Your home ESX server lab hardware specs?

NetJunkie

[H]F Junkie
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Sorry..just checked the order and it's a 1500VA. It's a APC BX1500G...got it on a black Friday deal for $99.
 

joshu

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Ok guys I've put together a new hardware list after our discussion last night and NetJunkie's recommendations.

Here goes:

Motherboard: SuperMicro X8SIL-F-B

CPU: BX80605X3440 Intel Xeon X3440

RAM: 8GB Kingston 2x KVR1333D3E9S/4G

Case: Lian Li PC-V351B

PSU: Seasonic M12II520W


Will I have any problems with X8SIL-F-B rather than X8SIL-F-O? I know one is bulk and the other retail, but will I get cables etc with the bulk version?

I've been researching the differences between X3440 and X3450. The only difference is clock speed and turbo boost speed, right? Does the X3440 support all of esxi's advanced features?

I chose a Seasonic 520W PSU, as the 400W is almost twice the cost. What you think?

I think once I get some feedback I'll be ready to purchase. Thanks.
 

NetJunkie

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The x3440 will do everything. No idea on the bulk motherboard..mine were retail but I didn't need any of the cables. I bought the smallest PSU I could find since I'm not doing disks. You should be fine.
 

joshu

Limp Gawd
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Great thanks for your help NetJunkie.

Does the motherboard come with any diagnostic software I can run prior to installing esxi? I only have experience with HP servers and I run Insight Diagnostics on new servers for 2-3 days to make sure everything is fine before running esxi.
 

NetJunkie

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Not that I know of...just the board. Go grab some other tools but I didn't bother.I figured it's lab..it'll work or it won't. :)
 

Nocturnal

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Hey NetJunkie, what do you think of the 1155 socket board MBD-X9SCM-F-O? My only gripe is that there is no driver for the secondary NIC. It uses two different Intel NICs. What's your opinion on it? Would you recommend your setup over something that uses the 1155 socket at this point and time?
 

Chilly

[H]ard|Gawd
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Hey NetJunkie, what do you think of the 1155 socket board MBD-X9SCM-F-O? My only gripe is that there is no driver for the secondary NIC. It uses two different Intel NICs. What's your opinion on it? Would you recommend your setup over something that uses the 1155 socket at this point and time?

There's a working(though unofficial) driver, check my signature(http://2.ly/m8h8). I have the X9SCL and am loving it, works flawlessly.

Hopefully ESXi 5 will have working drivers out of the box, but if not, I'll get working on an update :)
 
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joshu

Limp Gawd
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Just a quick update. I've ordered all the parts, so hopefully they'll arrive by the end of this week. I'm sure I'll be back with more questions :)

Thanks
 

joshu

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Hey guys I received the parts yesterday and I'm currently working on putting everything together!

I have a problem...really silly, but I could use some advice. I have installed the IO panel in the chassis, but when I try to slide the motherboard IO connectors through the panel to mount the board, I'm meeting resistance from the small aluminium things sticking out.

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/508/ioplane.png

Should I break off those pieces or what do I do?

Thanks ;)
 

NetJunkie

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Waiting on a Cisco NFR order to get my SG300 switch but in the mean time a friend gave me 3 NIB Linksys SD2008 8-port Gb switches to help offload some stuff. Opened one and it had a European power adapter in it. :) Other two are fine...
 

Nocturnal

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Waiting on a Cisco NFR order to get my SG300 switch but in the mean time a friend gave me 3 NIB Linksys SD2008 8-port Gb switches to help offload some stuff. Opened one and it had a European power adapter in it. :) Other two are fine...
Awesome to hear you're going to get the SG300. That is next on my hit list. Just got my second NIC for my ESXi box :)
 

BigD1108

Limp Gawd
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Looking at a pair of ultra-cheap hosts for my home lab:

ASRock H61M-GE
Intel Pentium G620T
8GB (2x4GB) GSkill Value Series DDR3-1333

(Will be using Openfiler for shared storage)

I couldn't find a whole lot of information on this equipment in reference to ESXi 4.1/5 via Google (which probably doesn't bode well for compatibility).

You guys see any issues with the above components?
 

joshu

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NetJunkie I got a couple more questions for you regarding my build.

- I mounted the fan heatsink without paying attention to the fan power cable. Can I remove and reseat the fan heatsink or will this mess the thermal interface material Intel applied. Should I just leave it?

- Regarding memory installation. I got 2x4GB. Looking at the Supermicro manual is it correct that I should populate the blue slots for interleaving?

I'm a newbie at whitebox building, so please go easy on me ;)
 

NetJunkie

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I've remounted my heatsinks without redoing the paste so you should be fine. Probably not "best practice" but so far no issues. Yes, blue slots first going by the pic on my blog...that's how I did that one.
 

ugly

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Awesome to hear you're going to get the SG300. That is next on my hit list. Just got my second NIC for my ESXi box :)

I just got an SG300 myself as well. I've never used managed switches before, but I'm really liking them now - the stuff that you could do with managed switches vs unmanaged makes so much difference.
 

joshu

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NetJunkie I finally got my little server up and running BUT I've got a problem I can't figure out.

I've been trying to get virtual media to work by mounting the vmware esxi 4.1 iso, but although it says "VM Plug-in OK!" the server doesn't boot from the iso! I've tried on my mac as well as on a windows 7 virtual machine running in Fusion, but neither works. By the way I've updated the IPMI to 2.50.

