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Build out a VMWARE Server

Posted on 2013-10-22
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Last Modified: 2013-10-26
I have an old tyan s2952 extended ATX motherboard I would like to replace with a newer motherboard  faster processors and a lot of memory.  I need help in figuring out the optimum configuration which will allow me to run SAP Business Objects Data services AND run it as a VM.  It has become somewhat of a struggle internally as to what the best approach is.  I want to have the maximum fast processors I can add with a lot of memory and disk available.  I have noticed in watching BODS run, that it is maxing out my current processors but not necessarily the memory.  The challenge is finding something which is VMWARE approved AND meets the requirements of running SAP BODS.

Thanks !
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Question by:aoviking
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Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 39592432
Commercial applications maxing out CPUs is very rare unless badly written, it's normally memory quantity and disk IOPS that are the bottlenecks. Disk IOPS requirement is often reduced by having more RAM available for caching. You can see CPU usage go high because all the threads are spinning while waiting for IO to happen but that isn't the CPU's fault, it is the disks.

You have to wonder why it isn't maxing out the RAM that you have available, are you using an old 32 bit version? You probably need to ask in a SAP forum rather than under computer servers.
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Author Comment

by:aoviking
ID: 39592815
Well, they were a little surprised as well.  I am pretty sure I am  using the 64 bit version, so maybe we need faster disks and processors.  I need the configuration, so I can get spun up and see what it's performance is.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 500 total points
ID: 39596442
Any hardware your are bulding for VMware products, you should cross check against the following lists, to check it's suitability. Storage Controllers, Network Controllers and Processor support are key.

Check the VMware Hardware Compatability Lists HCL here

The VMware Hardware Compatibility List is the detailed lists showing actual vendor devices that are either physically tested or are similar to the devices tested by VMware or VMware partners. Items on the list are tested with VMware products and are known to operate correctly.Devices which are not on the list may function, but will not be supported by VMware.

http://www.vmware.com/go/hcl

Whitebox HCL


The Whitebox Hardware Compatability Lists is a list put together by the community that have had success with whitebox servers, e.g. unbranded or homebrew, DIY servers, which have been found to work with VMware Products.

http://vm-help.com/Whitebox_HCL.php

Ultimate Whitebox

The Ultimate Whitebox Hardware Compatability Lists is a list put together by the community that have had success with whitebox servers, e.g. unbranded or homebrew, DIY servers, which have been found to work with VMware Products.

http://ultimatewhitebox.com/

VMware Communities

This list is maintained and put together by members of the VMware community forum, that have had success in building whitebox servers.

http://communities.vmware.com/cshwsw.jspa

Edited:- Andrew Hancock, 24 October 2013.
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Author Comment

by:aoviking
ID: 39599568
Thanks this was helpful.  Most if the whitebox stuff looks like it is kind of old (2009).  Anything newer?
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LVL 117
ID: 39599649
The newer whiteboxes tested are referenced on the

http://communities.vmware.com/cshwsw.jspa
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Author Comment

by:aoviking
ID: 39601431
So this is literally a case where there is too much info.  Could you recommend a server build where I could support at least 4 sockets (so I think that would be up to 16 cores?) of a pretty fast processor and at least 32 G of memory?  I will probably need a SATA controller and dual gigabyte lan access.  I will put in at least 4 TB sata drives in a Raid 1?  Does that make sense?  Of course it needs to be VM ware compatible.  Thanks !
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Author Closing Comment

by:aoviking
ID: 39601884
Thanks Andrew-
    I appreciate the references .  As I indicated in my last comment I was hoping to have someone helping me make some specific choices. like which motherboard, etc..  I am new to the whole VM thing ( I have a VM Server but I was more an observer than hands on in its construction).  I am trying to figure what makes sense so I can build a box and consolidate some existing hardware.  I should be able to figure something out with the references you gave.  Thank You.
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LVL 117
ID: 39602614
Unless, someone has actually built a server out of bits, it's difficult to provide a exact answer.

ESXi is a enterprise commerical hypervisor, whjich is often used with Certified Kit.

I would recommend looking at the HCLs, and purchasing a certified server.
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