VM server from consumer parts, thoughts?

Discussion in 'Overclocking & Hardware' started by Sico Music, Feb 16, 2019.

  1. Sico Music

    Sico Music Member

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    I'm wanting to build a machine to put a hypervisor on and run vm's on. My main wants are to have separate dev environments, plex server, networking (pfsense, maybe other stuff). I also want a mix of linux and windows environments. I'd also like to look into virtual desktop stuff as well, not sure if that requires a graphic card.

    I've considered getting a proper server, which I got some free ones (crap specs) but have realised they are extremely loud and from googling would draw a serious amount of power if left running 24/7. Happy to hear if people think differently though.

    So this is the machine I've parted out, I'll admit I haven't really dealt with building a machine for vm's before so I may of overspec'd it. I would prefer to save money if possible. The ram seems to be the biggest cost sink along with the CPU, but I figured for vm's more cores is always better?

    [​IMG]

    I'm also considering 2x250gb SSD's in RAID of some sort for storage of important stuff, don't know if I'd need a dedicated raid controller for that.

    Interested in everyone's thoughts. Especially if I can go down a cheaper route.
     
  2. im late

    im late Member

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    Is this VM host going to be mission critical (i.e. actually serving lots of workers in a business)?

    Or just for home/home office use?
     
  3. waltermitty

    waltermitty Member

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    If you want RAID, soft or hard, you want ECC.
     
  4. PsydFX

    PsydFX Member

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    What Hypervisor are you looking at? It will be worthwhile spending a bit of time checking compatibility before committing to the purchase of hardware.

    Also, RAID is not a backup. If the data is important, back it up properly.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2019
  5. Sipheren

    Sipheren Member

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    Thats basically my current system lol. You probably would want more memory if you want to run a few VM's. I run pfSense, Ubuntu and unRAID on a fairly simply i5 system, all runs great.

    Do you want hardware video for the VM's or just using vnc?
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Sico Music

    Sico Music Member

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    Just home office use hence the issue with noise.

    Backing up properly implies tape drives doesn't it? I figured RAID at least gives redundancy, if one drive fails I will at least still have my data, which is significantly better than my current solution of losing everything if a drive fails.

    I'm not sure if I need hardware video, PCoIP is something I'll be looking at. I would really like the ability to have a near seamless experience of a vm compared to my normal desktop and I've seen PCoIP pretty much achieve that.
     
  7. PsydFX

    PsydFX Member

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    A backup is just a copy to a secondary location, it doesn’t need to involve tape. It can be something as simple as regularly copying out to external drives, or to a cloud storage tier.

    RAID1 is only going to cover you against the loss of a drive.
     
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  8. demiurge3141

    demiurge3141 Member

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    Well you are not going to save any electricity if you leave threadripper on 24/7. It's best to have a power sipping Plex/pfsense box and a workstation.
     
  9. Slug69

    Slug69 Member

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    Buy a better case.
     
  10. th3_hawk

    th3_hawk Member

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    What are you actually wanting the machine to do?

    If it's just for you playing with different things then it's likely not to need all the CPU power since you're going to be mostly doing things one at a time?
    Similar story for RAM, what do you want to run concurrently?
    and what power do you want to have available to those machines?
     
  11. Matthew kane

    Matthew kane Member

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    Those are some fancy parts for just a simple VM home server.
     
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  12. Turbine

    Turbine Member

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    Sounds like you have a PC build itch that you need to scratch.

    Start small and see where you go from there playing with VMs.
    You will be surprised what you can get out of a NUC or microserver and it won't hurt the powerbill. Chuck it anywhere you have ethernet and power.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2019
  13. davros123

    davros123 Member

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    Yeah, I run pfsense, two windows and a bunch of linux on a celeron g1820 and shitty low end mobo.
     
  14. OP
    OP
    Sico Music

    Sico Music Member

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    True, that will probably be cheaper anyway.

    https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare/AMD-Ryzen-Threadripper-1920X-vs-AMD-Ryzen-5-2600X/3062vs3235
    Doing the calculator on that at 50% load puts energy cost at $150pa which compared to stats I saw on servers was around 1k mark. Unfortunately I don't have my power meter to see the draw on the servers, but for the amount of noise and fans its running I would think that's a realistic estimate.

    I'm considering now to downgrade to a ryzen though as they seem to use significantly less power.

    Why's that? It was a cheap case with 5 HD bays, the more expensive ones only had 3.

    I mentioned some things in the OP, but I will also be looking at data processing stuff as well which I'd want running 24/7.

    The problem with starting small is that I may buy something to find out its not suitable at all and a total waste of money. I'd rather get a fairly decent setup from the get go.

    Yeah I'm going to look at the Ryzens instead. The mobo for the TR is the cheapest one and still very expensive.
     
  15. davros123

    davros123 Member

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    My point was with your likely workloads in virtualisation, you do not need a stonking great processor.
    Mine is 2 cores and no hyperthreads and it does well. 12 cores is likely overkill.
     
  16. PsydFX

    PsydFX Member

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    What Hypervisor are you wanting to use?
     
  17. davros123

    davros123 Member

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    edit :what he said...esxi does not play nice with threadripper iirc.
     
  18. Turbine

    Turbine Member

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    The general advice here from people that have done the same thing is that it's overpowered for learning lab.
    I see the more likely outcome is an extremely overspecced server idling most of the time using excessive power.

    The cooler aspect if a small NUC setup..if it is not up to the task is to buy another NUC.
    Build a cluster..setup failover system..put a NUC at a friends place connected with a p2p link. Heaps more fun than an idling TR you occationally fire up Cinebench on.
     
  19. wwwww

    wwwww Member

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    You will find VMs on consumer hardware is more expensive and troublesome than it's worth. Try the HP ML350 Gen8 for a cheap and quiet server for VMs. Make sure it has the 460W PSUs, latest firmwares on everything, HDDs with thermal sensors (they don't need to be genuine to not pump up the fans to full blast with the latest firmware anymore) and it should run quiet.

    RAM is very cheap for these, got lots of PCIe slots for NVMe drives (though the 8x slots are underpowered for many high-end PCIe SSD options).

    Note the ML350e has the 24xx series CPUs for which higher end models are expensive so the ML350p maybe a better choice on a budget despite being the higher-end option.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2019
  20. PsydFX

    PsydFX Member

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    The only issue with NUCs is the lack of network interfaces, and options for expandability.
     

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