Your home ESX server lab hardware specs?

fatguy

Weaksauce
Joined
Apr 25, 2005
Messages
93
** removed since this is just a specs thread - will post images in main forum
 
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NetJunkie

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Mar 16, 2001
Messages
9,682
Just some words of advice. When building your home vSphere lab buy motherboards with good IPMI or other lights-out management unless you plan to have a kb/monitor on them. Been goofing around with my network, dVS, and the 1000v today and have used it a couple times to rebuild the management network. :)
 

surrealillusion

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 10, 2009
Messages
132
I second that suggestion by NetJunkie, it's a really handy feature and isn't just for servers anymore (just wish there was another app other than VNC Plus for OOB for Intel's OOB KVM).
 

Dj-Visto

n00b
Joined
Feb 16, 2011
Messages
7
My homemachine:

Asus M4A88T-V EVO
AMD Phenom X6 1055T
16GB DDR3 Transcend
Intel PRO/1000 PT Dual Port Server Adapter (2x1Gbps teaming)
Booting from a usb flash (4GB)!

This my server, i'm now 15years old! The storage is a other machine with Debian Lenny (3x1TB RAID5 + 2x250GB RAID0)

* Happy from that
 
Joined
May 22, 2006
Messages
3,270
Updated my home lab. Ditched the Athlon II CPUs since they don't support RVI and added more NICs so I can play with iSCSI multipathing.

ESXi box 1
AMD Phenom II X4 925 CPU
16GB RAM
Intel PRO/1000 GT PCI NIC (VM port group)
Intel PRO/1000 MT PCI-X dual port NIC (SC/vMotion, FT logging)
Broadcom BCM5709 PCI-E dual port NIC (configured as iSCSI HBA and using Round Robin)
80GB 2.5" HDD

ESXi box 2
AMD Phenom II X4 925 CPU
16GB RAM
Intel PRO/1000 GT PCI NIC (VM port group)
Intel PRO/1000 MT PCI-X dual port NIC (SC/vMotion, FT logging)
Broadcom BCM5709 PCI-E dual port NIC (configured as iSCSI HBA and using Round Robin)
80GB 2.5" HDD

File Server (Debian Linux 6.0)
AMD Athlon II X2 250u 25w CPU
2GB RAM
2x 120GB 2.5" HDDs mirrored (OS)
Dell PERC 5i w/BBU
- 4x 250GB HDDs RAID 5 (VMs, iSCSI)
3x 1.5TB HDDs Software RAID 5 (file share)
3x Gb NICs (two for iSCSI, one for file share and management)
 

AMD_Gamer

Fully [H]
Joined
Jan 20, 2002
Messages
18,287
SUPERMICRO X8SIL
2X Kingston 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM ECC Unbuffered DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Server Memory
Intel Xeon X3440 Lynnfield 2.53GHz
Antec 300 Case
CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-620HX 620W PSU
1 Extra Intel EXPI9301CTBLK 10/ 100/ 1000Mbps PCI-Express Network Adapter
Dell Perc 6i Raid controller
4X Western Digital RE3 WD5002ABYS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
OS Drive: Western Digital Raptor WD740ADFD 74GB 10000 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 1.5Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
Some old CD/DVD drive( no need to ever use it with IPMI and remote ISO mounting)

ghlhI.jpg


Xx0ZA.jpg


7km9N.jpg


gW1YJ.jpg
 

ugly

n00b
Joined
Feb 4, 2011
Messages
53
Supermicro x8dtl
24GB DDR3 ECC
Intel Xeon X5650 (2)
2TB SATA III drives (4) and assortment of other HDs (3)
650W power supply

I have so much processing power with nothing productive to do...
 

McDeth

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 26, 2002
Messages
414
Does anyone know if there are any LGA775 (standalone) server boards that are on the hardware whitelist for ESXi 4.1? My computer is setup with a Q6600 & 6GB or RAM, and it's time to upgrade.

I'd like to either upgrade the computer or end up buying an actual server. At this point I think it would make more since to upgrade my main machine and repurpose my old computer guts as an ESXi server. Right now the only thing stopping me from doing so is that I have an Abit IP-35 Pro with the Intel ICH9 HDD controller, which is known to not work with ESXi 4.1.

