful, definitely, but again, it depends on what your VMs are going to be doing. You build the server according to what you plan on running on it.

Check out the Whitebox Hardware Compatibility List (HCL) for ESXi v5 for the best parts to get.
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post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
I agree that an ssd, let alone raided ssds are not needed. I also think that a single mechanical drive probably would not suffice either. I would assume that getting multiple mechanical drives plus a compatible raid controller would cost a bit more than a single ssd drive which would be sufficient for the money. Maybe I'm wrong on that, but that is why I came to you guys for suggestions.
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post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by mica3speedy View Post

I agree that an ssd, let alone raided ssds are not needed. I also think that a single mechanical drive probably would not suffice either. I would assume that getting multiple mechanical drives plus a compatible raid controller would cost a bit more than a single ssd drive which would be sufficient for the money. Maybe I'm wrong on that, but that is why I came to you guys for suggestions.

As mentioned, it depends on what you're doing with your VMs. I have "low priority" VMs running on single SATA disks. Those are VMs where the role of the VM is not critical, where performance is not necessarily an issue - such as a WSUS server or a webserver.

My VM file servers are running on RAID-1 arrays, but that's only because I want those VMs protected against a hardware failure. Likewise my domain controllers are on the same RAID-1 array because those aren't doing much in the way of intensive disk I/O tasks.

My VM Exchange 2003 / 2010 servers are on RAID-10 arrays for both performance and redundancy. Oh, my downloading VM is on a RAID-10 array because it's doing a lot of disk I/O tasks... download + auto-extract. Really hammers the RAID-10 array that it's on... tongue.gif

I would suggest you buy a compatible RAID controller capable of running RAID-1/5/6/10, and get 4x matching hard-drives. This gives you maximum flexibility in deciding which way you want to go with. It's a shame that HDD prices are still so ridiculous when they don't need to be...

Also, bear in mind that VMware's memory allocation capabilities are very good. If you configure your host with 16GB of RAM, I think you will be pleasantly surprised when you start building your VMs smile.gif. Look up VMware's overcommit and memory sharing technology... It's not a straight linear calculation.
Edited by ComGuards - 12/31/11 at 3:04pm
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VMWare vSphere5 Enterprise Plus Dell iDRAC6 Remote Management [KVM-Over-IP] Dell iDRAC6 KVM Dell Hot-Swap Redundant 1100W 
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post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by ComGuards View Post

This is *not* a must unless your VMs are going to be doing disk I/O intensive tasks, such as running a high-load SQL server. And even then, the recommended practice is NOT to put a SQL server in VM.
SSD in RAID-0 is pointless unless you have 10GigE between servers - which is not the case here. Your VMs are still going to be accessing a storage device with a 0.1ms access time, whether it be a single drive or a RAID-0 array.
Multiple mechanical HDDs in a RAID configuration would be useful, definitely, but again, it depends on what your VMs are going to be doing. You build the server according to what you plan on running on it.
Check out the Whitebox Hardware Compatibility List (HCL) for ESXi v5 for the best parts to get.

I was simply stating that for my requirements with VMWare products , an SSD is essential smile.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by mica3speedy View Post

I agree that an ssd, let alone raided ssds are not needed. I also think that a single mechanical drive probably would not suffice either. I would assume that getting multiple mechanical drives plus a compatible raid controller would cost a bit more than a single ssd drive which would be sufficient for the money. Maybe I'm wrong on that, but that is why I came to you guys for suggestions.

Depends what your requirements are, we can help you more if you tell us specifically what VMs you will be using, and for what thumb.gif
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post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
The vms are going to be mostly server 2008 r2, one being a dc, one being a sql server, one exchange server, one being untangle, and I plan on having around two additional vms for testing applications and other os'es.
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post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by mica3speedy View Post

The vms are going to be mostly server 2008 r2, one being a dc, one being a sql server, one exchange server, one being untangle, and I plan on having around two additional vms for testing applications and other os'es.

In that case I am going to recommend either 2 mech drives in RAID, or 1 SSD thumb.gif
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NZXT Phantom 
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Xeon E5520  Xeon E5520  BL460c G6 12GB ECC DDR3 
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1TB of SAN Server 2008 R2 
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Swag box m8
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7 x BL460c
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NZXT Phantom 
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