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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

Currently I have 2 servers running, One has a E2200 and 3GB, the other is an Atom 330 with 2GB. But I am planning on building a new more powerfull server.
And I am leaning towards virtulizing everything,so it is easier to manage.

I looked at the various options I knew of as it comes to virtulization, and I was more into ESXi and XenServer rather then Hyper-V.
Now comes my question: What kind of hardware requirements do I need? I had a look at AMD's FX seris and on Intel's 1366 and 1155 sockets. But I am kinda lost on what I should look for.

Ram wise I am aware that I need quite some ram, I was thinking about 12GB's as I would only be running 3-4 VM's.

What I need is:
  • CPU
  • Motherboard
  • RAM
  • OS-Drives
Budget would be around 700,- abit more isnt a really problem as long it doesnt go beyond 900,-

Here are some services I am currently using:
E2200:
  • FTP Server (Filezilla Server on WHS)
  • SabNZBd+
  • File shares
Atom 330
  • Minecraft Server
  • Apache Server
Thanks in advance,
-Rexel
 

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go with 6-8GB ram, it can be got pretty cheap

OS Drives grab a good raid card then go with Raid 5 or 6 (bare in mind drives prices are a BIT mental atm still due to the thailand flooding)

Also ESXI can install on some AMD setups but you might need to fiddle about a bit, obviously its compatability list only really shows Xeon and opterons not desktop gear
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norse View Post

OS Drives grab a good raid card then go with Raid 5 or 6 (bare in mind drives prices are a BIT mental atm still due to the thailand flooding)
Also ESXI can install on some AMD setups but you might need to fiddle about a bit, obviously its compatability list only really shows Xeon and opterons not desktop gear
You have to be very careful with that, ESXi is very picky when it comes to RAID cards, and as far as AMD support goes, it too can be iffy. Just stick with Intel CPU and chipset, and you should generally be fine. The Intel RAID controller built into the south bridge isn't usually too bad, and should suffice for home use.

Consult the HCL, and google around for other people using similar boards to see if they have to do any hacking to get ESXi to work fully.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you both for your reply.

I made a setup with the information both of you gave me. and I came up with the following:
  • Intel Xeon E3 1240 (3.3Ghz)
  • Asus P8P67 B3 Rev 3.1 (the ASUS P8P67 is mentioned in the HCL so I though the B3 Rev 3.1 would be compatible aswell)
  • Corsair 2x 4GB PC12800 CL9 DDR3
As for the drives, I was planning on either using the onboard controller (as trueg50 states) or buy a more cheaper one and raid 1 or 0 a set of drives, raid card with raid 5 support tent to be more expensive (300,- + as far as I have seen at my local IT store).

Yours,
Rexel
 

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The VMware HCL is just a quide for whats certified to work, I've been using ESXi and VCenter Server for a few years, now studying for VCP exam and the only thing I've found that hasn't been compatible is a PCIe NIC. At the moment I've got a HP GL2 and GL5 running it, a Dell Optiplex 755 and my own build Q6600 with a Gigabyte UD3P mobo no issues, never any promises but you get the idea.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by trueg50 View Post

You have to be very careful with that, ESXi is very picky when it comes to RAID cards....
Very true!
Quote:
Originally Posted by iknownothing View Post

... a Dell Optiplex 755... .
I never could get onboard RAID to work with my 755.
 

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At risk of being shot
redface.gif
why virtualise? all these servives should be able to sit on a single linux box allright.

But if you were to virtulize then the faster / larger the better xD
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I know that most of these tasks can also be done on a simple linux machine, but I tent to expirement with different programs/service from time to time and with virtualization this is much easier. and I can keep a stable/safe place for all my vids/photo while I am expirementing with the different programs.

-Rexel
 

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coolness
biggrin.gif
from what ive seen esxi seems to be the easiest to manage but ive done very little work with the hypervisors
redface.gif
(tis next on the list for me)
 

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I'm looking at doing something very similar. I have a set of perc 5/i's that i'm planning on using and i picked up some HP NC340T QUAD that i verified worked with ESXI. Just a couple cheap solutions for you if you want to go beyond on board solutions.
 

