Building my new Hyper-V lab server, for real…

By admin on June 17th, 2013

A few weeks back I posted the ingredients to my new lab server and now I finally got the parts for it. Unfortunately I tried to get my hands on a new SSD, the Crucial M500 960GB , and that turned out to be a bad choice, not that it didn’t work but rather that it couldn’t be shipped so that’s why I had to wait so long. My need for a new lab was huge so I went back to the 500 GB Samsung SSD to get started.

Since this project has gone on for a while and it turned out great I wanted to share some thoughts…

All parts needed for a great lab:

Some time and a glass of wine later…

The power supply I had worked but it could only support one of the two CPU’s so I looked for a new one. My choice was PC Power & Cooling 850W Silencer MK III that I found has scored well in several tests. But I found out that a white power supply really didn’t match the theme of this computer (I promise, you don’t need to tell me that thinking in terms of themes for a computer is geeky, my wife took care of that part!) and repainted it….

So with all parts assembled it now looks like this:

But besides the look (witch you could already tell I’m pretty pleased about) there are some things I wanted to share!

The first thing I’m really (!) pleased about is the remote management capabilities of the mother board I used. It allows me to power on (or off and reset) my lab computer from anywhere in the world witch of course saves power as it doesn’t have to be running al the time. In my previous blog post I had the ASUS ASMB6_IKVM listed separate but it turned out to be included on the mother board, ASUS Z9PA-D8, so I ended up with a spare one…  The user interface is simple but I get all the information (like temperatures, voltages and fan speeds) I need.

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The second part of why I’m super excited about this machine is all thanks to my friend Mikael Nyström. Thanks to Mikael I can deploy a server or a client in less than a minute. Have a look at his scripts for Hyper-V here. It’s the Zip named NICConf2013-W8-Hyper-V-files. I have made some modifications to the template files and can now deploy almost any configuration of a server without even have to log on to it.

And the absolutely best part of this whole build is that the “server” is so quite! Since I have it in my office at home I wanted it to be really quite and the only fan (running) is the fan for the water cooling. If I put me ear to the case I can hear some “bubbling” noise but from a meter I can’t even tell if it’s on or not. Witch is great working at night as I’m doing right now…

So now when I have a working lab again I promise I will continue my series on how to migrate to Exchange 2013! Stay tuned for part 2!



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