I have about 1.5 TB of files on a Dell Perc 6/i RAID controller, but would prefer to not have to wipe my disks in order to use them with ESXi.

Any suggestions?
 

haileris

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 6, 2010
Messages
458
A picture of my home server lab in action. Ok far less exciting than it sounds but this is an image that shows how useful virtualisation is :)

5Figt.jpg
 

haileris

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 6, 2010
Messages
458
Damn, do you have those as physical hosts? why so many VM's?

Everything there is virtual across my 4 virtual hosts. Why... mostly because I can :) But I still like to keep some degree of technical knowledge hence the need for multiple sandpits etc.
 

jenuster

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 8, 2011
Messages
154
Does anyone know if FT is supported using Core i7 9** procs? According to the VM doc--the processors arenot listed but it is part of the nehalem series so I think it shoud work.When I run sitesurvey on my nested ESX--it tells me the proc is not supported. Any help is much appreciated.
 

jenuster

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 8, 2011
Messages
154
Just went with a very similar setup to NetJunkie, the SuperMicro board is awesome. I also went with the Synology DS1511+. I actually ordered the Synology units for one of my clients for backups and it works great. I have two Broadcom 5709 lying around as well that I will use on the ESX hosts.

I was initially going to go with i7 920 procs, but I can't find confirmation anywhere that all VSphere features work (more specfically FT). It's a bit expensive (especially the ECC memory) but it's definitely a good investment for ones career.

Here's my cart on NewEgg:

(8) Kingston ValueRAM 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 ECC Unbuffered Server Memory Model KVR1333D3E9S/4G

Rosewill Green Series RG430-S12 430W Continuous @40°C, 80 PLUS Certified, Single 12V Rail,

SUPERMICRO MBD-X8SIL-F-O Xeon X3400 / L3400 / Core i3 series Dual LAN Micro ATX Server Board w/ Remote Management

HP ProCurve J9450A#ABA 10/100/1000Mbps Switch

Synology DS1511+ Diskless System DiskStation Scaleable Network Storage for SMB Users

Intel Xeon X3450 Lynnfield 2.66GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Server Processor BX80605X3450


Now the hard part of actually waiting for these units to arrive..
 
Joined
Feb 16, 2011
Messages
24
esxi.jpg


Intel Core i7 960 3.20Ghz (Nehalem) (Socket LGA1366)
Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R Intel X58 (Socket 1366) DDR3 Motherboard
Corsair Vengeance 12GB (3x4GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C9 1600MHz Triple Channel Kit x 2
Fractal Design Define XL Full Tower Case - Black Pearl
Corsair Enthusiast Series TX 650W V2 High Performance Power Supply
Corsair Hydro H50-1 High-Performance CPU Watercooler (Socket LGA775/1155/1156/1366/AM2/AM3)
Akasa AK-FN058 Apache Black Super Silent 120mm Fan x 3

Posting in here for reference in case anyone else is looking for a Core i7 solution. The GA-X58A-UD3R does not support VT-d passthru which I only found out after buying it. Other than that, the board and 24GB of memory (@1333Mhz) have been rock solid for the last month running 24x7.
 

ItsTooHot

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Apr 21, 2000
Messages
1,518
Recently updated my lab.

AsRock 775 MoBo
Q6700 overclocked to 3.0GHz
16GB Ram
HighPoint RR4310 with 4 2TB Hitachi drives
Other misc drives for ISO storage
ESXi booted from thumb drive
Intel dual NIC
Also added onboard Realtek 8111 driver

I have Untangle to route between the 2 networks, just for fun and expermintation. The 8111 I plan on using for iSCSI storage, but haven't had time to play with it yet.

Cheers!
 
