Originally Posted by PuffinMyLye
Thanks for the recommendations Ty. How many cores/threads do you think I'll need to run 4-6 VM's per node? I was hoping to build these in cube micro-atx cases and stack them for space saving because space really is an issue right now.
Also I'm open to the idea of using a consumer mobo if it has enough NICs and offers IPMI. I probably don't need ECC for these servers either I really just need enough cores/threads and juice to run my media server plus 3-5 other VM's at the same time.
First note, you say mATX. Supermicro makes very few mATX boards, and none for Socket 2011. They do have mATX boards for Socket 1155 and 1150, which are uni-processor. All of those Socket 1155 mATX boards support up to 32GB of RAM, so that's a first limitation.
Cores/threads per node depends on your workload. All my Windows boxes have at least 2 vCPU, just because. In a production enterprise world, you would likely disable hyperthreading and limit 1 physical CPU to 1 vCPU (meaning no sharing CPUs). Again, this doesn't happen a lot, but we do that where I work for our Citrix environment (all our physical boxes are HP Blades running XenServer). So let's say 6 VMs, with 4 running 2 vCPU and 2 running 4 vCPU, so that's 16 vCPU. I would say at least a quad core with hyperthreading (4C/8T) would be minimum (in my opinion), but since these servers will probably be idle most of the time, I think a hyperthreaded quad core (or 8 core Opteron) is where you should be focusing. If you go with a Supermicro mATX board, you will probably want to go with the Xeon E3-1230v2, which is the same CPU in my storage server.
I use this board in my storage server, btw:
Quad gigabit NIC onboard (all intel), Socket LGA1155, 4DIMMS supporting up to 32GB of RAM -- for around $240
It has a slot at the bottom for a ASUS PIKE card, which will enable the 8 onboard SAS ports with hardware RAID (LSI chips on the PIKE RAID cards, so that's pretty good), and there is also 6 SATA ports on the motherboard, which have a switch to select Intel RST RAID or chipset LSI RAID. There is also a management NIC, but you have to buy the IMPI chip, which is like $30 extra, I think. Still not bad for what you are getting. It's not mATX though, it's ATX.
quad NICs, LGA 1150, mATX for under $200 and has IMPI too.
Actually, I really like that SuperMicro board. I say go with that and the Xeon E3-1230v3. About $450 for the CPU and Motherboard, and it can support 32GB of RAM which will be another $275. $100 for PSU, $100 for case, and you are up to $925. Add in the cost of drives and RAID controller and you could be up to $1300-1500 easily. It's expensive, but would make for a pretty decent build, and would do what you want. Just make sure to build both boxes identical; will save you time and trouble with live migrations and failover.Edited by tycoonbob - 10/4/13 at 8:23am