Do you know what's wrong?

Also, just to verify, does your server also beep about 4 times during power on?

Thanks
 

NetJunkie

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You need to go in to BIOS and tell it to use the virtual CD-ROM as the boot device.

Yeah..they beep a few times.

EDIT: The virtual cd-rom will only show up in BIOS if you have one mounted. Unmount it and it goes away and defaults back to something else.
 

joshu

Limp Gawd
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You need to go in to BIOS and tell it to use the virtual CD-ROM as the boot device.

Yeah..they beep a few times.

EDIT: The virtual cd-rom will only show up in BIOS if you have one mounted. Unmount it and it goes away and defaults back to something else.

THANK YOU THANK YOU :D

NetJunkie it was driving me nuts! I assumed that any mounted virtual media automatically took first priority! As the bad guy said in Under Siege 2..."assumption is the mother of all f***ups!" :p

There are some other things that worry me regarding the server.

- The CPU temp sensor keeps turning red. Is this what you explained in your blog about changing the BIOs setting?

- During power on if I hit TAB or DEL the server freezes on the SuperMicro image and I have to reset the server. Is this normal or should I open a support ticket?

Thanks for your continued help!
 

NetJunkie

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You have a problem. CPU on mine doesn't go red unless it's really doing 100%. Check your cooler.
 

joshu

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You have a problem. CPU on mine doesn't go red unless it's really doing 100%. Check your cooler.

I submitted a support ticket today and received an email from an application engineer 30 minutes later! Amazing tech support! Basically, it was a glitch with the IPMI which the engineer told me can happen. He suggested removing the AC power cord waiting and then powering the server back on. This resets the IPMI and seems so far to have helped. I'll have to wait a few more days to see if the problem is resolved for good.

Now if only VMware would release vSphere 5!!
 

atarione

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upgraded my pc to an i5-2500K

so i used my old pc to make a ESXi server


i5-750
H55M-UD2H
8GB corsair DDR3 1333 (think i'm getting another 8GB today actually)
500GB hd


and then for storage I have a little shuttle K45 (which has to live in a closet cause the power supply is too loud. with a couple 1.5TB samsung F4 drives in raid 1 (running win2k8 w/ starwinds iSCSI SAN free edition)


 

RESTfulADI

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Just got this up with vSphere 5

Supermicro X8SIL
Xeon 3440
32GB Kingston KVR1333D3Q8R9S/8G (not listed as compatible but it works just fine, $80/stick http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820139280P)
Supermicro USAS-L8i (LSI 1068e)
Corsair vx430
Coolermaster Centurion 590

Had to disable IPMI in the ESXi console because it would hang on boot for at least 5 minutes, oh well I have the cheaper version of the motherboard without IPMI.

I have a Dell 2708 switch and I'm out of ports. Is the HP 1810-24G the standard home lab switch these days?
 
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dreadwing

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - March 2012
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I've been serching for a decent home server but most seem way too loud to keep in my closet. IE Dell 2950,R710...

I am considering building one instead that would fit my needs. Does anyonehave sugestions for setting up a decent "QUIET" vmware server that will be mainly doing lab projects,running view 4.6, and storing media streams.

Not sure if I should go with i7 or Xeon, as I want to keep to cost of memory down as I will require at least 16GB. I already have some raid cards, perc 6 and 3ware, a bunch of wd raptor 300's and WD 2TB blacks. I just need a rig that can accomodate everthing as I currenlty am using desktops and workstations as a temporary solution. Any ideas or to set me in the right direction would be appreciated.

Thanks

Thanks
 

agrikk

Gawd
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Your i7 will work just fine for a test lab. Unless your test lab will include heavy VMs like a database server or whatever.

I built a really quiet rig using:

IPC-4080 4U case
two 5-in-3 SATA drive enclosures
and I swapped out the fans with quiet 92mm fans because the stock ones are really loud.

eight SATA drives plus a CPU fan and an under-volted 120mm on the PCI slots and the drive noise is the loudest part of the rig.
 

dashpuppy

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Your i7 will work just fine for a test lab. Unless your test lab will include heavy VMs like a database server or whatever.

I built a really quiet rig using:

IPC-4080 4U case
two 5-in-3 SATA drive enclosures
and I swapped out the fans with quiet 92mm fans because the stock ones are really loud.

eight SATA drives plus a CPU fan and an under-volted 120mm on the PCI slots and the drive noise is the loudest part of the rig.

Good choice of parts.

I personally went rack mount, every one on here said that rackmount 1U servers are loud, however i still went and bought a 1U server, Bought a 1U Asus stuffed a Quadcore Xeon into it, and to be honest it makes HARDLY ANY NOISE, its VERY VERY VERY quiet.

maybe older 1u servers are loud * yeah i already know they are * but this asus 1u is DEAD silent, you really have to put your ear beside the hard drives to hear the fans.

Soon to upgrade to 32gigs DDR3 Ram & 2 x 1tb 7200rpm drives.
 

dreadwing

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - March 2012
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Nice info... Too bad there isn't a comany that specializes in quiet high end servers that can be used for home use.
 

ChRoNo16

[H]ard|Gawd
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Feb 3, 2011
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Im using an HP DL320 4th gen and it makes an ok for a small server

Pentium D 2.8Ghz
8gb DDR2
1x 80gb for OS/ISO
1x 500gb for vm's

No backups or anything, gigabit d-link switch for backbone. Works well, pretty quiet. but it gets warm.
 
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