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  1. Junior Member
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    #26
    Hmm that looks interesting. Your setup is a bit confusing to me but I am pretty new to studying Server 2012-how did you come to that setup? how loud is that server? I may just throw it in a separate room. Feel free to PM me as I would like to order something soon.
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  3. Senior Member tprice5's Avatar
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    #27
    Quote Originally Posted by krjay View Post
    I'd probably throw another hard drive in your machine and dual boot. I did that for a while when I was on a budget.

    If you can shell out a few dollars at some point I'd pick up one of these: GIGABYTE Launches the BRIX Ultra Compact PC Kit . I threw an SSD and 16gb ram in it and have a portable lab. I bring it to work, give it power, and remote desktop into it as its connected to wifi. Great device for my situation.
    I seriously challenge the notion that this is a viable option for a virtualized lab. I checked out the specs on it and it's only means of storage is an mSATA SSD. At $75 you can get 120GB mSATA off Amazon. With these limited resources he is no better off than he would be loading VMware Workstation on his system now. krjay maybe only need 2 VMs and that may work for him, but you're going to want room to build out a few more virtual servers.

    The cheapest way to go is piece it together yourself. There are numerous sites to help with different builds. One of my favorites, and one I have mentioned multiple times is TheHomerServerBlog. Great site with tons of advice/tutorials on how to build cost effective, GOOD hosts.

    Best of luck.

    Edit: Here is a look at a build I finished this past weekend. I am using it as a htpc but it would function, and does, as a ESXi host. All brand new components for < $300 (not counting the mouse/keyboard). Also If you want to see how I built my host you can see that HERE.
    Last edited by tprice5; 04-18-2014 at 10:53 PM.
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  4. Senior Member kriscamaro68's Avatar
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    #28
    Well I wanted a physical DC to use and in order to setup a Hyper-V Cluster correctly you need AD. So the quadcore desktop is my primary DC. I then installed a bunch of drives in that server and setup a storage pool and made it a file server. The file server is for the Hyper-V Cluster and is used as the VM Cluster Shared Volume where the VHD's will be stored for the VM's. I then setup Hyper-V on the DC so I could use that VM to run the VMM server to manage the Hyper-V Cluster (the cluster is the 2 DL160's). All in all this worked great for my lab. The Storage in the desktop that was my fileserver\DC acted more or less as a cheap SAN to my Hyper-V Cluster.

    I have a few quad port and dual port nics in NIC Teams to make all this pan out as well. As for the servers. They aren't too loud. Maybe slightly louder then and aircooled gaming rig. They also don't draw a ton of power as they are the lower voltage CPU's and the ssd's help as well since they don't draw much power and run cooler then 15k sas drives so the fan's aren't going full bore.

    I also bought a 24port gigabit switch that could do LACP and jumbo frames. Hooked everything up to that and had 1 or 2 ports to spare.

    Let me know if you have any more questions.
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  5. Senior Member tprice5's Avatar
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    #29
    Quote Originally Posted by MrJimbo19 View Post
    You will need some additional Ram which you can find for not to much
    This is simply not true. RAM prices have doubled since 2013. Here is an article for why.
    Last edited by tprice5; 04-18-2014 at 10:49 PM.
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    #30
    My Lab :
    My home machine is an i7-2700k, 32GB ram, 3x 240+GB SSD's

    Currently my labs are not directly run under Hyper-v for one reason alone, you can't nest hyper-v easily. If you want to play with clustering you have to do some workarounds. Here is my solution.

    I run the following in a nested VM enviornment. In order to do this you need to run VM workstation and modify the vmx file in order to allow nesting Hyper-V. If you don't then the hyper-v role will not enable. I assign it 24GBs when I'm doing Lab work.

    Inside VM Workstation :
    • Inside 3x Hyper-V Hosts
    • Each Hyper-V Host has 6x VMDK "Luns", Which are separate 50GB Thin provisioned vmdk's on the SSD's
    • Deduplication is enabled on the Hyper-V Hosts (Amazing Savings)
    • Clustering is Enabled
    • 1x PFSENSE Firewall
    Inside the Hyper-V Cluster I run :
    • 3x Domain Controllers, 2 run MinWin.
    • 1x Print server, DHCP, MDT/WDS
    • 2x Exchange Servers
    • 1x SQL (8GBs ram)
    • 1x VMM/Orchestrator/SCCM
    • 1x DPM Server
    I run server core or minwin wherever possible, dedupe saves me a ton of space. Most of my servers are making use of a parent differencing disk to save space. Since I'm routing in and out of my lab with pfsense I can connect using my Workstations RSAT\Servermanager

