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VM Server build on a budget Xeon E3 1245 v2?

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April 5, 2013 1:52:26 PM

I'm basically drowning in Xeon options out there. Part of me keeps thinking that an older dual socket quad core like the X5000 i keep seeing in used HP DL G6's is the way to go since you can pick them up with with >24gb of ram and often much higher. But it is older technology.

I feel kind of bad posting this here because it's borderlines a mobo question as well.

Budget is a concern and this isn't a full production build. Something like a hybrid of lab with an actual deployment but not mission critical. I have a supermicro case I will be using (backwards to start this way I realize but at $89 for a SC823 I had to dive in).

The OS will likely but Windows Server 2012 using Hyper-V with 3-4 VM's:
-IIS or Tomcat Webserver (<50 users; I don't have any projected traffic figures)
-Open source GIS Server
-small-ish Postgres RDBMS Server <100gb
-iSCSI SAN storage for a storage pool with various image and other data files ~1TB
-I wouldn't mind being able to run a windows VDI as well

Let's say my budget for the motherboard and processors is less than $600 (and that's pushing it). I am not opposed to used, refurbished, open box, somewhat older tech, or ebay scouring. That said, we obviously want to shoot for the stars, don't we?

I own the drives (I will be using SATA for now) and let's not necessarily make this about onboard RAID vs an actual controller, although that could impact the processor choice.

Some other notes:
-Purpose is to build the VM stack on one physical device.
-I would like to be able to support at least 32gb of memory;
-will likely run the hypervisor/windows OS on a small SSD.
-Would like at least dual LAN (but i do have a PCI dual port NIC I will likely use anyway) IPMI is a real plus.

So, again, i apologize for starting this in the CPU forum as it covers a lot of mobo aspects, but i'm hoping that narrowing in on the processors will better define the mobo quest.

So...questions:

    Do I really need dual quad cores for this setup?
    Should I focus my investment on a newer single socket processor instead?
    Have I even begun to provide enough information to narrow down the processor choice? If so, what say ye?
    Since we're at it, motherboard recommendations?


I will do my best to keep up with this over the weekend, but I really appreciate any insight you have to offer.



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a c 216 V Motherboard
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April 8, 2013 4:49:42 AM
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I'm in a similar situation and I'll most likely build mine around an Intel DQ77MK, a Xeon E3 1245 v2 and 32GB of DDR3 1600MHz memory. That platform can run Windows Server 2012 or VMware ESXi 5.1 (I haven't yet decided which one I'll use).

Windows Server 20012 runs on my old Asus P5W DH Deluxe with an E6420, but it's too slow to run VMs.
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April 8, 2013 4:50:10 AM

A decent desktop board with a i7 3770 will cope with that no problem (hyperthreading works well on a hyper v host).

I have done this with a ASUS P8Z77 board with a i7 3770 and 32gb of ram and it ran very well.
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April 8, 2013 5:45:31 AM

GhislainG said:
I'm in a similar situation and I'll most likely build mine around an Intel DQ77MK, a Xeon E3 1245 v2 and 32GB of DDR3 1600MHz memory. That platform can run Windows Server 2012 or VMware ESXi 5.1 (I haven't yet decided which one I'll use).

Windows Server 20012 runs on my old Asus P5W DH Deluxe with an E6420, but it's too slow to run VMs.


Any particular reason you're going with the E3 and not the e5 series?
April 8, 2013 8:43:01 AM

GhislainG said:
I'm in a similar situation and I'll most likely build mine around an Intel DQ77MK, a Xeon E3 1245 v2 and 32GB of DDR3 1600MHz memory. That platform can run Windows Server 2012 or VMware ESXi 5.1 (I haven't yet decided which one I'll use).

Windows Server 20012 runs on my old Asus P5W DH Deluxe with an E6420, but it's too slow to run VMs.


I'm going to do some more research, but the more I look at it, I'd say you might be right on given the budget and the fact that you get hyperthreading support with that chip. You have to go up quite a ways in price to get hyperthreading support in the E5 series.

The only thing is that you only get 2 memory channels, which is kind of a bummer. I'm going to see if i can refine the title of my original post to include that chip to see if we get some other responses.
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April 8, 2013 11:20:18 AM

I know that it supports only 32GB of memory, but that also is the limit for ESXi. I currently run several VMs on another server with 16GB; therefore I'm sure that 32GB will meet my requirements. I selected the Xeon E3 1245 v2 because it costs less than the equivalent i7.
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April 8, 2013 12:21:29 PM

Clickinaway said:
GhislainG said:
I'm in a similar situation and I'll most likely build mine around an Intel DQ77MK, a Xeon E3 1245 v2 and 32GB of DDR3 1600MHz memory. That platform can run Windows Server 2012 or VMware ESXi 5.1 (I haven't yet decided which one I'll use).

Windows Server 20012 runs on my old Asus P5W DH Deluxe with an E6420, but it's too slow to run VMs.