Joined
Mar 17, 2011
Messages
14
Built a home lab that some of you might want me to test specific stuff with so feel free to shoot me PMs. I'm new to this, just begining to work on VCP cert studies...so might need some specific instructions for some stuff.

i7-2600 http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=52213
BOXDQ67SWB3 (Intel Q67 Chipset) http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=52812
16 GB RAM
ESXi booted from thumb drive
Intel 10/100/1000Mbps PCI-Express Gigabit CT (onboard doesn't work yet, but I'm sure it will in the future, I have another NIC in the mail)

Still deciding what I want to do for the 2nd host on the lab...can launch an ESXi VM on my gaming rig to test stuff in the meantime

Separate physical freeNAS based storage for ZFS/iSCSI
 
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devvoid

n00b
Joined
Nov 12, 2008
Messages
49
I've got two of these boxes:

Supermicro X8SIL-f
Xeon X3450
8GB RAM
Onboard dual NIC's plus Intel dual NIC's
ESXi booting off flash drives

Storage is a Synology DS1511+ with 5x WD 1TB drives.
 
Joined
Dec 6, 2003
Messages
27
Still Very New to the World of ESXi

But I got my server up and running this morning, now lets see how many times i break it and have to rebuild it.

Intel Core i5 - 760 1156
Asus P7P55D-E LX
8GB Corsair XMS DDR3 1600
Onboard Realtek 8112 NIC, with a Dual Port Intel Pro 1000 coming soon.

Soon to migrate and have 4TB of storage and Boot to USB soon.
 

doh

user
Joined
May 17, 2001
Messages
8,639
Running ESXi 4.0 on an HP DL380 G6 at home. The server has one 2.26GHz E5520, 4GB UDIMMs, two 146G 10k 3G SAS disks. Almost forgot - ESXi is installed on an SDHC card in the embedded SD slot.

Next year is the year of the upgrade: Expanding to eight drives, 24G RDIMMs, second CPU, second PSU, BBWC.

This actually moved to a colo centre. It's up to eight drives ans 12GB of memory. No BBWC yet and just the one CPU and PSU.
 

ashman

Gawd
Joined
Mar 28, 2011
Messages
805
Dell Power Edge 2900
Dual Dual Core Xeon 3.2GHz CPU's
24GB RAM
Perc 5i
3x1TB WD Black SATA drives RAID 5
12VM's

Whitebox
Gigabyte EP45UD3L motherboard
8GB DDR2 RAM
Adaptec 2410SA RAID controller
4x500GB SATA drives RAID 5
Inte pro 1000 network card
6 vm's
 

NetJunkie

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Mar 16, 2001
Messages
9,682
Ordered the parts for another server yesterday. I did the X3430 instead of the X3450 this time. Took that money and bought another 4GB of RAM so this one has 12GB.
 

seanmcd

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 20, 2003
Messages
1,455
Just built a new setup from retired hardware at work:

HP DL380 G5 Server
2 x X5450 Cpu's (Xeon 3.0ghz quad cores)
HP P400 SAS controller w/ 256mb battery write back cache
8gb ram (eventually I hope to track down some 2gb sticks)
(8) 146gb 10K SAS drives

ESXi running off an 8gb USB drive

Can't beat having an HP lights-out connection to remotely power off/on your box! It's fairly quiet too.

I should be able to locate more ram, bigger cache, and faster drives as we retire more stuff (and virtualize more stuff) throughout the year.
 

AtkinS

Gawd
Joined
Nov 7, 2007
Messages
811
since i've been with amd and virtualization for so long my EVC mode is amd and making me stick to amd cpu's for my main rigs.
This work very well for me, I do often cheap upgrades for my main pc, while my 4 servers get upgraded ever now and then.
I'd like to tell the whole story of how everything is set up, but this post would be far too big.

AM2 platforms:
16gb DDR2 800 mhz 5-5-5-15 unreg ecc.
Phenom 9350E
Asus m3a88G-TD-m or something
FSP 150W psu.
3x gigabit intel nics

16gb DDR2 800 mhz 5-5-5-15 unreg ecc
phenom II 940 BE (undervolted to 0.975 at 3ghz)
dfi lp jr 790gx M2r
FSP 200W
3x gigabit intel nics

AM3
Phenom II X6 2.8 ghz
16gb DDR3 non ecc.
asus 880G.
Corsair HX 1000 (to be changed....)
quad intel nic.

those are my boxes for esxi

nas:
a 24 disk array with samsung drives.
I'm looking for a ssd array next, half is storage and half is for esx, I hope I can reduce the amount by quite alot since there are a few old drives there running just 3 vm's.
it runs quadnic. 2 iscsi 2 cifs.
Openfiler with 1.8ghz dualcore windsor core at 0.875 V
throughput: enough, no issues whatso ever (200gb stores are reccomended by netapp, I gained I/o, even tho its a netapp thing to do)

network.
2 gigabit switches from HP 2 series.

nic config for esx boxes:
nic 1 = pure iscsi nic 2 = management/lan + iscsi nic 3 = just management/lan.
rules to pull most lan traffic on lan interface, seperated by vlans.
vcenter is running on the nas, very limited resources given, but since my nas already is single point of failure I'd like to keep it that way for everything.

