Xeon Build or Pre-Built Budget Friendly Home Server for Virtualization

Discussion in 'Processors and Motherboards' started by klinks88, Jul 2, 2017.

  1. klinks88

    klinks88 New Member

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    Hello Everyone,

    Sorry in advance for asking any stupid questions. I will try to provide many details as possible and also provide details from my research.

    I need advice or suggestion for trying to build or buy pre-built budget friendly and power saver server for homelab virtualization.

    I would like to build homelab for learning Microsoft Hyper-V 2016, Microsoft Windows Server 2016 (AD-DS, DNS, DHCP, File Server, Remote Desktop), NAS, Linux, VPN, PFSense, Networking, Powershell and any other new technology that I come across.

    1.My Budget is around $500.00.

    2.I would like to build or buy a pre-built server that I might run 24/7 (not sure yet). I like Mini-ITX build. But, that might be costly or go over budget.

    3.The Pre-Built servers that I been looking at are example: Dell Precision T3600, HP Z600, Z800, Lenovo TS140 all are Xeon processor with 32 GB RAM.

    4.The Processor model I been looking at are examples: Xeon E3-1226, 1230, 1270, Intel Avoton C2750, Intel Xeon D-1541 (Out of my budget).

    5.I need to only run 2 Hard Drives example: 1 SSD for running VM's, 1 Mechanical Drive for storage.

    6.I might run around between 5 to 10 VM's.

    Hopefully, I provided enough information. Please help me or suggest build or a pre-built server.
    Thank you very much.
     
    #1
  2. Tom5051

    Tom5051 Active Member

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    You don't need to use a Xeon or ECC memory for a virtual host. I have been running VMs at home on non server grade hardware for nearly 10 years. i7 6700 processors currently. Will do everything you want. If you have a tight budget why not look at something in the consumer range?
    Currently I have two hosts with Asus z170 motherboards and DDR4 RAM. The max RAM is 64GB however I believe the z270 chipset can handle 128GB.
    While the Xeons etc are nice, they have a price premium attached to them as they expect mostly business customers. Consumer grade stuff is more than enough for home use.
    Just a thought.
     
    #2
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2017
    gigatexal likes this.
  3. klinks88

    klinks88 New Member

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    Thank you for the suggestion. What do you recommend for Mini-ITX build.What about Intel NUC?
     
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  4. Tom5051

    Tom5051 Active Member

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    Anything that can take an i7, 32GB or more RAM, preferably with onboard Intel nic. Other brands of NICS are hard to get working with esxi, hyper-v might be easier.
     
    #4
  5. Tom5051

    Tom5051 Active Member

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    Here's my setup
     

    Attached Files:

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  6. klinks88

    klinks88 New Member

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    Sorry, If I am asking same question again. I7-7700K Mini-ITX with 32 GB OR Intel NUC Skull Canyon?
     
    #6
  7. Tom5051

    Tom5051 Active Member

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    the i7 7700K costs $50+ more than the 7700 because it can be overclocked with an unlocked multiplier. Overclocking is not good for hypervisor stability.
    Save urself cash and get the non K version. :)
     
    #7
  8. klinks88

    klinks88 New Member

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    What about IPMI feature?
     
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  9. Tom5051

    Tom5051 Active Member

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    You will lose IPMI features with a whitebox server however I have not found this to be a problem really.
    The z170 motherboard has built-in fan control and temp monitoring. Most of them do now.
     
    #9
  10. T_Minus

    T_Minus Moderator

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    I'd take the following over consumer CPU i7-7700 and consumer motherboard:

    - Intel Xeon E3-1230 V5
    - SuperMicro Motherboard with IPMI


    Suggesting a consumer grade CPU is one thing but suggesting one of the highest end model that cost more than some fast XEONs, not a suggestion I'd make. Obviously if you're going for a NUC or something tiny you may be limited to your CPU selection but if you're going to DIY you can have a lot more options ;)
     
    #10
  11. mbello

    mbello New Member

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    If you live in the US, I would recommend you buy a used server. It is amazing how cheap used servers are in the US. If you really need the small form factor maybe get a used HP gen8 microserver (although it is not real server grade hardware) and upgrade it to Xeon if you really need it (or buy an upgraded unit).

    Another tip: use an old PC to do your FreeBSD/Linux studies and you can run the Microsoft stuff in the cloud. It could end up cheaper and you would learn about Cloud services as well. Windows licenses can be really expensive and Cloud can lower the bill for you.
     
    #11
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