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Dell C1100, is this going to be a good ESXi Host?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I'm looking to pickup a dual chip'ed quad core HT Xeon with 72GB of ram. I'm going to have my data stores be on a FreeNAS box attached by iSCSI.

Is the C1100 fine for hosting a dumber of VM's.

I'm currently hosting my VM's off a Q9550 with 8 GB of ram so the expanded processing, RAM, and efficiency of this over what I have for a similar power consumption is very appealing to me.

Currently I'm hosting a CentOS 6.5 LAMP server with Wordpress, two MineCraft servers, a TradeWars 2002 server *cheers if you know what that is*, an accounting server, a FreeNAS server just for Dynamic resolution, TeamSPeak3 Server, a Server that is able to communicate with my UPS to instruct the host to shutdown the VM's and then the host.

I'm looking at migrating a number from my hosts from XP to Windows 7, as well as implementing a number of additional VM's once i have the RAM resources and the IO of an efficient data store.

What do you guys think? Is there something better for the ~$400 range. I will be planning on adding a PCIe NIC to add more bandwidth between the server, data store (FreeNAS) and the network resources.
 
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post #2 of 9
The Dell C1100 is about the best bang for the buck right now, for a used server. I have had several myself over the past two years, but have moved on to Dell R610's (second hand from eBay) mainly because of the redundant PSUs, quad onboard NICs, and dual PCIe slots in a 1U chassis. A lot of R610's also rock the Xeon L5520's, which are great CPU's in my professional opinion (for a home server, or small business on a tight budget).

Power draw on a C1100 is somewhere around 140W, with peaking up to ~215W (assuming CPU's are at 100%). In other words, the C1100 is friendly to your electricity bill.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
How does the R610 compare with ram capacity for the price of a C1100?

After looking the pricing is substantially higher for used R610's, I think I'll stick with the C1100 and just order a spare PSU. It was the original plan to order a spare PSU or two shortly after getting the unit it's self.
Edited by Tempest_Inc - 4/23/14 at 7:30am
 
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post #4 of 9
The R610 is more expensive, but still a great value. The R610 has 12 DIMM slots, whereas the C1100 has 18 DIMM slots but the R610 can still support up to 192GB of RAM.

DELL POWEREDGE R610 2x QUAD CORE L5520 2.26GHz 48GB RAM 2x 146GB 15K SAS - $753

Dell Poweredge C1100 1U 2X XEON QC L5520 2.26GHZ NO HDD 4xTRAYS 48GB RAM - $550

Same CPUs, same amount of RAM. The R610 has 2 146GB 15k SAS drives, 2 more onboard NICs, redundant PSUs, draws a little less power (~130W instead of ~140W), and has 2 PCIe slots instead of 1. That's worth the addition $200 to me, but maybe not others.

I also like the fact that the R610 has 6 2.5" bays, because I only use SSD's in mine (pair of 60GB SSDs in RAID1 for OS, and 500GB SSD for VM storage. Some R610's come with PERC H700 raid controllers as well.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tycoonbob View Post

The R610 is more expensive, but still a great value. The R610 has 12 DIMM slots, whereas the C1100 has 18 DIMM slots but the R610 can still support up to 192GB of RAM.

DELL POWEREDGE R610 2x QUAD CORE L5520 2.26GHz 48GB RAM 2x 146GB 15K SAS - $753

Dell Poweredge C1100 1U 2X XEON QC L5520 2.26GHZ NO HDD 4xTRAYS 48GB RAM - $550

Same CPUs, same amount of RAM. The R610 has 2 146GB 15k SAS drives, 2 more onboard NICs, redundant PSUs, draws a little less power (~130W instead of ~140W), and has 2 PCIe slots instead of 1. That's worth the addition $200 to me, but maybe not others.

I also like the fact that the R610 has 6 2.5" bays, because I only use SSD's in mine (pair of 60GB SSDs in RAID1 for OS, and 500GB SSD for VM storage. Some R610's come with PERC H700 raid controllers as well.

Your going to get me into trouble with the female.... But all valid points. Guess I'll be pinching a few more pennies as I'm liking what I'm seeing here and after doing some research. Because I'll be close if not over in price after buying two spare psu's and a 4 port PCIe NIC.
 
