Your home ESX server lab hardware specs?

agrikk

Gawd
Joined
Apr 16, 2002
Messages
933
That's IT for you: If you aren't keeping abreast of current and upcoming technology, you are falling behind. And that's no good for a healthy career...
 

dilidolo

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 30, 2011
Messages
180
I built this to keep my tech chops up. A homework assignment in HA, if you will. And now that it's built I'm going to be donig a bunch of data warehouse stuff on it for a little while.




I agree. the FAS2050 sounds like a jet engine. I'm keeping it just long enough to get everything running, then I'm going to sell it off and build an iSCSI target with less performance, but far far quieter and with less power draw.

Glad I have FAS-3210 (7-mode) and FAS-2240 (C-mode) in my lab at work.:):)
My Supermicro chassis is already load enough in my home lab.
 
Last edited:

Chapbass

n00b
Joined
Jan 15, 2012
Messages
1
Currently running:

2 ESXi 5.1 boxes with the following in each:

Core i5-3470
Asrock Z77-Pro3 MB
32GB G.Skill memory
USB flash drives for ESXi itself
5 gigabit NICs (1 onboard, 2 dual port intel gigabit nics)

Openfiler Server:
AMD Athlon II 435
4GB memory
4x1TB WD RE4 drives in RAID 10

Unraid Server (for ISO storage and backups)
Sandy Bridge Celeron (can't remember model #)
4GB memory
10x1TB SATA drives (9TB usable)
 

sironbla

n00b
Joined
Mar 24, 2013
Messages
1
Hello..

So im new here and here is my home lab setup:

ESXi 5.1:

Asus Maximus II Gene
Intel Core2Quad Q9550
8GB DDR2 RAM
Intel Pro 1000

4x 1TB Desktop HDD (1x VMFS for Trilead Backup, 3x NTFS RDM for Subsonic Server VM)
1x 320GB Notebook HDD (ESXi Test Storage)
1x 150GB WD Raptor (ESXi VM Storage)
1x 32GB SSD (ESXi Installation)

Currently running 5 VMs
esxi.jpg

So as this is my old Desktop System and the maximum of 8GB RAM Support I want to replace it with something more server like.

So here is the plan:

ASROCK Z77 PRO4-M
Intel XEON E3 1230V2
16GB Kingston HyperX DDR3

I read that this setup is supporting Hyperthreading, VT-D and DirectPath.

Instead of the 4x 1TB HDDs I want to buy 4x 2 TB WD RED (not 4 at the same time), so I'm not sure if it is better (performance) to format these as VMFS and put VMDKS on it or like now as NTFS RDM.

For the Future I plan to buy a Synology to move the storage part outside the Server Case and playing around with the DSM ;)
 

OkiieDoe

n00b
Joined
Aug 13, 2012
Messages
12
still a work in progress

Asus Rampage IV Gene
Intel Xeon E5 2658
Crucial Ballistix Sport 1600mhz 16GB

i only have one nic so i went on ebay and got a intel pro/1000 vt quad 58$

EYfBg7X.png
 

DlStreamnet

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 10, 2005
Messages
359
Hi guys,

Brief rundown:
ESXI 5.0, Intel Xeon 1230, 16GB of RAM, 3x 250GB HDD's for VM's.
Hardware passthrough PCIE Sata Card to Open Indiana - 5x 1TB HDD's.

1x Server 2012 Essentials
1x PFSense
1x Open Indiana

What's the best backup solution? I have just bought another 3TB WD RED to complete this. I am not too concerned about losing the VM's in all fairness so I was going to attach the 3TB to VMware, create a 2.8TB usable VMDK and then hook that up to 2012 Essentials and then map all my important drives.

Is there a better way however? I.e. could I backup the VM's and all the OpenIndiana files? I like the idea of having them legible by any computer by just attaching the disc hence why I went for the way I have proposed.

