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sizing new HP servers for vSphere 5

Posted on 2012-03-16
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Hi, one of the IT guys in my company wants to buy two servers for his department with the following specs

2x Proliant DL380 G7
96GB RAM each
two X5690 6-core CPU's on each
4x 600GB HDD's local storage on each (RAID5)
10GbE NIC's (is this even needed?)

The price is about $15k per server.

For VMware software, he chose the following SKUs for about $20k. Isn't this expensive when he could buy the vSphere Essentials Plus kit for about $6k? I think vRAM entitlement in both options is 32GB per CPU.

VS5-STDM-AK-PRO (vsphere 5 std acceleration kit with smart ops)
VS5-STDM-AK-G-SSS-C (service & support)
VC5-VSA-STD-C (storage appliance?)
VC5-VSA-G-SSS-C (service & support)

Please help me with some arguments about how to convince him to adjust the size of the server properly and not waste money.
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Question by:darkbluegr
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 500 total points
ID: 37731468
if you go with VMware Essentials, rather than an acceleration kit, you servers have too much memory!

Essentials is limited to 64GB per server, or 2x 32GB per CPU.

So you will not be able to use ALL 96GB.
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LVL 118
ID: 37731472
also with Essentials you are licensed for three hosts at 192GB in the vRAM pool, so how many VMs are you hosting?

powered on VMs!
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Author Comment

by:darkbluegr
ID: 37731475
thanks for clearing this up!

in vsphere comparison page below, i think standard accel. kit also has same limitation for vRAM?

screenshot
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LVL 118
ID: 37731476
Do you need shared storage for HA and vMotion?

Do you need VSA, other alternatives exist....VSA can be limiting.....if you expand later
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Author Comment

by:darkbluegr
ID: 37731477
I think he's got 15 VM's or so,
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LVL 118
ID: 37731484
I did not specify a kit, you would need an Enterprise Plus to use that memory on the servers.

So your quote is wrong for those servers, it would be more $$$
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LVL 118
ID: 37731492
15 VMs, how much ram per VM?
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Author Comment

by:darkbluegr
ID: 37731548
4GB ram average i would say!
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LVL 118
ID: 37731559
I would have thought essentials would be ideal.

32GB per CPU, 64GB per server.

Purchase the servers with 64GB, okay failover, single host can manage all VMs, and when you grow add another server,mand you got spare license.

As essentials is Licensed for 3 hosts, vCenter included.
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Author Comment

by:darkbluegr
ID: 37731585
ok great

so if you had 45k to build this cluster you would do

6k software (vsphere essentials plus)
15k storage san (p2000)
24k servers (as described above)?

would this be a good distribution?

thanks!
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LVL 118
ID: 37731589
Yes, I would be confident with that spec. Thats are standard build for SME, RAM sometimes only 32GB per server.

SAS drives in the P2000, no requirementnfor 10Gb ethernet either.
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Author Comment

by:darkbluegr
ID: 37731594
awesome thank you.

last question!

any processor recommendations or would a cheap 5606/5620 quad core be sufficient? if I go with quad core instead of six-core we can save another $3-4k!!
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Expert Comment

by:paulsolov
ID: 37731948
Since you have shared storage you can save money on hard drives and run the systems from a SD Card.  Use the money to either get a shelf off the P2000 or additional spindles.
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Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 37737324
I'll just butt my oar in (I know it's closed already)

VMware RAM licensing is for vRAM, not physical RAM so 32GB vRAM will probably sit in 30GB physical RAM quite comfortably, and 30GB per CPU on a nehalem is much easier to configure than 32GB, the HP's come with 3 * 2GB per CPU so you just have to add one 8GB stick to each channel to get 30GB.
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Author Comment

by:darkbluegr
ID: 37737379
Andy thanks for adding your thoughts, but i kinda lost you with the calculations :) how would the resulting configuration look like? 30GB physical ram per cpu would mean 60GB total on each host?

if they come with 3x 2GB x 2CPU would mean that they come with 12GB total?

the purpose in this case is to mimic the reference design of vmware vcloud for public service providers with a low cost (i have meaty ESX hosts  for the resource groups, but missing the management cluster for the management VM's)

http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/VMware-vCloud-Implementation-Example-ServiceProvider.pdf

(page 7 and 9-12)

thanks a lot!
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Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 37737448
They normally come with 3 * 2GB on a 1 CPU server, or 6 * 2GB on a 2 CPU server (the CPUs have three memory channels each and it's best to populate evenly). So if you bought a 2 CPU server you'd just have to add 6 *  8GB 2rx4 for 60GB. To get 64GB you would either have to swap the original 2GB for bigger or have one lone 2GB stick in the third bank which slows the RAM clockspeed down.
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Author Comment

by:darkbluegr
ID: 37737465
gotcha! thank you :)
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