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post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tempest_Inc View Post

Your going to get me into trouble with the female.... But all valid points. Guess I'll be pinching a few more pennies as I'm liking what I'm seeing here and after doing some research. Because I'll be close if not over in price after buying two spare psu's and a 4 port PCIe NIC.

That's exactly my point.

I had the same logic as you going into the C1100 (I'll add a dual gigabit card and get a spare PSU), but the cost of that is negated by just going for the R610. Having 2 PCIe slots can be handy, if your situation requires it (I.E., RAID controller with external connection, tons of NICS -- think 12 total, Fiber Channel card, etc).

Honestly, I wouldn't bother with 72GB of RAM in one of these either. 48GB is the sweet spot, in my opinion. At first I was very relaxed and handed out RAM like candy, to my VM's. Now? Nope. Typical CentOS VM has 512MB RAM, and that's proven just fine over the past year or more. Windows? My 2 Windows Server 2012 R2 Domain Controllers only have 512MB RAM each. Hard to believe, I know, but it works (albeit, may be a little slow -- I do it to prove a point mainly).

A pair of L5520's will provide plenty of CPU power, and I seriously doubt you will average higher than 5% CPU time regardless of the number of VMs you run (unless you do something CPU intensive like coin mining, folding, etc). Storage I/O will be your first constraint, followed by RAM, followed by CPU.

My CentOS VM's have a 10GB VHDX (I run Hyper-V for my hypervisors), and Windows usually have 15GB. If I need more space (i.e., my Usenet VM) I connect a second drive provided via iSCSI to either the hypervisor to attach to the VM, or direct iSCSI to the VM. 500GB SSD for VM storage has allowed me to easily run 12 CentOS VM's and 8 Windows VM's, and still have about 200GB free on the SSD.

In other words, be efficient, use only what you need, and you will be very happy with the results.

Again, the R610 pulls a little less power than the C1100 (in my experience), which may also help pay for the price increase. The R610 is also quieter than the C1100, by a good little chunk, IMO. Switching from the C1100 to R610 made my lady just a little more happy tolerant about me having servers in the home office. biggrin.gif
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tycoonbob View Post

That's exactly my point.

I had the same logic as you going into the C1100 (I'll add a dual gigabit card and get a spare PSU), but the cost of that is negated by just going for the R610. Having 2 PCIe slots can be handy, if your situation requires it (I.E., RAID controller with external connection, tons of NICS -- think 12 total, Fiber Channel card, etc).

Honestly, I wouldn't bother with 72GB of RAM in one of these either. 48GB is the sweet spot, in my opinion. At first I was very relaxed and handed out RAM like candy, to my VM's. Now? Nope. Typical CentOS VM has 512MB RAM, and that's proven just fine over the past year or more. Windows? My 2 Windows Server 2012 R2 Domain Controllers only have 512MB RAM each. Hard to believe, I know, but it works (albeit, may be a little slow -- I do it to prove a point mainly).

A pair of L5520's will provide plenty of CPU power, and I seriously doubt you will average higher than 5% CPU time regardless of the number of VMs you run (unless you do something CPU intensive like coin mining, folding, etc). Storage I/O will be your first constraint, followed by RAM, followed by CPU.

My CentOS VM's have a 10GB VHDX (I run Hyper-V for my hypervisors), and Windows usually have 15GB. If I need more space (i.e., my Usenet VM) I connect a second drive provided via iSCSI to either the hypervisor to attach to the VM, or direct iSCSI to the VM. 500GB SSD for VM storage has allowed me to easily run 12 CentOS VM's and 8 Windows VM's, and still have about 200GB free on the SSD.

In other words, be efficient, use only what you need, and you will be very happy with the results.

