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NM117
6 Indium

Dell 2950III,is there a way to speed up boot? And can I improve graphics? And can I migrate OS which is on a sata drive to a sas to improve speed?

Hello ,I recently acquired a Dell 2950III and want to use it to host VMs off of it.The server configuration is Windows Server 2008 r2 datacenter,2x3.0ghz quad cores and 32GB RAM perc 6 currently 2x500GB Maxtor sata drives in RAID 1.

1st .Since it will be used for VMs (with windows xp pro, old I know but will only have connect to 1 site(trusted) on internet so no security concerns ),and some light file backups (security camera footage) I want to have 2 x146gb SAS drives in raid 1 for OS and other 4 bays with WD RED drives in RAID 4 for VMs and backups.is there a way to migrate to this new configuration or would I have to start over?

2nd  the graphics are pretty crummy does anyone know a updated driver or new card I can put in to improve quality?(I already gutted the quality by putting on 16bit )

3rd the thing takes 4 minutes to boot up is there a way to speed that up?

p.s. any information is helpful and anyone have a idea how many VMs I could run I was thinking 10 with one core each and 2gb ram?

I thank you in advance

Nick

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12 Replies
8 Krypton

RE: Dell 2950III,is there a way to speed up boot? And can I improve graphics? And can I migrate OS which is on a sata drive to a sas to improve speed?

1. Migrate from what - a physical machine(s) or another VM?  If a VM, from VMware or Hyper-V? You will be running 2008R2 on the hardware?  Then Hyper-V with that?

2. No updated driver.  The "crummy" graphics are server-grade (meaning, it is adequate for most server use), and the video hardware is limited to what you see.  Try searching the site for others who have added graphics cards.  Servers are not designed to be used with add-in graphics, so it will very much be a game of trial and error to find one that will work.

3. It should not take 4 minutes.  How long does it take to get to the CTRL-E prompt?  How long does it take at the very beginning - with the progress bar at the bottom?

You won't get 10 VM's, each with its own core - the 2950 supports two quad-core processors without hyper-threading.  As long as they are not heavily used (processor use), then you might be able to run 10 light-duty VM's.

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NM117
6 Indium

RE: Dell 2950III,is there a way to speed up boot? And can I improve graphics? And can I migrate OS which is on a sata drive to a sas to improve speed?

First thanks for the quick response. 2nd its about 50 seconds before the blue dell logo goes away then 2min of the black screen saying it has 32gb ram and 2x 3ghz quad core ...discovered Drac card then 5 sec countdown then 45 seconds of it saying virtual drives once it hits windows its fast. Running bios 2.7.0 3rd I want to change the physical drives to SAS drives then run VMs off sata so the OS drive is faster.but I don't want to reinstall the OS just change drives over. 4th I'm running hyperV and each machine. Has 1 core and 1 GB ram and uses around 50-70% CPU and around 512 ram.So can I run hyper threading to share cores and balance load since I saw a pdf on dell.co saying its supported on 2950? Once again thanks for responding, Nick
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8 Krypton

RE: Dell 2950III,is there a way to speed up boot? And can I improve graphics? And can I migrate OS which is on a sata drive to a sas to improve speed?

50 seconds is fairly long at the Dell screen and 2 minutes is long for the processor screen, but it may be because of the amount of memory that is installed.  Did you also update the ESM/BMC when you updated the BIOS?

So can I run hyper threading to share cores and balance load since I saw a pdf on dell.co saying its supported on 2950?

Where did you see that?  The highest-end processor the 2950 [III] can take is the X5470, which does not support hyper-threading, so you will have a max of 8 logical processors (2x4 cores) to use amongst your VM's.

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NM117
6 Indium

RE: Dell 2950III,is there a way to speed up boot? And can I improve graphics? And can I migrate OS which is on a sata drive to a sas to improve speed?

Thanks again, it came with the bios at 2.7.0 and I I never reset it for fear of it messing with the RAID I can try pulling the drives at next power down and reset it. I saw it on a PDF on dell.com saying operating systems that are supported by Dell /some what supported I can put a link on in 12 hours when I have access to my work laptop.but thanks for your help so far.
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NM117
6 Indium

RE: Dell 2950III,is there a way to speed up boot? And can I improve graphics? And can I migrate OS which is on a sata drive to a sas to improve speed?

ok I couldn't find pdf but you are correct http://ark.intel.com/products/34446/Intel-Xeon-Processor-X5450-(12M-Cache-3_00-GHz-1333-MHz-FSB)?wap...

that shows features

But what about the had drives, is there a way to upgrade them to SAS from SATA without reinstalling the OS?

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8 Krypton

RE: Dell 2950III,is there a way to speed up boot? And can I improve graphics? And can I migrate OS which is on a sata drive to a sas to improve speed?

But what about the had drives, is there a way to upgrade them to SAS from SATA without reinstalling the OS?

No, because you can't mix SAS and SATA in the same array, so there is no way to migrate or swap from a SATA array to a SAS array.  You could backup/restore or clone directly from one to the other, eliminating the need for a storage middleman (external HDD, etc.).

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NM117
6 Indium

RE: Dell 2950III,is there a way to speed up boot? And can I improve graphics? And can I migrate OS which is on a sata drive to a sas to improve speed?

I was told to "clone" I drive I need to clone it to a identical drive? Is that true? Also how much speed boost would I be looking at ? I rent/host small game servers off of the individual VMs would upgrading the is drive help or better off all WD red drives ?(WD red drives are sata but designed for raid) thanks again Ps how much power should this computer pull if on 24/7 in a clement controlled room?and is the max hard drive size 1tb or 2tb I was told 1.8tb but that makes no sense I have perc 6 card I really do appreciate you answering my questions
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8 Krypton

RE: Dell 2950III,is there a way to speed up boot? And can I improve graphics? And can I migrate OS which is on a sata drive to a sas to improve speed?

I was told to "clone" I drive I need to clone it to a identical drive? Is that true?

An "identical drive" - not sure what they would mean by that.  Check your cloning software - in some cases, you need to clone to a "drive" as large or larger than the original, in some cases, that is not required.

WD red drives are sata but designed for raid

Specifically, they are low-power SATA drives designed for NAS devices, not for server RAID solutions.  You may or may not have issues with them.

is the max hard drive size 1tb or 2tb I was told 1.8tb but that makes no sense I have perc 6 card

The PERC 6 supports a maximum physical disk size of 2TB.  A 2TB disk will give you about 1.8TB of "usable" disk space, given the difference between advertised and actual sizes (binary vs. decimal).

how much power should this computer pull if on 24/7 in a clement controlled room

Take a look at this to see if you can get the numbers you are looking for:

 

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NM117
6 Indium

RE: Dell 2950III,is there a way to speed up boot? And can I improve graphics? And can I migrate OS which is on a sata drive to a sas to improve speed?

ah ok ill go with them since it will be cheaper per TB and they say "The right choice for NAS, no other drive is designed specifically for home and small office NAS systems and PCs with RAID."http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=810

I would assume they would preform better than a regular SATA drive since they SATA III and let the RAID card fix problems instead of the drive trying to. Heck, SSD is cheaper for a 500gb drive .

Thank you for being so helpful.

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