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have you thought about changing your processor around to include integrated graphics? i know this will mean picking a different motherboard but then you wont have to put in an added gpu.

You could look at the E3-1235 (slighty slower clock, slightly cheaper, with higher tdp and IGP) or the E3-1245 (same clock, same price, higher TDP and IGP)

Never know when you might want a bigger case to add another RAID card and more drives!
thumb.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You got a point, Deeeebs. Might be a better soluttion especially if it is for the same price. I might even need to buy a new card already:p I got this 4 slot raid card, which is allready fully occupied.

I will have a look at the procs you mentioned.

Thanks for the advice:)

-Rexel
 

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You mentioned in your first post that you were interested in Xen. Xen is going to offer much more flexibility than ESXi in terms of hardware compatibility, since your dom0 is a fully-fledged Linux OS. And if you run in HVM mode, you'll be able to get bare-metal class performance.
 

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If you have issues with ESXi or another product I would suggest using the Xen hypervisor and search for a good management program. If you are not going to use ECC or Registered RAM I would also suggest a non-k i5 processor. It would have all of the same instructions as the xeon and integrated graphics and might be cheaper to acquire. This also still grants you VT-d for IOMMU purposes. You could then pass a NIC or Raid controller through to the desired guest.

^^ Beat me to it
tongue.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by kz26 View Post

You mentioned in your first post that you were interested in Xen. Xen is going to offer much more flexibility than ESXi in terms of hardware compatibility, since your dom0 is a fully-fledged Linux OS. And if you run in HVM mode, you'll be able to get bare-metal class performance.
Could you explain how Xen works exactly, what I have read about the different dom's in Xen is that dom0 is more like the bottom OS where all other OS's run on or how should I see this? I understand that domU is more like virtualization without hardware accelaration as it is unprivileged to access the hardware.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dizzy4 View Post

If you have issues with ESXi or another product I would suggest using the Xen hypervisor and search for a good management program. If you are not going to use ECC or Registered RAM I would also suggest a non-k i5 processor. It would have all of the same instructions as the xeon and integrated graphics and might be cheaper to acquire. This also still grants you VT-d for IOMMU purposes. You could then pass a NIC or Raid controller through to the desired guest.
^^ Beat me to it
tongue.gif
One of the main reasons for me choosing the E3-1240, was that it had hyperthreading, As I thought that for virtualization it is good to have extra threads, but I might be wrong on this statement.

@Deeeebs

I looked at the E3-1235 and E3-1245 and both indeed seem to be a better solution, if i choose to go with an E3. here in the Netherlands both only have difference of 20,- on the E3-1240.

Yours,

-Rexel
 

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Go with the Xeon chip then. I am sure it is great. Also, the i7-2600 (non-k) has VT-d (if you need it)

Xen is a type 1 hypervisor and actually runs on the hardware. the dom0 is just a a privileged guest that is allowed to manage the hypervisor. http://wiki.xensource.com/xenwiki/Dom0 I have had great luck with Xen and the ability to create HVM or PV guests is great.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rexel View Post

Could you explain how Xen works exactly, what I have read about the different dom's in Xen is that dom0 is more like the bottom OS where all other OS's run on or how should I see this? I understand that domU is more like virtualization without hardware accelaration as it is unprivileged to access the hardware.
It is much like the kernal that "runs" ESXi.

You can try Xen, but I would recommend you leave it alone until you find that you really cannot use ESXi. The features just don't stackup to ESXi and it isn't as easy to learn as ESXi.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rexel View Post

@Deeeebs
I looked at the E3-1235 and E3-1245 and both indeed seem to be a better solution, if i choose to go with an E3. here in the Netherlands both only have difference of 20,- on the E3-1240.
Yours,
-Rexel
I have an E3-1235 just sitting here... Your plans could use this chip more than I could, but sadly its going to become my htpc proc.
thumb.gif
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deeeebs View Post

I have an E3-1235 just sitting here... Your plans could use this chip more than I could, but sadly its going to become my htpc proc.
thumb.gif
Why not both? Pass the GPU portion through to the HTPC guest and virtualize the rest
tongue.gif
 
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