Your home ESX server lab hardware specs?

Grimlaking

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upload_2018-5-10_9-27-29.png


That is my Dev environment.

upload_2018-5-10_9-28-54.png


The first is a 3 host setup with capacity with one to fail.

The second is one of our prod clusters. 5 hosts with one as a hotspare setup for failover. Clearly not as active as of yet but that's coming. We do our dancing in dev.
 

dgingeri

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My self training lab:
MSDN OS subscription (I highly recommend this for any sysadmin for self training. Getting 5 licenses for any server OS for training for $900/year is cheaper than buying licenses and less aggrevating than dealing with perpetual trial licenses.)

Storage Server: Windows Storage Server 2012r2, Core i5 2500k, 8GB, Dell H710 RAID, 120GB boot SSD, 6X 4TB HGST Ultrastar in RAID 10, 4 1TB WD blue laptop drives for low level VM storage, running several iscsi targets plus file storage for my main machine

Server 1: Ryzen 1700X. 32GB DDR4-2933, 128GB NVMe boot/primary VM storage, 500GB Samsung 850EVO secondary VMs, 2TB iscsi from storage server (runs pfsense router, local DC, DHCP, DNS, WSUS, and WDS), 2X 500GB iscsi luns from the laptop drives in the storage server for playing around with Ubuntu

Server 2: Core i7 4790k, 16GB DDR3-2400, 256GB NVMe web host VM (Windows and Ubuntu Server), 6TB iscsi for SQL Express and PostGRE SQL servers

I happen to be looking to sell a pair or cores that were used for servers, a Core i7 5930k with 16GB of DDR4-2400 and a Core i7 4930k with 32GB of low latency DDR3-1600 if anyone might be interested.
 

Spartacus09

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^^^ do you find the i series better than xeon for vms?
I use a 3770k for mine, frankly it depends on your use case, Xeon processors are qualified to handle heavier, more intensive loads consistently.
It also allows support for ECC ram so your maximum ram capability is often much higher.

The i series have the benefits of overclock ability, lower price, and performance/cost ratio per GHz additionally they generally drop in cost long term alot quicker.

Its not a matter of better for say, but what use case do you have that suits it best.
If you're running a heavy work load 24/7 with 50%+ CPU usage, a xeon would probably be best.
If you barely use 15% CPU and thats only during certain peak hours, the i's would save you money.

EDIT: Just realized you wanted a Ryzen comparison, I have a coworker that runs one I'll grab his 2 cents.
 

dgingeri

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^^^ do you find the i series better than xeon for vms?
I find no differences, as far as the CPU goes.

The Core chips are just what I had around for my home lab. I did have a Xeon E5-2603 v2 on my old P9X79-E WS board for a while, but it was just too slow for most of what I did, so I switched it out for the 4930k. I also had a couple Dell T110 II servers with Xeon E3 (v1) chips for a while, but ended up selling them. The last Xeon I had personally was a T110 II with an E3-1230, and I sold that over 3 years ago, I think.

I work with Xeons all the time at work, though. The servers have many things that do better, but it is more about the surrounding hardware than the processor that makes any differences in a VM host. The server hardware is usually pretty easy to get cheap on Ebay, though, like server NICs and RAID controllers. The other surrounding hardware that would make a difference is memory. Obviously, we can't install nearly as much memory in a Core than a Xeon in most cases because of the Core's lack of support for ECC-Registered memory. The ECC only makes a difference in stability when memory is going bad, so that makes no difference most of the time. Getting reliable memory makes ECC moot for a home lab, and most people aren't going to spend the money for 256GB of memory on their home lab.

The processor itself is no different otherwise, even under heavier workloads. A Core chip would be just as reliable under a heavy load as a Xeon, as long as the memory doesn't start throwing errors. (Games are heavier workloads than server apps in most cases, and the heaviest games and benchmarks would actually be harder than any server app, as servers should have some headroom to operate reliably, whereas benchmarks and some games just take all the CPU they can.)

It's the same with Ryzen and Epyc. Ryzen even supports ECC memory, with the right motherboard, so that part of the comparison makes no difference. Ryzens make very good servers for either home or small business use, with the right surrounding hardware.
 

beyonddc

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Someone please tell me that I got a good deal on the R420 on eBay. This server costs me $440 included shipping

Will be used as a home lab for learning virtualization and also hosting some VMs

ss.jpg
 

Spartacus09

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Someone please tell me that I got a good deal on the R420 on eBay. This server costs me $440 included shipping

Will be used as a home lab for learning virtualization and also hosting some VMs
About average to alittle below avg in price, its a solid unit though.
 