    I have a freenas box which I connect the Hyper-V Hosts to via iSCSI, this is where I store all my install files. The speed isn't bad(I'm can push 130Mb/s through CIFS and 152Mb/s through iSCSI) But it doesn't compare to the SSD's)
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    #31
    Quote Originally Posted by kriscamaro68 View Post
    Well I wanted a physical DC to use and in order to setup a Hyper-V Cluster correctly you need AD. So the quadcore desktop is my primary DC. I then installed a bunch of drives in that server and setup a storage pool and made it a file server. The file server is for the Hyper-V Cluster and is used as the VM Cluster Shared Volume where the VHD's will be stored for the VM's. I then setup Hyper-V on the DC so I could use that VM to run the VMM server to manage the Hyper-V Cluster (the cluster is the 2 DL160's). All in all this worked great for my lab. The Storage in the desktop that was my fileserver\DC acted more or less as a cheap SAN to my Hyper-V Cluster.

    I have a few quad port and dual port nics in NIC Teams to make all this pan out as well. As for the servers. They aren't too loud. Maybe slightly louder then and aircooled gaming rig. They also don't draw a ton of power as they are the lower voltage CPU's and the ssd's help as well since they don't draw much power and run cooler then 15k sas drives so the fan's aren't going full bore.

    I also bought a 24port gigabit switch that could do LACP and jumbo frames. Hooked everything up to that and had 1 or 2 ports to spare.

    Let me know if you have any more questions.
    Nice setup. I have a similar setup using Dell C6100 in my basement. It's a 2U but comes with 4 servers in the 2U chassis (4 in 1). The density is great for running an MCSE lab. Two Quad core Xeons w/24GB of RAM in each server. 96GB total RAM and 8 quad cores seem like an overkill but it worked great for my MCSE 2012. I paid $600 for it and I have no regrets. Some people online complain that it's too loud but I have mine in a rack down in my basement and we don't hear it up on the first floor. It doesn't bother us when we are down in the basement either.
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    #32
    Ok I am thinking to start off getting this-http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dell-Poweredge-C1100-1U-2X-XEON-QC-L5520-2-26GHZ-NO-HDD-24GB-DDR3-Tested-/261199263261?pt=COMP_EN_Servers&hash=item3cd0b0761 d

    Same as yours but 24GB-should be plenty and then eventually get another one. Also I will get a small SSD for the OS. I basically want to run Server 2012 and Exchange and then probably a few server 2012 virtual machines or whatever makes sense. Just starting off in the book and I really need to get a server going. Anything else to start?
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  9. Senior Member tprice5's Avatar
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    #33
    ESXi has a footprint of about 4gb. You'd be best off getting a small thumb drive for the OS. That or partitioning one of drives so you're not wasting an entire SSD/HDD for the host OS.
    Also you might want to research the energy requirements of this server. Savings on the front end may mean higher electricity bill.

