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Old 07-20-09, 09:42 PM   #1
MrCrassic 
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[GEEK] I pulled the trigger. This server build's ON.

The specs:
  • One (1) AMD Opteron Barcelona 2347 HE Quad-Core CPU @ 1.7 GHz.
  • 8GB DDR2 RAM.
  • Possibly four (4) 120GB hard disks, all in a RAID0+1 array or independent RAID 1 arrays.
  • VMWare ESX Server

Here's what I have in mind:
  • Right now, my Zimbra mail server is running on a AMD Athlon XP CPU at 1.8 GHz with 512 MB DDR RAM. I want to virtualize this, with two physical cores and 8GB of RAM dedicated to the VM. Question: Should I have the VM access a physical RAID array, which will require two 120GB disks mirroring each other, or should I just get two 250GB hard disks (in a RAID 1 array) and store the VMs on there? Am I looking at a serious performance difference between the two?
  • I also have a file/vpn server running on a Intel Pentium III at 450 MHz with 192 MB PC100 SDRAM. (File servers do practically nothing; the most expensive use for it is RDP.) I want to virtualize this as well, with one core and 1 GB allocated to it. I don't want to give it too much RAM, since it really won't be doing anything other than serving up files and such. These disks will all be external, possibly connecting via USB.

So for the server heads on here, what do you think of the setup? Is it too powerful, or do I need to crank it to 11?

Thanks a lot.
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Old 07-21-09, 07:59 AM   #2
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I usually work with Sun Systems or AS 400s. I'm of no halp here.

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Old 07-21-09, 09:20 AM   #3
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You can never have too much power....

The server will easily handle your proposed VMs.

We have 3 basic app servers (Win2003), plus 4 WinXP PCs used for remote access running off single ESX. Dual-core + 16gb RAM. The RAM is overkill but the CPU is right at the limit. Your quad should be no problem.

Re: RAID performance - for what your proposing to run on it, you prolly won't notice any performance hits. I always separate my VMs (physically) from the OS drive. We use a SAN for that.

As you'll soon see, once you start adding VMs, you'll prolly think of other things you want to virtualize. It's addicting.
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Old 07-21-09, 09:38 AM   #4
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should be more than enough to support up to a 100+ users on Zimbra. RAID should be fine too.
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Old 07-21-09, 04:26 PM   #5
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What?? No dual Nehalem Zeon's with 64 gigs of RAM and 10 SSD drives in a RAID 5? You disappoint me.
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Old 07-21-09, 06:13 PM   #6
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Sounds good to me. Order two and send one my way.

But why not get dual 500GB disks and then mirror them instead of 4 120s or 2 250s?
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Old 07-21-09, 06:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
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What?? No dual Nehalem Zeon's with 64 gigs of RAM and 10 SSD drives in a RAID 5? You disappoint me.
A) It's Xeon, and
B) It's way too much money for very little return.

Though with that, maybe I could finally run Notepad in Windows Vista!
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Old 07-22-09, 11:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrCrassic View Post
A) It's Xeon, and
B) It's way too much money for very little return.

Though with that, maybe I could finally run Notepad in Windows Vista!
Your Vista Experience Rating might hit 1.5!
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Old 07-22-09, 11:43 AM   #9
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Let's not push it.
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Old 07-22-09, 01:19 PM   #10
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I like the idea of having the RAID drives controlled by ESXi as opposed to having the clients managing it. The main reason is that you can move the VM to another machine in a few years without having to reconfigure it. Having the clients managing the RAID means that you have to reconfigure inside the VM if/when you upgrade hardware, or have to replace something.
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