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Very nice...4x2tb dell drives.. nice... def needs more memory well depending on amount of vms you run. I find that i run out of memory long b4 cpu
 

CombatChrisNC

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2x ESXi 6.0 Hosts in a cluster
HP ProLiant DL360p Gen8
Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2620 @ 2.00GHz (2x 6-core, 12-thread each host)
192GB DDR3 each
Brocade 1020 HBAs (FCoE and iSCSI capable)

1x FreeNAS (SAN)
HP ProLiant DL360p Gen8 (same CPU and RAM spec as above)
6x 600GiB disks (1.8TiB usable, 3x Z1's)
2x 100GiB SSD for ZIL
1TB iSCSI share for the ESXi hosts

Oh, it's 10gbs iSCSI/network through a single port on each box.

It's perfectly quick enough for what we need. I'm only worried I'm going to get full on the SAN before anything else. I'm kicking myself I didn't find the 900GiB drives I had laying around and go with those. But I suppose I can migrate the array to them one at a time.
 

beyonddc

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My R410 arrived couple days ago. I finally have time to install ESXI 6.7 on it.
- 2x Intel Xeon E5-2440 @ 2.4GHz
- 48GB of RAM
- 2x1GB NIC
- 4x2TB hard drives configured in RAID5
- DVD Drive
- Dual PSU

Note in the picture that I am using a UPS. The CyberPower consumer level UPS is not useful for my server. It didn't have enough capacity to drive the server when all the server fans were spinning during startup. The UPS just turned off itself so right now I just have the server plugged into a regular surge protector. I will get a better UPS when I have a chance.

^60FC78914680BEA6688B2D074A86F6E411FD4BB69A501BFE28^pimgpsh_fullsize_distr.jpg
 

Grimlaking

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Yea a good UPS for a dual power supply setup. I would put that on two Cyberpower's if the cost is right. Then you will have the juice needed to run the server just fine and be protected from power fluctuation.
 
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Specs:
Norco RPC-4220 4U Rackmount Case

any issues with this case?
ive got one locally on CL that he wants $175.. was gonna offer $150...

I am the original owner and bought this chassis in October 2016. They now retail for about $350.
I moved the system to a bigger chassis and no longer need this one.
The rails shown are generic rails, $40 new, and are included in the price.
The power supply shown is the one I used with this system and is a EVGA SuperNOVA 850 G2 850W, and is slightly newer (purchased in January 2016).
There is no m/b or drives included with this system. All up, the items here retail for about $500 (including taxes).
NOTE: in one photo, it looks like the top of the case does not fit. It does, but it was loose for taking these photos.
WARNING: I suspect one drive connector is wonky. I never investigated it to find out the cause.

thoughts? stay clear due to the warning?
 

ChRoNo16

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I wouldnt be afraid of it. Plan to not use that bay, or buy a replacement backplane. cant be that expensive.
 
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I got a new setup running...

I didn't care to raid the ssd's as this is a test box.. who knows what im going to do as I could...

but here is what I got to play with...

got an HP Procurve cx4 connect-x switch coming... 6 ports.. and I need 5 WOOT!!!! lol




host.png

storage.png

network.png
 

Spartacus09

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drats.. I don't think I have HT turned on.. only sees 16 cpu... should be 32... LOL
Might not be your fault, VMware turns it off automatically I think depending on the version to "fix" the spectre/meltdown vulnerability.
The fix is turning off HT, its dumb and not an acceptable solution.
 

Modder man

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Might not be your fault, VMware turns it off automatically I think depending on the version to "fix" the spectre/meltdown vulnerability.
The fix is turning off HT, its dumb and not an acceptable solution.
It's not like VMware has an alternate option...A hardware issue cannot be fixed in software in this case, only mitigated.
 

Spartacus09

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I'm aware, still an annoying to cut the CPU thread count in half as the only solution wasn't directing that at VMware specificallly.
 

Majinhoju

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I just recently obtained a Dell T3500. It currently has a Xeon w3530 and 12GB of ram, nothing fancy. I just ordered an x5680 on ebay and will pop that in there once it arrives.

I'm still deciding what to do with this thing but it's currently running ESXI 6.5 and has an Ubuntu VM hosting a Minecraft server for my kids. I will likely tinker with other dedicated gaming servers over time and also use it to learn more Linux (I'm still a Linux Noob).
 

ChRoNo16

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I got a new setup running...

I didn't care to raid the ssd's as this is a test box.. who knows what im going to do as I could...

but here is what I got to play with...

got an HP Procurve cx4 connect-x switch coming... 6 ports.. and I need 5 WOOT!!!! lol




View attachment 134296

View attachment 134297

View attachment 134298
6.7 shows the cpu cores weird. Mine only shows the 12 actual cores, but all 24 are there. your HT is most likely still on just displayed like mine is.
 

