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Thread: Good deal/low price ESXI server

  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Good deal/low price ESXI server

    Good evening guys,

    I've been looking for a good deal last weeks for a small server to set up VMs and create/practice some different scenarios.

    I've the possibility to buy a Dell PowerEdge 1950* with 2x L5320 quad core w/ 8GB DDR2 and no HDDs for ~150?, but a DDR3 setup will give me a better upgrade costing.

    1156 or 1366 bundles maybe could give me a better performed system for similar costing.

    Any opinions?

    Thank you

    *-2x Xeon L5320 / 8MB Cache - 1066Mhz FSB
    8 GB RAM PC2-5300F ECC
    Dell PERC 5i SAS/SATA RAID Controller
    2x 3.5" SAS/SATA HDD Caddies
    2x Gigabit NICs

  2. #2
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    Someone had experience with Intel S5500BCR mb?

    There are good deals on ebay.
    Last edited by N3RO; 03-10-2013 at 10:16 AM.

  3. #3
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    If you don't have a space limit then actually AMD FX 8320/8350 would probably be your best bet for cheap.
    You'll want more RAM than anything (16GB/32GB), and RAID 0 or RAID 10 if the stuff is sensitive. Of course, if this is just a lab then you probably won't care much.

    Single gigabit Realtek onboard NIC on a $70 motherboard even would suffice, add RAID card of your choice, LSI etc.
    Smile

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeepBeep2 View Post
    If you don't have a space limit then actually AMD FX 8320/8350 would probably be your best bet for cheap.
    You'll want more RAM than anything (16GB/32GB), and RAID 0 or RAID 10 if the stuff is sensitive. Of course, if this is just a lab then you probably won't care much.

    Single gigabit Realtek onboard NIC on a $70 motherboard even would suffice, add RAID card of your choice, LSI etc.
    Multiple CPU configuration is available? Can't find dual socket MBs.

    What about the previous MB I've mentioned with 2xL5520 with a total of 8 cores/16 threads?

    I can get MB for $100 shipped and CPUs can be found for ~$50 each one.

  5. #5
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    Dual L5320 (8C/8T) @ 1.86 GHz (Core 2 platform) would be slower than a single FX-8320 (8C/8T) @ 4 GHz in everything...
    Dual L5520 (8C/16T) @ 2.26 GHz (Nehalem) would be better in some scenarios, some not. If you'll have 16 machines powered on at all times then okay, but CPU usage still will not be maxed out for most workloads. This platform is rather expensive as well.

    If you need to run 16 VMs on the hypervisor with an 8C/8T CPU, then use vSphere to load balance 16 machines without much issue.

    The main thing is RAM, you'll want to allocate as much RAM as possible to each machine depending on the OS, 16GB is a minimum for best performance.

    What exactly are your goals?
    Last edited by BeepBeep2; 03-11-2013 at 07:45 AM.
    Smile

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeepBeep2 View Post
    Dual L5320 (8C/8T) @ 1.86 GHz (Core 2 platform) would be slower than a single FX-8320 (8C/8T) @ 4 GHz in everything...
    Dual L5520 (8C/16T) @ 2.26 GHz (Nehalem) would be better in some scenarios, some not. If you'll have 16 machines powered on at all times then okay, but CPU usage still will not be maxed out for most workloads. This platform is rather expensive as well.

    If you need to run 16 VMs on the hypervisor with an 8C/8T CPU, then use vSphere to load balance 16 machines without much issue.

    The main thing is RAM, you'll want to allocate as much RAM as possible to each machine depending on the OS, 16GB is a minimum for best performance.

    What exactly are your goals?
    I'll start with 1 L5520 and upgrade later to a second one.

    It's possible to run regular DDR3 sticks or only ECC?

    Introducing to vSphere, testing multiple Windows Server within different scenarios, fail-over options, etc. and other OSes, and run 2 DaaS. Nothing heavy-loaded. Things I just cant' do on my laptop.

    Thank you
    Last edited by N3RO; 03-12-2013 at 02:55 AM. Reason: typpo

  7. #7
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    I personally run a home brew ESXi box and I will give you some observations.
    Purchased this box about 2 years ago now.
    - Keep in mind licensing, free ESXi License only supports 4 cores if I remember correctly.
    - 8 GB RAM is LOW. I personally run 32GB because it is the max my mobo supports and 16GB was to little for my needs. Upgraded from 16 to 32 about 9 months ago. DDR3 8GB sticks are about the same price per GB as 4GB sticks today
    - I use non ECC RAM because my mobo + cpu dont support it and I didnt want to spend the extra money to get it. For a play / testing rig usually not needed to get ECC
    - After RAM, Disk IOPS is probably your biggest limitation. Rebooting several VM's can be a pain, or a coffee break :P depending on your view.
    - Latest ESXi release installs a GPT partition by default. Not all bios support boot from GPT. Google knows how to install with MBR, I forgot :P
    - I rarely max out my CPU, usually my Disks wont be able to keep up.

    I purchased my box with the goal of expanding my general knowledge of Windows Server and to have an environment to play around with.
    Besides that it also functions as my NAS box with Hardware passthrough of the raid controller to a VM.

