Home VM server

funz

n00b
Joined
Apr 17, 2016
Messages
11
Hello,

I am currently running VMware on my gaming PC:

i5 4690k
24GB of ram
250GB ssd samsung 850 evo
(other hardware i think does not matter much but here it is
xfx 750w TS
asus Maximus VII Ranger

I have 8 VMs running currently and i am looking to expand to about 20 VMs total.

All VMs are running windows 8 and they have chrome browsers running on them with users browsing. Chromes are running some extensions which can be CPU hungry at the times.

None of the VMs host databases or anything performance hungry like that.

I currently have it set to each VM uses 1 core and 2-3GBs of ram and i am hitting 100% CPU usage at the times, but most of the time CPU usage is about ~50-60%. My current CPU is overclocked to 3.85GHz.

I would like to build home server and move all VM's from my gaming PC on to it.

CPU - what are CPU suggestions? I need something which will scale good. If we put it in simple language it need something which can put out the power of x3 i5 4690k. I am guessing that i need a CPU which supports a lot of threads?
Do i need a xeon (like: Intel® Xeon® Processor E5-2620 v3 (15M Cache, 2.40 GHz) Specifications) or would a higher end i7 do the work?
Motherboard - i do not think i really need server grade mobo? All i need is something durable (needs to be running 24/7) and needs to allow enough ram (i guess non server mobos allow tops 64GB)
Ram - type?
Storage - Is ssd a must? i am currently using it, but would HDD make too much different for my usage? my VMs do not do much reading/writing other than normal OS/browser tasks.

Any other tips?
 

HammerSandwich

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 18, 2004
Messages
1,126
Your current CPU has great per-thread performance, but it's only a quad. So, yes, I believe you want more cores for 20 VMs.

If you're okay with used hardware, look at the Xeon E5-2670 (v1). That's a Sandy Bridge with 8 cores + Hyperthreading for ~50% more than your 4690K (pre-OC). You can get one on Ebay for $70. Not bad for something that was $1550 when released in 2012!

You would need to move to a server board with ECC. While the 2670 should work in a 1P board, but I'd go 2P in your case. You can always run 1x CPU if it's fast enough (questionable), then add another when you need it.

One other perk from E5 (v1) CPUs: you can replace them with v2 (Ivy Bridge) when the prices drop.
 

funz

n00b
Joined
Apr 17, 2016
Messages
11
If you're okay with used hardware, look at the Xeon E5-2670 (v1)
I was not thinking about that at all. I was thinking that i will have to give $500-$600 for the new CPU.
How much life do you think these CPUs have in them? I am sure they were working hard for few years.

Also prices on these go from $60 to $170 any tips on how to pick which one to buy out of the bunch?
 

Sp33dFr33k

2[H]4U
Joined
Apr 20, 2002
Messages
2,481
You should also look at craisglist for used servers. You can find some pretty beefy systems for $500-700.
 
D

Deleted member 82943

Guest
Your current CPU has great per-thread performance, but it's only a quad. So, yes, I believe you want more cores for 20 VMs.

If you're okay with used hardware, look at the Xeon E5-2670 (v1). That's a Sandy Bridge with 8 cores + Hyperthreading for ~50% more than your 4690K (pre-OC). You can get one on Ebay for $70. Not bad for something that was $1550 when released in 2012!

You would need to move to a server board with ECC. While the 2670 should work in a 1P board, but I'd go 2P in your case. You can always run 1x CPU if it's fast enough (questionable), then add another when you need it.

One other perk from E5 (v1) CPUs: you can replace them with v2 (Ivy Bridge) when the prices drop.

i built a dual 2670 setup with 128GB of ram and an intel mobo for about 500 bucks. so yeah I'd go that route.
 

ChRoNo16

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 3, 2011
Messages
1,550
You can get two of those Xeon E5-2670 CPU's on ebay for 135 bucks, that's almost 1 cpu core per VM ;)
 

Franko

Weaksauce
Joined
Jan 17, 2009
Messages
121
Old hardware can be cheap but remember to pay attention to how much electricity the unit will use. If your electricity costs are high you may want something new that has high efficancy (maybe a Xeon-D setup). I also strongly suggest getting a system with remote management tools (IPMI) as it will make administration much more convenient.
 

funz

n00b
Joined
Apr 17, 2016
Messages
11
Hello everyone! Thank you for the replies!