Any particular reason you're going with the E3 and not the e5 series?
I didn't select the E5 because it's too expensive for my testing requirements and I can live with the E3's 32GB limit. I know that a Xeon E5-2620 might be better, but honestly the bottleneck in my environment usually is disk I/O, not the lack of processing power.

April 8, 2013 11:22:14 PM

GhislainG said:
Clickinaway said:
GhislainG said:
I'm in a similar situation and I'll most likely build mine around an Intel DQ77MK, a Xeon E3 1245 v2 and 32GB of DDR3 1600MHz memory. That platform can run Windows Server 2012 or VMware ESXi 5.1 (I haven't yet decided which one I'll use).

Windows Server 20012 runs on my old Asus P5W DH Deluxe with an E6420, but it's too slow to run VMs.


Any particular reason you're going with the E3 and not the e5 series?
I didn't select the E5 because it's too expensive for my testing requirements and I can live with the E3's 32GB limit. I know that a Xeon E5-2620 might be better, but honestly the bottleneck in my environment usually is disk I/O, not the lack of processing power.



You guys are probably already aware of this website but http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html has some great benchmarking of processors. The E5-2620 actually scored lower than the E3-1240v2. and is more expensive.
April 9, 2013 12:52:01 AM

I realize but at $89 for a SC823 I had to dive in
April 9, 2013 4:46:17 AM

watkiichael6 said:
I realize but at $89 for a SC823 I had to dive in


I know; kind of backwards to build around the case...but in the end it had everything i was looking for...now if only i can answer my mobo questions.
April 9, 2013 11:34:27 AM

So this really really helped me define my quest. It seems I've settled on a Intel Xeon E3-1230 V2 Ivybridge. Given my parameters, can anyone tell me why I would need the integrated graphics for my application? (as in the Intel Xeon E3-1235 V2 Ivybridge instead?)
April 9, 2013 11:59:03 AM

You need a quad core setup. I had a intel core 2 quad for my Vmware test server which hosted 1 xp, 2 windows and 3 cent Os (linux) server. I used those basically for hosting Counter Strike Source Hosting (on windows) and others for ftp server, webserver and a tomcat server. I think core 2 duo or other dual core system will not perform well because you need to specify threads/cores and more cores.

So my solutions for you are.
-If you aren't worried about Thermal Power Design(watts) go for AMD vishera Fx 8350 with 32 gigs ram and a supported mobo, you get 8 cores and they will be enough for your test setup.
-If you want a bit more performance, go for E3 Xeon v2 with supermicro and 32gigs of ram. They outperform AMD FX series but will cost you around 700 bucks for your upgrade. (this system is power friendly too and you dont have to look back on performance and is future proof too)
- If you occasionally use that system for gaming and video encoding and other fun stuffs (personal computing), and really want a cheap system to do your job core i5 ivy bridge can handle your test bench just as good but go for 3770k if you dont want to look back for about an year or so.

If i were you id stick with core i7 3770k, asrock z77 extreme 4 motherboard and 32 gigs of non ECC Ram. Feel free to ask if you need further suggestions.
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April 9, 2013 12:00:23 PM

It depends on the motherboard, etc. I chose the E3 1245 v2 because I'll be using a non-server motherbaord and I didn't want to add a GPU. If you buy a server motherboard (they already includes a video controller) or plan on using a GPU, then a the E3 1230 v2 is fine.
April 9, 2013 12:46:55 PM

GhislainG said:
It depends on the motherboard, etc. I chose the E3 1245 v2 because I'll be using a non-server motherbaord and I didn't want to add a GPU. If you buy a server motherboard (they already includes a video controller) or plan on using a GPU, then a the E3 1230 v2 is fine.


Ok, by me asking this I feel like its going to make me sound much dumber than I am. Believe it or not, I oversee several servers, have built desktops, have a workstation rig that most gamers would drool over, know multiple OS, server management etc, but I will ask just the same:

I do not plan on adding a GPU, I am using a serer board (the Intel S1200BTLR; which says integrated graphics, but a newegg user replied:
Quote:
Board is able to take new 12** V2 Ivy Bridge Intel Processors, has onboard video (make sure to get an Intel 12*5 V2 processor for onboard video to work)
) ; do I need the CPU's integrated graphics for my particular application? I'm not 100% if the GIS server will require that for any rendering of imagery. Man i feel dumb for asking that. :sarcastic: 
April 9, 2013 12:49:19 PM

Rabin Pro said:
You need a quad core setup. I had a intel core 2 quad for my Vmware test server which hosted 1 xp, 2 windows and 3 cent Os (linux) server. I used those basically for hosting Counter Strike Source Hosting (on windows) and others for ftp server, webserver and a tomcat server. I think core 2 duo or other dual core system will not perform well because you need to specify threads/cores and more cores.

So my solutions for you are.
-If you aren't worried about Thermal Power Design(watts) go for AMD vishera Fx 8350 with 32 gigs ram and a supported mobo, you get 8 cores and they will be enough for your test setup.
-If you want a bit more performance, go for E3 Xeon v2 with supermicro and 32gigs of ram. They outperform AMD FX series but will cost you around 700 bucks for your upgrade. (this system is power friendly too and you dont have to look back on performance and is future proof too)
- If you occasionally use that system for gaming and video encoding and other fun stuffs (personal computing), and really want a cheap system to do your job core i5 ivy bridge can handle your test bench just as good but go for 3770k if you dont want to look back for about an year or so.