    Permanent VM's:
    - Openindiana + ZFS (this is the NAS box with the RAID Controller assigned to it) - 8GB RAM assigned
    - OpenVPN Appliance (VPN Server for remote access) - 512MB RAM assigned
    - Windows Server 2008R2 (Download box and remote workstation, my laptop sucks and my desktop needs to crunch when I am not @home :P) - 4GB RAM Assigned
    Including overhead this results in about 13-13,5GB RAM used. These VM's are always on unless I need the RAM :P

    Hardware:
    - i5 2400 (4 core, no HT, 2nd generation i5)
    - 32GB RAM
    - Intel Q67 chipset mobo (DQ67OWB3)
    - Datastores 1x 128GB SSD Crucial C300 (boot), 2 separate 10k WD Velociraptors (came from my gaming rig when I replace them with SSD's, slower than new 7.2k drives I think)
    - SASUC8I Inter Raid controller (Flashed with LSI IT firmware to function as HBA), with 6x 2TB Samsung F4 - passed through directly to NAS VM
    - 600W Coolermaster Gold PSU
    - Fractal Design Define R3 case

    Your Mobo and CPU need to support hardware passthrough of PCI devices.

    Main Rig:
    - i7 2600k + Noctua NH-C14 - GTX 570
    - 16 GB RAM - Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3
    - 1x 256GB Corsair Performance Pro SSD
    - 1x 256GB Samsung 830 SSD

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadMike261 View Post
    I personally run a home brew ESXi box and I will give you some observations.
    Purchased this box about 2 years ago now.
    - Keep in mind licensing, free ESXi License only supports 4 cores if I remember correctly.
    - 8 GB RAM is LOW. I personally run 32GB because it is the max my mobo supports and 16GB was to little for my needs. Upgraded from 16 to 32 about 9 months ago. DDR3 8GB sticks are about the same price per GB as 4GB sticks today
    - I use non ECC RAM because my mobo + cpu dont support it and I didnt want to spend the extra money to get it. For a play / testing rig usually not needed to get ECC
    - After RAM, Disk IOPS is probably your biggest limitation. Rebooting several VM's can be a pain, or a coffee break :P depending on your view.
    - Latest ESXi release installs a GPT partition by default. Not all bios support boot from GPT. Google knows how to install with MBR, I forgot :P
    - I rarely max out my CPU, usually my Disks wont be able to keep up.

    I purchased my box with the goal of expanding my general knowledge of Windows Server and to have an environment to play around with.
    Besides that it also functions as my NAS box with Hardware passthrough of the raid controller to a VM.

    Permanent VM's:
    - Openindiana + ZFS (this is the NAS box with the RAID Controller assigned to it) - 8GB RAM assigned
    - OpenVPN Appliance (VPN Server for remote access) - 512MB RAM assigned
    - Windows Server 2008R2 (Download box and remote workstation, my laptop sucks and my desktop needs to crunch when I am not @home :P) - 4GB RAM Assigned
    Including overhead this results in about 13-13,5GB RAM used. These VM's are always on unless I need the RAM :P

    Hardware:
    - i5 2400 (4 core, no HT, 2nd generation i5)
    - 32GB RAM
    - Intel Q67 chipset mobo (DQ67OWB3)
    - Datastores 1x 128GB SSD Crucial C300 (boot), 2 separate 10k WD Velociraptors (came from my gaming rig when I replace them with SSD's, slower than new 7.2k drives I think)
    - SASUC8I Inter Raid controller (Flashed with LSI IT firmware to function as HBA), with 6x 2TB Samsung F4 - passed through directly to NAS VM
    - 600W Coolermaster Gold PSU
    - Fractal Design Define R3 case

    Your Mobo and CPU need to support hardware passthrough of PCI devices.
    Thank you for your words.

    About licensing, is not licensed per physical server with a maximum of 6 cores per CPU? Excluding HT.

    BTW, full specs of Intel S5500BC:
    http://ark.intel.com/products/36601/...-Board-S5500BC

    Thank you!
    Last edited by N3RO; 03-12-2013 at 02:54 AM.

  10. #10
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    If you want to build from scratch & can find a cheap dual (or quad) g34 socket board, low cost 8 core cpus are on ebay (2.3/2.4ghz)... looks to be around 120 or better (YMMV obviously).

    I'd want ECC ram for ZFS storage, but that's just me.
    You must [not] advance.


    Current Rig: i7 4790k @ stock (**** TIM!) , Zotac GTX 1080 WC'd 2214mhz core / 5528mhz Mem, Asus z-97 Deluxe

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  11. #11
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    I checked the licensing about 2 years ago when I got that system :P
    So it might have well changed since then.

    Quick google says ESXi free is without CPU limitations, not on cores or cpu's
    You are limited to 32GB physical RAM though
    Source (but others say the same) -> http://techhead.co/vmware-vsphere-5-...1-limitations/

    For ZFS it would be optimal, but it was out of budget at the time.
    When I run out of storage and build a new box, it will be a physical box, not a VM, and will have ECC.

    Main Rig:
    - i7 2600k + Noctua NH-C14 - GTX 570
    - 16 GB RAM - Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3
    - 1x 256GB Corsair Performance Pro SSD
    - 1x 256GB Samsung 830 SSD

  12. #12
    Wuf
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    Quote Originally Posted by [XC] Synthetickiller View Post
    I'd want ECC ram for ZFS storage, but that's just me.
    You'd always want ECC with storage servers, memory related storage corruption is real concern.
    ZFS doesn't have protection for memory errors as it's not designed to have one (nor does anything else tbh). Pretty much everything that's getting written to hdds will go through ram.
    You use IRC and Crunch in Xs WCG team? Join #xs.wcg @ Quakenet
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    ESXI: Dell C6100 XS23-TY3 Node - 1x L5630 + 24GB ECC REG + Brocade 1020 10GbE
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    Lappy!: Lenovo Thinkpad W500: T9600 + 8GB + FireGL v5700 + 128GB Samsung 830 + 320GB 2.5" in ze dvd slot + 1920x1200 @ 15.4"


  13. #13
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