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Hyper-V, SBS 2008 R2 server build with TFS 2010 $1k -$1.5k

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March 28, 2011 2:27:56 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: About a month from now
Budget Range: 1000-1500) before software After Rebates

Number of users: 5-10 total users, 1 local access (me, admin the system, and program manager), 3-4 software developers (working remotely, from home). Growth of up to 6 additional remote software developers and testers before I reevaluate the hardware.

OS: Standard Server 2008 R2 Hyper -V, VM 1 SBS 2008 R2, VM 2 Stan Server 2008 Build Server, V3 Stan Server 2k8 SQL 2008 Role? (may use SQL express and combine into SBS 2008 advice wanted)

Projects: 1 initial project with 4 test VM environments ie. The project will include a SQL 2008 Backend, Web interface, Client machine, Android phone app). Anticipate 3 projects this year growth potential.

Software Development Model: Agile (build every 1-2 days, possibly once a week initially)
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Build server, Foundation server 2010 (reporting and SharePoint services), TFS 2010 source code repository, SBS 2008 (General SharePoint, exchange server, domain controller, active directory, DHCP)

Proposed System Architecture: Hyper-V setup. Host OS MS standard server 2008 R2 (hyper-v Role), VM Machine 1 will run SBS 2008 R2. Will host SharePoint, exchange server, domain controller, active directory. (possibly Team Foundation server 2010), VM machine 2 host TFS 2010 Build Server, VM 3 SQL 2008 for TFS 2010(store source code, build reports, other , basically anything SQL related will be stored here, VM 4 Visual Studio 2010 lab management for testing after a build (anticipating 4 VM for automated testing see projects.))

Parts Not Required: Kyeboard, mouse, monitor(going to use remote desktop most of the time)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: New Egg, amazon (whichever is cheaper)

Country of Origin: Untied States

Parts Preferences: (These is what I have so far with my reasoning behind each selection, please add your comments and suggested changes. Especially if I made incorrect assumptions):

Case: iStarUSA D-406-B6SA-BLUE Steel 4U Rackmount Compact Chassis
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
6 Hot swappable drives, 2 internal drives, 2 .3.5 external drives, 2 5.25 external drives, reasonable price, and I have to admit I like the way it looks. Can go with a Coolmax HAF case and buy a Hot Swappable module, may save a few dollars, rack mount is not a requirement.
$239.99

Power Supply: CORSAIR Builder Series CX600 (CMPSU-600CX) 600W ATX12V v2.3 Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
600W power supply, hope it has enough power to support chip + 4 HD + possible +4 more additional drives. I am interested is power efficiency and stability if there is a more power efficient power supply let me know. Corsair just happens to be a brand I trust and had a deal on Newegg I didn’t spend much time researching this item.
$79.99 - $25.00 instant rebate = 54.99

Processor: AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition Thuban 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Six-Core Desktop Processor HDT90ZFBGRBOX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Like the Six cores and cheap. My understanding of Hyper-V requires 1 core/processor per VM machine.
$199.99

Motherboard: ECS A890GXM-A(2.0) AM3 AMD 890GX HDMI SATA 6Gb/s ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Has built in: dual Ethernet cards(not a requirement just 1 less component to buy), onboard video(not a requirement just 1 less component to buy), SATA 6 Gb/s a must have since I am not using SAS, Raid 10 on board must have (I know a dedicated card would be better, not sure if it will make that much of a difference in this use case), e-SATA 3 Gb/s is fine will use as the daily onsite backup of the servers, no power saving technology would be a plus if it could save me some $ on my power bill, no USB 3.0 but I can buy an expansion card if I need it, no current need. Never had a ECS board but seems to get decent reviews, components seem high quality, I like the live bios and driver update features, little worried about the DDR3 memory spec stating 1600 (OC) overclock, does this mean it won’t run DDR3 1600 memory reliably? Only in Overclock mode? See below for memory. Board states 32Gb compatibility although current DDR3 only supports 16Gb max.

Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 12GB (3 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9T-12GBRL
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
12 GB can buy an additional stick for a total of 16GB but not sure if this would be overkill for this use case.
$159.99

Daily Backup Hard drive: Western Digital Caviar Green WD20EARS 2TB SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Go this because it use low power, lots of space and cheap. This will be connected using a Thermaltake Blacx 3GB/s e-SATA docking station.
$99.99-$20.00 instant rebate=$79.99

Hard Drives in Raid 10 Configuration. 4XWestern Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
1 TB SATA 6.0Gb/s 7200 rpm drives, great combo value per performance. Was thinking about buying a cheap $150 rocketraid SAS controller and some cheap SAS drives such as Seagate Constellation ES ST3500414SS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SAS 6Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive at http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... but figured the performance difference would not be worth the money, please let me know if this is an incorrect assumption. I am not very experienced with SAS drives. I see my biggest problem being my internet connection especially in a small user environment with all remote access users.
4 x $89.99 = $359.96

UPS CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD UPS 1500VA / 900W PFC compatible Pure sine wave. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Saw this Ups and thought is was pretty decent. Has bypass circuitry but from the little research I have done is only useful for particular peripherals. Hopefully it is adequate to shut down all the servers and protect the system in case of a power failure or surge.
$229.99 - $60.00 instant rebate = 169.99

Grand Total = $1223.92

Overclocking: Yes / No / Maybe: Stability is a priority, not unless I can overclock without losing system stability.
SLI or Crossfire: Yes / No / Maybe: None: video is not a priority, just need it for trouble shooting, will use remote desktop most of the time.

