Virtualisation Labbing PC Build Advice and recommendations please!! :)

Qasim_KhanQasim_Khan Posts: 25Member ■■■□□□□□□□
Hello All

I was hoping I could get some advice on a PC build ( I hope this is the right Section)

I am currently looking to build a PC for Virtualisation Labbing. To attain Windows 7, Server 2012 and VMware Vsphere Certifications. I am also going to be using the PC for gaming and other general day to day activities.

I currently have a case ,GPU and 1000 watt PSU.
Below is a bundle I have found on Scan.co.uk

· Motherboard - Asus ROG Rampage IV Extreme Black Edition Ivy Bridge-E Socket 2011 (64GB Ram Capacity)
· Intel Core i7 4930K Extreme, Ivy Bridge-E, Six Core, 3.4GHz, 3.9GHz Turbo- Overclocked Upto 4.6GHz - Tuned to absolute safe maximum, Performance prioritised over acoustics paired with Corsair H80 hydro cooler
· 32GB (4x8GB) Corsair Vengeance Pro, 2133MHz, CAS 11-11-11-27, 1.5V

I will additionally purchase an SSD. I am thinking of going with the below

· 500GB Samsung 840 EVO Basic SSD 7mm SATA 6GB/s 3-core MEX Controller Read 540MB/s, Write 520MB/s 98K IOPS

Would this PC build suffice for labbing? What are its limitations?, are there any additional components I should consider buying?

Thanks in advance!

Comments

  • gc8dc95gc8dc95 Posts: 206Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Looks pretty good, just make sure everyting is listed for passthrough capability (vt-x). Also, previously the 'K' processors did not have this feature enabled. I dont know if that has changed.
  • Qasim_KhanQasim_Khan Posts: 25Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Thank you for your reply Gc8dc95

    I have just had a quick look. It seems to have the VT-X capability on this CPU
  • ExpectExpect Posts: 251Member
    makes me seriously consider buying a setup for myself :)
  • Qasim_KhanQasim_Khan Posts: 25Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Expect, if you seriously need it, trust me go for it. I have held back for too long. My current hardware just doesn't cut it for what I want it to do. I am hoping this new kit will really help!
  • RouteMyPacketRouteMyPacket Posts: 1,104Member
    Got to Ebay and look at Poweredge C1100, I am thinking about getting one for my lab for ESXi and run virtual appliances etc.
    Modularity and Design Simplicity:

    Think of the 2:00 a.m. test—if you were awakened in the
    middle of the night because of a network problem and had to figure out the
    traffic flows in your network while you were half asleep, could you do it?
  • GSXRulesGSXRules Posts: 109Member
    K didn't have VT-d (4690K/4790K do), Ks do have VT-x (3570K, 3770K, 4670K, 4690K, 4790K, 4770K)
  • kriscamaro68kriscamaro68 A+, Net+, Server+, Security+, Win7 MCP, Server 2012 Virtualization Specialist, MCSA 2012 Posts: 1,186Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    Got to Ebay and look at Poweredge C1100, I am thinking about getting one for my lab for ESXi and run virtual appliances etc.

    I would agree with this. Check out these threads:

    http://www.techexams.net/forums/mcsa-mcse-windows-2012-general/98468-hardware-setup-vm-msca-2012-testing-learning-box-2.html

    http://www.techexams.net/forums/virtualization/97521-hardware-selection-help.html#post823685
  • swefredswefred Posts: 13Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    An Poweredge will sound a lot I built my own in order to reduce noise. you can build a server with a Xeon 2609v2 and 64GB ram for a okay amount of money. Mine cost less then $2000 (in sweden inc 25% vat) and is quiet sins it uses water cooling.

    A good home lab is an absolute must if you want to study IT. I am waiting for the next gen intel NUC with DDR4. server in your palm with 64GB+ ram
  • jibbajabbajibbajabba Posts: 4,317Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    We should really have a sticky about that ...
    My own knowledge base made public: http://open902.com :p
  • EssendonEssendon Posts: 4,548Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Seconded. Sticky's needed mods!
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
  • swefredswefred Posts: 13Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    I would prefer a wiki for a topic like this since the spec changes all the time.

    I can add a question:

    For storage maybe a few TB large Sata disk then a SSD for Virtual Flash Read Cach ?
    all SSD might become expensive when the number of VM grows.

