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VMware Lab in a Box Question

Posted on 2012-03-29
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Last Modified: 2012-03-30
I am looking to put together a VM Lab in a box and I am not sure what the minimum ideal CPU to use.

I am looking at building this on a HP Proliant ML series of some comparable.

Here is a list of CPU's to choice from

CPU listing
Here are the Specs

-Configurable-HP ProLiant ML150 G6 Non-Hot Plug Server
HP ProLiant ML150 G6 Non-Hot Plug Server
Quad-Core Intel® Xeon® Processor E5504 (2.00GHz, 4M Cache, 80 Watts, 800MHz)
HP 24GB PC3-10600E 6x4GB 2Rank Memory
HP Embedded 4 Port SATA Controller
HP 2TB 3G SATA Non-Hot Plug 7,200rpm 3.5-inch MDL Hard Drive - 1-year warranty)
HP 16X Half-Height SATA DVD-ROM Optical Drive
Embedded HP NC107i PCI-Express Gigabit Server Adapter
HP 460W Factory Integrated Power Supply
Limited warranty includes 1 year parts, 1 year labor, 1-year on-site support
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Question by:yo_bee
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John Hurst earned 375 total points
ID: 37785361
I would get the quad core that costs $30 additional, but I do not think you need the fastest CPU in that list. Most CPU's idle along for most of their lives anyway.

But I would most certainly upgrade the hard drives to 10,000 rpm drives. I think you will find 7,200 rpm drive to be a bit sluggish.

Then I assume you will get a bare metal server and put ESX on it.  

... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:yo_bee
ID: 37785374
This is going to strictly a lab with maybe 6 machines at most running
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by:John Hurst
ID: 37785387
I understand and you might get by with the slower drives. With 6 machines running at the same time, they are all using disk all the time (more so than CPU).

The issue for me is that, once done, if you are not happy (even in a lab), it is expensive to correct.

7200-rpm drives will work and if you are satisfied with that, then go ahead.  

... Thinkpads_User
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ID: 37786261
You may find you have better performance using SSD for small VMs.
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Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 125 total points
ID: 37786265
I run 6 VMs on the lab, on a HP ProLiant Microserver N40L.

These are great value in the UK, at £99, after £100 cashback.
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Expert Comment

by:IanTh
ID: 37786469
box? do you mean sandbox ?


I agree the fastest cpu will not really help vmware slices the vcores as it requires
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Author Comment

by:yo_bee
ID: 37789856
If the term  sandbox mean all objects running on a single machine then yes.
I am looking  to model or test various configurations and technologies.

We have a SAN that has 1 TB worth  alotted of space to carve a LUN ? So I can focus on SDD for OS and 2TB  of local storage.
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Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 375 total points
ID: 37789859
SSD's have improved but failures are still catastrophic. For the main OS (ESX), I still recommend hard drives for you. .... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:yo_bee
ID: 37789863
So just set it up with 120 GB or so for the primary drive  and 2 TB for local storage
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Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 375 total points
ID: 37789866
I have 6 virtual machines on my Thinkpad and together the machines (not the OS) take 100Gb. I think I would be inclined to provide perhaps 200Gb for your primary OS so as not to run out of space. ... Thinkpads_User
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Author Closing Comment

by:yo_bee
ID: 37789872
Thanks all for your help. I think I have a good idea to what I should focus on.  

I will post my final config prior to ordering.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 37789877
Thank you. I was pleased to assist you with this. .... Thinkpads_User
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