How to build a Server for testing.

Posted on 2012-08-11
Last Modified: 2012-08-16
Hi Guys,

I would like to know what kind of Power supply, Raid, hard drives and box am I suppose to purchase for the server that Expert Leew sugested as follows:

The systems I put together run AMD's FX8120 8 core 3.1 GHz CPU.  I bought 970 based boards (Gigabyte) and just built the system adding RAM (16, then quickly upgrading to the board max of 32 GB).  The free VMWare ESX as I understand it is limited to 32 GB anyway and Hyper-V on Server Standard is also limited to 32 GB (the Free Hyper-V is a PITA to configure and manage but can use FAR more RAM).  Still 32 GB is more than enough for most learning/testing purposes (I have 8 VMs running now and still 10 GB of unassigned RAM in Hyper-V systems
Question by:chenzovicc
    LVL 18

    Assisted Solution

    by:Andrew Davis
    Power supply depends on how much work it needs to do (how many hard drives, Fans, CD Drives etc...) but you should be pretty safe with a 750Watt.

    Hard Drives Depend on how much space you need and what performance you require. As this is for Testing, i would be using cheap SATA Drives in Mirrors or Raid 5. for production i use SAS or SSD and Raid 10.

    LVL 2

    Assisted Solution

    My suggestion is (just for example):

    500G x 2 = RAID 1, install OS on it, store ISO/EXE on it
    1T x 3 = RAID 5, store Virtual Machines
    1T x 3 = RAID 5, store Virtual Machines

    in short, if you want run a lot of VMs at same time, you should separation for hard disk read and write requests.

    at this moment, Hard disk performance is the bottleneck in most private cloud.
    LVL 116

    Expert Comment

    by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
    What's your budget?

    and do you need it all?

    what do you want to test?

    Author Comment

    I apologize but this is the link of the question I asked on this forum before:
    LVL 2

    Accepted Solution

    Hi chenzovicc,

    if you want have a server to test 2008. that's very easy.
    here is my test pc configuration, that is enough to test 2008 / 2008 R2
    you do not need a real server-level computer.

    it running windows server 2008 R2 with hyper-v. I can use hyper-v to build a lot of VMs.
    you can do those labs on the VMs.

       CPU Type   QuadCore Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450, 2666 MHz (8 x 333)  
       Motherboard Name   Gigabyte GA-P45T-ES3G (5 PCI, 1 PCI-E x1, 1 PCI-E x16, 4 DDR3 DIMM, Audio, Gigabit LAN)  
       Motherboard Chipset   Intel Eaglelake P45  
       System Memory   16384 MB (DDR3-1333 DDR3 SDRAM)  
       DIMM1: Kingston 99P5471-007.A00LF   4 GB DDR3-1333 DDR3 SDRAM (8-8-8-22 @ 609 MHz) (7-7-7-20 @ 533 MHz) (6-6-6-17 @ 457 MHz)  
       DIMM2: Kingston 99P5471-007.A00LF   4 GB DDR3-1333 DDR3 SDRAM (8-8-8-22 @ 609 MHz) (7-7-7-20 @ 533 MHz) (6-6-6-17 @ 457 MHz)  
       DIMM3: Kingston 99P5471-007.A00LF   4 GB DDR3-1333 DDR3 SDRAM (8-8-8-22 @ 609 MHz) (7-7-7-20 @ 533 MHz) (6-6-6-17 @ 457 MHz)  
       DIMM4: Kingston 99P5471-007.A00LF   4 GB DDR3-1333 DDR3 SDRAM (8-8-8-22 @ 609 MHz) (7-7-7-20 @ 533 MHz) (6-6-6-17 @ 457 MHz)  
       BIOS Type   Award Modular (02/23/11)  

       IDE Controller   Intel(R) ICH10R SATA AHCI Controller  
       IDE Controller   Standard Dual Channel PCI IDE Controller  
       Storage Controller   Microsoft VHD HBA  
       Disk Drive   ST3250318AS (250 GB, 7200 RPM, SATA-II)  - OS
       Disk Drive   ST3250318AS (250 GB, 7200 RPM, SATA-II)  - RAID 1
       Disk Drive   ST3250318AS (250 GB, 7200 RPM, SATA-II)  - RAID 1
       Disk Drive   WDC WD3200AAKS-75L9A0 (298 GB, IDE)   - RAID 0
       Disk Drive   WDC WD5000AAKX-001CA0 (465 GB, IDE)  - RAID 0
       Disk Drive   WDC WD5000AAKX-001CA0 (465 GB, IDE)  - RAID 0
       SMART Hard Disks Status   OK  

    I have a RAID 1 group because I have some production VM on it.
    If just just want test 2008, just make them to RAID 0.
    If you have more than 4 HDDs. I suggest you build 2 RAID 0 group.
    that will improve a lot of performance when you running more than 4 VMs at same time.

    I believe 1 windows server 2008 cannot do all labs. That is the reason why we need use hyper-v.
    LVL 116

    Assisted Solution

    by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
    you can of course test all this virtually on a Workstation using Oracle Virtualbox, at zero cost, plus you will need the OS.
    LVL 17

    Expert Comment

    by:Brad Bouchard
    Virtualbox is amazing as hanccocka stated and is usually perfect outside of the scenario where you would need a full blown domain/forest lab.

    Author Closing Comment

    Thanks Guys

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