I am afraid that craisglist is not an option, i am not from US.

Also big problem is that here is very hard to find used server grade components. I can find new ones.

So even if i get two used E5-2670 i will have to buy new mobo.
Buying things from ebay also does not come easy, as i will have to pay vat+import tax which will be around 35%
Also prices of new components are 35-40% more expensive than what you can find on newegg for example.

That being said, my budget is up to around 1300-1500usd

If i would go the E5-2670 route i could get
Mobo X9DRW-iF $390 Supermicro | Products | Motherboards | Xeon® Boards | X9DRW-iF
Ram - $60 Kingston KVR16E11/8I RAM 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 ECC CL11 DIMM, 240-Pin, Intel Certified
WD black 2TB $160 (i was advised to go with raid 5 or 6.. currently i just run VMs from a single 250GB SSD)
 
D

Deleted member 82943

Guest
Depending on the iops requirement raid 10 would be better than raid 5
 

funz

n00b
Joined
Apr 17, 2016
Messages
11
Can someone explain to me what is "Bulk Pack" in Supermicro MBD-X9DRW-IF-B (thats the B at the end)
They also have "Standard Retail Pack" which costs much more.
 

Outlaw85

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 7, 2012
Messages
1,465
Usually it means you're buying more than one of said item. If this is the case, it would explain why it is slightly cheaper than the retail version. For example, that bulk price could be your price per board in a 10-pack of boards. Before clicking purchase, i would try contacting the seller to clarify so you aren't stuck with a crazy bill.
 

peanuthead

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 1, 2006
Messages
4,701
Bulk pack is just in a static bag. Retail has the pretty box, manual, CD, cables, etc. funz send me a message with what you are looking for. I seriously may have what you are looking for on my shelves at home. (I buy stuff for work and home, some doesn't get used. Alas I can only use SO much RAM and processor.)
 
D

Deleted member 82943

Guest
so what happened was I had bought a socket 2011 board before the 2670 prices began to fail. I bought an intel 2600CO on ebay for kinda cheap < 200 usd. It doesn't have onboard sound, and has it's own obnoxious issues that are more features than anything else -- I would have wished for more built in storage rather than having to buy a key from intel but I knew that going in, it was just a cheap board at the time, but has been rock solid otherwise.
 

funz

n00b
Joined
Apr 17, 2016
Messages
11
Hi guys, i need help with picking which memory to buy.

I have ordered: ASRock Rack > EP2C602-4L/D16
and x2 E5-2670 SR0KX

but i am really getting confused with memory. I am looking to buy 32GB.

Any tips? I am also limited by the fact that i need ebay seller who will ship it here in about 15 days tops.

For the most part i am getting confused with ram which is declared for Dell servers for example: 32GB (4x8GB) DELL R410 R510 R610 R710 PC3-10600R DDR3-1333MHz ECC Reg

And i am also bit confused with notes like this on ebay articles "not work in a desktop/pc nor a board that takes ECC Unregistered/Unbuffered or ECC Fully Buffered ram. These can't be mixed with ECC UDIMM. Will not work in a machine that takes only 2Rx8 rams. These are 2Rx4 modules."

Sorry for newbie questions :)

Thanks!
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2010
Messages
661
Hi guys, i need help with picking which memory to buy.

I have ordered: ASRock Rack > EP2C602-4L/D16
and x2 E5-2670 SR0KX

but i am really getting confused with memory. I am looking to buy 32GB.

Any tips? I am also limited by the fact that i need ebay seller who will ship it here in about 15 days tops.

For the most part i am getting confused with ram which is declared for Dell servers for example: 32GB (4x8GB) DELL R410 R510 R610 R710 PC3-10600R DDR3-1333MHz ECC Reg

And i am also bit confused with notes like this on ebay articles "not work in a desktop/pc nor a board that takes ECC Unregistered/Unbuffered or ECC Fully Buffered ram. These can't be mixed with ECC UDIMM. Will not work in a machine that takes only 2Rx8 rams. These are 2Rx4 modules."

Sorry for newbie questions :)

Thanks!

For memory, follow the "Memory QVL" on the same page you linked to (motherboard):
ASRock Rack > EP2C602-4L/D16

Example: The very first item on that list:
DDR3 1866 ECC 8GB Kingston KVR18E13/8

Look at that list..get a part number and search ebay for that part...