Again, the R610 pulls a little less power than the C1100 (in my experience), which may also help pay for the price increase. The R610 is also quieter than the C1100, by a good little chunk, IMO. Switching from the C1100 to R610 made my lady just a little more happy tolerant about me having servers in the home office. biggrin.gif

I'm definitely leaning this way, I'm thinking I may still stick with the 72 GB of ram as I like to know that I've got it unless I find a killer deal on a 48GB version since the ram in these things is worth as much as what they boxes sell for used on eBay. Plus I'm looking into running a VM of PfSense with web caching and a few other ram intensive (if you can call it that), I've just never had luck with my pfSense VM's operating the way I wanted them to.

Also I'm running some Minecraft servers and at this time a single web server, but I'd like to be able to have one site per web server VM and a Minecraft server per VM to increase security and overall up time in case one VM suffers a failure.

I'm not looking at mining or folding I'm just looking for enough CPU processing to handle anything I could ever throw at it and then some. DO you know if it would be an option to remove one of the two L5520's and keep it as a backup CPU in case I suffer a failure to swap in while still having access to all the RAM, or is the Ram split between the two sockets?

Eventually I'd like two for fail-over and load balancing and of course for twice the chance of failure. I like to plan my setups and builds as though they are going into mission critical deployments.

Always nice to have the thought process but the budget is what normally slows me down.
Edited by Tempest_Inc - 4/23/14 at 9:00am
 
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post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tempest_Inc View Post

I'm definitely leaning this way, I'm thinking I may still stick with the 72 GB of ram as I like to know that I've got it unless I find a killer deal on a 48GB version since the ram in these things is worth as much as what they boxes sell for used on eBay. Plus I'm looking into running a VM of PfSense with web caching and a few other ram intensive (if you can call it that), I've just never had luck with my pfSense VM's operating the way I wanted them to.

Also I'm running some Minecraft servers and at this time a single web server, but I'd like to be able to have one site per web server VM and a Minecraft server per VM to increase security and overall up time in case one VM suffers a failure.

I'm not looking at mining or folding I'm just looking for enough CPU processing to handle anything I could ever throw at it and then some. DO you know if it would be an option to remove one of the two L5520's and keep it as a backup CPU in case I suffer a failure to swap in while still having access to all the RAM, or is the Ram split between the two sockets?

Eventually I'd like two for fail-over and load balancing and of course for twice the chance of failure. I like to plan my setups and builds as though they are going into mission critical deployments.

Always nice to have the thought process but the budget is what normally slows me down.

If you remove one of the CPU's, you loose half of your DIMMs. With multiple socket boards, your RAM is split between them so 6 DIMM slots per CPU for the R610.

I understand your concern on 1 website to 1 VM for increased security, but this is not the right way to think about this.
***First let me say that I never recommend hosting a website from home, since it's so very cheap to rent a VPS server for like $5/mo that has great specs, better uptime than you can provide, don't have to worry about DDOS attacks and other stuff hitting your home network.

Alright, now that that's out of the way the first question that comes to my mind is what kind of site are we talking about? I am a big fan of static site generators, and I personally prefer Pelican as it's Python based. I use VirtualEnv for my Python sites, so all of my static sites are in their own virtual Python environment separate from each other. I also don't have any reliance on a database as it's not needed for static sites, and I use Nginx as my front-end web server.

If I use a CMS, I either use WordPress or Drupal. I have a WordPress multi-site install set up, so all my WordPress sites share the same core WP files while keeping plugins, themes, and customization separate.

Again, I primarily prefer and recommend static sites (more secure -- no SQL injection, PHP manipulation, etc) and you can easily run a handful of static sites on a 512MB VM with a decent upload speed.

Minecraft also doesn't require THAT much RAM. Sure it's nice to do RAM Disks, but doing a RAM Disk inside of a VM doesn't really work well, and if your VM is hosted on a SSD you likely will be fine hosting a few Minecraft servers for less than 20 people. If you plan to go bigger than that, I'd highly recommend dedicated hosting.

My reasoning for sticking with 48GB of RAM is that I'm a big fan of scaling out, instead of up. Need more than 48GB of RAM? Get another server with the same specs, instead of scaling up to 72GB of RAM. I'm doubling my CPU availability, gaining high availability (if I cluster or set up failover), etc. Also, I try to keep under 500GB worth of VM per server so I can stick to a single 500GB SSD for my VMs (while using spindle drives as a backup). One day I may set up 4 x 1TB SSD's in RAID10 for iSCSI use, but probably not for another year or two.

