HTPC which can also serve as a Software development server (no Gaming) - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 16 Old 05-01-2013, 02:03 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
rktek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 9
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I'm thinking of building a solid HTPC which can also serve as a Software development server (SQL server, Apache, FTP, etc)

Would either of these work well? ..any changes you can think of?


Processor: Intel i5 3570k 3.4 GHz Ivy Bridge w/ HD 4000 Graphics
OR
Processor: Intel i3 3225 3.3 GHz Ivy Bridge Dual Core w/ HD 4000 Graphics

Motherboard: H77
OR
Motherboard: Z77 mini-itx

SSD (Recommended for OS Installation): 120GB
Hard Drive: 2TB
RAM (DDR3 1600): 8GB
Graphics Card: None
Power Supply: Included w/ case
Optical Drive: Blu-ray Drive*
TV Tuner: None
Wireless Internet: None
Heatsink / Fan: Standard
Operating System: Windows 7 Pro

Thanks!
rktek is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 16 Old 05-01-2013, 06:26 AM
Advanced Member
 
aliaskary77's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 586
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked: 50
Will you virtualize the development environment? I use VMWare workstation for that as I often want to roll back to clean or saved images for final testing, deployment, or new projects etc. Wouldn't want to mess with the HTPC setup and library datatbase doing a complete restore each time.

If doing that, then you want to make sure VT-x is supported. According to http://ark.intel.com/Products/VirtualizationTechnology, almost all Intel CPUs do. I would still prefer an i5 or i7 over an i3. Quad core so you can dedicate 1 or 2 to the virtual machine.

Also, personal preference for performance. Another SSD just for the virtual machine. Get a cheap 60GB dedicated to it. And RAM, 8GB is enough, but being so cheap, my next build will get 16GB ram.

note: the post above is my opinion. as such, when reading any recommendations from me, please do you research and seek out other recommendations and make up your own mind on your next course of action. i mean, most reasonable adults should know that, but it seems this should be stated anyways.
aliaskary77 is offline  
post #3 of 16 Old 05-01-2013, 06:59 AM
AVS Special Member
 
StardogChampion's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: New Hampshire, USA
Posts: 3,003
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 34 Post(s)
Liked: 121
I need to build a portable (mini-ITX) development machine for doing Java and mobile (native and web) development. I am looking at the Xeon E3-1265l v2 (though I am starting to wonder if that's overkill) all the way down to the i5-3470S, 256GB SSD, 16GB RAM in the smallest case I can find (probably Iwill SH-80). I need to be able to carry it back and forth from the office to the home office. I also have a i3-2120T on-hand already paid for so I might even try that at first though I'd much rather a quad-core for future-proofing, running VMs, etc.

The Xeon E3-1265L V2 seems like the ultimate mini-ITX server chip.

 

 

StardogChampion is offline  
post #4 of 16 Old 05-01-2013, 10:39 AM
Advanced Member
 
mslide's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 882
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by rktek View Post

I'm thinking of building a solid HTPC which can also serve as a Software development server (SQL server, Apache, FTP, etc)

Just about any combination of modern hardware will work for that unless you're working on very large projects. Personally, I'd keep all software development inside Linux virtual machine(s), with VirtualBox or some other virtualization package. Even if you want to use Windows for software development, I'd still run it inside a VM instead of doing development directly on the base Windows OS. That way, your HTPC install stays nice and clean.

I'd choose the i5 over the i3 for extra power for the VM(s). Definitely 8GB RAM, possibly 16 if you want to run multiple VMs at once.
mslide is offline  
post #5 of 16 Old 05-01-2013, 01:43 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Dark_Slayer's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 2,420
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 119 Post(s)
Liked: 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by mslide View Post

Just about any combination of modern hardware will work for that unless you're working on very large projects. Personally, I'd keep all software development inside Linux virtual machine(s), with VirtualBox or some other virtualization package. Even if you want to use Windows for software development, I'd still run it inside a VM instead of doing development directly on the base Windows OS. That way, your HTPC install stays nice and clean.

I'd choose the i5 over the i3 for extra power for the VM(s). Definitely 8GB RAM, possibly 16 if you want to run multiple VMs at once.
Quote:
Originally Posted by aliaskary77 View Post

Will you virtualize the development environment? I use VMWare workstation for that as I often want to roll back to clean or saved images for final testing, deployment, or new projects etc. Wouldn't want to mess with the HTPC setup and library datatbase doing a complete restore each time.

If doing that, then you want to make sure VT-x is supported. According to http://ark.intel.com/Products/VirtualizationTechnology, almost all Intel CPUs do. I would still prefer an i5 or i7 over an i3. Quad core so you can dedicate 1 or 2 to the virtual machine.