If i were you id stick with core i7 3770k, asrock z77 extreme 4 motherboard and 32 gigs of non ECC Ram. Feel free to ask if you need further suggestions.


Thanks for that thorough response! I am currently leaning towards the E3 CPU. I have to admit I had totally discounted AMD throughout this process.

April 9, 2013 1:13:35 PM

Clickinaway said:
Rabin Pro said:
You need a quad core setup. I had a intel core 2 quad for my Vmware test server which hosted 1 xp, 2 windows and 3 cent Os (linux) server. I used those basically for hosting Counter Strike Source Hosting (on windows) and others for ftp server, webserver and a tomcat server. I think core 2 duo or other dual core system will not perform well because you need to specify threads/cores and more cores.

So my solutions for you are.
-If you aren't worried about Thermal Power Design(watts) go for AMD vishera Fx 8350 with 32 gigs ram and a supported mobo, you get 8 cores and they will be enough for your test setup.
-If you want a bit more performance, go for E3 Xeon v2 with supermicro and 32gigs of ram. They outperform AMD FX series but will cost you around 700 bucks for your upgrade. (this system is power friendly too and you dont have to look back on performance and is future proof too)
- If you occasionally use that system for gaming and video encoding and other fun stuffs (personal computing), and really want a cheap system to do your job core i5 ivy bridge can handle your test bench just as good but go for 3770k if you dont want to look back for about an year or so.

If i were you id stick with core i7 3770k, asrock z77 extreme 4 motherboard and 32 gigs of non ECC Ram. Feel free to ask if you need further suggestions.


Thanks for that thorough response! I am currently leaning towards the E3 CPU. I have to admit I had totally discounted AMD throughout this process.



Nice choice. And you're welcome. :D 
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April 9, 2013 1:36:34 PM

Rabin Pro said:
Clickinaway said:
Rabin Pro said:
You need a quad core setup. I had a intel core 2 quad for my Vmware test server which hosted 1 xp, 2 windows and 3 cent Os (linux) server. I used those basically for hosting Counter Strike Source Hosting (on windows) and others for ftp server, webserver and a tomcat server. I think core 2 duo or other dual core system will not perform well because you need to specify threads/cores and more cores.

So my solutions for you are.
-If you aren't worried about Thermal Power Design(watts) go for AMD vishera Fx 8350 with 32 gigs ram and a supported mobo, you get 8 cores and they will be enough for your test setup.
-If you want a bit more performance, go for E3 Xeon v2 with supermicro and 32gigs of ram. They outperform AMD FX series but will cost you around 700 bucks for your upgrade. (this system is power friendly too and you dont have to look back on performance and is future proof too)
- If you occasionally use that system for gaming and video encoding and other fun stuffs (personal computing), and really want a cheap system to do your job core i5 ivy bridge can handle your test bench just as good but go for 3770k if you dont want to look back for about an year or so.

If i were you id stick with core i7 3770k, asrock z77 extreme 4 motherboard and 32 gigs of non ECC Ram. Feel free to ask if you need further suggestions.


Thanks for that thorough response! I am currently leaning towards the E3 CPU. I have to admit I had totally discounted AMD throughout this process.



Nice choice. And you're welcome. :D 


April 9, 2013 2:34:05 PM

All i need is an answer about the Intel integrated graphics and I promise i'll get out of everyone's hair.
April 9, 2013 3:31:48 PM

Read this
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/1648024/last-read
thread for pros and cons of intel hd graphics. If you want to go form mainstream server computing.. don't get yourself confused with other than xeon E3 v2 series with an ecc ram and supermicro board. You can go with non ecc board and other lga 1155 boards.
April 9, 2013 4:54:41 PM

Rabin Pro said:
Read this
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/1648024/last-read
thread for pros and cons of intel hd graphics. If you want to go form mainstream server computing.. don't get yourself confused with other than xeon E3 v2 series with an ecc ram and supermicro board. You can go with non ecc board and other lga 1155 boards.

Why a supermicro....what about the Intel board I listed?
April 9, 2013 5:49:20 PM

Yeah, I'm not sure I follow the supermicro logic. My question is really surrounding the validity of the comment on new egg.....should I start a new thread in another forum?
April 10, 2013 3:42:39 AM

Clickinaway said:
Yeah, I'm not sure I follow the supermicro logic. My question is really surrounding the validity of the comment on new egg.....should I start a new thread in another forum?


Intel board are just as good as supermicro boards. But intel are a bit expensive with one or two less features. See the specs of your supported motherboard, both intel and supermicro and post what you think about each of them. And another thing, do you need an ECC memory support as well? coz thats the deciding factor choosing mobos. And if the price is right and if they support your Xeon E3 v2 and your RAM, intel board will do nothing bad. They are good to go with.

!