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atomicrabbit

good hardware for ESXi server

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I'm looking to get a computer for home use to run a ESXi server (for AD, files and possibly media server later). I found this Xeon server tower that I can get a bit of a deal on:

https://www.cdw.ca/shop/products/Lenovo-ThinkServer-TS140-70A4-Xeon-E3-1245V3-3.4-GHz-4-GB-0-GB/3196053.aspx

 

I plan to upgrade to 8gb of RAM. Will this be able to handle what I want to do? Is the 280W PSU good enough? Would it be better to get a consumer-level tower with an i5 quad core chip? Any help is appreciated.

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It isn't on the VMWare HCL. Of course, you can whitebox it, but if you're buying a server might as well make sure it is on the HCL.

 

Are you committed to the tower form factor?

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Are you committed to the tower form factor?

why?

 

It isn't on the VMWare HCL. Of course, you can whitebox it, but if you're buying a server might as well make sure it is on the HCL.

 

If the hardware will support it, does it matter? (honest question)

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why?

 

 

If the hardware will support it, does it matter? (honest question)

I ask because you could get a Lenovo Rack Server (2U - RD630) for about the same price, but it is on the HCL. I use the RD630 as a VMWare ESXi 5.1 host as you can see in the server thread. In general, I'm very happy with the performance of the RD630. It isn't HCL certified for ESXi 5.5 so I haven't tried putting that on it just yet.

 

Being on the HCL isn't super important. It just gives you a baseline expectation of potential problems you may run into with incompatible hardware or BIOSes. You can get around a lot of them by loading the drivers into the ESXi install image, but you will have to read up on the whitebox experience of others on that hardware to see what problems you might encounter.

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Being on the HCL isn't super important. It just gives you a baseline expectation of potential problems you may run into with incompatible hardware or BIOSes. You can get around a lot of them by loading the drivers into the ESXi install image, but you will have to read up on the whitebox experience of others on that hardware to see what problems you might encounter.

 

I disagree, just look at what happened with all the storage and network controllers not on the HCL with the release of ESXi 5.5.

If you use SMB/Enterprise grade hardware that is on the HCL your hardware is much more likely to be supported in future versions of VMware.

See here:

http://www.tinkertry.com/long-list-of-consumer-devices-deprecated-and-unsupported-in-esxi-5-5/

 

If you are keen on whiteboxing it then here's some help:

http://www.tinkertry.com/superguide-home-virtualization-server-enthusiasts-colorful-variety-of-esxi-whiteboxes/

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I ask because you could get a Lenovo Rack Server (2U - RD630) for about the same price, but it is on the HCL. I use the RD630 as a VMWare ESXi 5.1 host as you can see in the server thread. In general, I'm very happy with the performance of the RD630. It isn't HCL certified for ESXi 5.5 so I haven't tried putting that on it just yet.

 

I'm not committed to the tower form factor, but that rack-mounted server is in USD and can't find anything similar in canada for under $1200. AND I'm getting a deal on the CDW link I posted in my OP, so it's even cheaper than the listed price.

 

EDIT: lol -> $1,975 https://www.cdw.ca/shop/products/Lenovo-ThinkServer-RD630-2594-Xeon-E5-2620-2-GHz/2750736.aspx

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I'm not committed to the tower form factor, but that rack-mounted server is in USD and can't find anything similar in canada for under $1200. AND I'm getting a deal on the CDW link I posted in my OP, so it's even cheaper than the listed price.

 

EDIT: lol -> $1,975 https://www.cdw.ca/shop/products/Lenovo-ThinkServer-RD630-2594-Xeon-E5-2620-2-GHz/2750736.aspx

Be aware that both rack or tower servers will be pretty noisy for a home environment.

You're better off with a 'workstation' grade box rather than a server for home use IMO. It will be near silent and have high grade components that will likely be on VMware HCL.

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I'm looking to get a computer for home use to run a ESXi server (for AD, files and possibly media server later). I found this Xeon server tower that I can get a bit of a deal on:

https://www.cdw.ca/shop/products/Lenovo-ThinkServer-TS140-70A4-Xeon-E3-1245V3-3.4-GHz-4-GB-0-GB/3196053.aspx

 

I plan to upgrade to 8gb of RAM. Will this be able to handle what I want to do? Is the 280W PSU good enough? Would it be better to get a consumer-level tower with an i5 quad core chip? Any help is appreciated.

 

The processor is quad core hyperthreaded and is plenty strong enough to run a good few VMs.  The RAM upgrade to 8GB seems a little conservative and I would recommend adding an 8GB U-DIMM or 16GB U-DIMM to get you to 12GB or 20GB respectively.

