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Help with Hardware Config for my Server

Last response: in Systems
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January 11, 2009 11:43:47 AM

Hello Friends

I am trying to build a new machine for myself whose main role would be as follows:

1.Virtualisation (multiple servers)
It;ll run diff OS with specialised roles in the Virtualisation mode

2. File Server

3. Torrent Machine

4. Can also be used for streaming media in future (secondary role)

5.Playing around / learning the following (in a virtualised enviornmnt)
VOIP using Asterix
VPN using Hamachi
Unified Threat Management Solutions

The main OS on the system will be Windows Server 2008 64bit

I am considering the following hardware:
(Microsoft Hyper-V compliant)

Processor: Intel Quad Q8300 (supports intel hardware virtualisation features)
(Intel i7 platform is too expensive right now and cost is a concern)

Motherboard: none finalised
I will prefer 6-7 SATA ports, onboard Gigabit Ethernet, 8 USB ports, Onboard RAID (cannot afford a good RAID PCIe Card right now), Wakeon LAN, Support for upto 16 GB RAM

please point out if I am missing on any essential feature

Please suggest some good boards to go with
(don't recommend Server boards, this server won't be running mission critical apps and price is a concern)

RAM: 4 GB to 8 GB 800 mhz (its so cheap and will help in running Virual Machines)

HDD: 1x500 GB for OS and Virtual Machines, 2x1TB (RAID Mirroring)
(I would like to have an option to add 2-3 disks later)

Graphics: ON Board
(I dont plan to run 3d apps and I don't play games)

It wont have any Optical Drive too

I plan to use this machine without any major upgrades for the next 5 years.

I would be very thankful to you, if you can share you opinions :) 

More about : hardware config server

January 11, 2009 1:09:43 PM

I run Windows Server 2008 64-bit for similar reasons. I have a Q6600, 8GB of G.Skill DDR2 800 memory, a few SATA disks, etc. The motherboard is an Asus P5Q Deluxe, but I'll switch it for the Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P (it also runs Windows Server 2008 very well) used for my desktop for the following reasons:

1. Better layout for a server, i.e., it's easier to connect up to 8 SATA drives;
2. Both Ethernet ports are PCI Express (the P5Q Deluxe has one PCIe and one PCI Ethernet port);
3. I'd rather use the P5Q Deluxe for my desktop.

The only issue that I have with the GA-EP45-UD3P is the serial port that doesn't work properly, i.e., if I use it with an external USR 56K modem, performance isn't acceptable (lower connection speed than I get with other motherboards, dropped connections, too many transmission errors, etc.) That issue might be specific to my motherboard.

I don't know what your VMs will be used for, but using a single disk for two or three VMs makes them more responsive. Running several VMs on a RAID1 might not provide good performance (at least it didn't for me and my VMs are not very busy). If using RAID again, I would consider using several disks in a RAID5 configuration (the CPU is powerful enough to handle it). My hard disks are WD3200AAKS (OS) and a few WD6401AALS for VMs. I use Acronis Trueimage Home to backup everything to a 1TB eSATA disk. I can shutdown that server for backups as it isn't my main server.
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January 11, 2009 3:03:10 PM

hello ghislaing

thak you so much for ur reply :) 

I forgot to add that this will be the only server for now in my network of 3-4 PCs, my OS and Virtual machines will reside on a single HDD (OS +VMs) and the RAID will be for the data

I don't think I;ll be using the serial port frequently

thanks again :) 
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