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I run multiple machines to perform various tasks related to both work and personal hobbies. These machines run a combination of Linux and Windows and a variety of services ranging from Microsoft SQL server, Maria/MySql, build bots, web servers, DNS services, firewalls, and NAS etc. I'd like to combine many (or all) of these machines into a virtual environment. The idea is to get one beefy machine where I can virtualize most of my hardware.

I've not decided on a piece of virtualization software, but I'm familiar with VMWare, Xen and KVM.

What kind of server do you recommend that can perform the following:

  • Host 12 virtual machines constantly and burst to 24 for hours at a time
  • Host a combination of Windows (Vista through 10) and Linux (multiple distributions) all running at the same time
  • Have multiple network interfaces so that all the virtual machines don't share a single line. I'm thinking 4 would be appropriate, but I think I could live with only 2
  • Have storage space for 12 full virtual machines, plus templates for 8-10 other systems.
  • Contains server grade - not consumer grade - hardware
  • Estimated budget is under $8,000.
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    Definitely not a related XKCD comic
    – Andy
    Oct 9 '15 at 15:21
  • Just out of curiosity, why don't you light this thing up in Azure? You only pay for what you need as you need it and it will scale when you need it to. Is there a reason you want to host it on your own hardware? Oct 22 '16 at 21:42
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For your requirements a minimum of 2 Processor(Scalable Processor) Server with 4 Ethernet and M.2 SSD support will do (Dell PowerEdge R740 Kind) and VMware® ESXi software

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    Why would be 4 eth a requirement? Why you did not write anything about the amount of the required ram? Why SSD, why not some raid/nas solution?
    – peterh
    Apr 18 '20 at 20:26
  • with 4 eth you can create team for network load balancing, the amount of ram required depends on what you allocate to each VM, M.2 SSD prove 25times faster than regular HDD and is recommended for host os, RAID/NAS can be used for Data Storage, Redundancy and backup solutions
    – vrs
    Apr 19 '20 at 8:30
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High end Threadripper motherboards multiple network intervaces, room for ton of storage (m.2 + sata), can have up to 64 CPU cores, have 3 network interfaces (you can add more if you need) and run up to 256GB of ram. If you split those resources up in some random virtualisation software, you can run 2 high-end gaming pc's in one tower, and if you don't need high-end gaming stuff, you can split it up in even more VM's

Edit: none of this is server-grade, but my MC server is also just a random old gaming pc...

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