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How to build a Server for testing.

Posted on 2012-08-11
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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
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Question by:chenzovicc
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by:Andrew Davis
Andrew Davis earned 400 total points
ID: 38284822
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.

cheers.
Andrew
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by:loginzhang
loginzhang earned 1400 total points
ID: 38285015
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.
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LVL 125
ID: 38285425
What's your budget?

and do you need it all?

what do you want to test?
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Author Comment

by:chenzovicc
ID: 38285489
I apologize but this is the link of the question I asked on this forum before:

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Microsoft/Hardware/Q_27825779.html
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loginzhang earned 1400 total points
ID: 38285590
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.

Motherboard:  
   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)  

Storage:  
   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.
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Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 200 total points
ID: 38285629
you can of course test all this virtually on a Workstation using Oracle Virtualbox, at zero cost, plus you will need the OS.
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Expert Comment

by:Brad Bouchard
ID: 38285954
Virtualbox is amazing as hanccocka stated and is usually perfect outside of the scenario where you would need a full blown domain/forest lab.
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Author Closing Comment

by:chenzovicc
ID: 38302984
Thanks Guys
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