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Old November 30, 2011, 08:53 PM
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Hey all, I'm looking to put together a system to run vmware vsphere on. Planning on having at least 3 vm's initially, with more eventually.
I'm willing to spend 400-500 since it will be an educational project :) I do have cases, psus and hard drives floating around so just looking for some advice on the motherboard and cpu.

The thing with vsphere, is that it's picky about what hardware it will run on. From what I've read it prefers intel Nic's, so a motherboard with them instead of realtek would be preferred. If possible I would like to get my hands dirty with some server grade hardware. Also I'd like to try aggregating nics.
Should I just go for a used x58 board (some of the high end have intel nics) and i7 920? Ive seen some decent combos for 250$ Or should I go with an older supermicro, HP, or similiar server system? TY
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Old November 30, 2011, 09:16 PM
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well my understanding of VM's are the 2 cores per vm so if you want to run 3 you would need a hexacore. and the phenom2's seem to be the best thing for that and plus you can buy expansion cards with intel nics so dont really limit your self but even a used x58 could be pretty expensive specifically the hexacores, you could find a good deal in the buy sell trade area but i think the best bet is to pic up a phenom2 x6 say a 1055t for say 135 these days and either an older 890 board ( some had intel nics on them) or get an expansion card or you could get a 9xx series board along with a expansion card.
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Old November 30, 2011, 10:15 PM
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I'm pretty sure you don't have to dedicate a core to the vm, I've had 4 vm's going on a dual core at school :P Pretty sure a quad core would work, but your right a hexcore would be optimal.
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Old November 30, 2011, 10:47 PM
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For a cheap box running vm's (depends on what os you'll have on them AND for what purpose?) the phenom would be top bang for buck,

That said my i7 950 ran 4 VM's without a hitch (though I wasn't running anything with much load on any instance)

What exatly are you going to be doing on these VM's and what OS(s)?
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Old November 30, 2011, 10:57 PM
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mail server (2008 r2)
web server (Fedora)
Migrate my mail and web server to vm's, both have little traffic.
Maybe pfsense in a vm
Vm's for whatever other projects I come up with

Mostly just want to get experienced with more enterprise level vmware, and server grade hardware.

Another option is to use my existing "server" hardware (specs in sig) and maybe up it to a quadcore, and buy 2x intel nics.
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Old November 30, 2011, 11:59 PM
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yea, either option will handle that no prob.

Consider dropping a q6600 in there for a cheap processing boost?
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Old December 1, 2011, 01:53 PM
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When you're doing virtual stuff, RAM is your friend. CPU doesn't matter as much. At work my current 2 ESXi servers are HP Proliant DL360 G5 (E5310 4x1.6Ghz with 12GB each) they run 6-10 VMs each at once and are barely loaded CPU wise. ~2000Mhz cpu and 9GB of ram for both when I looked. I'd think adding another 4GB and an supported gigabit card to your current setup would be fine at least to start. Have fun!
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Old December 1, 2011, 02:32 PM
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Ah great! Didnt realize even a low speed processor would do. Theres a few hp proliant g4/g5 for sale on kijij with older cpus, might go that route and load up on ram. Thanks misterd
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Old December 1, 2011, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by odis172 View Post
Ah great! Didnt realize even a low speed processor would do. Theres a few hp proliant g4/g5 for sale on kijij with older cpus, might go that route and load up on ram. Thanks misterd
Sure you need some ram, but make sure you also have a few hard drives in there.. I only have 2 hds in raid 0 on a test VMware box at the office and it definitly is goddamn slow. 4 hard drives would be ideal if you get one of those proliants.
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Old December 1, 2011, 06:00 PM
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Really? Why would it be so slow in raid 0? Are those 10k drives? Guess it would be optimal to have 1 drive per vm, but could probably get away with having a few vms share a drive.
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