Needless to say, there are a ton of options that you can do, and it's all about picking the option that best fits your budget and needs.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tycoonbob View Post

If you remove one of the CPU's, you loose half of your DIMMs. With multiple socket boards, your RAM is split between them so 6 DIMM slots per CPU for the R610.

Thats what I remembered, but I wasn't sure if that had been changed in modern servers compared to the HP G3's I have at home. Not in use, just the last set of server grade equipment that I've had to play with at home. Those got taken down quick as they were very efficient at converting electricity into heat, and not a whole lot else.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tycoonbob View Post

I understand your concern on 1 website to 1 VM for increased security, but this is not the right way to think about this.
***First let me say that I never recommend hosting a website from home, since it's so very cheap to rent a VPS server for like $5/mo that has great specs, better uptime than you can provide, don't have to worry about DDOS attacks and other stuff hitting your home network.

Alright, now that that's out of the way the first question that comes to my mind is what kind of site are we talking about? I am a big fan of static site generators, and I personally prefer Pelican as it's Python based. I use VirtualEnv for my Python sites, so all of my static sites are in their own virtual Python environment separate from each other. I also don't have any reliance on a database as it's not needed for static sites, and I use Nginx as my front-end web server.

If I use a CMS, I either use WordPress or Drupal. I have a WordPress multi-site install set up, so all my WordPress sites share the same core WP files while keeping plugins, themes, and customization separate

Again, I primarily prefer and recommend static sites (more secure -- no SQL injection, PHP manipulation, etc) and you can easily run a handful of static sites on a 512MB VM with a decent upload speed..

I'm just operating a small Wordpress site, more of an informational site for now until I get it up and for the most part finished. Then I'm moving to a GoDaddy's VPS. This way I can can do all the building in house. I'll have to look into the Wordpress Milti-site setup
Quote:
Originally Posted by tycoonbob View Post

Minecraft also doesn't require THAT much RAM. Sure it's nice to do RAM Disks, but doing a RAM Disk inside of a VM doesn't really work well, and if your VM is hosted on a SSD you likely will be fine hosting a few Minecraft servers for less than 20 people. If you plan to go bigger than that, I'd highly recommend dedicated hosting.

I know Minecraft doesn't require much ram I've currently got two servers servers running on a Windows XP VM provisioned for 2GB but only using 256MB. So I'm well aware the requirements are very low. Currently I'ts only got my Gf's little bro and I white listed but I plan on opening it up once I get the new server, Along with upgrading to 100 down and 20 up business class internet. Once I have the new hardware and RAM capability I'll be switching to Use a few of the Windows 7 Pro licenses's that I have. I'll be doing this to all of my current XP VM's.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tycoonbob View Post

My reasoning for sticking with 48GB of RAM is that I'm a big fan of scaling out, instead of up. Need more than 48GB of RAM? Get another server with the same specs, instead of scaling up to 72GB of RAM. I'm doubling my CPU availability, gaining high availability (if I cluster or set up failover), etc. Also, I try to keep under 500GB worth of VM per server so I can stick to a single 500GB SSD for my VMs (while using spindle drives as a backup). One day I may set up 4 x 1TB SSD's in RAID10 for iSCSI use, but probably not for another year or two.

Needless to say, there are a ton of options that you can do, and it's all about picking the option that best fits your budget and needs.

My logic is how i'm selling this to the G/f is the electric bill won't go up vs retiring my current VM server and implementing this one. So scaling out for now is now what I'm looking to do, I'd like the idea of finding a 74gb version as the electrical pull of a 74gb version with be almost identical to a 48gb. So I can maintain the "this won't change the electric bill" story. When I have to roll in a second server because I do plan on running a lot of labs and other putter projects on this. I'd like that to be at least a year out after I move all my current servers over to the system. Currently I have 13 servers, most I turn down to minimize power draw and ram usage for the ones I see as a priority at this time. I mean lets face it virt definitely made it incredibly easy and cost effective to roll out and segregate your servers and their functionality. Two years ago I has a file server, now I have 13 on the same hardware.

