upgrading my lab

dhay13dhay13 Member Posts: 580 ■■■■□□□□□□
Well I currently have a PowerEdge 2950iii with ESXi 5.5 and a few VM's. due to noise and power consumption it stays off unless i am actually labbing. i also have a Dell Precision T7500 with a single dual core Xeon and 4 GB of RAM. i have Server 2008R2 installed on it and virtualbox with a few VM's. that server stays running 24x7 and the host is used as my file server with about 6TB of disk space. my plan is to upgrade to either 16, 24, or 32GB of RAM in the T7500. currently i have no VM's running on it and only fire those up when i am working on something but after upgrading the RAM i may leave a few running depending on what i get into.

question is, how bad will my single dual core Xeon bottleneck my system? is it worth me going to 32GB of RAM with only a single dual core. or is my CPU going to be so slow that i won't have enough VM's running to warrant 32GB of RAM?

my plan is to install securityonion and metasploit and whatever other cool toys i can find but those will only be running when i am actually labbing and be on an isolated network. i may install a SIEM or something along those lines and leave it running 24x7 to monitor my firewall or something. just don't want to spend the extra on 32GB if my CPU will be so restrictive that i don't push it that hard

my poweredge has 32GB of RAM but has dual quad core Xeons but since my T7500 already runs 24x7 i thought this would be the better plan? i currently use it as a file server and for my daily backups


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    BuzzSawBuzzSaw Member Posts: 259 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Honestly, I think it depends on what you are actually running in your lab. If you are just going to be running a couple VM's that will largely be idle, you might be alright. Obviously in a virtual environment memory overhead is a (usually) a bigger deal than CPU contention. A single core is pretty slow . . but you might be able to get away with it.

    It seems though that you are doing alot of stuff sort of on demand (aside from the file server). This might sound like a lame idea to you, but what about just investing in a powerful desktop, or laptop and running a local flavor of virtualization. You would have all the isolated networking you would need, it would be on demand, and it wouldn't be noisy or costly from a power perspective.

    FWIW: I ran my entire CEH lab from my Macbook. At one point I had 7 VM's running (including server 2012 and a DC) which only consumed about 10GB of memory at its peak with still left me with a solid 6GB of overhead that I could have thrown more at.

    I have just hit a point in my life where the simpler the solution the more appealing to me personally. But, I also work on big UCS enterprise level VMware deployments. When I am ready to do lab work, I just like it to be simple. I deal with complex too much already hah
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