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The processor is quad core hyperthreaded and is plenty strong enough to run a good few VMs.  The RAM upgrade to 8GB seems a little conservative and I would recommend adding an 8GB U-DIMM or 16GB U-DIMM to get you to 12GB or 20GB respectively.

+1  8GB is really not enough.

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Be aware that both rack or tower servers will be pretty noisy for a home environment.

You're better off with a 'workstation' grade box rather than a server for home use IMO. It will be near silent and have high grade components that will likely be on VMware HCL.

 

That's what I was thinking as well. It's actually for SOHO use, but essentially not a big environment (a few desktops in the network). The noise is not a big deal, it will be in a closet.

 

Any suggestions on a workstaton grade box? i5 quad core?

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That's what I was thinking as well. It's actually for SOHO use, but essentially not a big environment (a few desktops in the network). The noise is not a big deal, it will be in a closet.

 

Any suggestions on a workstaton grade box? i5 quad core?

 

The spec says it runs at 26dB, which is library quiet.

See here.

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That's what I was thinking as well. It's actually for SOHO use, but essentially not a big environment (a few desktops in the network). The noise is not a big deal, it will be in a closet.

 

Any suggestions on a workstaton grade box? i5 quad core?

http://wahlnetwork.com/2013/12/02/new-haswell-fueled-esxi-5-5-home-lab-build/

 

Or see more here:

http://www.tinkertry.com/superguide-home-virtualization-server-enthusiasts-colorful-variety-of-esxi-whiteboxes/

The spec says it runs at 26dB, which is library quiet.

See here.

Nice find! That IS impressively quiet.

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Current generation boxes are very quiet. I honestly can't hear my Dell R620 1U server when it is on...

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As far as RAID controllers are concerned, you really can't beat a Dell PERC 6i with BBU. They can be found on ebay for as low as $35 and offer awesome price/performance for RAID 5 or 6.

Probably the best value RAID card on the VMware HCL.

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So essentially the lenovo i linked to should be good enough to setup a whitelabel ESXi server?

 

EDIT: I also found these HP ProLiant ML310e Gen8 servers which are both officially supported:

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So essentially the lenovo i linked to should be good enough to setup a whitelabel ESXi server?

 

EDIT: I also found these HP ProLiant ML310e Gen8 servers which are both officially supported:

 

 

I am not sure that it applies to the servers you have linked to but you have to be careful with HP's RAID controllers.  If you use their Hardware RAID controller you need a special build of ESXi including the driver for the controller.

 

I personally would go for something which comes with the driver built into the standard ESXi image.

 

See here: https://communities.vmware.com/message/2344426

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So essentially the lenovo i linked to should be good enough to setup a whitelabel ESXi server?

 

EDIT: I also found these HP ProLiant ML310e Gen8 servers which are both officially supported:

 

Beware of HP. They started requiring a support contract in order to download firmware updates. Insane.

 

https://www.google.com/search?q=hp+require+contract+firmware+updates&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-beta&channel=sb&gws_rd=cr&ei=qigaU-ybM6q34ASXuoCgBw

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Thanks for the heads up Squuiid and Fahim! It looks like even though the HP is supported, it has too many other problems. So I'm back to either whitelabelling with the original Lenovo I posted in the OP, or maybe this IBM System x3100 M4 which is also listed on the HCL

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Thanks for the heads up Squuiid and Fahim! It looks like even though the HP is supported, it has too many other problems. So I'm back to either whitelabelling with the original Lenovo I posted in the OP, or maybe this IBM System x3100 M4 which is also listed on the HCL

What plans do you have as far as storage is concerned? How many drive bays do you need? You should probably know this before buying, especially if you plan on using local storage.

Do you want RAID 6?

If not planning on using local storage a NAS like a Synology DS1513+ or DS1813+ would work nicely, but obviously this starts adding $$$.

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For the time being, I'm just looking at local storage (bc as you said, NAS starts getting pricey and I don't want to spend the money yet), but in the future I will probably switch to NAS. Thanks for the recommendation.

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How about getting a couple Intel NUCs?

 

meaning one per VM I want to run? Is that really efficient or eve cost effective?

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meaning one per VM I want to run? Is that really efficient or eve cost effective?

 

What is your budget?

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$700-800 give or take

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You do realize you need harddrives too right?  That will blow your budget of 7-800 out of the water unless you go with a hp microserver...and even then you are looking at closer to 1000 if you fill it up with drives.

 

maybe you can find something in the dell outlet site.  There is an r510 for 1100 usd...def worth it IMO.  Memory you can go up to 128GB, supports 8 hot swap drives..but it is the us outlet... it was a scratch/dent so it wasn't returned due to a malfunction it comes with the full 3 year warranty from time of your purchase.

 

http://outlet.us.dell.com/ARBOnlineSales/Online/SecondaryInventorySearch.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=dfb&cs=28&puid=5bc25796

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