Go Back   Team-BHP > Around the Corner > Shifting gears > Gadgets, Computers & Software


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 9th May 2008, 20:55   #1
BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Pune
Posts: 213
Thanked: 0 Times
Default Virtualization Capable Workstation

Hey Folks,

I am looking to build a workstation for running VMware & other Virtualization technologies with commodity hardware as I can't afford the expensive Dell / IBM wares. I need to simultaneously run more than 4-6 VMs and hence the requirement.

Currently I am considering the following configuration.

Processor - Q 6600/6700 or Q9450 (Adv. - 12 MB L2 cache) (Can they be used as dual processor as in MP)

RAM - 4 GB (G-Skill / OCZ / Corsair Performance Chips)

Mobo- Need help on this one. Not sure about GigaByte / Asus / Tyan.

Storage - Can SATA2 do the job for me or I need to go for SAS?

Power Supply - ??


I am not looking to use this for gaming much. I am also considering booting it with RAID-0 with an option to boot from LAN using iSCSI with another comp working as storage server and taking off the I/O overhead off the server leaving it for pure processing job.

I will be keeping all my imp. data separate on USB and other hard drives just so VMs don't mess up.

I am sure I am leaving out many imp. details. Please keep them coming as I need to start building it soon.
given2fly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th May 2008, 21:24   #2
Distinguished - BHPian
 
condor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Speed-brkr City
Posts: 10,319
Thanked: 3,661 Times
Default

Check VMWare's website for recommended configs. Size your desktop based on their recommendations.

Check if memory allocated to each instance is shared or exclusive. Diskspace reqd will be cumulative of space allocated to each instance.
condor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th May 2008, 23:37   #3
Senior - BHPian
 
aaggoswami's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Vadodara
Posts: 4,628
Thanked: 1,318 Times
Default I can help a bit.

The following is the configuration I would suggest.
Processor : Intel Core 2 Quad Q6700 11,000

Motherboard: (1) ASUS P5N32-E SLI 12,800
(2) XFX Nvidia 680i LT SLI 10,200

RAM : G-Skill F2-6400CL4D - 1GB*4 DDR2 -800 7,000

Hard Disk: 2X W.D. Caviar RE2, 500GB in RAID 0 14,400

Graphics card:(1) MSI 8800GT OC Version 13,000
(2) MSI 8800GT OC Version 2 * 26,000
(3) Zotac GeForce 9800 GTX Amp Edition 25,000




Before venturing for ASUS remember that it has got the worst RMA and is not recomemded. XFX is preferrable and it has very low problem rate.

Regarding the power supply, 1200W is what is preferrable for you and go for cooler master. Sorry, I dont the price of this.
aaggoswami is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th May 2008, 00:21   #4
Team-BHP Support
 
tsk1979's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 22,852
Thanked: 15,407 Times
Default

If possible use separate HDDs for your different Virtual OSs. On my AMD 64 system if I ran 2 virtual OSs(One Slackware and another Gentoo) it would thrash like crazy. Maybe more ran(I had 1GB) could have taken care of the problem, but from the logs etc., I could make out that 3 OSs(1 real 2 virtual) accessing the same HDD is not really a good idea.
If you are okay with a huge motherboard, go for a dual processor unit and use 2 quad cores.
tsk1979 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th May 2008, 01:16   #5
Senior - BHPian
 
reignofchaos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 2,177
Thanked: 1,096 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaggoswami View Post

Motherboard: (1) ASUS P5N32-E SLI 12,800
(2) XFX Nvidia 680i LT SLI 10,200

Graphics card:(1) MSI 8800GT OC Version 13,000
(2) MSI 8800GT OC Version 2 * 26,000
(3) Zotac GeForce 9800 GTX Amp Edition 25,000
The thread creator mentioned no gaming so there's no need for such an expensive video card. Nor is there need for SLI. Trust me on this the 680i chipset is nothing but trouble. I have one and the number of times I've had to reset it and discharge caps for boot failure, i've lost count. Absolutely not worth it. Any X38/X48/P35 boards is a much much better option.
reignofchaos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th May 2008, 09:27   #6
Senior - BHPian
 
aaggoswami's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Vadodara
Posts: 4,628
Thanked: 1,318 Times
Default Yes, my mistake.