    Food for thought.
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  10. Senior Member kriscamaro68's Avatar
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    #34
    Quote Originally Posted by atari37 View Post
    Nice setup. I have a similar setup using Dell C6100 in my basement. It's a 2U but comes with 4 servers in the 2U chassis (4 in 1). The density is great for running an MCSE lab. Two Quad core Xeons w/24GB of RAM in each server. 96GB total RAM and 8 quad cores seem like an overkill but it worked great for my MCSE 2012. I paid $600 for it and I have no regrets. Some people online complain that it's too loud but I have mine in a rack down in my basement and we don't hear it up on the first floor. It doesn't bother us when we are down in the basement either.
    I was acutally on the verge of buying the c6100. I looked on ebay and was planning on getting the setup with 192gb of ram across the 4 servers but the price shot up so much I just couldn't bring myself to buy it. I also couldn't bring myself to buy anything less then the 192gb version for that server. I could have done fine with the same one you bought but knowing that there was more out there in terms of ram was more than I could bear.
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  11. Junior Member
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    #35
    RAM can always be upgraded though. I wouldn't have purchased it if I couldn't upgrade the memory down the line. 96GB enough for my current needs. That's how I looked at it. I bought what I could afford at the time but I will eventually upgrade the RAM as needed. I believe each node can take up to 96GB of RAM.
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  12. Senior Member tprice5's Avatar
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    #36
    The free version of esxi only supports up to 32gb, I believe.
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  13. Junior Member
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    #37
    Quote Originally Posted by tprice5 View Post
    The free version of esxi only supports up to 32gb, I believe.
    Didn't they remove that limitation in 5.5? I thought I read about that a little while ago.
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    #38
    I'm still not sure what I am going to do-
    kriscamaro68 -how much do you think it costs to power one of the c1100 servers?
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  15. Senior Member kriscamaro68's Avatar
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    #39
    Quote Originally Posted by pistolpete31 View Post
    I'm still not sure what I am going to do-
    kriscamaro68 -how much do you think it costs to power one of the c1100 servers?
    It ran about $10 extra a month for me give or take a little. That was with 72gb of ram in it and 4 ssd's. With that setup it averaged 90 watts while running. Used a kill-a-watt to measure. That was with a c1100. I don't know that I mentioned it but before the hp DL160's I had 2 dell c1100's. I sold them awhile back and made some $$ off them cause I originally paid $460 for them with 72gb of ram. It sucks now cause ram has shot the prices up $140. Now I wish I would have just kept them cause I ended up paying more for the DL160's then I made from selling the c1100's.
    Last edited by kriscamaro68; 04-22-2014 at 05:44 PM.
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    #40
    Quote Originally Posted by kriscamaro68 View Post
    It ran about $10 extra a month for me give or take a little. That was with 72gb of ram in it and 4 ssd's. With that setup it averaged 90 watts while running. Used a kill-a-watt to measure. That was with a c1100. I don't know that I mentioned it but before the hp DL160's I had 2 dell c1100's. I sold them awhile back and made some $$ off them cause I originally paid $460 for them with 72gb of ram. It sucks now cause ram has shot the prices up $140. Now I wish I would have just kept them cause I ended up paying more for the DL160's then I made from selling the c1100's.
    Did you have the C1100 24/7?
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  17. Senior Member kriscamaro68's Avatar
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    #41
    Quote Originally Posted by atari37 View Post
    Did you have the C1100 24/7?
    Yes it was on 24/7.
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    #42
    Thank you for all the info and help so far. So would I be fine just getting one c1100 with 24GB of ram and then putting an SSD in there? It is going to be strictly for lab purposes but I will probably join other computers to the domain and play around and would like to run Exchange 2013 as well and play with that. I could always add another if needed-but I really want to get started.
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  19. Senior Member kriscamaro68's Avatar
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    #43
    If you are going to just do 1 ssd for now get atleast a 250gb or more so that you have enough room for multiple vm's. The Samsung evo 250gb ssd's are usually pretty cheap. You can even get a 500gb evo for under $250. For now that should do what you need and get you started.
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    #44
    Thanks for all the info
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  21. Senior Member sacredboy's Avatar
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    #45
    Guys, what would you say about i7-4770, 32GB DDR3, 1TB HDD for doing labs with virtual machines? The only difference is that my aim is MCSE 2012.
    Best, sacredboy!
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  22. Senior Member kriscamaro68's Avatar
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    #46
    Quote Originally Posted by sacredboy View Post
    Guys, what would you say about i7-4770, 32GB DDR3, 1TB HDD for doing labs with virtual machines? The only difference is that my aim is MCSE 2012.
    I would say get and SSD or 2 and you will not regret it. The rest looks good.
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  23. Senior Member tprice5's Avatar
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    #47
    Quote Originally Posted by sacredboy View Post
    Guys, what would you say about i7-4770, 32GB DDR3, 1TB HDD for doing labs with virtual machines? The only difference is that my aim is MCSE 2012.
    Sounds good to me. How you go about it really depends on the virtualization platform. If you use ESXi you will need a separate computer to remote into the box. If you use Hyper-V then you can lab directly on the box without any secondary hardware.
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  24. Senior Member sacredboy's Avatar
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    #48
    Quote Originally Posted by tprice5 View Post
    Sounds good to me. How you go about it really depends on the virtualization platform. If you use ESXi you will need a separate computer to remote into the box. If you use Hyper-V then you can lab directly on the box without any secondary hardware.
    Well, actually I'm going to use VMware Workstation (if you were meaning a software for virtualizaton).
    Last edited by sacredboy; 04-29-2014 at 07:23 PM.
    Best, sacredboy!
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  25. Senior Member tprice5's Avatar
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    #49
    Then that will be plenty big. My only concern would be that the processor only has 4 cores but this likely won't be an issue. With virtualization the more cores the better. Bit of advice, don't overprivision your VMs. Server 08 R2 only requires 512MB RAM. Your DC will likely not service more than 12 systems so keep it light and beef up the stuff that you'll really be using.
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    #50
    Ok I am back at looking at labs and found two options that I'd love to hear opinions on, I will post a link to both items on ebay. First is just a blade server and the other is a laptop-i am posting the laptop because at my work we are getting rid of a few of these and I could buy one for $425 with about the same stats as the one below here. Or if there is something else I should get. I do want to run Exchange as well (possible two servers of that).

    HP EliteBook 8760w Intel Core i7 2760QM 2 40GHz 16GB RAM 120GB SSD 1TB HD | eBay

    HP Proliant DL160 G6 1U 2X Xeon QC L5520 2 26GHz No HDD 4XTRAYS 72GB DDR3 000491532004 | eBay
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