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200 (again will mostly use remote desktop)

Additional Comments: This will be hosted in my house so a very power efficient and quite system is a huge plus. Data redundancy is huge priority currently planning to go with raid 10. The bottleneck is going to be my internet connection. As my developers are going to work remotely from their home and check in/out source code remotely I don’t want to spend too much money buying high end equipment that will not make a significant difference. Where the performance will play a role is in running VMs and the build server.
VM (Virtual Machine Breakdown)
1. 1 x Host OS MS Standard Server 2008 R2 (Hyper-V Role)
2. 1 x SBS 2008 R2 (SharePoint, Exchange Server, Domain Controller, DHCP, Foundation Server 2010, Maybe SQL Express if a separate SQL 2008 VM is not necessary) Advice would be welcome.
3. 1 x Server 2008 R2 SQL Role (maybe, see 2)?? (all SQL functions such as code repository, Team foundation 2010 reporting services, The code base is not going to be that large.
4. 1 x Visual Studio Lab Management used for testing builds will consist of 3-4 VMs.
a. 1 x web component,
b. 1 x SQL back end component
c. 1 x Android component (may be built independently),
d. 1 thin client component)
Speed test results from http//www.speedtest.net
Download speed: 6.78 Mps
Upload Speed: 5.38 Mbps
Since this is going in a very small user base environment, I would like to have as simple a setup as possible and not have to hire a full time IT guy to manage everything. 1-3 hrs per week of IT maintenance max after everything is up and running would be ideal if possible.

This is my proposed build please provide suggestions especially where it can lower power consumption and noise. I am open to any input from hardware to VM configuration of Team Foundation Server.

I am staying away from Linux builds. I like the active directory with 1 log in, always hated having 5 different passwords and multiple RSA key fobs and constantly having to log in multiple times. Am not using VM Ware since it has a very limited set of hardware it can work on and I don't want to mess with potential compatibility issues that has come up with using desktop components. I like wizards and setting things up without having to compile kernels. I want as little overhead maintenance as possible.


April 9, 2011 5:48:16 PM

Hello linenoise11;

Where are you at in this project?

Are you getting any advice on the Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V forums about compatibility in your goals?
April 10, 2011 3:23:17 AM

I'd also be interested in knowing how far along you are in this project. The first thing that jumps out at me is the motherboard. Looking at the ECS site, I didn't note any driver downloads available for Windows Server 2008 (any version). This is often the problem with using consumer level products for enterprise applications.

That motherboard also only has four DDR3 memory slots which generally means dual-channel memory rather than triple-channel like you have selected. Given all the virtual machines you want to run simultaneously, I'm going to have to recommend going up to 16GB rather than down to 8GB.

Take a look at the specs of my system in my signature. If I could have afforded it at the time, I would have gone with 16GB in my system and I'm only running the host OS, one virtual server (SQL/IIS), and two development clients. Since each virtual machine requires it's own dedicated memory allocation, I don't think 8GB would be enough for your purposes.

-Wolf sends
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April 23, 2011 12:12:33 AM

No I haven’t received any feedback, other than the two comments above. I selected the Mobo because it supposedly can handle 32GB of memory in the future. The current memory proposed for this build is 12gb but am thinking to upgrading to 16gb. Not to worried about 2008 drivers, but am confident if win 7 works on it should be able to handle 2008. I think there built on the same core code. But is something I would have to be conscious of.
My understanding from one of the Lynda Hyper-v training videos I watched stated that Hyper-v requires 1 core per virtual machine. I have no reason not to believe this, which is why I picked the X6 Core. I have considered just putting everything as one big system but wanted to utilize the Hyper-V cores to use MS Visual Studio Lab Management for testing. If your not quite sure what MS VS Lab management is here is a link http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd997438.aspx I haven’t given it a try but was thinking about trying out a trial version and seeing how it works out. Looks very interesting.
April 23, 2011 10:36:50 AM

Some drivers for Windows Server 2008 R2 are going to be a problem for any consumer chipsets, since AMD does not release Server 2008 drivers for any AM2/AM3 chipset and their driver installers won't install if Server 2008 is detected. Intel is the same way, BTW.

If you want to run a server OS, then buy server hardware. I would recommend DELL.
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