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Need dual 2011 or 2011R3 recommendations please!

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Okay, I need some assistance.  I am not a noob and quite experienced with servers, virtualization, and unRaid.  I just lack time.  I have tried committing myself to doing research to find a motherboard to build a system off of and just keep running into roadblocks where either I find products in a dizzying amount of configurations without reviews, or I find products with reviews but they don't seem to have the features I am looking for.  Ideal motherboard:

1. Dual 2011R3 (to support the next gen procs

2. 8 memory slots is fine

3. Quad onboard NICs preferred, but have no problem adding more

4. I would like to use Intel Xeon E5-2620 v3 or Intel Xeon E5-2630 v3


I am looking to rebuild my unRaid 5 server with unRaid 6 and utilize Xen.  Something along the lines of:

dom0 - unRaid, Xen

domU1 - Sickbeard, CouchPotato, Transmission

domU2 - MediaBrowser3

domU3 - Win7 HTPC - passthrough Video card for light emulation gaming

domU4 - Win8.1 VM for the kids - they are little and will do light web browsing and maybe flash-based gaming

domU5 - Win8.1 Gaming PC - high-end vid card passthrough - I like games and eye candy


I would like to add more as I play around with building VMs like domain controllers and such for MCSE re-cert prep...hence the additional horsepower.  Am I overthinking this?  Is a dual socket setup overkill?  I don't mind going single socket (maybe an 8 core with hyperthreading), if I can ensure I get everything VM'd with decent video recoding potential for streaming video on the HTPC or Rokus around the house.

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If you are going to game off of it then a dual socket is not out of the question.  I do wonder why you would want to game on it though?  Pay more for worse performance.


As far as the MCSE prep, you'll probably run out of RAM long before CPU.  16:1 is a decent consolidation ratio for lighly used servers at least in the VMware world.  How many VM guests you planning on running for your lab?


I run my server with dual 4 core processors that are quite old in comparison.  Several Plex streams, SABnzbd running full steam, and Bluecherry with a couple camera's, and it usually is less then 3 cores used.


The only time I have ever stressed it CPU wise is when I started up a 50 router config in GNS3...


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Thanks for the opinions and info.  I can exclude the gaming computer...was just thinking the consolidation would be nice but I know there are trade-offs.  I'm too used to overbuilding with enclosures, blades, multi-rack, fiber HBAs, etc.  I am currently thinking maybe 10 servers max for a lab to get a full multisite AD, Exchange, DFS setup.  GNS3 isn't out of the question either, but I'm pretty certain I won't be doing 50 routers.  I would aim for about 64GB of RAM.


So without the heavy gaming VM looking okay with a single hex core Xeon?

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I know what you mean about working at enterprise class scales then having to go home and slum it up with a single socket and these silly storage systems that can't handle 500k IOPS with barely a yawn...  I take pictures I can drool over in weak moments to save my home power usage and wallet from certain demise.


Without gaming, you could probably fairly easily do all of the above and a typical sized GNS3 lab (at least in ESX).  Dual CPU might come into play if you run ot of RAM, but I wouldn't expect CPU usage to be huge (aside from Plex, SABnzbd, and GNS3).  But getting a second single socket system for that stuff would probably be cheaper.


A Supermicro X9SRA, 64gb with 4x 16gb DIMM modules (half populated for future growth), and an E5-1650 v2 would be a fairly powerful and decently affordable server.  I went my route with the dual Xeon board mainly for the seven x8 PCIe 2.0 slots, not necessarily CPU core count.


I was doing pricing for GNS3 and VIRL labs (Microsoft would be similar in requirements to VIRL) and found that for massive labs, a quad socket Opteron 6262HE would be worth looking into.  64 cores fully populated and lots of DIMM slots to allow massive amounts of RAM to be had cheaply.  Don't need speed for labs, just quantity.  I've seen an embarrassingly large amount of VM guests jammed onto an old single socket 6 core Xeon 5600, in production workloads, just humming along quite happily.

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