Also, personal preference for performance. Another SSD just for the virtual machine. Get a cheap 60GB dedicated to it. And RAM, 8GB is enough, but being so cheap, my next build will get 16GB ram.
Agree / Agree


Although RAM isn't nearly as frequently well priced these past couple months, it should still be a consideration to get 16GB if you are considering multiple VMs. Or at least 8GB now and a couple of free slots for later. mATX will accommodate this easier than itx

i5 over i3

VMware over VirtualBox

vsphere if you are more control oriented

Maybe consider an extra NIC as well
Dark_Slayer is offline  
post #6 of 16 Old 05-03-2013, 12:12 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
rktek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 9
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
For the regular drives for HTPC, is it better to have 5400 rather than 7200 rpm?

Regarding the development requirements, need 3 servers on (web server, database server, app server) but the development will be on my lappy.

Do I still need this setup to be virtualized?
rktek is offline  
post #7 of 16 Old 05-03-2013, 05:43 AM
AVS Special Member
 
StardogChampion's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: New Hampshire, USA
Posts: 3,003
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 34 Post(s)
Liked: 121
It really doesn't take a lot to run the LAMP stack. It depends on the application that will be running, what you're serving and how many customers.

 

 

StardogChampion is offline  
post #8 of 16 Old 05-06-2013, 05:00 AM
Advanced Member
 
aliaskary77's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 586
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked: 50
Not critical to be virtualized, but once you understand the benefits, you will love it.

If you go for virtual, you do not need to run 3 separate instances. I will base it again more if how many snapshots or rollbacks you might need. If none, and you have other management tools built in, even 1 would do for all. Or in that case then, maybe even no VM.

Another 2 reasons i like VMs:

1. I can move them around as needed. When at home, the VM resides on the server and i dont use resources on my main work laptop. If traveling and I need it with me, i can move it over to the laptop.
2. Server configs can be a chore. Reformatting and reinstalling for an HTPC is no big deal. Yes you can make images of the whole machine to roll back to, but again, selective restoration wont be simple. With VMs, i set it up as i want it, and archive the files away. More snapshots does mean more storage space, so i do not keep more then 2 or 3 at a time.

As for media drive speed, there are enough debates out there, but with most modern drives, there is no much difference in sound, power usage or performance. It usually boils down to what is the best deal out when ready to buy. And of course, have backups!

note: the post above is my opinion. as such, when reading any recommendations from me, please do you research and seek out other recommendations and make up your own mind on your next course of action. i mean, most reasonable adults should know that, but it seems this should be stated anyways.
aliaskary77 is offline  
post #9 of 16 Old 05-07-2013, 01:27 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
rktek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 9
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by aliaskary77 View Post

Not critical to be virtualized, but once you understand the benefits, you will love it.

If you go for virtual, you do not need to run 3 separate instances. I will base it again more if how many snapshots or rollbacks you might need. If none, and you have other management tools built in, even 1 would do for all. Or in that case then, maybe even no VM.

Another 2 reasons i like VMs:

1. I can move them around as needed. When at home, the VM resides on the server and i dont use resources on my main work laptop. If traveling and I need it with me, i can move it over to the laptop.
2. Server configs can be a chore. Reformatting and reinstalling for an HTPC is no big deal. Yes you can make images of the whole machine to roll back to, but again, selective restoration wont be simple. With VMs, i set it up as i want it, and archive the files away. More snapshots does mean more storage space, so i do not keep more then 2 or 3 at a time.

As for media drive speed, there are enough debates out there, but with most modern drives, there is no much difference in sound, power usage or performance. It usually boils down to what is the best deal out when ready to buy. And of course, have backups!

Very nice... that option 1 sounds brilliant! ... I've decided to visualize just for that.. thanks!

Do you have multiple VM's running on that HTPC? (cos I need to run some servers [ms-sql] on windows and others [web/middleware] on linux)..
rktek is offline  
post #10 of 16 Old 05-07-2013, 04:44 AM
Advanced Member
 
aliaskary77's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 586
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked: 50
I maintain 4 VMs, but usually only running one 24/7. I have run 3 at the same time with no problems for extended periods (however VMs were a little sluggish, media was fine), but usually start them only when needed. They are normally in a paused state not using resources.

Which VM would be the next question, and they will vary greatly, from several hundred all the way to completely free. I am not in a position to make suggestions as the only one i have ever really used is VMWare Workstation. I have been happy with it though.

A few other good ones are mentioned here but google should find you plenty of good reviews. Others here might have opinions in resource loading.

note: the post above is my opinion. as such, when reading any recommendations from me, please do you research and seek out other recommendations and make up your own mind on your next course of action. i mean, most reasonable adults should know that, but it seems this should be stated anyways.
aliaskary77 is offline  
post #11 of 16 Old 05-07-2013, 10:11 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Dark_Slayer's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 2,420
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 119 Post(s)
Liked: 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by rktek View Post

Do you have multiple VM's running on that HTPC? (cos I need to run some servers [ms-sql] on windows and others [web/middleware] on linux)..

