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Thinking of a Hyper-V Server Build


Joe_Miner
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I was starting to think about building a box specifically to serve as a Hyper-V or Virtual Server test platform. Here are my thoughts so far (using Neweggs descriptions & links):

 

Parts List:

1 GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard; Editor’s Choice - HardOCP, Tweaktown, PCStats, Bjorn3D; http://www.newegg.co...N82E16813128498

 

1 Intel Core i5-2500 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500 http://www.newegg.co...N82E16819115073

 

2 Intel XMP certified, designed for Intel P67 & Z68 G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820231428 (Get 2 for 16GB total)

 

1 SeaSonic X series SS-400FL Active PFC F3 400W ATX12V Fanless 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply http://www.newegg.co...N82E16817151097

 

2 Western Digital Caviar Black WD2002FAEX 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive http://www.newegg.co...N82E16822136792 (Get 2 for RAID 1/Mirror)

 

1 LITE-ON 12X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 12X DVD-RAM 8X BD-ROM 8MB Cache SATA Blu-ray Burner with 3D Playback iHBS212-08 LightScribe Support http://www.newegg.co...N82E16827106348

 

1 LIAN LI Lancool First Knight Series PC-K9WX Black Aluminum / Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case http://www.newegg.co...N82E16811112337

 

 

References:

Arctic Silver Manual for i5 Sandy Bridge (2nd Generation i5): http://www.arcticsil...l_line_v1.1.pdf

Edited by Joe_Miner
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Guest no-control

How many VMs are talking about here?

Type and/or purpose of VMs?

How important is server performance? Both response time and raw processing ability?

Dont use that ram use this instead its faster, a matched set and cheaper

The BD burner is going to be pretty useless for this machine

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How many VMs are talking about here? Type and/or purpose of VMs?

 

I don’t honestly know for sure. I do know that with using Oracle VB I really like the convenience of having a copy of WHS-V1 and 2011 available as test platforms to do things I would be afraid to do in a production version. I’ve also run Win8 and SBS-2011e in VM’s – I would like to be able to run those and more (like SBS-2011, pfsense, server8, etc) in virtual environments in order to play (to see how they work) with and test things out with a machine that is relatively efficient so I don’t feel guilty leaving it on 24/7 and in a setting that I can easily turn back the clock on when I screw something up.

 

I like the versatility that Oracle gave me on my Main-Client to run different setups but even on idle my Main-Client draws 180VA – about 3.5 times what I could see on a idle Sandy Bridge system. I also enjoyed running VM’s on my recent HTPC build but long term I’m turned off by the prospect of OS update reboots trashing the VM and I’m a little nervous about my wife having everyday access to the HTPC if it had multiple VM’s running on top. I’ve had up to 4 VM’s running on the HTPC under Oracle and 3 on my Main-Client at once. This has become one of those things that the more I do it the more I like doing it so it could grow.

 

 

How important is server performance? Both response time and raw processing ability?

 

I wouldn’t expect it to be any problem with an i5-2500. I was planning on an i3-2100 or even a i3-2130 if necessary but from what I could tell I had to move to an i5 (while staying away from the K series) to get both VT-x and VT-d – Obviously, I don’t know what the frak I’m doing at this point – especially about virtual environments (my whole reason to post this list) -- but the i5 seemed like good insurance both for VM and if I wanted to repurpose this MB down the road.

 

Dont use that ram use this instead its faster, a matched set and cheaper

 

Cool, thanks!

 

The BD burner is going to be pretty useless for this machine

 

You’re absolutely right! I had gotten it in my head that to preserved future versatility I was just going BD-burners in the future but you made me realize (i.e. think a little bit) that I have a DVD burner in my main client that I don’t use at all since I put a BD-burner in it so it would make sense to just repurpose the DVD-burner over to this build.

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Guest no-control

For those type of VMs The i3 is more than enough, 4 threads can easily handle several low demand VMs. The i5 is overkill for your use case.

 

RAM speed isn't going to be an issue 1066 is plenty fast enough for VMs. That's going to be a budget and personal choice.

 

The reason I ask about performance has more to do with the HDDs you choose more than anything. I would consider parking your VHDs on Velociraptors or SAS drives. The very least I would look at fast high density platters like the WD black drives.

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For those type of VMs The i3 is more than enough, 4 threads can easily handle several low demand VMs. The i5 is overkill for your use case.

Maybe I’m confused (OK, no maybe about it) – I thought I should/would have to go with an i5/i7 (non-K series) to get VT-d? Wouldn’t I want direct IO pass thru capability?

 

When I was checking the CPU spec’s I didn’t think the i3’s had VT-d though they all (i3's, i5's, & i7's) have VT-x.

 

For that matter the MB I was looking at was probably overkill too – I just liked it because it was close to the Z68MX I had used and loved for the recent HTPC build but with more slots.

 

The reason I ask about performance has more to do with the HDDs you choose more than anything. I would consider parking your VHDs on Velociraptors or SAS drives. The very least I would look at fast high density platters like the WD black drives.

 

This is one area where I probably really don’t know what I’m doing :) – I had just assumed that a 6G SATA WD 2TB black in R1 would be a happy medium between a Full Fo-Shay like PCDoc’s and your builds and what others have done. The required OS partition seems to be pretty small – which would leave a lot of space on 2TB's remaining partition. Do you think it would be better to have the 2008-R2 OS physically separate on a VR R1 pair or a SSD’s in R1?

 

I had figured that 2 WD 2TB blacks would be useful in the future if I didn’t like them in this build I could use them elsewhere and with their 5 yr warranties they seemed like solid reliable drives. (I’ve been using a 6GB WD 1TB Black in my Main-Client for over a year and have been really happy with it’s speed – though I have been wondering what a 6GB VR would perform like in comparison).

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Guest no-control

First up the drives....The pair of WD @TB blacks are nice and pretty fast, but the VRs are roughly 20% faster on IOPS. That being said this is your first setup the blacks will be fine. I would recommend finding another drive for the Host OS (WS2K8R2) BMP is to separate the host from the guests.

 

As for the CPU/mobo supporting VT-d over VT-x. I've never had a need to share PCIe across multiple VM's I suppose if I had a GPU or something or wanted the RAID card to be managed by the VMs instead of the hypervisor. But why? But since neither of those CPUs supports VT-d its a moot issue.

 

*edit just noticed you were looking at the 2500 not the 2500k modified the link. My original argument still stands do you need to have VT-d at this level?

Edited by no-control
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