HomeLab Hardware - Virtualization

Discussion in 'Processors and Motherboards' started by krisp, Jun 23, 2017.

  1. krisp

    krisp New Member

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    Best hardware required to setup an home lab to learn All VMware virtualization concept with an support of 64 GB of DDR4 Memory.


    Please provide both AMD & INTEL i7 latest CPU with 6 or 8 core configuration with hyperthreading.


    Awaiting for response, thanks in advance.
     
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  2. Monoman

    Monoman Active Member

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    It seems like you already have your requirements listed, are you looking for parts list or pre-built servers? enterprise grade hardware or consumer level? Single host with nested virtualization or a network cluster (3 boxes + networking equip). And the most important question of all, what's your budget?

    Lots of questions my friend.
     
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  3. BlueLineSwinger

    BlueLineSwinger Active Member

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    Have you done any research at all into this yourself, or are you expecting us to do all the work for you?

    What's the typical workload? How many guest operating systems? What hypervisor? Network considerations? Storage considerations? What's the environment?

    Perform some searches, do some reading, put together what you think you need based on your requirements, then ask for comments and recommendations.
     
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  4. krisp

    krisp New Member

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    Thank you All for your replies, Appreciate you support and assistance.

    I have done any research on this ,at the start, i ended up in a dilemma state to select which brand of CPU will be best for virtulization home lab. Am planning to set up single host with nested VM`s loaded in it, per my requirement i planned to run 20 VM`s in it. VMware ESXi would be my Hpervisor.

    Am looking for an desktop/workstation configuration which need to have multiple cored CPU with a support Motherboard which can support 64 GB of ram to execute my operation as expected.

    Can any one provide me a configuration so that i can start my research on and post an reply with a configuration details for your suggestion.

    Kindly help me on this request.
     
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  5. Monoman

    Monoman Active Member

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    New or used? Desktop multiuse (IE, possibly gaming) or server class with IPMI?

    What storage platform are you planning on using?
     
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  6. krisp

    krisp New Member

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    Planning for a new one, Desktop multi use . Not sure about an server class hardware components .

    No dedicated storage as of now, Planned to implement a clusted NetApp virtulization lab to accommodate storage from external hard drive.

    The main purpose of this desktop to implementation is to install 1 or 2 ESXi host for learing VMware virtulization concepts and implement Clustered NetApp setup too learn Storage.
     
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  7. Rand__

    Rand__ Well-Known Member

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    If you limit yourself to 64 GB Ram -
    If you want to buy now - Xeon e3 setup (up to 4 cores, high clock available), if you can wait AMD might be better supported on vmware in the near future.
    If you need/want more cores - AMD or xeon e5 platform
    Not sure how much ram Intel desktop CPUs can cope with nowadays or they might work too
     
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  8. K D

    K D Well-Known Member

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    you mentioned that you are planning to run about 20 VMs. I'm not sure what VMs they are going to be but a desktop class quad core processor may not be enough unless they are all going to be shell VMs. If it is virtualization that you plan to study with vmware workstation any gaming system would do. My workstation runs an i7 4770 with 32 gb of ram and I have been able to run 2 auto lab instances parallely in vmware workstation.
     
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  9. krisp

    krisp New Member

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    Thank you all for your suggestion/recommendation.

    @ K D - can you depict me the complete configuration of your workstation, this can help me to get an idea to go with the same or the latest compatible/advanced one.
     
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  10. mbello

    mbello New Member

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    I always think that if you are willing to learn "server software", why not step-up the game and go with an enterprise-class server while saving some money?
    Really, find yourself a 4-6 years old server and have fun! They can cost less than a modern Intel i7 CPU, although shipping could be expensive.

    You do not want a server that doubles down as a desktop, if you do that you are starting on the wrong foot. Take your learning seriously, don't mix server (bare minimum OS) and desktop.

    I really like the Dell T410, it is very popular (easy to find used and cheap) and very solid. There are plenty of other options as well.

    Go the used server route and you will not regret.... as long as you are really serious about learning about all the stuff you mentioned.

    PS: myself I have some Dell servers which serve me great, but nowadays I think I would prefer to buy a supermicro used server because a supermicro chassis can easily be reused for some new machine just replacing the internals but with some Dell/HP/Lenovo servers it is not so easy.
     
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  11. K D

    K D Well-Known Member

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    Nothing special. An i7-4770k on an ASUS board with 32GB ram and a geforce 980ti with I just upgraded to 1080ti because I was having frequent display driver issues.
     
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  12. w0mbl3

    w0mbl3 Member

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    Cheapest serious option IMO is something like a dual-1366 motherboard (Supermicro or Tyan), a couple of LGA1366 hex-core Xeon's, and some cheap registered 8GB DDR3 ECC memory, plus a good power supply.

    e.g.
    Tyan S7012 motherboard = $50
    Hynix 8GB rdimm = $16ea x12 = $190 for 96GB RAM
    2x Xeon X5660 = $50 (6C/12T each, and 32nm)
    EVGA supernova g2 750W = $120
    2x HP Heatsink/Fan LGA2011 = $60

    For <$500 home lab with 12C/24T, 96GB RAM, IPMI/iKVM, etc.

    Next step up in budget is LGA2011 (Sandy Bridge/Ivy Xeons) which is a $200+ jump due to motherboard costs. Anything newer with DDR4 adds a lot more cost due to RAM prices.
     
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  13. Connorise

    Connorise Member

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    I want to add that you shouldn't be comfortable to spin 20 VMs from one workstation.
    20 VMs (from my standpoint) is the level of enterprise cluster that can contain either 2 or 3 hosts depending on hypervisor you choose and vendor.

    The NetApp could be expensive for you, as far as I understood your budget line. As the option, I would recommend checking the used hardware, that could be Supermicro either Dell T410 servers. Just bear in mind that the all comes to your budget, workload, hypervisor, numbers of hosts.
     
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  14. Tom5051

    Tom5051 Active Member

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    If you run 20 VMs you will need the full 128GB of RAM and several fast PCIe SSD drives for OS to run off.
    Have a look at the new 2066 motherboards and the 8+ core X processors. Quad core i7 will not cope.
    Might be cheaper to run 2x i7 based quad core systems.
     
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  15. Evan

    Evan Well-Known Member

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    Depends on the VM I would say, 8-core yes is nice or very fast 4-core with HT, memory depends what they need.
    A number of good ssd is required.

    As always remember to spec minimum virtual cores on each VM as required so to enable efficient scheduling!!
     
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