Documenting a virtualization project

Experiences in Virtualization

System specs

Posted by martijnl on July 1, 2007

These are the specifications that we have determined to be right for us:

  • 1x HP Proliant DL585R01 O2.4-1MB Model 4-8GB (4 x Opteron 880 Dual Core cpu’s) / 8GB PC3200 memory)
  • 6x 4 GB memory module (PC3200/ECC/DDR/SDRAM/2 x 2 GB Modules)
  • 2x 36GB disk option (15K/Ultra320/hot-pluggable/1-inch high/universal)
  • 2x FC2143 4GB PCI-X2.0 (Fiber Host Bus Adapter)
  • 2x Gigabit PCI-X NC7170 Dualport 1000T Server adapter
  • 1x Hot pluggable Redundant Power Supply Unit(PSU) for ProLiant DL585R01

Additional information:

32GB PC2-3200 internal memory is the maximum for the chassis. We choose memory speed over total memory size because we ended up with needing four clusternodes for the amount of Virtual Machines we want to run (80 – 100). Which means we end up with 128GB of PC2-3200 memory anyway.

It is a personal choice if you want to use disks for your ESX / VI installation or if you want to boot from SAN. We like to have the OS disks in the chassis.

SAN connection
Because of the higher impact of a component failure we use two single port Fiber HBA’s coupled to two SAN switches linked to dual controllers in the disk arrays. Failure of one component in the chain doesn’t affect production availability in this way.

Same goes for the Network Interface Cards (NIC). Having a four way Gb NIC makes for higher density but a failure of the card also means failure of all four ports.


The decision on the chassis specs is hardly something I would put under rocket science. HP has a configuration with 4 Opteron 880’s (2,4Ghz Dual Cores) built in from the factory and the premium for the 2,6Ghz model was a bit too much for my liking. We also liked this model for not having to do a lot of assembly of the server chassis.

The new models:

Have a look at my post for more explanation. The specs of the DL585 G2’s are as follows:

  • HP ProLiant DL585R02 O/2,4-2P 2 GB (2 Opteron DC 8216 cpu’s / 1 MB cache / SA P400i – 512 MB – BBWC)
  • 2x AMD Opteron 8216 2,4 GHz- 1 MB Dual Core (95 Watt) processor option
  • 32 GB Dual Rank memory (PC2-5300 / ECC / DDR / SDRAM / (2 x 2 GB)
  • 2x 36.4-GB 10K SFF SAS harddisk (10K, SFF SAS, hot pluggable)
  • 3x HP NC360T PCI Express Dual Port Gigabit Server Adapter
  • Hot Plug Redundant PSU for ProLiant DL580R03/R04 en ML570 G3/G4 en DL585G2
  • 2x Fiber channel PCI-X 2.0 4Gb Single HBA

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