VMware Lab in a Box Question

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
LVL 27
yo_beeDirector of Information TechnologyAsked:
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
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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yo_beeDirector of Information TechnologyAuthor Commented:
This is going to strictly a lab with maybe 6 machines at most running
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
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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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
You may find you have better performance using SSD for small VMs.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
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.
box? do you mean sandbox ?

I agree the fastest cpu will not really help vmware slices the vcores as it requires
yo_beeDirector of Information TechnologyAuthor Commented:
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.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
SSD's have improved but failures are still catastrophic. For the main OS (ESX), I still recommend hard drives for you. .... Thinkpads_User
yo_beeDirector of Information TechnologyAuthor Commented:
So just set it up with 120 GB or so for the primary drive  and 2 TB for local storage
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
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
yo_beeDirector of Information TechnologyAuthor Commented:
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.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Thank you. I was pleased to assist you with this. .... Thinkpads_User
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