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Potential Test/Development Server Builds


Alvin Ramard
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Anyone want to comment on my parts selection for a potential test/development server? I'm looking for a machine that can run up to at least 3-4 virtual SQL servers, probably with Windows Server 2008 R2 and Hyper-V. (Thanks to TechNet subscription.)

 

I'm not sure what I will do for hard drives. I have a 80 GB Seagate 7200 RPM Baracuda that's collecting dust right now. I may use that initially. I'll probably be geting a SSD later for the OS, along with 1 or more 2 TB drives.

 

I haven't selected the RAM yet. I'm thinking of starting with 2-4GB modules. Still have to pick which RAM.

 

Power supply is modular. Normally $119.99 @Newegg but they currently have a $50 instant rebate, so I'd better hurry up and get that ordered.

 

I'm already using that case for my Vail server. It came with 3 fans and it's extremely quiet.

 

Thoughts any one?

 

Components List:

MB: GIGABYTE GA-H57M-USB3 LGA 1156 Intel H57 HDMI USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16813128430

 

CPU: Intel Core i7-870 Lynnfield 2.93GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16819115213

 

Case: COOLER MASTER RC-692-KKN2 CM690 II Advanced Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16811119216

 

Power Supply: COOLER MASTER Silent Pro M600 RS-600-AMBA-D3 600W ATX12V V2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16817171036

 

Oops, forgot. I still have to pick a video card, a cheap one.

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Guest no-control

Nice start.

 

Consider the x3440 as an alternative CPU it's cheaper and has been proven to be stable under heavy sustained loads.

 

I prefer the H55 chipset as I have read the H57 tends to be a bit more tempermental. So unless there are features of that board you really want might I suggest the GA-H55M-USB3 as an alternative

 

I prefer G.Skill and Patriot RAM myself as I have found it to be just as goodas Corsair with out the price premium for the brand. For 16GB the ripjaws are economical. For 8gb the Sector 5 run nice and the beefy heatsink is a nice touch.

 

A cheap video card that wont eat up the PCIe slots or add noise. This will allow you to add NIC's, RAID cards or SAS expanders later on if you need the drive capacity.

 

As for HDD the host OS doesn't really matter too much. But for the VM's I would look for something with some high IOPS. If you can afford it SSDs would be nice but capacity may be an issue. From there look at Velociraptors or maybe SAS drives. If money is an issue 1-3 1-2TB Caviar black drives. You can either run them in a RAID 0 and use the 80gb or some other drive to back up the snapshots. Or run them in a mirror add another drive for RAID 5. Being DB server is going to hammer the drives so you will see the most performance by spending the money here given your use. Again SSD would be the way to go.

 

I recently built myself a new VM server and will feature it in an upcoming show, but this was built more a smaller budget and for running 3 VM file servers. Leaving expandability towards an active directory DC or Web server.

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Anyone want to comment on my parts selection for a potential test/development server? I'm looking for a machine that can run up to at least 3-4 virtual SQL servers, probably with Windows Server 2008 R2 and Hyper-V. (Thanks to TechNet subscription.)

 

I'm not sure what I will do for hard drives. I have a 80 GB Seagate 7200 RPM Baracuda that's collecting dust right now. I may use that initially. I'll probably be geting a SSD later for the OS, along with 1 or more 2 TB drives.

 

I haven't selected the RAM yet. I'm thinking of starting with 2-4GB modules. Still have to pick which RAM.

 

Power supply is modular. Normally $119.99 @Newegg but they currently have a $50 instant rebate, so I'd better hurry up and get that ordered.

 

I'm already using that case for my Vail server. It came with 3 fans and it's extremely quiet.

 

Thoughts any one?

 

Components List:

MB: GIGABYTE GA-H57M-USB3 LGA 1156 Intel H57 HDMI USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16813128430

 

CPU: Intel Core i7-870 Lynnfield 2.93GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16819115213

 

Case: COOLER MASTER RC-692-KKN2 CM690 II Advanced Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16811119216

 

Power Supply: COOLER MASTER Silent Pro M600 RS-600-AMBA-D3 600W ATX12V V2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16817171036

 

Oops, forgot. I still have to pick a video card, a cheap one.

 

 

Looks pretty good. No-control mentioned to consider the H55 and for most part either will work fine. The only difference is the number of USB and RAID. I like the H55 and have great luck with it. I only built one H57 and had no issue with it but it was a simple build. I would suggest the 80 gig seagate on the build as it will destroy the performance. Get your SSD up front or at least get an OS drive that will not cripple your system.

 

 

RAM Recommendation

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231277

 

Video Card suggestions

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150469

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814134119&cm_re=gts_450-_-14-134-119-_-Product

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Are you looking to have this server ONLY host VMs, or are you planning on having the OS pull double-duty? If it's just a Hyper-V box, don't waste money on your OS drive. Instead, look for various deals to stock up on Velociraptor drives for storage. SQL Server can generate a lot of I/O.

 

If you're daring, you can try to deploy your Hyper-V host using a USB Flash device...

 

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee731893(WS.10).aspx

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Just picked up that Same powersupply on sale. I will be using it for my Home computer, I will give you a heads up when I get it. reviews look good and I have the corsair 450 great PSU so far. I am moving that one over to my DIY build for Vail.

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Thanks for all the replies guys. I don't have time to comment right now, but I'll do so by the end of the week.

 

Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Americans.

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Ok, time for overdue replies.

 

First, thanks to everyone for your responses.

 

1) The Xeon might be a better choice for a server but my mind is made up about using the i7. You could say it's just because I want an i7.

 

2) Re: GA-H55M-USB3 vs GA-H57M-USB3. I think I'll stick with the H57 because of it's RAID capability.

 

3) RAM? Taking a close look at the GSkill Ripjaw, thanks to your suggestion. $99 for 8 GB (2x4GB) so I think I'll go for 2 of these (6 GB total): G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231314

 

4) mrossco, this computer will be whatever I want it to be at any particular time. I plan to use it as a test/development box. Most of the time it will be hosting one or more SQL server instances.

 

 

 

I'll be back after I do more checking on Black Friday Deals

 

 

 

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... continued from above:

 

Power Supply: I have seen cheaper options, but they're not modular. I'm planning on the one I stated earlier: COOLER MASTER Silent Pro M600 RS-600-AMBA-D3 600W ATX12V V2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - http://www.newegg.co...N82E16817171036

 

OS Drive: Probably will be: Intel X25-M SSDSA2MH120G2K5 2.5" 120GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) - http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820167035

 

Now to figure out which video card. I'm cehecking out your earlier suggestions along with current deals.

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