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tinkererguy

What about building WHS2011 box with Z68 Motherboard (like ASUS P8Z68-V PRO) at $300, with Intel Core i7-2600S (65 watts) $300?

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Guest no-control

I realize this discuss has now become a bit off-topic for a WHS2011 forum,

 

 

You're in the hardware forum and it has to do with hardware so don't sweat it. Keep the discussion going. wink.gif

 

 

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ImTheTypeOfGuy

Why are you set on ESXi? S2008R2 does a great job.

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tinkererguy

Why are you set on ESXi? S2008R2 does a great job.

 

Hi ImTheTypeOfGuy!

(see also the previous page of this thread for my line of thinking)

 

I basically thought aloud earlier in this thread, eventually realizing that what I really want to be able to leave a powerful machine running 24/7, without the electricity bill killing my budget (when CPU idle, less watt burn than my Xeons). I also need to juggle many OSs on this box during work hours, suspending them quickly when done "playing." So the appeal of a single ESXi 4.1U1 box is considerable, particularly when I get to 16GB or 32GB of ram.

 

Hyper-V isn't really something I want to play with on this particular system, but I can't rule it out down the road.

 

I should also add that if free ESX 4.1U1 doesn't work out well on this box:

http://www.vmware.com/products/vsphere-hypervisor/compare.html

no problem, with the Z68 chipset, I can also of course just install WHS 2011 directly, and run VMware Workstation on it to host other OSs (much less memory efficiency and speed than ESXi though).

 

Also appealing is the SSD caching and RAID built in. I would want to have a spare identical motherboard tested prior to going into "production," to be sure my motherboard-based cheapo RAID can be migrated to another motherboard fairly easily. That way, I know I can handle motherboard based RAID failures down the road with less concern. But that may be a pipe dream, and I may well go with a separate RAID card, we'll see, need some hands-on time. Either way, the Z68 is sounding very appealing now that the pricing is looking more like $200 for a high end model (too bad I can't change the title of this thread).

 

The thing is, I've already done the whole VMware in a box rig on my 4GB RAM laptop as a proof of concept / vSphere learning experience, to get my VMware certification updated: in the summer of 2009, Vista x64 juggling these 4 VMs: ESX, ESXi, vCenter on W2K3, and finally, iSCSI in an appliance, allowing full vMotion of a TCP/IP-connected DOS VM moving from ESX to ESXi, and back again, good fun, and I passed the cert. test.

 

This time around, I want native local disk speed, as well as cost efficiencies (I don't need 24/7 uptime with vMotion from server-to-server abilities left running 24/7).

 

But yes, virtualization is more complicated for this project, but it is also considerably more versatile for me. And the research for the chipset's virtualization technologies is an alphabet soup of Intel terminology, explained nicely here:

I/O Virtualization – Intel Chip Chat – Special Episode

http://connectedsocialmedia.com/intel/4694/io-virtualization-%E2%80%93-intel-chip-chat-%E2%80%93-special-episode/

all very nice, but far less affordable to go this way (server class motherboard and different CPU family are not my goals).

 

I hope this helps explain my rationale a bit!

Edited by tinkererguy

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tinkererguy

Ah, then there was this teaser, for a new SSD cache form factor coming in June...

http://www.techpowerup.com/145639/Gigabyte-Readies-mSATA-Equipped-Z68-Motherboards-Bait-mSATA-Larson-Creek-SSD-Modules.html

but I have an small older SSD that'd probably work nicely for this caching (64GB of whatever SSD size you insert is the max size it utilizes to cache your drives)

Edited by tinkererguy

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Citezein

If you're interested in running WHS under ESXi and are thinking about VT-d support, be sure to read my entire thread at: http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/topic/1670-new-vail-maybe-build/

 

I currently am using VT-d with ESXi and WHS, but there were a few compatibility issues I had to work through. First of which is finding a board that actually supported VT-d. Second, while it's true that you can't suspend a VM using VT-d, it only applies to that one VM, not others running on the server.

 

Read the thread and let me know if you have any other questions. As far as I know, I'm the only one here that actually has WHS 2011 running in a VM with VT-d for the drives. I will add that it's working great.

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ImTheTypeOfGuy

Ah, then there was this teaser, for a new SSD cache form factor coming in June...

http://www.techpower...SD-Modules.html

but I have an small older SSD that'd probably work nicely for this caching (64GB of whatever SSD size you insert is the max size it utilizes to cache your drives)

 

 

This technology seems very interesting. I read the review on anandtech.com and the results were impressive.

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tinkererguy

This technology seems very interesting. I read the review on anandtech.com and the results were impressive.

 

I realize reliability could become an issue years down the road, but it's just cache:

in theory, SSD performance wouldn't adversely affect the integrity or speed of the data on the traditional drives with spinning platters, it's just a nice bonus when it works supposedly (like Turboboost)

in practice, time will tell...

also not sure if automatic garbage collection (ESXi and RAID arrays don't support TRIM) is important, got more reading to do.

 

Tom's Hardware doesn't exactly praise the SSD caching:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-z68-express-smart-response-technology-ssd-caching,2938.html

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-z68-express-smart-response-technology-ssd-caching,2938-9.html

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tinkererguy

...

it works supposedly (like Turboboost)

Oops, meant "ReadyBoost" feature, for using a USB stick to cache disk data.

 

Seems "Intel Smart Response Technology" is more like Hybrid HDDs actually (which I've used), where it learns from the first launch of an application, and dramatically reduces the load time the 2nd time around, even after reboot, automatically.

 

I do find it interesting that it allows you divide an SSD into a caching partition and a normal partition: that versatility could be useful.

http://www.guru3d.com/article/asus-p8z68-v-pro-review/3

 

So, having now begun to read up on caching feature (above URL), it's very clearly Windows only, so not relevant in the ESXi world anyway.

 

Here's more about the cache:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-z68-express-smart-response-technology-ssd-caching,2938-4.html

 

Probably back to using an added RAID controller with good read, and ok write, performance.

Edited by tinkererguy

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