So I finished Phase 1 of building my new virtual host today, "the purchase". I've been watching some prices and my e-mail deals from Newegg for a few weeks now (and I checked around a few other places like TigerDirect).
I based the build around the Intel DQ67SWB3 Motherboard with an Intel Core i5-2400 quad core processor. The new motherboard has vPro so it will have some nice remote management capabilities such as remote KVM via VNC. The Core i5-2500 and the Q67 chipset together offer both Intel VT and Intel Directed IO (VT-d).
While this isn't the latest and greatest of hardware, it's a big step up from my 5 year old Dell PowerEdge 860 with a dual core Pentium D. The current virtual host is running Hyper-V Server with 2 Windows guests and 2 Ubuntu Linux guests.
For now, this new build will run these same guests, but I'm also considering virtualizing my main Windows file server / domain controller. I'm planning on running VMware vSphere Hypervisor (formerly ESXi) on this new machine since it's free, but I've also considered KVM and XenServer, so I'm not set in stone there yet. I could also continue running Hyper-V Server, but I'm kinda looking to experience something new, and I think VMware might have some better Linux guest support (although Ubuntu and CentOS have run just fine under Hyper-V for a while now).
The full build details are below:
The total purchase for my build was $686 after about $97 in promo code savings which I think is pretty decent.
Stay tuned for Episode 2.