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building a machine for studies,certs,testing

Discussion in 'The Lounge - Off Topic' started by rockstar6181, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. rockstar6181

    rockstar6181 Byte Poster

    My current machine is soon to be 5 years old and is struggling to do the things I require. I will be building a new computer in coming weeks and am at the stage of putting together a few ideas of a) what I want to use it for and b) the spec

    I want this computer be used mainly for studying, testing etc

    The heart of the machine will be:

    Ivy Bridge CPU
    32GB Ram
    2 SSD Sata6 HDDs

    My main focus with the studies is Microsoft tech with maybe some VMware and CTX stuff thrown in later

    I would like the main OS to be Windows 7 or 8 and running Vmware workstation 9

    the plan would be then to set up multiple VMs inside here to create different forests, domains, use microsoft products such as SCCM,Exchnage,Lync,Sharepoint - I would like to set up some interesting labs up and learn as much as possible.

    I can foresee this computer being built needing to run maybe up to 15 Vms at once. I think the spec above should be ok to handle this - I asssume others have labs set up at home? can anyone give any feedback on the above and if you do have any interesting labs set up how many Vms to do run etc

    (I would like 1 machine to be able to do all this on to avoid cost,noise,heat and space req).

    Certifications: A/N+ MCSA 2003
  2. dales

    dales Terabyte Poster

    That sounds fine to me most Microsoft server platforms work fine with 1GB of ram given to each VM . Sccm would probably require more. I've got a homebrewvbox with an and CPU Can't remember which one now and 16GB of ram in it plus a couple of ssds, which runs a treat . Its nothing special and cost me about 300 for the parts minus the ssds and it uses win 7 as the host and vmware workstation . It runs as partr of my lab about 9 VM quite happily with room for more, consisting of 2012 domain controllers , virtual centers , vyatta routers , xenapp and xendesktop boxes with additional boxes for their components. I do also have a n40l which I use for xendesktop desktop vms .

    For your usage the spec sounds fine , just make sure to install as little ad possible in the host is so you get best performance and less chance of something jiving with something else.
    Certifications: vExpert 2014+2015+2016,VCP-DT,CCE-V, CCE-AD, CCP-AD, CCEE, CCAA XenApp, CCA Netscaler, XenApp 6.5, XenDesktop 5 & Xenserver 6,VCP3+5,VTSP,MCSA MCDST MCP A+ ITIL F
    WIP: Nothing
  3. GSteer

    GSteer Megabyte Poster

    Sounds ok to me.

    I'm running Hyper-V Client on a Win 8 box here with 16GB of RAM. My current 2008 lab is running off of a 80GB OCZ Vertex 2 SSD, so that's:

    2x 2008 R2 DC's full install - 2GB RAM each
    1x 2008 R2 DC core install - 1GB RAM
    1x Win 7 client - 1GB RAM

    Got another 10 VMs (2003 lab + other misc things) sitting on this system but their VHDs are on an HDD as they're not currently active enough for me to need super up/down speeds from them. I wouldn't want to run more than 2, or at a push 3, of them from a single HDD spindle.

    As and when I move onto my 2012 lab the 2008 boxes will move to the HDD and new VMs for the 2012 put on the SSD. Best combination of cost vs speed imo.

    In terms of size that's where the SSDs eventually fall over unless you're buying 256GB versions. Each 2008 install runs to around 12GB for the fulls, 5.5GB for the core with Win 7 sitting at 20GB. You could of course make a master and then use differencing disks, in Hyper-V at least.

    The main Win 8 OS is running off of a Vertex 3 MaxIOPs SSD, Core i5-2500K @ 4.8GHz which barely get's it's sides touched unless I'm thrashing it with Photoshop/Lightroom.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
    Certifications: BSc. (Comp. Sci.), MBCS, MCP [70-290], Specialist [74-324], Security+, Network+, A+, Tea Lord: Beverage Brewmaster | Courses: LFS101x Introduction to Linux (edX)
    WIP: CCNA Routing & Switching

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