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Old March 6th, 2016, 11:40 PM
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IT question - Mobo /CPU for Windows Server VDI host?

Hi folks,

I'd like to set up a windows server 2012 R2 machine to run up to 4 VDI's for business (scientific computing, but that's not really relevant.)

Does anyone have any recommendations for the best value (cheapest for performance) combo of mobo and cpu(s) for the host?

I'm probably going to provision each VDI with 4 GB of RAM which isn't really spectacular.
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Old March 7th, 2016, 03:17 AM
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Why not just set them up on AWS and shut them down when not in use .... You'll avoid the capital investment and have access to dirt cheap storage etc
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Old March 7th, 2016, 06:59 AM
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If you can afford SuperMicro MB buy them they are the best.
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Old March 7th, 2016, 01:04 PM
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If it doesn't need server-style redundancy, I'd get an older cad/graphics design workstation. A lot of those guys need the latest and greatest every couple of years, so you can pick up a good one on ebay for $300 or so.

I've got a Dell T5500 with 72GB of RAM and two quad core CPU. I'd recommend the larger T7500 (or whatever their more current model numbers are) because they hold more HDD, and video cards fit in them better.
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Old March 7th, 2016, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leastonce View Post
Why not just set them up on AWS and shut them down when not in use .... You'll avoid the capital investment and have access to dirt cheap storage etc
I second a cloud-based approach. For VDI, a public cloud instance works great. I personally prefer Google Cloud but that's because I like their Container Engine. AWS is great, too. If you're new to public cloud, Digital Ocean is a great pick--reliable and affordable and very simple to use. Rackspace Cloud is good, too, but their pricing is outdated. Discoweb runs there.

I used to love Supermicro MBs and homebuilt servers but when things go wrong, you're left doing hardware diagnostics and eBaying new components. It's too much of a pain in the ass unless your application absolutely demands on-site presence.
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Old March 7th, 2016, 01:39 PM
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Thanks guys...I've looked at EC2 and Workspaces (not google cloud yet, thanks Chris) but they're not cheap for actual daily sit-down use. Well, I guess they are cheap in certain scenarios (like if I needed slaves for an MPI job), but the pricelists for dedicated VDI-style usage seem to suggest $50/month/seat with not a whole lot of storage, or somewhere around $200/month or $2400 a year. Am I pricing this stuff wrong?

But besides the price, I have the need to actually have my own physical server because the users need to share access to National Instruments DAQmx hardware locally through RS-422 and USB (NI-6008s), which is the biggest issue. Data comes in through those sources as well, so I need to have the drives on the machine.
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Old March 7th, 2016, 02:37 PM
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Yeah, if you're needing to share access to local hardware, forget about the cloud.

Here is the vendor we like to use for Supermicro servers for in-house stuff: https://www.8anet.com/

The website is stuck in 2003 and the domain is horrible but they build good machines.
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