Grimlaking

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6.7 U2 and above should reflect all of the CPU cores. ESXI on all previous versions has a security patch that disables your hyperthreaded cores due to a vulnerability with intel's Hyperthreading.
 

Spartacus09

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6.7 U2 and above should reflect all of the CPU cores. ESXI on all previous versions has a security patch that disables your hyperthreaded cores due to a vulnerability with intel's Hyperthreading.
It didn't actually disable it unless you told it to 'fix' the issue, it just gave you the angry warning message about the vulnerability.
 

Grimlaking

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It didn't actually disable it unless you told it to 'fix' the issue, it just gave you the angry warning message about the vulnerability.
That is true. Just thought someone may have gone in and turned it on and forgot about it. (To be honest I haven't played with 6.7 U2. That's something I'm getting ready to do.
 

dbwillis

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ESXi 6.7, basic machine, 32gb, quad core xeon, 3x 500gb Samsung SSD, 1TB backup, 150gb boot
 

Attachments

Grimlaking

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that's interesting I would expect your hyperthreaded CPU's to show. I wonder if they just turned that off in 6.7 U2 hence the advanced option doesn't need to be disabled as it is default enabled.

Search your advanced options for hyperthreading. There should be one set to true for... for... (checks his.)

VMkernel.Boot.hyperthreadingMitigation

If that is set to true set it to false. Restart the host and see if you have your hyperthreaded CPU's. (And probably a warning about security.)
 

ChRoNo16

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that's interesting I would expect your hyperthreaded CPU's to show. I wonder if they just turned that off in 6.7 U2 hence the advanced option doesn't need to be disabled as it is default enabled.

Search your advanced options for hyperthreading. There should be one set to true for... for... (checks his.)

VMkernel.Boot.hyperthreadingMitigation

If that is set to true set it to false. Restart the host and see if you have your hyperthreaded CPU's. (And probably a warning about security.)
if u click the arrow next to the cpu it drops down to show u the number of virtual cores. idk why they did it but yeah
 

Susquehannock

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I just recently obtained a Dell T3500. It currently has a Xeon w3530 and 12GB of ram, nothing fancy. I just ordered an x5680 on ebay and will pop that in there once it arrives.

I'm still deciding what to do with this thing but it's currently running ESXI 6.5 and has an Ubuntu VM hosting a Minecraft server for my kids. I will likely tinker with other dedicated gaming servers over time and also use it to learn more Linux (I'm still a Linux Noob).
I have a good bit of experience with Dell T3500. Before popping that X5680 in be sure it has BIOS 'A07' or later or it won't boot with a Westmere CPU.
 

TeeJayHoward

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Lets just toss all this hardware in a room, and run some extension cables with a cheap looking power strip, its coo. :D
Hey, it’s only pulling 12-15A under normal use... I’m sure a RocketFish surge protector will be fine!:whistle:

Seriously, though, I might run a 30A twist-lock line to the room and get a real PDU. I’ve ALMOST got the run planned out. Just need to verify that one wall is hollow.
 

Spartacus09

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Hey, it’s only pulling 12-15A under normal use... I’m sure a RocketFish surge protector will be fine!:whistle:

Seriously, though, I might run a 30A twist-lock line to the room and get a real PDU. I’ve ALMOST got the run planned out. Just need to verify that one wall is hollow.
I'm really close to doing that, the electrical panel is 1 wall away from my office, it'd be soooo easy to just add a dedicated 15a or 20a single line outlet.
(I have a 25U enclosure myself, but trying to pair down to quieter consumer level equipment with quiet enterprise internals)

your rack makes me feel funny in my pants.
Funny in the pants and pain in the ears :D.
 

ChRoNo16

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I'm really close to doing that, the electrical panel is 1 wall away from my office, it'd be soooo easy to just add a dedicated 15a or 20a single line outlet.
(I have a 25U enclosure myself, but trying to pair down to quieter consumer level equipment with quiet enterprise internals)


Funny in the pants and pain in the ears :D.
I used to sleep next to an old Cisco 5000 series switch, what IS loud?
 

ND40oz

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Hey, it’s only pulling 12-15A under normal use... I’m sure a RocketFish surge protector will be fine!:whistle:

Seriously, though, I might run a 30A twist-lock line to the room and get a real PDU. I’ve ALMOST got the run planned out. Just need to verify that one wall is hollow.
Put it in the basement and running dedicated lines off of the subpanel is much easier.
 
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