Virtual Host Server Build - Need assistance!

Budget: Similar to already selected products. I am open to any idea's though as I haven't confronted the boss yet so have no idea of the final budget.

Buy my plan is to consolidate the 6 EXTREMELY outdated servers we have, by doing physical-to-virtuel conversion onto some fresh hardware.

Motherboard: ASRock X58 Extreme3
CPU: i7-950 (you guys noticed the pricedrop? OMG!)
Memory: Corsair XMS3 6*4GB (PC3-10666 9-9-9-24)
Storage: 5x2TB, 4 in raid10, one hot-swap. Will use onboard ICH10R for fakeraid. (WD Caviar Black: WD2001FASS)
Graphics: Irrelevant, anything laying around
OS: Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 (free as in beer)
Power supply: ?? What is reliable and how many watts needed?
Case: Chieftec UNC-410F-B 19" for rack

So this was put together in about an hour - but because I know very little about hardware I want to know if I've made any bad selections. Main concerns are the memory. Timings, mhz I know very little about. Website states PC3-10666, PC3-12800 and PC3-16000 but price difference is huge. If no overclocking is involved will there be any performance difference from 10666 to 12800 or 16000? First time here at the forums by the way, hi! :)
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  1. Hi and welcome to Tom's Hardware Forums!

    The things I'd ask are what are the purposes of these servers? What will each virtual server be doing? Are these production or development servers? What is the required uptime for these servers?

    Your build looks fine for a development or testing platform, but if these are customer-facing servers (i.e. servers hosting customer data/customer interaction), I'd probably go with more server based components like the Intel Xeon series CPUs and an actual server motherboard. In fact, looking at ASRock's website for drivers, they don't list any for Windows Server 2008. I'd definitely recommend going with a motherboard manufacturer that specifically has drivers for your selected OS (rather than relying on some third party drivers).

    As far as power supplies are concerned, I'd recommend companies like Antec, Seasonic, PC Power and Cooling and Corsair; something around 600 watts.

    If you do decide to change your motherboard, you'll probably want to rethink your entire build strategy.

    Hope this helps.

    -Wolf sends
  2. I really appreciate your reply. Well this is actually production. But production internally with not many employees, so it is not insanely critical to have a 99.9% uptime. Of course it is what I aim for but have to do the best I can with the budget.

    The most important VM's will be a domain controller, an Exchange 2003, and a third server running IIS hosting a few websites (with sql). I know this sounds like a lot but under the worst circumstances these servers never get above 15% on old E6300's and old 5400 harddrives.

    I have been considering going with a server board, which officially support Server 2008 but the price sky rockets. And regarding server cpu's, after the 50% drop in i7-950, the Xeon equivelent in price comes no where near the same performance as the i7.

    Regarding drivers I think I'm good, directly from Intels website I can lookup the X58 chipset, ICH10R southbridge, and can find Server 2008 drivers.

  3. When may I edit posts :S ?

    Just wanted to add, dont hesitate on disagreeing with anything I say, that is kind of what I'm hoping for so I can get some second opinion (:
  4. If you want something reliable to handle the 6 servers then I would go with the xeon and oracle
  5. Not sure why you couldn't edit your post. I would think you'd be able to, but oh well.

    If you feel comfortable with being able to get drivers for your system, then I say go for it; especially if this is just an in-house server. Yes, the price does increase when going with an Intel Server motherboard, but in some cases (I looked at SuperMicro boards when building my Hyper-V server), these server boards to accept desktop processors. Also, there are some desktop based motherboards that have native Server 2008 drivers (my Gigabyte board in my signature block as evidence). So you may want to peruse motherboards a bit more.

    Honest, I don't have anything against ASRock. My ASRock 939Dual-SATAII board was a life saver when making the switch from AGP to PCI-E. I just feel more comfortable going with native drivers. That's just me, though.

    Given what you say you're going to be running, I wouldn't make any other changes. IIS and SQL are not real system hogs, but with Exchange 2003, you're going to need all that memory!

    -Wolf sends
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