Quote:
Originally Posted by reignofchaos View Post
The thread creator mentioned no gaming so there's no need for such an expensive video card. Nor is there need for SLI. Trust me on this the 680i chipset is nothing but trouble. I have one and the number of times I've had to reset it and discharge caps for boot failure, i've lost count. Absolutely not worth it. Any X38/X48/P35 boards is a much much better option.
The Details about TYan
S5393
Tyan* S5393 Motherboard
More details avaliable here.
::Tyan Computer Corporation:: System Boards detail

S5396
Tyan* S5396 Workstation Board
More details avaliable here.
::Tyan Computer Corporation:: System Boards detail

The following are motherboards from Intel.

DP35DP with P35 chipset and ATX form factor.
DX38BT with X38 chipset and ATX form factor.
DX48BT2 with X48 chipset and ATX form factor.

If you are using tyan, then Xeon processor should be used.

Also consider X38 Platinum and X38 Diamond from MSI:
X38 Platinum:
MSI -- MICRO-STAR INT'L CO., LTD.

X38 Diamond:
MSI -- MICRO-STAR INT'L CO., LTD.
aaggoswami is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th May 2008, 10:47   #7
BHPian
 
Amey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Pune
Posts: 679
Thanked: 189 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by given2fly View Post
Hey Folks,

I am looking to build a workstation for running VMware & other Virtualization technologies with commodity hardware as I can't afford the expensive Dell / IBM wares. I need to simultaneously run more than 4-6 VMs and hence the requirement.

Currently I am considering the following configuration.

Processor - Q 6600/6700 or Q9450 (Adv. - 12 MB L2 cache) (Can they be used as dual processor as in MP)

RAM - 4 GB (G-Skill / OCZ / Corsair Performance Chips)

Mobo- Need help on this one. Not sure about GigaByte / Asus / Tyan.

Storage - Can SATA2 do the job for me or I need to go for SAS?

Power Supply - ??


I am not looking to use this for gaming much. I am also considering booting it with RAID-0 with an option to boot from LAN using iSCSI with another comp working as storage server and taking off the I/O overhead off the server leaving it for pure processing job.

I will be keeping all my imp. data separate on USB and other hard drives just so VMs don't mess up.

I am sure I am leaving out many imp. details. Please keep them coming as I need to start building it soon.
Processor - Q 6600/6700 or Q9450 (Adv. - 12 MB L2 cache) (Can they be used as dual processor as in MP) ---> go for Q9450

RAM - 4 GB (G-Skill / OCZ / Corsair Performance Chips)-----> Good 4GB kits will be slightly expensive.You should get a VFM kit rated at 800 CL5 from Corsair,Gskill etc. Corsair 2GB x 2 C5DHX DDR2 800 is going for around 5.9K

Mobo- Need help on this one. Not sure about GigaByte / Asus / Tyan.-----> Gigabyte boards solid and reliable.Asus is also good.
If you do not wish to overclock, you may want to consider Intel Original boards based on X38/X48 chipset.I would prefer sticking to Intel chipset,taking into consideration your application.
Models - Asus Maximus Formula - 14k, Gigabyte X38 DS5 - 13K, Abit IX38 QuadGT - 12k, Intel DX38BT - no idea.Abit is a good board, have had opportunity to get hands on experience with it.

Storage - Can SATA2 do the job for me or I need to go for SAS? ----> SATA 2 is pretty fast.I seriously dont have much idea about Storage requirements in Professional setup.You are in a better position to decide on that.

Power Supply - Seventeam 700-800W PSU will suffice and should cost ~7-8k
You can also contemplate Corsair TX750 for 7.5k or Even Corsair HX620 for 6.5k

I hope this helps you in making your decision.
Amey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th May 2008, 10:48   #8
BANNED
 
sfilinto's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: mostlly bangalore
Posts: 102
Thanked: Once
Default

Interesting Thread. I work on Microsoft virtualization technologies and will add my 0.2
Yes I believe you can build a system which works better (faster) then the expensive branded hardware.
Consider the following points when choosing hardware.
1) Disk
The Disk is one of the biggest bottle necks when it comes to performance hence choose the fastest possible disk, and split the IOPS across physical disks. Choose the fastest interface you can afford.
(SATA, SCSI, SAS, PATA, iSCSI, IDE, USB)
(USB is pretty slow but not very far behind.) - Personally I use USB on my laptop where I cannot use the others.
Keeping the VHD files remote & connecting to them via iSCSI is also a fantastic idea.
2) CPU
Ensure the Cpu is capable of Intel VT (or AMD-v) - These are 17 instructions which will give you hardware assisted virtualization capability.
I would also suggest you buy a CPU which can run x64. That way you can use Microsoft’s Hyper-v due for release shortly. (I use the Beta version on Hyper-v & it performs great)
3) Memory
Choose the fastest & the as much as possible.
4) Display Card
Be Careful here. You do not need any fancy display card because the hardware is emulated. (Whatever physical hardware you choose the hardware inside the guest will be the same – S3Trio)
The risk of using a powerful display card is that the driver could eat up precious kernel memory thus causing a performance hit. (In fact I never recommend using anything other than a simple svga display driver on a server)
HTH & do remember to optimize the OS for virtualization after you have setup the OS.
sfilinto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th May 2008, 19:43   #9
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Thane
Posts: 12
Thanked: 0 Times
Default

Dude Ritesh here.

