So, in the olden days of ITidiots the two servers we had maxed out at 8GB each, which is nothing nowadays if you want to run any kind of Hyper-V based test lab, well not for hosting System Center 2012 anyway. So we needed something much betterer. Real servers are just too expensive for the amount of money I wanted to spend and I had an old ATX case kicking around so I thought I would use that. All I needed was a motherboard, CPU, some memory and some storage.
I gotta admit i dont know a huge amount about motherboards nowadays so I just wanted one that would work. So I thought I would check out ebuyer and found a socket 1155 motherboard that supported 32GB, was reasonably cheap, had onboard NIC, video, support for 6 SATA drives so I thought, that’ll do.
- Asus P8Z68-V LX Socket 1155 Motherboard - £62.90 (six month ago)
I wanted to stick with Intel and just needed one that supported Hyper-V really, I don’t think I am going to hit a bottleneck here. I went with an i7 which was a bit extravagant really, an i5 I am sure would be fine.
- Intel Core i7 2600k 3.4GHz Socket 1155 - £205.72
I have had issues with cheap memory in the past but found 32GB of memory on Amazon for under £130. Now I don’t normally buy cheap memory but you guys never donate so I am loathed to spend double that on crucial memory. So,
- Komputerbay 32GB (4x 8GB) - £129.00
For storage I was pretty sure with the use of differencing and dynamically expanding disks I probably wouldn’t use more than 500GB so I thought I would use a solid state drive as I had recently changed jobs and had a crucial 256GB used in my old work laptop, Add a couple of 250GB SATA drives from the old server
- Crucial CT256M4SSD2BAA 256GB SSD Cost: £179
- 2 x 250GB SATA 7200RPM drives
So after putting it all together, I am immensely happy and think I have acheived my goal of creating a nice speedy demo lab server for not much money really. You may get to actually see it run if Su-Fay actually edits next podcast. I now have the following servers running, you can guess what they are from the name I am sure
That’s 9 and still more capacity! Oh, and here’s how the storage is getting on.
I have loads of junk on the D drive but all the VMs are on the SSD drive with the exception of the ConfigMgr distribution drive which is on a separate vhd on the D drive.
It’s all good, but I really need to think of a backup solution. To be honest I have had an SSD drive fail on me before, but the responsiveness of these VMs are worth the risk.