Go Back   Hardware Canucks > HARDWARE > CPU's and Motherboards

    
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old February 18, 2012, 11:06 AM
tangrisser's Avatar
Top Prospect
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Metro Vancouver
Posts: 163
Default CPUs for virtualization

I'm looking to build a new rig for virtualization. I don't want to spend unnecessary amount of money but I'm willing to spend extra to do it right.

I was thinking of Intel Xeon CPUs x2 but I'm also looking @ some AMD solution as well. Apparently more cores are 'better' for virtualization but I don't want to fall into marketing gimmick and miss out true performance. More specifically I was looking at Intel Xeon E5620's

I'm not looking to run a lot of instances. May be if I really push it I would have 6 instances at max. (Most likely Win Server 2008's)

Any CPU recommendation(s)?
__________________
Check out my SALE page
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old February 18, 2012, 01:48 PM
Top Prospect
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Posts: 103

My System Specs

Default

Will you be using Server 2008 or Server 2008 R2?
Which virtualization software are you using? Microsoft Hyper-V? Vmware? Etc.

Dual Xeons will work great, but one of the few benefits of the 8 core bulldozer has been seen in virtual environments, you can go cheaper and get an 8 core bulldozer with lots of ram rather then two Xeons. Depending on what you are doing with the virtual servers and what software you are using to run them you may not even see a benefit of going with the Xeons.

If you have more money you spend you might want to look at an opteron G34 board instead of the xeons. You can pick up a 16 core opteron for around $650 or a 12 core for around 450.

If you need something with ECC ram and want a more high end system that will be around for a while I would reccomend this:

ASUS 2P G34 Board. Newegg.ca - ASUS KGPE-D16 SSI EEB 3.61 Server Motherboard Dual Socket G34 AMD SR5690 DDR3 1600/1333/1066/800
Pick up your choice of two 8 core/12 core/16 core opterons and lots of Ram.
Should be more then enough for quite a while.


Either way it will come down to how much money you want to spend, but you can get good performance from dual xeons, bulldozer or a single P or dual P opteron build.
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old February 18, 2012, 04:18 PM
tangrisser's Avatar
Top Prospect
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Metro Vancouver
Posts: 163
Default

I'm currently planning Windows 2008 R2 and may be couple of other Linux based OS. It's more or less something that I want to try out and see how it works so I would try Hyper-V and vmware at one point.

I'm probably going to run basic Windows services such as Domain Controller, Deployment Services. I think most significant activity it will do is run a game server for LAN parties.

I've already set my mind to get a server platform such as Xeon or Opteron. I'm guessing amount of RAM is also important?
__________________
Check out my SALE page
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old February 18, 2012, 05:31 PM
Top Prospect
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Posts: 103

My System Specs

Default

In that case I would grab one of the 16 core opterons and that ASUS board and 16 or 32GB of ram. You can always add another opteron later and more ram since it is a 2 P board.
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old February 19, 2012, 01:23 AM
tangrisser's Avatar
Top Prospect
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Metro Vancouver
Posts: 163
Default

I was planning to use Supermicro or Tyan. I did a bit of math and if I went with a Opteron 4226 x2 instead of E5620, I would save about 500 dollars. I would be a happy camper if I could get reasonable performance with the AMD Opteron set up.

Still not sure if it would be worth it especially when I have such little faith in AMD as of late. (Big AMD fanboy back in Athlon Xp days but crappy products after crappy products made me lose faith in them.)

Please give me some sort of reference/benchmark to show that they can still play ball at least in this area!!
__________________
Check out my SALE page
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old February 19, 2012, 02:00 AM
Top Prospect
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Posts: 103

My System Specs

Default

It depends on which software you are using and what you want to use the virtualized servers for. The 4226 is using the C32 socket not the G34 which is not the one I reccomended so I will let you do the legwork on that one. I speak mostly from experience with dual opterons and Hyper-v/Vmware vs. much more expensive dual Xeon builds that I have done earlier. Im assuming your lack of faith in AMD is based on the consumer/bulldozer market. The server market is a whole other monster to tackle so I would suggest figuring out exactly what software you want to use and what you want to do with your servers then do more research. The opteron is a solid processor and personally I would not waste money on xeons for playing around.

I also have little experience with Tyan or Supermicro motherboards and have not heard good things about their build quality, which is why I chose the ASUS board. You can pick up a used 8 core G34 based opteron for around 200 dollars usually.
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old February 19, 2012, 07:01 AM
botat29's Avatar
Allstar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Montreal
Posts: 828
Default

One thing you have to considerate; you can move a VM between AMD to AMD and Intel to Intel, but AMD to Intel and Intel to AMD is not supported and can be problematic, at least with Hyper-V. I have no experience with VMware ( see down ) Itís why if you plan to add another VM host later to choose the platform you gone use.
I really like to use AMD 6 and 8 cores for my lab, itís cheap and serve my purpose. On my next host I will give a try to the 12 or 16 cores Opteron, they fit well on my budget

I guess you have a TechNet subscription?, it give you all the applications surrounding Hyper-V, especially SCVMM, how I wish VMware will have the equivalent of TechNet, it's out of my budget for now to pay few thousands of $ to build a Vsphere lab, 30 days demo is not an option I like for work in a lab.
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old February 19, 2012, 12:40 PM
Top Prospect
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Posts: 103

My System Specs

Default

Its similar with Vmware although I think it handles it better then hyper-v. Personally I prefer hyper-v over vmware and the new versions of hyper-v coming with windows 8 and server 8 Q4 of this year should help with that problem.
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old February 19, 2012, 01:08 PM
tangrisser's Avatar
Top Prospect
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Metro Vancouver
Posts: 163
Default

Quote:
you can move a VM between AMD to AMD and Intel to Intel, but AMD to Intel and Intel to AMD is not supported and can be problematic, at least with Hyper-V.
That's a very intersting point. At this point, I think I need to do more homework for virtualization.

Quote:
The 4226 is using the C32 socket not the G34 which is not the one I reccomended
Honestly I just saw price and said, if they can offer similar performance for this then I might as well go with it. I'm going to do a bit more homework and look for benchmarks.

I guess at this point, I should ask is there a forum that's dedicated for virtualization (I'm more leaning on vmware because I'm getting more push to learn vmware than Hyper-V) and where can I find these used 'cheap' G34?
__________________
Check out my SALE page
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old February 19, 2012, 01:40 PM
botat29's Avatar
Allstar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Montreal
Posts: 828
Default

Here a serie of 12 videos on Hyper-v

Virtualization Jump Start (01): Virtualization Overview
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
New Virtualization workstation doup93 New Builds 11 October 12, 2010 12:22 PM
GA-MA785GMT-UD2H is it ok for Win7 virtualization? snowbound New Builds 4 January 28, 2010 07:25 PM
I love virtualization Ritz O/S's, Drivers & General Software 8 November 18, 2009 04:06 PM
Virtualization Test Server Build - Musings & Observations kingnubian New Builds 2 March 28, 2009 06:23 PM
Intel Virtualization Technology??? sswilson CPU's and Motherboards 5 May 30, 2007 04:33 PM