You can also go to a memory MFG site and input your motherboard info and search for compatible DIMMs.

Crucial.com
Kingston.com
PNY.com

etc..
 

funz

n00b
Joined
Apr 17, 2016
Messages
11
Is it ok if i get Kingston ValueRam? I can get one of the models listed on ASRock website. I am just not sure if i lose much versus "premium ram"

I can get x4
DDR3 1600 ECC 8GB Kingston KVR16E11/8 (unbuffered)

These ones are not on ASRock specs, but is listed on Kingston website saying it supports my mobo:

KINGSTON 8GB DDR3 1600MHz CL11 ECC KVR16R11D8/8 (Registered)
KINGSTON 8GB DDR3 1600MHz CL11 ECC KVR16R11S4/8 (Registered)
KINGSTON 8GB DDR3 1600MHz CL11 ECC KVR16E11/8HB (unbuffered) premium
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 11, 2010
Messages
661
Is it ok if i get Kingston ValueRam? I can get one of the models listed on ASRock website. I am just not sure if i lose much versus "premium ram"

I can get x4
DDR3 1600 ECC 8GB Kingston KVR16E11/8 (unbuffered)
<snipped for brevity>

I would go with that ^^ its been tested by the MFG and is likely cheaper than the non-tested premium memory.
I have used their value ram too ... never an issue.
 

funz

n00b
Joined
Apr 17, 2016
Messages
11
Another thing i did not think about until now.

If i install 2 cpu's, do both CPUs need ram installed in their slots?

I just checked the manual, both online manual and paper one i got with the mobo are for multiple models, and the part which talks about ram installation is only talking about version which has 8 slots (mine has 16) and it is just saying that i should use same brand/model/speed if i want it to work in dual channel.

ftp://europe.asrock.com/Manual/EP2C602-4LD16.pdf
page 49
 

peanuthead

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 1, 2006
Messages
4,701
Yes. You need to have a processor in the socket to address the memory in the other slots.
 

funz

n00b
Joined
Apr 17, 2016
Messages
11
Yes. You need to have a processor in the socket to address the memory in the other slots.

But does it work like that other way around?

Do i have to have memory in second cpu slots for second CPU to work normally?

I guess the question is:

if i have 8GBx4 in quad channel will the other CPU work normally without any memory it its slots?
 

peanuthead

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 1, 2006
Messages
4,701
Yes. The second CPU will not work without RAM. The RAM will not work without the CPU.
 

funz

n00b
Joined
Apr 17, 2016
Messages
11
Yes. The second CPU will not work without RAM. The RAM will not work without the CPU.
So i guess i go with 8x8GB and put them all in dual channel?

Another question is 1600 vs 1333, does it really matter in my case? i might be able to save some money with 1333 sticks. (well, not save, as my original plan was to get 4x8GB)
 

peanuthead

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 1, 2006
Messages
4,701
If one CPU, install it all in the slots for that CPU. If two CPU, install half in the slots for CPU 1 and CPU 2. In regard to speed, nope, no perceivable difference.
 

funz

n00b
Joined
Apr 17, 2016
Messages
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So now that we have RAM out of the way, what should i be looking at PSU wise? How many Watts?


x2 Xeon E5-2670 (230W)
ASRock EP2C602-4L/D16 (?W)
32-64GB of RAM still not sure which one, look up prices, probably KINGSTON 8192MB ValueRAM 1600Hz CL11 KVR16E11/8
2-6 WB black 1TB

Suggestions for Watt range and model are welcome. I have XFX TS in my gaming PC, but i need something which will run 24/7, be efficient and has 2 cpu connectors.
 

peanuthead

Supreme [H]ardness
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Messages
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I have the same processors with 16 sticks of RAM and a hot-swap backplane. A tall Coors with full load I pull about 350 Watts. A 7200 rpm hard drive will be about 7 watts spun up and an SSD will be maybe 3 watts peak on the high end. You can figure out the rest from there.
 
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funz

n00b
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Apr 17, 2016
Messages
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I have the same processors with 16 sticks of RAM and a hot-swap backplane. A tall Coors with full load I pull about 350 Watts. A 7200 rpm hard drive will be about 7 watts spun up and an SSD will be maybe 3 watts peak on the high end. You can figure out the rest from there.

Thank you! That helps a lot!
 
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