First thing:
Decide how much u can invest on the processor speed.
so the best proc can be a quad core if u need.

Memory is 8 GB nothing less as you already know that the VMs u use face claustrophobia.

For the IO:

option 1: Invest in a lean 1 gb memory system seperately if you have one lying around with a sata 2.0 card. Insert about 2 or 3 drives in a raid.
That is the Iscsi : Built from openfiler,Open-E iSCSI SAN.

Option2: Use a 3 disk sata on raid 0. for best IO. always prefer a hw based SAS card for optimal results, as cache matters.I suggest using a PATA for the base os as most OS' will work on it.

Oh don't use viridan it sucks (dont flame me on this) i have used it since beta. I have a few better options for virtualization. Anyone who needs it can send me an note on this. I suggest Parallels or virtualbox . These are lighter and work great.

Last edited by tsk1979 : 13th May 2008 at 08:16.
Ritesh Nair is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th May 2008, 22:18   #10
BANNED
 
sfilinto's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: mostlly bangalore
Posts: 102
Thanked: Once
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ritesh Nair View Post
Dude Ritesh here.


Memory is 8 GB nothing less as you already know that the VMs u use face claustrophobia.
this would depend on what amount of RAM the Guests are configured with.
i run a machine with 4GB ram and its more then sufficient.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Ritesh Nair View Post
Dude Ritesh here.

Oh don't use viridan it sucks (dont flame me on this) i have used it since beta. I have a few better options for virtualization. Anyone who needs it can send me an note on this. I suggest Parallels or virtualbox . These are lighter and work great.

Everybody has the right to express his opinion so i am not gonna flame you.
but do you mind explaining why you say viridian sucks ?

and i have heard of virtualbox but where the hell will i get it from ? also whats the support scene for this ? what does it cost ?
sfilinto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th May 2008, 17:35   #11
BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Pune
Posts: 213
Thanked: 0 Times
Default More Details

Been doing some searching. Considering the situation that I am going to run most of the MS Server products inside those VMs with a 64 bit host OS, I will go with any reasonably fast memory. I think I need not go for those with least latency ratings as they are mainly meant for Gaming folks. Right? Correct me if I am wrong. Also suggest which RAM is going to be good. I am too confused looking at the ratings out on the web.


Regarding processor, I am kind of drifting more toward Q6600 ($ 210- about Rs. 8500)unless someone can point out any distinct benefit of going with Q9450 ($380+). Check the following (Though mostly gaming performance which is not my primary concern but stability).

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 Review » Page 16 - Conclusion: - Overclockers Club

Intel 45nm 2.66ghz Quad-core Processor Tested - OverclockersClub Forums


What to choose between WD Caviar & Seagate Barrauda? Even there, Seagate has 2 options; 7200.11 (For Performance) & ES series (For Reliability)? Which one do you suggest. How about the boot/system partition on a faster drive and keeping the data on a RAID 0 made of something like Barracuda ES / WD Caviar.

Seagate's Barracuda ES hard drive - The Tech Report - Page 1


One funny thing I came across was no shop in Vashi (New Bombay) was stocking Seagate. They say that WD has a better onsite support (Is that RMA?) and that is why they prefer selling WD by majority.


Also, do we get any Dual-Processor board for C2D or C2Q? Just curious if there is any MP possible with these components.
given2fly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th May 2008, 09:13   #12
Senior - BHPian
 
aaggoswami's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Vadodara
Posts: 4,628
Thanked: 1,318 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by given2fly View Post
Been doing some searching. Considering the situation that I am going to run most of the MS Server products inside those VMs with a 64 bit host OS, I will go with any reasonably fast memory. I think I need not go for those with least latency ratings as they are mainly meant for Gaming folks. Right? Correct me if I am wrong. Also suggest which RAM is going to be good. I am too confused looking at the ratings out on the web.
RAM : G-Skill F2-6400CL4D - 1GB*4 DDR2 -800 will cost around 7,000 and will be stable.




