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Old 01-21-2013, 09:31 AM   #1
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Default Computer/Server spec advice

Can anyone give me some advice on a computer(s)/server(s) setup that would be able to run the following fast and efficiently? I would want to be
able to run all of the following at the same time:

-VMware running a minimum of 15 Virtual Machines simultaneously, with each machine being allocated 2GB RAM.
-Windows Live Mail (containing 10 email accounts)
-Microsoft Excel - with 6 files open
-Internet explorer (1 web page)
-Mozilla Firefox (upto 10 webpages)
-Time planning software (uses roughly 1MB RAM)

I would also want the setup to be expandable in the near future if possible. Thanks.

Dan
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:33 PM   #2
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Default Re: Computer/Server spec advice

do you expect that each virtual machine will actually use the 2GB of RAM?

the obvious answer seems that you should have at least 30GB of RAM.

but that's not strictly true, since all machines will run windows all machines will have windows loaded in memory, and this will allow RAM to be shared at the virtual machine level all managed by the hypervisor and transparent to the OS.


if you look at the VMware site they have some provisioning and estimating tools available
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:57 PM   #3
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Default Re: Computer/Server spec advice

What type of hypervisor are you running? Bare metal or hosted?

That is will you install an OS then VMWare or will you use something like VMWare ESXi?
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:14 AM   #4
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Default Re: Computer/Server spec advice

root, at present the VM's will typically use between 500MB-700MB RAM. In future they may well use a closer to 2GB. If this is the case, are you saying that I could in theory have 16GB RAM installed (although RAM resources would be pretty thin with 15 VM's running)?

OhSnapWord, my VMware installation is hosted. I have Win7 Ultimate Service Pack 1 on the host and also on my VM's. Is a bare metal setup using VMWare ESXi more efficient than my current setup?
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:30 AM   #5
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Default Re: Computer/Server spec advice

I personally think that Memory is soooo cheap nowa days that 32Gb RAM wouldn't be unreasonable to install in a server anyway.

I think the processing power may be your problem a single processor running 15 VMs.

Would it a be possible so split this, so you had 2 computers with a decent processor and 16Gb RAM?

You will probably find it cheaper to build 2 i7 machines or even Xeon machines with 16Gb RAM than you would to find a processor / Memory combination powerful enough to deal with all of that.

Of course that does depend on the work being done on the VMs anything that slightly uses processing power is going to push any single processor to it's limits.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:42 AM   #6
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Default Re: Computer/Server spec advice

I have been looking into Dual Processor motherboards and buying 2 AMD Opterons with 32GB RAM. I have been given suggestions of buying multiple HDD's or SSD's to contain the VM's.

What do you think to a setup like that? Would this be a common way to host this many VM's for home use (not wanting noisy rack servers) or are there completely different options available that I have not heard of?
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:47 AM   #7
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Default Re: Computer/Server spec advice

Well it depends on a couple of things, do you mind how much you spend? and does it have to strictly be a server?

This is plucking a number out of thin air but I would guess for a dual processor board and two decent processors, 32Gb memory a nice sized SSD drive and more SATA drives you are probably looking in the region of £2,000 (rough guess).

If you were to go with two smaller machines with decent i7 processors and 16Gb memory you are probably looking closer to £1,300 or so?
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