IBM x3650 M3 Rackserver - What configuration for VMHost

asker

New Member
Feb 11, 2016
7
0
1
30
Hi community
I need a Server for hosting several virtual machines.
I want to run 3-5 Linux systems (mostly Debian) VMs for webserver, database, GitLab, ldap and also a fileserver.
I can choose between these two servers:

1. IBM x3650 M3 Rackserver
1x Intel Xeon E5645 Hexa Core 2.40GHz
64GB DDR3 RAM ECC R
2x146GB SAS 2.5"

2. IBM x3650 M3 Rackserver
2x Intel Xeon E5620 QUAD Core 2.40GHz
32GB DDR3 RAM ECC R
1x146GB SAS 2.5"

The HDD space isn't that important, I'm going to extend it anyway.

Now my questions:
1. Which configuration of the IBM x3650 M3 Rackserver should I choose for my use case and why?
2. Is extending the HDD Space a big deal? Can I just use any 2.5" SAS HDD, for example a HP one or only IBM HDDs?
3. Can both of these Server run Windows Server 2012 R2?

Thank you very much.
 

vl1969

Active Member
Feb 5, 2014
611
68
28
Neither, 3650 are not vm capable. I have 2 of them in the office and they are useless as vm hosts. At least for windows. You might be able to run esxi or xen on them, not sure about kvm, but hyper-v is not working on this hardware.
 
  • Like
Reactions: asker

asker

New Member
Feb 11, 2016
7
0
1
30
Neither, 3650 are not vm capable. I have 2 of them in the office and they are useless as vm hosts. At least for windows. You might be able to run esxi or xen on them, not sure about kvm, but hyper-v is not working on this hardware.
Thanks for the fast answer vl1969.
Oh, that doesn't sound good.
Do you know why they are not Hyper-V capable? I thought virtualization with Intel Xeon Processor should always work.
 

vl1969

Active Member
Feb 5, 2014
611
68
28
Thanks for the fast answer vl1969.
Oh, that doesn't sound good.
Do you know why they are not Hyper-V capable? I thought virtualization with Intel Xeon Processor should always work.
you know what, I just double check the specs,as I got to the office, and you have different CPUs in your servers. your CPUs might actually be capable. you will not know until you try though.
in my servers the CPU are older. so they luck the proper virtualization extension implementation.
yours are newer so they might be compatible. but you never know.
if you have other choice do not use this servers, just in case, if you have no other choice try and see.
they will run the 2012 server just fine it's hyper-v that might not work. also you might be able to load esxi or xen on it.

PS>> I also reread your post, since you plan to run Linux VMs on it I would go with Linux host over Hyper-V. try Proxmox/ if you can do a trial run, just boot a liveCD of Debian or Mint
and run
egrep --color "(vmx|svm)" /proc/cpuinfo

OR

egrep -wo 'vmx|lm|aes' /proc/cpuinfo | sort | uniq\
| sed -e 's/aes/Hardware encryption=Yes (&)/g' \
-e 's/lm/64 bit cpu=Yes (&)/g' -e 's/vmx/Intel hardware virtualization=Yes (&)/g'



if there is a return result and vmx or svm is highlighted you should be fine.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: asker

asker

New Member
Feb 11, 2016
7
0
1
30
you know what, I just double check the specs,as I got to the office, and you have different CPUs in your servers. your CPUs might actually be capable. you will not know until you try though.
in my servers the CPU are older. so they luck the proper virtualization extension implementation.
yours are newer so they might be compatible. but you never know.
if you have other choice do not use this servers, just in case, if you have no other choice try and see.
they will run the 2012 server just fine it's hyper-v that might not work. also you might be able to load esxi or xen on it.

PS>> I also reread your post, since you plan to run Linux VMs on it I would go with Linux host over Hyper-V. try Proxmox/ if you can do a trial run, just boot a liveCD of Debian or Mint
and run
egrep --color "(vmx|svm)" /proc/cpuinfo

OR

egrep -wo 'vmx|lm|aes' /proc/cpuinfo | sort | uniq\
| sed -e 's/aes/Hardware encryption=Yes (&)/g' \
-e 's/lm/64 bit cpu=Yes (&)/g' -e 's/vmx/Intel hardware virtualization=Yes (&)/g'



if there is a return result and vmx or svm is highlighted you should be fine.
I just checked the two processor on the Intel page, it looks fine, doesn't it?



________________________________________________________________

 

vl1969

Active Member
Feb 5, 2014
611
68
28
yes look better than mine.
mine CPUs only have VT-x this one also have VT-d which is what Hyper-v and many other hypervisors need.
so you should be fine. sorry for my rushed replied. some times I forget that not all CPUs are made equal, even if they are in the same family.
 

asker

New Member
Feb 11, 2016
7
0
1
30
yes look better than mine.
mine CPUs only have VT-x this one also have VT-d which is what Hyper-v and many other hypervisors need.
so you should be fine. sorry for my rushed replied. some times I forget that not all CPUs are made equal, even if they are in the same family.
No problem, I really appreciate your messages.

I found this on the Microsoft website:
To install and use the Hyper-V role, you need the following:
  • An x64-based processor. Hyper-V is available in x64-based versions of Windows Server 2008—specifically, the x64-based versions of Windows Server 2008 Standard, Windows Server 2008 Enterprise, and Windows Server 2008 Datacenter.

  • Hardware-assisted virtualization. This is available in processors that include a virtualization option—specifically, Intel Virtualization Technology (Intel VT) or AMD Virtualization (AMD-V).