Thanks all!
 

nry

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 10, 2008
Messages
409
Still a work in progress... my home lab/work lab

Main uses are:
Development VMs
Testing VMs
Sometimes other developers have access to specific VMs too

Nothing mission critical, most of this is built out of parts from upgrades over time

Screen_Shot_2013_04_09_at_21_02_54.png


Currently consists of:
Esxi1:
Xeon E3 1245
Areca 1882i 8port
32GB DDR3
OCZ 240GB Vertex 3
8x 3TB 7K3000
10GbE

Esxi2:
Xeon 1245
32GB DDR3
10GbE

Esxi3 (doubles up as a media pc):
FX 8150
16GB DDR3

Plans over the next two weeks:
File server (waiting on Areca card), still not sure my motherboard will handle the possible throughput of this:
C2D E6750
8GB DDR2
Areca 1882ix-24
16x 3TB
8x 1TB
10GbE

Still not 100% on this one, but running esxi1 all the time is costing far too much as it consumes about 170w idle! So planning this as the 24/7 box:
i7 2600S (45w TDP)
16GB low voltage
240GB OCZ (from esxi1)
Possibly 1x 3TB 5K3000 drive
picoPSU 150w with brick
 

nry

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 10, 2008
Messages
409
Nice RAID card. What are you using for the OS on that file server?

Figure thats aimed at me, currently has Ubuntu on, but considering openfiler. Haven't really done my research into this section yet.
Got a 4Gb san switch and a few 4Gb Pci FC cards, think openfilter almost supports this out the box?
Then will use NFS and samba shares for the other devices, not too sure what my plan will be here yet though.
 

QHalo

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 30, 2002
Messages
3,432
Last edited:

nry

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 10, 2008
Messages
409
Cool :)
With regards to the 10GbE can I not do Fiber channel over IP? Still need to research so much around all this.
At least this way I could still use my NFS shares in certain VM's over the high speed network
 

MAFRI

n00b
Joined
Apr 22, 2010
Messages
54
Finally updated the page at my blog about my little datacenter. click if you want to read more
feel free to post a comment - please do so at the blog - here it will just get hammered from the next picture post of somebody else ;)


thx
mafri
 

runt

2[H]4U
Joined
Mar 16, 2000
Messages
2,441
Finally updated the page at my blog about my little datacenter. click if you want to read more
feel free to post a comment - please do so at the blog - here it will just get hammered from the next picture post of somebody else ;)


thx
mafri

I'm jealous
 

praetorian

Weaksauce
Joined
Sep 9, 2003
Messages
84
My soon to be deployed mini-ITX ESXi cluster for use at home:

ASRock B75M-ITX Motherboard;
Noctua NH-L91 low profile cooler;
Intel i7 3770t IvyBridge Processor;
Corsair 16gb RAM;
Intel LP Dual Network Card.

Two of these systems running inside Antek ISK-300 150 cases using the inbuilt power supplies. Should be quite a good spec to run my production/development systems on for vulnerability research purposes.

No onboard storage, apart from the 4gb micro USB boot drives, as everything will be stored on my ITX fileserver via either CIFS/NFS. One of the ports from the network card, or the inbuilt port (if I can get it working), will be used for this.

I may end up running the 2nd I may end up splitting the cluster in order to look at other Type 1 hypervisors, Hyper-V/ProxMox/Xen etc, once I have at least one up and running. At least the hardware should be sufficient until affordable, and available, 16gb DIMMs come about :)
 

runt

2[H]4U
Joined
Mar 16, 2000
Messages
2,441
My soon to be deployed mini-ITX ESXi cluster for use at home:

ASRock B75M-ITX Motherboard;
Noctua NH-L91 low profile cooler;
Intel i7 3770t IvyBridge Processor;
Corsair 16gb RAM;
Intel LP Dual Network Card.

Two of these systems running inside Antek ISK-300 150 cases using the inbuilt power supplies. Should be quite a good spec to run my production/development systems on for vulnerability research purposes.

No onboard storage, apart from the 4gb micro USB boot drives, as everything will be stored on my ITX fileserver via either CIFS/NFS. One of the ports from the network card, or the inbuilt port (if I can get it working), will be used for this.

I may end up running the 2nd I may end up splitting the cluster in order to look at other Type 1 hypervisors, Hyper-V/ProxMox/Xen etc, once I have at least one up and running. At least the hardware should be sufficient until affordable, and available, 16gb DIMMs come about :)

The onboard NIC on that motherboard should work out of the box.