  • jibbajabbajibbajabba Posts: 4,317Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    I got a 480GB SSD and 1TB SSDH myself.
    My own knowledge base made public: http://open902.com :p
  • linuxabuserlinuxabuser Posts: 97Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Man you guys are all big spenders. I'd get 4 HP DC7900 workstations, stuff them with 16GB of RAM, and add an extra SSD.
  • jibbajabbajibbajabba Posts: 4,317Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Some people go out drinking, I spend money in IT stuff :)

    Which kinda is an investment if you think about it ..
    My own knowledge base made public: http://open902.com :p
  • Qasim_KhanQasim_Khan Posts: 25Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I live in the UK I don't think we can buy the Poweredge c1100 here. Just had a look on ebay its only available internationally. However it does look like a good choice, but I have no idea where i would put.
  • jibbajabbajibbajabba Posts: 4,317Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    I bought a T5500 on eBay for £99 .. came with 8GB of RAM and a Xeon E5520 ... Optional you can get a raiser to add an additional CPU and 3 RAM slots (default is 6)- cost me £75 ... Expensive stuff is RAM disks, but you will always have that
    My own knowledge base made public: http://open902.com :p
  • JeanMJeanM Posts: 1,117Member
    fyi - The older Xeons are DIRT CHEAP and you can get a server dual xeon board and can go past the 32gb limit that most desktop boards have.
    2015 goals - ccna voice / vmware vcp.
  • Qasim_KhanQasim_Khan Posts: 25Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Right I have my machine setup and ready for labbing :) I am hoping to start my 70-680 Exam cert -Any advice on labbing and setting up virtual machines woult be awesome! To begin with I have just installed VMWARE workstation 10!
  • EssendonEssendon Posts: 4,548Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Your VM's - Have a minimum of 2 DC's, and at least 1 member server and a client (Win 7). Keep Workstation's networking at host-only so things stay simple. For Internet access, use RRAS or another router to get out. I said 2 DC's so you can play around with replication/sites and services/DNS etc..
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
  • JeanMJeanM Posts: 1,117Member
    Then add gpo and WSUS + Exchange, it's fun :)
    2015 goals - ccna voice / vmware vcp.
  • Qasim_KhanQasim_Khan Posts: 25Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Thats great Essendon - What would be adequate resources in terms of virtual hardware resources for the Servers/dcs and Clients? Also will I run into any issues having them on the same SSD? - Secondly would you recommend using Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2012 for labbing?

    Jean once I have the core functions of my lab up and running I shall look into the Above ;)
  • GSXRulesGSXRules Posts: 109Member
    For lab use you should not have any problems with multiple machines on a single SSD. You would probably not have any problems with multiple machines on a single 7200RPM disk assuming you were not doing anything storage-intensive. I tested a 8 VM lab on 7200RPM (WD Black laptop disk) vs SSD and while the total boot/start time (which includes starting DC, iSCSI appliance, nested ESXi hosts, vCenter and then starting VMs once everything was up) dropped from 9 minutes to 7 minutes, once it was up you could not tell the difference unless you deployed new VMs or ran storage vmotion or some other serious disk activity.
  • EssendonEssendon Posts: 4,548Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    If I were you and just starting on the cert-front, I'd start with the new MCSE exams and lab up with Server 2012. Thing is by the time you get around to coming close to the MCSA:2008, the new MCSE would've gained traction with lots of companies and the cert would be in demand.
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
  • Qasim_KhanQasim_Khan Posts: 25Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Essendon I see where your coming from.Makes sense to start of with something newer.

    Which exam do you think I should begin with as a starting point?

    ideally in the long run I would like to get into a server administrator role as well as working with virtualisation. I am currently working in a 2nd line support role. I have been in the role for around 2years+ now so am looking to move up and progress. what Cert would be ideal for me to do first?.
  • EssendonEssendon Posts: 4,548Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    70-410 is what you should begin with, IMO. As for your career plan, I'd suggest you get the MCSA/E outa the way and start on the VCP right after.
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
  • Qasim_KhanQasim_Khan Posts: 25Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I currently have no solid experience or exposure with servers, so would the 70-410 be the best cert to begin with? Secondly I have the 70-410 book and lab manual by Craig Zacker. I also have the CBT nuggets videos. Would this be enough material to pass the exam? any other recommendations?
  • JeanMJeanM Posts: 1,117Member
    710 is a good start.
    2015 goals - ccna voice / vmware vcp.
  • macboy81macboy81 Posts: 34Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    im in the uk and i use website call swapz i managed to get my current amd asus rog setup from there for my laptop works well for my labs and i have just got a nice little mitx i7 setup for my new lab. so i managed to get rid of stuff i didnt want and got stuff i wanted without the cash layout :)
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