Jump to content



Photo

good hardware for ESXi server


  • Please log in to reply
33 replies to this topic

#1 atomicrabbit

atomicrabbit

    Neowinian

  • Joined: 14-June 07
  • Location: Canada

Posted 07 March 2014 - 18:05

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/s...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.




#2 +LogicalApex

LogicalApex

    Software Engineer

  • Tech Issues Solved: 8
  • Joined: 14-August 02
  • Location: Philadelphia, PA
  • OS: Windows 7 Ultimate x64
  • Phone: Nexus 5

Posted 07 March 2014 - 18:08

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?



#3 OP atomicrabbit

atomicrabbit

    Neowinian

  • Joined: 14-June 07
  • Location: Canada

Posted 07 March 2014 - 18:14

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)



#4 +LogicalApex

LogicalApex

    Software Engineer

  • Tech Issues Solved: 8
  • Joined: 14-August 02
  • Location: Philadelphia, PA
  • OS: Windows 7 Ultimate x64
  • Phone: Nexus 5

Posted 07 March 2014 - 18:23

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.



#5 Squuiid

Squuiid

    Neowinian

  • Joined: 28-August 01

Posted 07 March 2014 - 18:29

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...ed-in-esxi-5-5/

 

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

http://www.tinkertry...sxi-whiteboxes/



#6 OP atomicrabbit

atomicrabbit

    Neowinian

  • Joined: 14-June 07
  • Location: Canada

Posted 07 March 2014 - 18:47

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/s...Hz/2750736.aspx



#7 Squuiid

Squuiid

    Neowinian

  • Joined: 28-August 01

Posted 07 March 2014 - 19:02

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/s...Hz/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.



#8 Fahim S.

Fahim S.

    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 2
  • Joined: 15-April 02
  • OS: Windows 8.1 Update 1 / Chrome OS 37
  • Phone: Google Nexus 4

Posted 07 March 2014 - 19:06

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/s...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.



#9 Squuiid

Squuiid

    Neowinian

  • Joined: 28-August 01

Posted 07 March 2014 - 19:19

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.



#10 OP atomicrabbit

atomicrabbit

    Neowinian

  • Joined: 14-June 07
  • Location: Canada

Posted 07 March 2014 - 19:25

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?



#11 Fahim S.

Fahim S.

    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 2
  • Joined: 15-April 02
  • OS: Windows 8.1 Update 1 / Chrome OS 37
  • Phone: Google Nexus 4

Posted 07 March 2014 - 19:29

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.



#12 Squuiid

Squuiid

    Neowinian

  • Joined: 28-August 01

Posted 07 March 2014 - 19:36

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.c...home-lab-build/

 

Or see more here:

http://www.tinkertry...sxi-whiteboxes/


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

See here.

Nice find! That IS impressively quiet.



#13 +LogicalApex

LogicalApex

    Software Engineer

  • Tech Issues Solved: 8
  • Joined: 14-August 02
  • Location: Philadelphia, PA
  • OS: Windows 7 Ultimate x64
  • Phone: Nexus 5

Posted 07 March 2014 - 19:44

http://wahlnetwork.c...home-lab-build/

 

Or see more here:

http://www.tinkertry...sxi-whiteboxes/


Nice find! That IS impressively quiet.

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



#14 Squuiid

Squuiid

    Neowinian

  • Joined: 28-August 01

Posted 07 March 2014 - 19:46

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.



#15 OP atomicrabbit

atomicrabbit

    Neowinian

  • Joined: 14-June 07
  • Location: Canada

Posted 07 March 2014 - 19:48

http://wahlnetwork.c...home-lab-build/

 

Or see more here:

http://www.tinkertry...sxi-whiteboxes/


Nice find! That IS impressively quiet.

 

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: