Recommendations please on replacement esxi server.

Kirika

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Looking to replace my old dual opteron 24 bay supermicro server I bought on a hot deal here awhile ago. It died when I shut down to install 14 tb drives and won't post. Managed to rig it up running with a evga sr-2 motherboard so not in a rush to buy.

Old server hosted the following ESXi with Server 2016, Server 2012r2, redhat linux for some dev work and plex vm for media.

What is the sweet spot for a used server these days. Doesn't seem to be any on hot deals lately.

I do have 2 xeon 2680v2 and 128 gb of ram from a workstation that died should I be looking to reuse that and get a motherboard or should be looking at something newer maybe an off lease epyc?

How hard is it to remove the motherboard and raid cards from a rack mount and transplant to a double tower case? Thinking I may do that have an old double tower chassis that can fit all my drives and that actually has quiet fans. The rack mount is annoying noisy I can hear it when open the basement door and is very annoying when in the basement to play ping pong or pool or just get something from the freezer. Had it for years so got used to it but having it powered off for awhile the quiet was golden. Not sure I want another noisy rack mount. The deal on it was insane though.
 

cdabc123

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what ya got running in that sr-2? A mobo for the e5's would run about 100-150 but that would be a pretty decent esxi rig.
 

Eulogy

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Depending on what your actual workload is, I'd advocate for moving everything into containers. I did about 5 years ago and haven't looked back since.
 

Eulogy

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The windows VMs can go in containers?
Er, no. That's why I said "depending on what your actual workload is". Need to look at what services are actually being used, and go from there. You never, ever want to put a "VM in a container", that defeats tthe entire purpose.
 

danswartz

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Er, no. That's why I said "depending on what your actual workload is". Need to look at what services are actually being used, and go from there. You never, ever want to put a "VM in a container", that defeats tthe entire purpose.
Sure, but he explicitly identified 2 windows vms, which is why I got confused :)
 

Eulogy

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Doesn't matter what OS the VMs are. If his Plex VM is a windows VM, well, that's easy. Just spin up the plex container instead, as an example. If the other windows VMs are just doing like, DNS, DHCP, etc., again, just spin up dnsmasq, isc-dhcp-server, etc. containers. It of course falls apart if running something windows specific (i.e. AD and actually using group policies, not just for auth) or a windows-only app / service. But that's why I worded it as I did :)

Side benefit to all of this is getting with the modern times and away from bloated and bulky VMs (let alone vmware licensing). But that's also assuming OP would want to learn this stuff, and then have desire and ability to do it for their day job.
 

cdabc123

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Doesn't matter what OS the VMs are. If his Plex VM is a windows VM, well, that's easy. Just spin up the plex container instead, as an example. If the other windows VMs are just doing like, DNS, DHCP, etc., again, just spin up dnsmasq, isc-dhcp-server, etc. containers. It of course falls apart if running something windows specific (i.e. AD and actually using group policies, not just for auth) or a windows-only app / service. But that's why I worded it as I did :)

Side benefit to all of this is getting with the modern times and away from bloated and bulky VMs (let alone vmware licensing). But that's also assuming OP would want to learn this stuff, and then have desire and ability to do it for their day job.

I prefer having an actual esxi test bench in my lab. Its more versatile and ive ran into many cases where I end up doing something that just isnt possible with containers. And overhead isnt a problem on any of the servers he has or is looking into.

You worded it spacificly and are stating spacific benefits (which are very real in a production environment) however I feel you are neglecting what most people use a esxi test bench for.
 

Eulogy

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I prefer having an actual esxi test bench in my lab. Its more versatile and ive ran into many cases where I end up doing something that just isnt possible with containers. And overhead isnt a problem on any of the servers he has or is looking into.

You worded it spacificly and are stating spacific benefits (which are very real in a production environment) however I feel you are neglecting what most people use a esxi test bench for.
Yup. It's worth looking into in any event. If it's a test bench, then VM virtualization may be the answer. If it's just a home server providing a few services, maybe not :). I used to run 3 ESXi servers at home. I did that from 3.5 to 6.7. But years ago I moved all of my actual home server needs to containers... I just keep the vmware stuff around for developing against their APIs now.
 

MrGuvernment

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I grabbed a used Dell T620 tower, tossed in 2 x 10 cores v2 xeons, 256GB of ram and did a single node vSAN so i could use PCIe NVMe as a cache drive and it wasnt too expensive in the end.

While containers are the future and Kubernetes, plenty of Enterprises and companies will run ESXi in form form of another, whether Hybrid with cloud services or HCI. A client I work with just dropped $3mil on 4 VxRail clusters last year because that is what they needed to run their work loads.
 

Kirika

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Thank you for the replies.

cdabc123
Have a pair of 5650s in the EVGA SR-2 but only 48 gb of ram. Where you seeing Xeon v2 motherboards for $100-$150. Ebay seems want $400+ for a Supermicro dual xeon v2 motherboard which may be cheaper just to buy a used server and remove what a I need and transfer to a quieter case but not seeing as good deals as previously.

Eulogy
Haven't really looked in to containers, would have to migrate active directory, exchange, iis, apache tomcat, microsoft sql server, mysql as well as some game servers to containers as well as plex if I wanted to go all container. May migrate to containers as a project if I can pick up another server for not too much that isn't too noisy. Just seems easier to spin up another hypervisor and use the vms I already have. Running the 2nd domain controller on server 2016 and a test server 2019 vm and another red hat vm on my threadripper rig on hyperV.

MrGuvernment
How much you pay for the Dell T620 tower? That may be a decent option to reuse the xeon v2s and ram.
 

cdabc123

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The v2 xeons use the original lga 2011 socket.
Cheap board
Asus Z9PR-D12 ($100 on eBay with heatsinks)

However I would spend abit more and get a decent supermicro board as I have found they do better with esxi compatibility (especially pcie passthrough) also ecc ddr3 is stupid cheap so the more dimms the better (it is $0.75 a GB in the fs fourm and probably half that bulk). How many GB of ram you want?

Board recommendation
X9DRI-LN4F+ ($140 on ebay)

24 dimms so 96gb or 192gb of ram is feasible (it should use the same mem you have in the sr-2 if your running ecc 4gb sticks)
 

Eulogy

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Thank you for the replies.


Eulogy
Haven't really looked in to containers, would have to migrate active directory, exchange, iis, apache tomcat, microsoft sql server, mysql as well as some game servers to containers as well as plex if I wanted to go all container. May migrate to containers as a project if I can pick up another server for not too much that isn't too noisy. Just seems easier to spin up another hypervisor and use the vms I already have. Running the 2nd domain controller on server 2016 and a test server 2019 vm and another red hat vm on my threadripper rig on hyperV.

Yeah, good call. The MS specific ones would be probably difficult to do. AD especially - last I checked, AD won't even run inside Docker Windows containers. Everything else has been done and is pretty easy with a docker compose yaml :).

If you run windows on the bare metal, you could run docker on windows, but that sounds painful to me hah.
You could even spin up an Ubuntu VM and start with something easy like your Plex server, if you're keen on learning.

If ESXi works for ya and you're happy, keep at it :). VMs still have their place, just a diminishing one.
 

MrGuvernment

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I got my Dell T620 here in Canada for $220, came with a 4 core v2 Xeon, 64GB of ram, no HD's.
 
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