Quote:
Originally Posted by given2fly View Post
Regarding processor, I am kind of drifting more toward Q6600 ($ 210- about Rs. 8500)unless someone can point out any distinct benefit of going with Q9450 ($380+). Check the following (Though mostly gaming performance which is not my primary concern but stability).
Q6600 is built on 65nm technology and Q9450 is built on 45nm technology. Its good to invest in Q945, and it will also perform better than Q6600. Any intel processor with Q6XXX series will be 65nm and Q9XXX will be 45nm.
Similarly, E6XXX is 65nm and E8XXX is 45nm core 2 duo.
45nm have performed better than 65nm processors. Q9450 is good deal but the cost increase is way too much against Q6600. Nevertheless, if you are able to afford Q9450, then go for it. You are future proofing your self.

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 Review » Page 16 - Conclusion: - Overclockers Club

Intel 45nm 2.66ghz Quad-core Processor Tested - OverclockersClub Forums


Quote:
Originally Posted by given2fly View Post
What to choose between WD Caviar & Seagate Barrauda? Even there, Seagate has 2 options; 7200.11 (For Performance) & ES series (For Reliability)? Which one do you suggest. How about the boot/system partition on a faster drive and keeping the data on a RAID 0 made of something like Barracuda ES / WD Caviar.

Seagate's Barracuda ES hard drive - The Tech Report - Page 1


One funny thing I came across was no shop in Vashi (New Bombay) was stocking Seagate. They say that WD has a better onsite support (Is that RMA?) and that is why they prefer selling WD by majority.


Also, do we get any Dual-Processor board for C2D or C2Q? Just curious if there is any MP possible with these components.
Seagate has one of the best RMA, but for your function needs, WD will serve better. The percentage of Defective HDD are very less as compared to Seagate. I again feel that W.D. Caviar RE2, 500GB *2 in RAID 0 (you need this ) is good option.

Regarding dual processor board,
Intel D5400XS is one option.
Here is the link:
Intel® Desktop Board D5400XS Overview
aaggoswami is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th May 2008, 12:35   #13
Senior - BHPian
 
NetfreakBombay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Bombay
Posts: 1,375
Thanked: 315 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
I ran 2 virtual OSs(One Slackware and another Gentoo)
Good to see another Slackware user

Coming back to topic:

I run 3 VMs all the time on Windows XP host. This is for development/tweaking/safety and not for professional usage. Performance is satisfactory so far.

For a budget of 70k, I'll build this system:
Name:  config_for_4_vms.PNG
Views: 597
Size:  11.8 KB

Advantages:
1. 2.6 GHz CPU with 6 MB cache.
2. 8 GB RAM (Cab be used for SWAP by VMs through memory mapped files)
3. 4 HDDs so that :
a. Either each VM gets its own HDD
b. With RAID 0, and two pairs of HDDs; two VMs share HDD

This config should take care of bottlenecks caused by HDD, and should be stable.
NetfreakBombay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th May 2008, 12:49   #14
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 1,428
Thanked: 30 Times
Default

If you need only software virtualization, you can go for something called VirtualBox. I am using this product on my Laptop and my configuration is something like this:

On one partition, I have Windows. I boot through Windows only for my iPhone synchronization with itunes. Other than that, I practically have no use of Windows.

On the other partition, I have Solaris with a network virtualization software called Crossbow installed. My idea is to replicate my lab on the laptop. So, I used VirtualBox to install three virtual machines (two Solaris machines and one Linux machine). I have created a virtual network out there and all the three VMs can communicate with each other. I have used a separate disk space which I have exported as an iSCSI target to all these VMs. They share this "disk". Since I work with such a configuration very often, I need not look for lab machines to test my code changes.

EDIT: VirtualBox is available for Solaris, Windows and MAC.
deepakhon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th May 2008, 12:50   #15
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 1,045
Thanked: 64 Times
Default

I just noticed that given2fly wants to run 4 to 6 VMs simultaneously. Like several others have mentioned, buy several HDDs to avoid the bottlenecks there. Also, the thumb rule that I would follow is to have 2GB RAM per VM so if you are planning to run high loads so I would recommend a minimum of 8GB RAM. Go higher if you can afford it.
hondadude is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How to make a 2WD more capable in offroad conditions? n.devdath Technical Stuff 17 21st September 2016 21:17
Thinking Aloud : 4wd Offroad capable Jungle Safari vehicle.....the build is on abheekg 4x4 Vehicles 135 28th November 2014 19:18
Is Desktop Virtualization with Hyper-V possible? Samurai Gadgets, Computers & Software 17 1st September 2008 14:30


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 01:33.

Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks