Virtualisation Server with RAID6


Approximate Purchase Date: January 2011
Budget Range: $1000-4000
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Virtualisation (installing Windows Server 2008 / Windows 7 / Linux Server / Linux NFS Server / Ubuntu Workstation) + Win7
Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Looking to source from the UK so amazon, aria, ebuyer etc
Country of Origin: UK
Parts Preferences: Looking to get a Full Tower case (something big basically). Intel CPU, don't have a preference for the rest
Overclocking: Maybe, have not overclocked before
SLI or Crossfire: Not sure I need it.
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200
Additional Comments:

It's been quite a few years since I built a home system (having used laptops for a v long time now) I am now in the process of getting a system built at home, which will let me play around with various OS's and also serve as a base for my storage requirements as well as providing backup/redundancy. I have had a look around and for RAID I have seen recommendations for a separate raid card rather than on board raid. To give you an idea what I will be building

2 x 1TB (RAID1) - Install a Hypervisor on this and then various flavours of OS onto.
10 x 1TB (RAID6 + Hotspare) not sure if RAID5 would be sufficient, but really want the extra redundancy for my data storage.

Motherboard : Supporting upto16GBRAM is the only main requirements
Graphics Card : Powerful enough to play the latest games although this system is not used for gaming normally would like to have the option and def capable of HD
CPU : i7?
NIC's : NIc with 4 x gig ports.
PSU : 650watts?
Cooling : Liquid Cooling? or is normal cooling enough?
Case : Would obviously need enough slots to house the hd's and bluray and dvd recorder.
Blueray Rcrdr : Something that burns both DVD and Blueray would be better.
DVD Recordr :

I think that about does it for the rig itself. I am looking to source the parts from suppliers in the UK but if anyone has any recommendations on parts I will try and find them from the UK.

Any help is much appreciated. :D

2 answers Last reply
More about virtualisation server raid6
  1. Just a few additional questions:
    How many VMs will you actually run simultaneously?
    How CPU, RAM & I/O intensive will each VM be?
    Do you really need a quad NIC (if so why?)?
    Would a dedicated VM server + workstation be a viable solution (just asking, I don't know if it would end-up costing more)? You could use a KVM to switch between both.
    Do you need that many drives/spaces? It might be hard to find a casing that can hold 12 drives :P
    How hot does your computer room get during summer (might be the only reason to go for water cooling)?
    If I understand correctly, the VMs will actually be on the 2x1TB array, but the backups will be done on the 10x1TB array, right?
  2. Hi Zenthar,

    Thanks for the reply, must have missed the notification mail did not realise you had replied! In answer to your questions.

    1. 2 VM's will most likely be running at all times. The Win7 Client and Linux Server running NFS

    2. They will actually not be that intensive. Basically the linux server is basically file storage, and win7 client is used for day to day stuff nothing cpu/mem intensive.

    3. Yep, I'll be connecting this up to multiple physical switches to use as end hosts vm's for testing and training.

    4. I have had a look at some servers but not really found the kind of machine I was after? any links you may have would help! I dont mind paying slightly more if the server is right.

    5. lol yeah I thought about that..In the event of saving space might make it easier if I dropped the two RAID1 drives and the hotspare (that was more overkill really!)

    The room is actually not too bad, I was thinking more of how much heat the harddrives would generate and wether it would be worth going for the water cooling, never done water cooling before so if I can avoid it I will

    Thats correct, If I can manage lets say 11 drives (def get rid of the hotspare) 2 x 1TB RAID1 for the VM's and 9 x 1 TB (RAID6) for the storage.

    I did see a case which I thought could fit them in NZXT Phantom Black Enthusiast Full Tower Case. I guess one of my most important questions would be is what motherboard to get and what RAID card would I be looking at? The rest I can probably try and figure out.

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