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Hardware Thread, Recomend me a server... in Technical; I need to get a new server. It needs to be capable of virtualisation, suitable to run at least 4 ...
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    Oaktech's Avatar
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    Recomend me a server...

    I need to get a new server.

    It needs to be capable of virtualisation, suitable to run at least 4 VM's serving exchange 2010 on one; corero, real asset management and nationwide cashless catering on another; a test VM for WDS and a temporary VM to allow us to snapshot and virtualize domian controllers one by one.

    Our current finance server is using 90% of a 160Gb sas drive, and our mail server is currently using 75% of 110Gb partition on a 160Gb sas drive, but our mail user base is about to almost double as we take on 2 more schools. Our domain controllers are currently using between 60 and 90% of various partitions totalling 500gb I would like to see what everyone recommends in the way of storage as I intend to reuse any drives I purchase now to make a san cheaper in the long run.

    The server needs to be capable of backing itself up to tape as our current solution is already at capacity. This will only be temporary however as within 18 months we are looking to migrate everything to a virtualised system with a san and nas backups.

    My preference is for HP proliant, but i am open to suggestions. I need to have a recomendation in place by the middle of next week.
    Last edited by Oaktech; 26th June 2012 at 09:19 AM.

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    What ever you do DONT snapshot a DC it will cause lots and lots of AD problems.

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    Oaktech (26th June 2012)

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    Oaktech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FN-GM View Post
    What ever you do DONT snapshot a DC it will cause lots and lots of AD problems.
    Ok, noted...

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    3s-gtech's Avatar
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    Personally, I'm looking at a DL385 G7 with Opteron 6176SE as our next VM host. Lots of cores, good initial amount of RAM, plenty of HDD bays if you want local storage for now, and good value. Has internal SD/USB if you want to put the hypervisor onto that. Not the most recent of models now, so may be some good deals going too.

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    Oaktech (26th June 2012)

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    HP DL385 with 12 core opteron processors I'd say. We just bought 2 of them.

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    Oaktech (26th June 2012)

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    Oaktech's Avatar
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    Ok, so i'm looking at the dl385, does seem like a good deal, what about storage? is 10k sas fast enough or do i need 15k? The choice of 2.5" 15k seems limited!

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    AButters's Avatar
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    Dell T710 is my pick of the bunch at the moment.

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    Oaktech (26th June 2012)

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oaktech View Post
    Ok, so i'm looking at the dl385, does seem like a good deal, what about storage? is 10k sas fast enough or do i need 15k? The choice of 2.5" 15k seems limited!
    10k should be fine for the load you've listed I'd say. If you were really unsure, you could just stick 4 disks in and create 2 RAID 1 arrays to split the load.

    Doubt it'd need it though!

    Quote Originally Posted by AButters View Post
    Dell T710 is my pick of the bunch at the moment.
    You'll be paying quite a significant chunk more per server for similar spec for the T710 than the DL385 G7. Having a cursory glance via the dell schools site indicates about 25% more at least for our server spec.
    Last edited by localzuk; 26th June 2012 at 09:44 AM.

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    jamesfed's Avatar
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    We have a HP DL165 G7 (little bro of the 385) with a AMD 8 core HE processor here, with a quite a few VMs on it rarely goes above 40% usage - the trick to server virtualisation is always in the storage speed

    In your case maybe consider a little storage tiering in a HP DL385 G7 - 4x 300GB 10k drives (exchange/ect) and 4x 500GB 7,200 drives (file storage) for example.

    Capture.PNG

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    I've had Novatech custom build our last server (and our storage array) and have been very pleased with the price/quality/support.

    Personally I spec up Opterons over Intel for the extra cores. I'd sas 15k SAS is an exensive luxury. Maybe looking at RAID-50 would give redundancy and spead if you can afford the extra 10k drives?

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    Oaktech's Avatar
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    Ok, so at the moment then i'm looking at the following:

    an HP DL385 costing roughly £4k2, and 5 IBM 10k 600Gb sas drives costing £1k9,

    total ex vat of £6k1

    or

    Dell t710 with the same drive, network and memory config but 6 cores of xeon 2.4GHz not 12 of opteron 2.5GHz, coming in at 4k. The Dell does not give me option to specify as chunky a processor as the HP.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oaktech View Post
    Ok, so at the moment then i'm looking at the following:

    an HP DL385 costing roughly £4k2, and 5 IBM 10k 600Gb sas drives costing £1k9,

    total ex vat of £6k1
    Novatech built me a storage array of 16x 450Gb 15k SAS drives for around £7900 a couple of years back. £6k sounds an aweful lot for the spec/use to me.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd0035 View Post
    Novatech built me a storage array of 16x 450Gb 15k SAS drives for around £7900 a couple of years back. £6k sounds an aweful lot for the spec/use to me.
    Remember, hard drive prices have doubled since then... Plus, an array does not include the processing power of a server.
    @Oaktech - what spec have you put in for that price?

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    You'll be paying quite a significant chunk more per server for similar spec for the T710 than the DL385 G7. Having a cursory glance via the dell schools site indicates about 25% more at least for our server spec.
    Speak to your dell account manager. The prices on the website are not an indication of what you should be paying. Dell was cheaper than any other for me.

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    AButters's Avatar
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    Also in terms of Xeon V Opteron you have to ask your self what do you need? DO you need lots of slow cores (Opteron) or fewer faster cores. Another thing to bear in mind is VmWare supports Hyperthreading so your Dual 6 core box suddently turns into 24 available cores.

    I always choose fewer, faster cores as with an 8 vCore limit in VMWare 8 slow opteron cores may not be enough grunt for a SQL or Terminal server wheras 8 xeon cores will be - but your milage may vary!

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