22nd Dec 2009 : I needed  a XenServer at home to work on some project for my company (Activlan), I didn’t want a real server because it would be too noisy in my apartment 🙂 So I was looking for a silent computer and I made my choice with the elements bellow :

  • Case : Lian Li PC-V351B
  • Power Supply : Silverstone Nightjar ST45NF – 450W
  • MotherBoard : Asus Maximus II Gene
  • Cpu : Intel® Core™ 2 Quad Q9550
  • Ram : G.Skill Extreme Series MQ 4x4096Mo PC6400 Dual Channel CAS6
  • Video : PNY Quadro NVS 295 PCI-E 16x (for another workstation #XD4)
  • Hard Drive : Seagate Barracuda ES.2 S-ATA – 1000 Go – 32 Mo (x2)

I though it would work fine, just some question were remaining : The network adapter on the Asus motherboard might not be compatible with XenServer and I did choose two hard drive to build a RAID 1 but I though XenServer wouldn’t be able to recognize the sata RAID controller.

I was right on the Sata Raid controller, it was too mainstream chip raid controller so I never got it working. The network card was fine I just got some issue with XenServer 5.6 and the checksum calculation, I had to disable the TCP Offload on the hypervisor (eq : not the vms). Hard drives, the Seagate are not a good product at all, I got 5 break down in less than 2 years, I will never buy enterprise class Seagate again. Then in june 2011, the motherboard died…

10th Jun 2011 : The motherboard is dead… Maybe it has been the source of all the recent system crashes I had… So I got to move on and chose a new motherboard. I chose Intel DQ67OW, with a new CPU an Intel Core i7 2600 which contain the virtualization instructions I missed with the previous CPU (VT-d).

  • Case : Lian Li PC-V351B
  • Power Supply : Silverstone Nightjar ST45NF – 450W
  • MotherBoard : Intel DQ67OW
  • Cpu : Intel® Core™ i7 2600
  • Memory : Kingstone 16GB 1333MHz DDR3 ECC Reg CL9 DIMM (Kit of 2) DR x4 w/TS Intel
  • Video : PNY Quadro NVS 295 PCI-E 16x (for another workstation #XD4)
  • Hard Drive : Seagate Barracuda ES.2 S-ATA – 1000 Go – 32 Mo (x2) for vms
  • Hard Drive : Seagate Barracuda® XT SATA Revision 3.0 – 2 To – 64 Mo for vms
  • Hard Drive : Patriot SSD Warp v.2 32Gb for XenServer OS

I just hope the ram will still work the the new motherboard… This new MB support 32Gb of memory, I’ll buy some more later this year to upgrade because this is the bottleneck in my home lab.

15th Jun 2011 : I received the new motherboard and the CPU, of course the memory doesn’t fit, G.Skill 16Gb modules I have are DDRII and this new motherboard support only DDR3… Next step is to find at least 16Gb memory DDR3…

6th July 2011 : I found the memory 16Gb DD3 Kingstone 16GB 1333MHz DDR3 ECC Reg CL9 DIMM (Kit of 2) DR x4 w/TS Intel and I’ll buy another 16Gb later this year to be up with 32Gb. I got a good deal on a SSD drive for XenServer OS, Patriot SSD Warp v.2 32Gb to boost the hypervizor performances, the I used a new 2Tb hard drive to get rid of the Seagate Enterprise Serie one (Seagate Barracuda® XT SATA Revision 3.0 – 2 To – 64 Mo)

With all that I think my XenServer @ Home will be up and running with XenServer 6 Beta 2 “Boston” next week 🙂

15 60

  • Brian

    I recently built a whitebox at home for XenServer and used this NIC which works great:http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833106121&cm_re=intel_nic-_-33-106-121-_-Product I’m using a single drive so I can’t help with the RAID controller.

  • I check first with the motherboard, there isn’t a lot spec about the network adapter on board http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=o9cMT9ZnTj9ujsZ9 just Gigabit LAN, but this is an Intel Chipset so let’s hope it will be a Intel network adapter, otherwise the card you show seems to be ok and not so expensive? Thanx for the tip !

  • Brian

    I’m using an Asus board and my onboard NIC worked with XenServer. I picked up the Intel NIC so I could install ESXi 4 if I wanted to play with that too. ESXi and Xen both work great on my whitebox.

  • I have all the pieces, I will put everything together tonight 🙂
    The Wifi router is on, the firewall is on as well, everything is ready

  • I cannot believe my two hard drives are dead… Seagate Barracuda ES.2 S-ATA – 1000 Go – 32 Mo (x2), one after one…
    I though Seagate was producing good stuff, I’m very disappointed…

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  • Brice Fournet

    I was wondering if you encountered any issue with your new motherboard and RAM.
    I’m really interested in creating a 32go virtualization environment on a non server platform but I had difficulties finding 8go+ RAM for motherboard with the Q67 chipset.
    I skipped the kingston RAM is ECC because normally ECC isn’t supported by the Intel Motherboard.

  • Hi Brice,
    Indeed I had some issue with my memory modules 2x8GB which were ECC and my intel motherboard which didn’t support ECC memories…
    I had to fall back on 4x4GB non ecc memory and I’m trying to find non ECC 8Gb memory chips but I cannot find it anywhere… So the next step will be to find a motherboard which support ECC. Of course I need a Micro ATX size and I don’t think that will be that easy to find as well…

    A bientôt 🙂


  • Brice Fournet

    I was hoping It would have worked 🙂 Sadly all the motherboard I found with the Q67 chipset (for the virtualization features) seem to support non ECC memory only.
    I only found Crucial 8 Go DDR3 1333 MHz CL9 DIMM 240 pins – PC10600 – CT102464BA1339 (garantie 10 ans par Crucial) as a 8go non ECC memory.
    Sadly it’s more costly than Kingston memory… Strange as ECC memory usually is more expensive than non ECC.
    I’m currently using my desktop with SSD/12go ram/i7 and I was really hoping to have a dedicated and more powerful platform on a desktop like environment.

  • Brice did you found a Micro ATX motherboard who support ECC memory ? (which is the most common and cheapest memory available)
    I cannot find any…

  • Brice Fournet

    I didn’t found any. But I should read more hardware specification as I found out i2600 doesn’t support ECC memory. I suppose it explains the lack of ECC motherboard then :D.

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