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unknown_entity

Virtualization & Parallelism

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Yeah, so i ran across a deal this week i couldn't pass up on a used HP Z800 workstation and am looking for some ideas to make use of all that power and to catch up on the new technology that has come since i stopped following computer stuff so closely.

 

Dual socket Xeon X5690 @ 3.46Ghz turbo up to 3.7Ghz. Total 12 physical cores 24 logical. 96GB of DDR3 1333 ECC triple channel. Asus GTX1070 STRIX running Win 10.

 

Obviosly overkill for a gaming rig. I haven't played with virtual machines since about 2005-06 even then i was just using virtual PC to test/build windows images before they were deployed.  I have done 2D & some 3D Autocad work in the past. I don't really do any work at all with video encoding/transcoding  or rendering but i assume this would be pretty good for that.

 

My ideas so far:

*setup 4 virtual machines to run 4 EVE clients simultaneosly on 4 monitors. I have no what VM software is good anymore since it's been so long since i played with anything like this.

 

*Get Autocad/Solidworks on this.

 

*Setup and run a couple dedicated game servers or teamspeak/discord servers inside virtual machines.

 

*Circuit simulation software Multisim or SPICE variants. IDK how cpu intensive they are anymore on modern hardware as it's been some time since I've used them.

 

*Setup a single or multiple virtual machines as a gaming box to be accessed over my LAN by a much less powerfull computers. 

 

I feel kinda silly asking this but IT skills are perishable i suppose. Any suggestions on what to read up on as far as software, applications or cool shit to do with a stupid amound of CPU inside one box? Or can anyone suggest any books/resources to read up on to help bring me up to speed as im about a decade behind. VT-d and hardware passthrough seems to be the real important thing for getting good performance from a VM from what little i've read so far.

 

 

Thanks :)

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um, youd want to look into hardware pass thru so you could pass a gpu directly to the vm assuming you want nearly full performance of say a quadcore with a dedicated gpu for 3 vms. linustechtips' channel did similar thing twice on youtube something like '8 gamers 1 cpu'. pretty sure you can do passthru in some opensource stuff meaning you dont have to use unraid people seem to do it usually to run a high performance vm to play windows games on their linux box that dont work with wine or whatever.

 

but thats pretty much it, otherwise its pretty basic once you got one vm going isnt too hard to do 2>,

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Im ok with paying for unraid if it makes it easier somewhat. Ill read into that and probably play with the 60day trial. Now its going to get interesting dividing up gpus... ill see whats out there for open source and play with that too. Thanks :)

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Triple boot that sucker!

 

1) vsphere for sever stuff. vsphere's hyper-visor will run VM's faster than Workstation running inside Windows. Probably use a few lRAID arrays for this, Maybe two: one for a data store booting and running the virtual O/S another RAID array for storage datastores.. 2) Windows Install for direct hardware access (running stuff like brute forcing, etc... 3) Linux Install for the same.

 

Here is how I'd configure the RAID / Disks:

System boot array: about 500GB-600GB running speedy SSD's for hosting a datastore for system boot disks

If you can a separate array for non-boot data-stores about 1TB

 

The better you can segment the RAID arrays for each datastore, the faster disk access in a virtual server will be. For example to run say Sever 2012 and Linux:

300GB SSD RAID Array = DataStore0 == Windows C:\ Drive

1TB HDD RAID Array = Datastore1 == G:; H:

 

300GB RAID Array = DataStore2 == Linux /boot; /bin; /lib; sbin

1TB RAID Array = Datastaore3 == /home; /etc

 

250GB SSD == Windows for direct hardware access

250GB SSD == Linux direct hardware access

 

32GB SSD == vsphere HyperVisor install

 

 

 

Get the most use out of that hardware as possible. Just my opinion and what I'd do with it. :-)

 

 

EDIT: for gaming and what you wanted hardware passthru would work, as Dins stated. Didn't know a GPU was supported though. I thought for vsphere passthru was just used with USB and other buses, not PCI-E. But I've never really tried to do that. 

Edited by tekio
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13 hours ago, tekio said:

EDIT: for gaming and what you wanted hardware passthru would work, as Dins stated. Didn't know a GPU was supported though. I thought for vsphere passthru was just used with USB and other buses, not PCI-E. But I've never really tried to do that. 

 

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/PCI_passthrough_via_OVMF

 

seems fairly newish stuff, but yeah storage and memory bandwidth will be issues to performance but not too much you can do about the memory bandwidth, if you try to do lots of heavy tasks on all the threads it will bog down but thats the nature of the hardware.

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Thanks for ideas and suggestions ive got a couple weeks vacation the end of this month and im gonna play around with this then  and read up on stuff in th mean time.

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1 hour ago, dinscurge said:

 

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/PCI_passthrough_via_OVMF

 

seems fairly newish stuff, but yeah storage and memory bandwidth will be issues to performance but not too much you can do about the memory bandwidth, if you try to do lots of heavy tasks on all the threads it will bog down but thats the nature of the hardware.

That's pretty cool. Cannot remember how many times in the past, could have used passthru for a PCMCIA card with BackTrack. Would have saved me hours of dualbooting notebooks.

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23 hours ago, unknown_entity said:

Thanks for ideas and suggestions ive got a couple weeks vacation the end of this month and im gonna play around with this then  and read up on stuff in th mean time.

 

basically, for stuff like a vm just running a teamspeak server or some other low performance thing, probably doesnt matter much, but  if you had say 4 gaming vms at once, if you only had 1 hdd youd only be able to get 1/4 of the bandwidth if you tried to load a game at the same time on all 4 where if you had 4 drives, in jbod, a raid array zfs pool whatever you'd get about 4x the bandwidth of one drive so about the same as if you had one drive per vm. having say a dual socket quad channel memeory with a motherboard that uses all 8 channels you could only get almost the memory bandwidth of 4 desktop dual channel systems being you will have lower memory frequency so if you tried to simulate say 8 pentium dual core or i3 systems or something you wont be able to achieve the same memory bandwidth of 8 of them so if you try to do memory intensive stuff on more than 4 of them at once the performance will be degraded significantly more compared to separate machines

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