Openfiler can do just that.

39 vm's in total.
 
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liveify

n00b
Joined
Jul 11, 2010
Messages
48
Dell T110
X3430
10gb ddr3 unbuffered
250gb hard drive
ESXI 4.1

Amazing server for 330 + 140 for 8gb more memory
 

dave99

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 20, 2011
Messages
2,129
Poweredge SC440
Q6600 quad core
8GB RAM
Perc5 with 256M cache & BBU
4x Hitachi 500 GB 7200 RPM laptop drives in 2x Raid1 in a 4-in-1 cage.
Esxi 4.1 booting from USB.

Runs 4 linux and 1 pfsense vm's full time, plus a couple win2008s on occasion for testing.
 

LightStar

Weaksauce
Joined
Aug 19, 2009
Messages
78
New ESXI server ! and yes it is fast :p maybe i gonna change it to a Windows 2008 Server R2 with Hyper-V.....

Motherboard: EVGA Classified SR-2
CPU: 2x Intel Xeon E5620 Quad core 8 threats (16 total)
Mem: 2x Corsair Dominator 24GB kit total 48GB
2x OCZ Agility 2 Sata II 60GB Raid0 stripe set
Datastore is comming from the Qnap TS-419P
 

Watch22

n00b
Joined
Jul 23, 2004
Messages
11
Here is my new ESXi 4.1 Update 1 Home environment.

Supermicro X9SCM-F
Intel Xeon 1230
16GB ECC
IBM M1015 Raid Controller
2 x Intel Pro 1000 ET Dual Port Nics
4 x 2TB HD (Direct Passthrough for Windows server)
4 x 146GB SAS 6 Raid 10 (For VM's)
 

SimonD

n00b
Joined
Jun 6, 2008
Messages
11
My current home lab is comprised of.

3 Lenovo T200 Servers (2 of them have E3450 CPU's, 1 has E3560 CPU) each with 24GB ECC running ESXi 4.1u1 from 2gb SanDisk Blade Keys
1 Iomega IX4-200D
1 HP MicroServer (8GB) currently being used for NAS\SAN Performance Testing (using Iometer and scripts found at the VMware VMTN Forums) using an M1015 Controller to control 4x1.5tb disk with the onboard controller looking after an OCZ Onyx used for L2ARC on the ZFS based OS's.
 

Chilly

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Oct 3, 2005
Messages
2,031
Building a New Home Lab, got all the parts in, and have got one of the two hosts up and running.

2x Identical ESXi 4.1U1 Hosts as such:
Supermicro X9SCL
Intel Xeon E3-1240
8GB ECC
4GB Sandisk USB Key
1x On-board Intel 82574L
1x On-board Intel 82579LM (BOO-YAH, I got it to work all on my own!) http://www.vm-help.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=11181#p11181

All connected to this SAN:
Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard
Starwind iSCSI Target Software
ASUS A8R32-MVP Deluxe
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+
4GB
2x Onboard Gigabit Realtek Crap
WD 36GB Raptor(ORGINIAL OLD SCKOOL!) - Boot/OS Disk
Intel X25M 120GB SSD - iSCSI Target Disk
 

s0lid

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 17, 2011
Messages
202
Current ESXi rig:
Athlon II X2 245
Asus M3A76-CM
4GB DDR2
Perc 5/i + 4x 640GB WD Black raid5
intel pci 1gbps nic
500W smartpower 2.0 immortal edition :p (fixed to last)

Goin to replaced with:
Dual X5570 @ 2.93GHz
Asus Z8PE-D12X
12GB DDR3
900W tagan atm

Dual X5570 is waiting that i finish it's rack case (DIY PE-MWU case) and that i've time backup the vms from old rig...
 
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