Currently the only thing I have on SSD is my website. Everything else at the moment is running on a set of 1TB Seagate SAS 6Gbps in a Mirror. I've got a friend who works for a company who is upgrading their datastores to newer hard drives and he is going to be giving me I believe in the neighborhood of 20x500GB SAS 6Gbps as they are upgrading to 20x1TB's.

I'm planning on taking a clone of my current VM Server as I have two Identical setups's and turning that into a FreeNas server and create an array and attach the ESXi host to it's datastore via iSCSI.

I'll have to order a few PCIe native host controllers to allow that many disks but even if I set it up as a raid 10 with 4 disks set up as hot spares I see that being a very effective storage solution for the time being and I can move that to an enterprise grade option down the road, hopefully in the next year.

Now if something here seems completely moronic and I'm just overlooking something there will be no hurt feeling, I've appreciated everything you shared and pointed out so far. Heck even the G/f last night bought into me getting the R610 over the C1100 once I explained it to her. So that is already fine, and something I would have looked and spent the equivalent to in customizing the C1100 into a R610.
Edited by Tempest_Inc - 4/24/14 at 7:52am
 
MacBook Pro 6.1
(16 items)
 
Server
(19 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7 Q720 Asus ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5870 1GB DDR5 12 GB DDR3 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Seagate Momentus XT 500GB 7200RPM & Seagate 750... Windows 7 Ultimate x64 17.3" LED LCD Factory 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Factory Factory Logitech G9X Mine 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Intel Core i5 MacBook Pro 6.1 17" Intel HD Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M 
RAMHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
4 GB DDR3 1067 MHz Hitachi HTS545050B9SA02 HL-DT-ST DVDRW GS23N Factory 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Mac OS X 10.6.8 17" LED Factory Factory 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Factory Factory None Factory 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 Abit IP35 Pro PNY VCQ290NVS-PCIEX16-PB Quadro NVS 290 256MB 64-b G.Skill F2-8000CL5D-4GBPQ 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Dell Perc5/i Samsung HD204UI Seagate Constellation ES SAS Drive Model: ST310... Hitachi Deskstar 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Western Digital WD1002FAEX Black Western Digital Black 2 x ASUS DRW-2014L1T Corsair H50 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard x64 ASUS VK222U Black 22" 2ms Logitech G15 (Original) - U.S. Dvorak Layout Enermax INFINITI EIN720AWT 720w 
CaseMouseMouse Pad
LIAN LI V SERIES PC-V2100A Silver Aluminum ATX ... Logitech G9x Steven's Computer Service 
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MacBook Pro 6.1
(16 items)
 
Server
(19 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7 Q720 Asus ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5870 1GB DDR5 12 GB DDR3 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Seagate Momentus XT 500GB 7200RPM & Seagate 750... Windows 7 Ultimate x64 17.3" LED LCD Factory 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Factory Factory Logitech G9X Mine 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Intel Core i5 MacBook Pro 6.1 17" Intel HD Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M 
RAMHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
4 GB DDR3 1067 MHz Hitachi HTS545050B9SA02 HL-DT-ST DVDRW GS23N Factory 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Mac OS X 10.6.8 17" LED Factory Factory 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Factory Factory None Factory 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 Abit IP35 Pro PNY VCQ290NVS-PCIEX16-PB Quadro NVS 290 256MB 64-b G.Skill F2-8000CL5D-4GBPQ 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Dell Perc5/i Samsung HD204UI Seagate Constellation ES SAS Drive Model: ST310... Hitachi Deskstar 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Western Digital WD1002FAEX Black Western Digital Black 2 x ASUS DRW-2014L1T Corsair H50 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard x64 ASUS VK222U Black 22" 2ms Logitech G15 (Original) - U.S. Dvorak Layout Enermax INFINITI EIN720AWT 720w 
CaseMouseMouse Pad
LIAN LI V SERIES PC-V2100A Silver Aluminum ATX ... Logitech G9x Steven's Computer Service 
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Overclock.net › Forums › Specialty Builds › Servers › Dell C1100, is this going to be a good ESXi Host?