  • Hardware-enforced Data Execution Prevention (DEP) must be available and be enabled. Specifically, you must enable the Intel XD bit (execute disable bit) or AMD NX bit (no execute bit).
So I really think Hyper-V works with the processor.

Now one last question, which Server would you finally choose in my situation / for my use case?

Thanks four your help.
 

vl1969

Active Member
Feb 5, 2014
611
68
28
it depends on the price difference.
if price is not an issue (either the price dif. is insignificant or irrelevant) go for a better spec setup.
#1 there is no such thing as too much RAM or CPU power
#2 it is better to have more power/resources if you can get them that to upgrade later.
upgrade to hardware means down time. always.

your needs/wants might change.
you can always find a way to use the additional resources/power.

even though you mostly run Linux(at least what I gather from the targeted specs)
the Database needs lot's of RAM and can really benefit from extra CPU cores
web server and file server can use the extra CPU and extra ram to caching etc.

they both should do fine with what you want,
but if you can, and price is not an issue go for the better specs. IMHO
 

Evan

Well-Known Member
Jan 6, 2016
3,144
530
113
I would choose the single 6-core.
Reason is that it has more ram which you nearly always run out of well before your run out of cpu, and talking about cpu a single cpu system is generally more efficient than multi socket systems as there is not have the cache coherence overhead. That is to say 8 cores in 2 sockets will be slower than a single 8 core cpu. So in effect the 6 core won't be as far behind the 2x4 core as it may look. (Note there is reasons why multi sockets have advantages but for basic VM hosts I think less sockets are better)
If you pay for power I would also take the single cpu machine.

Final advantage if you do need more cpu I assume you may be able to find one cheap to populate the 2nd socket if needed.
 

vl1969

Active Member
Feb 5, 2014
611
68
28
I would choose the single 6-core.
Reason is that it has more ram which you nearly always run out of well before your run out of cpu, and talking about cpu a single cpu system is generally more efficient than multi socket systems as there is not have the cache coherence overhead. That is to say 8 cores in 2 sockets will be slower than a single 8 core cpu. So in effect the 6 core won't be as far behind the 2x4 core as it may look. (Note there is reasons why multi sockets have advantages but for basic VM hosts I think less sockets are better)
If you pay for power I would also take the single cpu machine.

Final advantage if you do need more cpu I assume you may be able to find one cheap to populate the 2nd socket if needed.
just an observation here but I do suspect that the 6-core machine supports dual CPU it just configured with one. if I am right you can always add second CPU and more RAM later :)
 

Evan

Well-Known Member
Jan 6, 2016
3,144
530
113
Yes, should just be able to add the 2nd cpu.
The memory config for 56xx on both machines seems odd, I would have expected 24,48,72,96gb options, not 32,64.
Means the memory is not optimum configuration
 

vl1969

Active Member
Feb 5, 2014
611
68
28
Yes, should just be able to add the 2nd cpu.
The memory config for 56xx on both machines seems odd, I would have expected 24,48,72,96gb options, not 32,64.
Means the memory is not optimum configuration
yes, looks like not an optimal setup for this server.
it supposed to have 9 slots per CPU
and depending on memory type you can use either all 9 or 6
ie. pc3l-8500 cl7 is only 6 per CPU supported.
strange...
 

asker

New Member
Feb 11, 2016
7
0
1
30
Yes, should just be able to add the 2nd cpu.
The memory config for 56xx on both machines seems odd, I would have expected 24,48,72,96gb options, not 32,64.
Means the memory is not optimum configuration
Okay that sounds great. 64GB is fine for me. Thanks for your help too.
I just got the price for the single CPU (Intel Xeon E5645 Hexa Core 2.40GHz), it's 500USD. Is this price realistic and worth it?
 

Quasduco

Active Member
Nov 16, 2015
129
46
28
109
Tennessee
Okay that sounds great. 64GB is fine for me. Thanks for your help too.
I just got the price for the single CPU (Intel Xeon E5645 Hexa Core 2.40GHz), it's 500USD. Is this price realistic and worth it?
Feels high to me - I have gotten similar servers and added cpus for ~$350-400, and mine were SuperMicros.

I'd personally rather SuperMicro, because they make good stuff, and because I don't like all of the vendor lock-in and update BS most of the vendors do...
 

Evan

Well-Known Member
Jan 6, 2016
3,144
530
113
HP DL380 G7 had the same CPU's and specs, based on what I know of prices for them I would not really say this is a great price. (probably not terrible either if there is even 30 days warranty from the seller if it's a company)
I would probably say worth about $350
 

asker

New Member
Feb 11, 2016
7
0
1
30
Feels high to me - I have gotten similar servers and added cpus for ~$350-400, and mine were SuperMicros.

I'd personally rather SuperMicro, because they make good stuff, and because I don't like all of the vendor lock-in and update BS most of the vendors do...
I'm really sorry, I mistyped.
It's 500USD for the whole server with the built in Hexa Core Processor and 64GB RAM.
Is this a realistic and good price for the server?
 
Last edited:

asker

New Member
Feb 11, 2016
7
0
1
30
My price of $350-400 included ram and CPUs, so no, your $500 isn't that great of a deal, sorry.
Ok thanks for your help.
I should mention that I live in Switzerland and it's a really expensive country as you may know, so if a price of a product is 100USD cheaper in the US, it's kind of a great deal here in Switzerland.
So thanks to the help of you all I feel now ready to buy this server.
It's good to know that when I reach the performance limits with this hardware setup, I'm able to upgrade the RAM and get a second CPU.