I'm going to be building an ESX server, but I'm having a lot of trouble determining which Intel motherboard I should buy.
Here are my constraints:
Want 2U Intel rackmount case that supports the motherboard - for drive capacity
Used for virtualization
Have 2 Intel X5650 (So dual socket hexacore support LGA 1366 is a requirement)
Would like at least 96 GB of supported memory
Will need a hardware RAID solution that supports RAID, wouldn't mind going with an Intel expansion module unless an Adaptec solution is better
I've been to Intel's site, but different areas state different compatibilities and I'm unsure of the differences between some of the motherboards.
Any help is appreciated. Also, I'm sure I left some important information out, so let me know what else you would need to know to determine the best option.
More about :intel server motherboard recommendation
Just for everybody's reference, in case this ever comes up in a search, there is an Intel Pre-sales support line. It doesn't come up easy on their website, but after some digging you can find this: http://www.intel.com/support/9089.htm
By calling 1-800-538-3373, you'll be put in touch with a pretty knowledgable sales rep that can recommend a product around your constraints. They never tried to up-sell me, just gave me the raw data and let me choose what I wanted, explaining the differences between each option. Awesome support from Intel!
Ended up going with:
SR2600URSATARNA - Barebone including 2 redundant 750 Watt power supplies, S5520UR motherboard
SRCSATAWB - RAID 4Ch SATA PCIe w/8-Ports Low Profile
AXXRSBBU4 - Backup battery for RAID
AXXRMM3 - Intel remote management module
WD2003FYYS - 5 2TB drives
48 GB Crucial ECC Memory
These items are going in with 2 Intel X5650 processors, so everything should mesh for a great middle of the road server.