My home ESXi box is as follows
  • ECS GF-8200A Black Motherboard
  • AMD Phenom II X2 550 BE
  • 4x2GB DDR2-800 DIMMs
  • Intel Gigabit CT NIC
  • Western Digital Blue 750GB HDD
  • 8GB Thumb Drive





I'm running my home PBX, a pfSense box & a Windows Server Update Services machine on it. I'd really like to upgrade it to a quad core with 16GB of RAM but I have to save up for that as well as convince my wife to let me. I'd also like to get another eSATA tower for my home server and run my VMs over NFS from it.
 

rtangwai

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 26, 2007
Messages
1,369
Whitebox:

AMD FX-8350 w/Coolermaster Hyper 212 EVO cooler
Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5
4x8GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1600
XFX HD6950 2GB
320GB boot drive
2x750GB datastore drives
Antec Earthwatts Green 750W
Fractal R2 XL case
Hauppauge HD-PVR (*NOT* using USB passthrough)
 
D

Deleted member 82943

Guest
beefy gfx card for an esx server, doing some vm gaming or normal gaming when not running a vm?
 

haunter

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 20, 2011
Messages
1,883
a 6950 is way way way beefier than a GTS250. But it could be just a spare I suppose
 

rtangwai

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 26, 2007
Messages
1,369
The HD6950 is a leftover from an experiment I did with quad-Crossfire. Normally it would be overkill on an ESXi server but I found a use for it: by making it a passthrough device I got Folding@Home to see it for the GPU client.
 

rtangwai

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 26, 2007
Messages
1,369
I figured I had to burn in the server anyway, this is a good way to do it. I can also assess how well ESXi allocates resources when it is heavily loaded. Eventually when I upgrade my tri-fire I will install all the cards into the ESXi server (that's why I went with the UD5, plenty of PCI-E slots) and see how well it balances CPU/GPU folding with other functions, especially if I get some kind of SAN like Openfiler working in one of the VMs.
 

Zarathustra[H]

Extremely [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
35,436
I have a GeForce GTS 250 in mine, just because its what I had lying around. Could be the same for rtangwai

When I built mine I dug around in my old boxes in the basement looking for something with reasonably low power usage.

First I found a PCI Voodoo 3 2000 which I used for a little while, but I think it drew more power than I'd like.

Then I found my old PCI Matrox Millenium 2MB SVGA card I used as my 2D card back when I had a Voodoo1 in my desktop. Now it serves as video card duty in my ESXI box :)

I enjoy putting old hardware back into use. :)
 

Zarathustra[H]

Extremely [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
35,436
Time for another update for me:

The new specs are:

ESXi 5.1
AMD FX-8120
Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3
32GB DDR3 RAM
Matrox Millenium 2MB (Limited console use only)
32GB OCZ Octane SSD (ESXi Boot Drive + datastore for pfSense and FreeNAS installs)
250GB WD Blue SATA drive (extra datastore, only because I had it kicking around)
Intel EXPI9402PT Dual Port Gigabit Copper NIC, Direct I/O Forwarded to pfSense Guest
Intel EXPI9402PT Dual Port Gigabit Copper NIC, Direct I/O Forwarded to FreeNAS Guest, set up as LAGG interface.
Broadcom NetXtreme gigabit NIC Direct I/O Forwarded to Ubuntu Server 12.04 Guest
IBM M1015 Storage controller (Direct I/O forwarded to FreeNAS)
4 WD 3TB Green drives and 2 WD 2TB Green drives in RAIDz2 mode, for a total of 12TB (18 once I replace the two 2TB drives with 3TB+ drives)
On board Ethernet interface is used only for VmWare Client.

Guests: (thus far)
- pfSense (2 cores, 1GB RAM) My router and firewall
- Headless Ubuntu Server 12.04 (2 cores, 4GB Ram) General linux server for rtorrent/wget's, and running Ubiquiti Unifi controller/server software.
- FreeNAS (4 cores 25GB RAM) Running RAIDz array and sharing to LAN via dual lagg interface, and internally with Ubuntu via 10Gig VMXnet3 interface.
 
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