I realize it wasn't directed to me, but I have up to 2 running on my HTPC in addition to it's server/htpc duties of running NPVR (backend), MySQL (xbmc library), MCM, Plex, and of course XBMC. I have 1 running 24/7, the other is for play - as needed
Quote:
Originally Posted by aliaskary77 View Post

Which VM would be the next question, and they will vary greatly, from several hundred all the way to completely free. I am not in a position to make suggestions as the only one i have ever really used is VMWare Workstation. I have been happy with it though.

A few other good ones are mentioned here but google should find you plenty of good reviews. Others here might have opinions in resource loading.

I used virtual box first along with a turnkey linux lamp image. I always thought VMWare was a pay product (why I started with VirtualBox instead) but after realizing Workstation was free I switched and never looked back.

I started with an i5 and 8GB which was ridiculously under utilized as a server/htpc. Adding a couple VMs, I thought might need more memory so I added an extra 4GB stick. The disk utilization turned out to be the bottlekneck, so I moved the VM to my spare storage disk and haven't had any problems since.
Dark_Slayer is offline  
post #12 of 16 Old 05-07-2013, 10:26 AM
Advanced Member
 
aliaskary77's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 586
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked: 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

... but after realizing Workstation was free I switched and never looked back.

thinking of VMWare Player which is free maybe? Workstation is $249, or am i missing something?

note: the post above is my opinion. as such, when reading any recommendations from me, please do you research and seek out other recommendations and make up your own mind on your next course of action. i mean, most reasonable adults should know that, but it seems this should be stated anyways.
aliaskary77 is offline  
post #13 of 16 Old 05-07-2013, 10:56 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Dark_Slayer's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 2,420
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 119 Post(s)
Liked: 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by aliaskary77 View Post

thinking of VMWare Player which is free maybe? Workstation is $249, or am i missing something?

Yep, slipped my mind. Used to think all VMWare products were pay, but said workstation by mistake. I use the vmware player
Dark_Slayer is offline  
post #14 of 16 Old 05-07-2013, 04:13 PM
AVS Special Member
 
AnthonyB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 3,685
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 13
I have a hyper-v server running 4 guests with an i5-3570k and 8 gb of memory (need more) but, when I upgraded to a WD Black, things sped up immensely.

Would love to see them in a raid configuration.
AnthonyB is offline  
post #15 of 16 Old 05-08-2013, 11:47 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
rktek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 9
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

I realize it wasn't directed to me, but I have up to 2 running on my HTPC in addition to it's server/htpc duties of running NPVR (backend), MySQL (xbmc library), MCM, Plex, and of course XBMC. I have 1 running 24/7, the other is for play - as needed
I used virtual box first along with a turnkey linux lamp image. I always thought VMWare was a pay product (why I started with VirtualBox instead) but after realizing Workstation was free I switched and never looked back.

I started with an i5 and 8GB which was ridiculously under utilized as a server/htpc. Adding a couple VMs, I thought might need more memory so I added an extra 4GB stick. The disk utilization turned out to be the bottlekneck, so I moved the VM to my spare storage disk and haven't had any problems since.
What kind of processor do you run?
What do you mean by "disk utilization turned out to be the bottlekneck,".. due to shortage of storage space or performance-wise?
So what was better in VMWare over VirtualBox .. I'm testing out VirtualBox since its free (also will test MS Virtual PC and VMWare player if its free)

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnthonyB View Post

I have a hyper-v server running 4 guests with an i5-3570k and 8 gb of memory (need more) but, when I upgraded to a WD Black, things sped up immensely.

Would love to see them in a raid configuration.
upgraded from 5400 to 7200?
rktek is offline  
post #16 of 16 Old 05-09-2013, 08:26 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Dark_Slayer's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 2,420
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 119 Post(s)
Liked: 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by rktek View Post

What kind of processor do you run?
What do you mean by "disk utilization turned out to be the bottlekneck,".. due to shortage of storage space or performance-wise?
So what was better in VMWare over VirtualBox .. I'm testing out VirtualBox since its free (also will test MS Virtual PC and VMWare player if its free)

i5-3570k (stock w/ zalman 9700)

disk utilization - performance wise, plenty of space, but running host and 2 VMs from C would peg it up to 100% in W8 resource monitor. I don't know how accurate the W8 disk utilization happens to be, but it would lead to some playback issues and general sluggishness that wen't away when I moved them to their own disk. Now the host occupies the C (SSD) drive by itself and life is back to the fastlane all issues gone.

Virtualbox had essentially 2 issues that probably could have been solved if I tried. First, it would never mount shared folders. I could network everything just fine, but any shared folders I specified in Virtualbox would never mount in the VM no matter how many restarts (host and VM). Second, I couldn't find an easy enough way to move the vdi. Again, like I said both problems probably could have been solved if I tried, but I switched to VMWare player and both problems were non-existent. Shared folders mounted in the VM after VM boot (or reboot if online during changes) and when I wanted to move the vdi all I had to do was cut paste. When I went to start the VM (post move) it asked something along the lines of "Did you move this on purpose?" click yes and go about your life. If it wasn't free I'd probably live with oracle
Dark_Slayer is offline  
Reply Home Theater Computers

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off