Require suitable PC configuration


I seek experts comment on the configuration of a PC (32 bit) that I need to buy to build small data center type of environment on that new PC. More precisely, what type/make of system board, processor and minimum RAM is required to build the following environment. I'm planing to buy 320 GB, 7200 rpm Segate HDD.  

The environment will be:
1. Base OS Windows XP and Linux 5 (Dual boot)
2. VMWare client or ESX server on top of it.
3. Two each RHEL 5 and Solaris 10 (x86) virtual guests.
4. Veritas Volume Manager version 4  and Veritas Cluster version 4 MP 3 on both virtual guests so that I can build 2 node RHEl 5 and 2 node Solaris 10 cluster.

Please note that storage requirement will be fulfilled from the virtual disk I allocate while installing the respective guests.

Thanks in advance.

Pinaki Dutta
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Are al the requirements being installed on one PC?
ESX is a bare metal solution that would have (possibly) the above listed virtual machine on it.
ESXi-free is available see:

hardware compatiblity guide:

Is this a test or production environment?
nappy_dThere are a 1000 ways to skin the technology cat.Commented:
There many what are called "white box" solutions that support VMWare. This site" that has an extensive list of hardware that unofficialy supports VMWare.
pinakiduttaAuthor Commented:
All the requirements will be installed on one PC.

This is going to be Test enviornment
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nappy_dThere are a 1000 ways to skin the technology cat.Commented:
We can't necessarily tell you which processor and hardware will work as they do vary but, if you are not going to use a major brand such as IBM, Dell or HP, please follow my link to the Wihtebox HCL

If you are going to use a major brand such as HP, Dell or IBM, please go to 65td's reference site of

For RAM, VMWare ESX should have the mac amount of RAM which is roguhly 860MB for the kernel.  From this point onwards, you should include enough RAM based on the requirements of the guest OS's.

8-12GB of RAM may be good enough, but you should decide on this based on what your guest Operating Systems will be doing.
You'll need a 64bit CPU because you'll need more than 4GB of RAM, if you want decent performances. For sure.
Buy yourself a Dell PowerEdge 1950
pinakiduttaAuthor Commented:
Can 64 bit hardware architecture supports 32 bit OS and 32 bit applications?
Also, like to know which company's mother board (model) should I go for to build my environment.
nappy_dThere are a 1000 ways to skin the technology cat.Commented:
pinakidutta, have you taken a look at either of the URLs that I referenced?  If not please do, they have a wealth of information on supported motherboard.

Also, do you have a motherboard and processor already?  if so, take a look at the URL's they will list yours if it is supported?

The reason I suggest this to you is because one that someone may suggest here may not be available in your region of the world.
Yes, x64 architecture supports x86 virtual machines. Also, x64 supports x86 OS and apps (but you will not get all "power" that x64 achitecture gives you). For better performance, install x64 Host OSes and Apps in a x64 hardware. For virtual machines, it doesn't matter if host is running x64 because they're running on a virtualized HAL.

And about the hardware, you will need a lot of HDD space and a lot of memory to run all VMs you planned. By example I have a PC (laptop indeed), dual core 3Ghz (x86), 2 GB RAM and a 250 GB HDD (USB enclosure). I created a lot VMs but I can only run a subset of them based on the RAM ammount I defined to each VM running. Using my hardware I can run up to 6 VMs (each with 128 RAM) without notice "major" performance issues... but the VMs internally do a lot of pagging R/W and my HDD becomes the bottleneck. I can run up to 3 VMs (each with 512 RAM) but my host OS will deacrease dramatically its performance... all is up the hardware you choose... as in windows, the more hardware you have the better performance you have.

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2. VMWare client or ESX server on top of it.

On top of WHAT?
ESXi runs on bare hardware, and you need extra PC to have a look at test "servers", lack of interactive graphics does not impair your ability to do "server" part.
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