Your home ESX server lab hardware specs?

NetJunkie

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Bah. Logged in to vCenter today and it was running terrible and I couldn't get the vCenter services to start. Complaining of missing files. CPU was pegged but nothing was really busy. I finally took a look at the vSphere host and could barely log in...I rebooted it and found it wouldn't boot off the USB thumb drive. Looks like the drive failed at some point last night. This happens to be the one host I have with an internal 2TB drive so I reinstalled vSphere to that and it's running fine now.

Annoying.
 

AMD_Gamer

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Bah. Logged in to vCenter today and it was running terrible and I couldn't get the vCenter services to start. Complaining of missing files. CPU was pegged but nothing was really busy. I finally took a look at the vSphere host and could barely log in...I rebooted it and found it wouldn't boot off the USB thumb drive. Looks like the drive failed at some point last night. This happens to be the one host I have with an internal 2TB drive so I reinstalled vSphere to that and it's running fine now.

Annoying.

I saw your tweets earlier. I run my vCenter inside virtualbox on my desktop.

Also not to go off topic but what is with you and using a mac?:p
 

NetJunkie

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I saw your tweets earlier. I run my vCenter inside virtualbox on my desktop.

Also not to go off topic but what is with you and using a mac?:p

What's wrong with me using a Mac?! Been a Mac user for like 5 years now. Never would have believed it. It's funny... Mac is now a default offering at Cisco, EMC, VMware, and others. It's odd to be in a meeting with a bunch of Cisco guys and everyone NOT have a Mac....same with VMware. I used to be the odd man out, now I'm not. I used to get grief from customers and now often they have one as well in a meeting.

Times have changed. :) Nice having all my UNIXy tools built right in.
 

Vader

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Iomega StorCenter PX4-300d is on the way! I should've taken your advice earlier and just bought a NAS, but then again, these weren't out yet!!..:D

Still sticking with the single beefy server for now. If it causes problems..i'll part it out and get two systems.

 

NetJunkie

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Nice. I was promised either a PX4 or PX6 to demo and review after VMworld. We'll see. :) Had a VNXe show up at the lab yesterday to test out and do some blog posts on.
 

vladdrac

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Iomega StorCenter PX4-300d is on the way! I should've taken your advice earlier and just bought a NAS, but then again, these weren't out yet!!..:D

Still sticking with the single beefy server for now. If it causes problems..i'll part it out and get two systems.


Hello, can you tell what is the use of the pci-e x4, on this iomega?
 

Vader

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That's not the iomega. That's the server he built.

L:DL!

The server has:

Nvidia Quadro PCI-E Vid card
2 x Intel PT1000 PCI-E Adapters

I'll post pics of the IOMEGA when I get back from get this, Funeral, Wedding, DR, Vacation....rough schedule.
 
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QHalo

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L:DL!

The server has:

Nvidia Quadro PCI-E Vid card
2 x Intel PT1000 PCI-E Adapters

I'll post pics of the IOMEGA when I get back from get this, Funeral, Wedding, DR, Vacation....rough schedule.

I'm not trying to make light of the situation but that sounds like mixing uppers and downers. Down, Up(depending on how you look at it :p), Down, Up
 
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ESXi box:
i7 Quad Core with 24 gigs of DDR3
ESXi booting off a usb drive
Two nics, one for LAN and one for iSCSI traffic only to the iSCSI box via a crossover cable
Will be adding some more in the feature, vlan management out, etc.

iSCSI box:
Duo Core with 3 something gigs of DDR2
4 x 500 gigs WDs in RAID 5
Two nics, one for LAN and one for iSCSI traffic only to the ESXi box
OS: Windows Storage Server 2008R2. Have two LUNs on it right now.

Right now I have my DC and Exchange server running off of there, those are the dedicated vms anyways.

Then for my lab, I have vms for vcenter, view, desktops for my pools, view security server for external connections, etc.

I think I will have to be adding more space soon, as I get more into view. Might build a straight SAN using openfiler or something... that is in the planning. Playing with this stuff really helps me at work - I would not do anything that I would do in my lab on a production network.

What I would really like is a nice H or E chassis blade center, DS3400s, etc.
 

dashpuppy

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ESXi box:
i7 Quad Core with 24 gigs of DDR3
ESXi booting off a usb drive
Two nics, one for LAN and one for iSCSI traffic only to the iSCSI box via a crossover cable
Will be adding some more in the feature, vlan management out, etc.

iSCSI box:
Duo Core with 3 something gigs of DDR2
4 x 500 gigs WDs in RAID 5
Two nics, one for LAN and one for iSCSI traffic only to the ESXi box
OS: Windows Storage Server 2008R2. Have two LUNs on it right now.

Right now I have my DC and Exchange server running off of there, those are the dedicated vms anyways.

Then for my lab, I have vms for vcenter, view, desktops for my pools, view security server for external connections, etc.

I think I will have to be adding more space soon, as I get more into view. Might build a straight SAN using openfiler or something... that is in the planning. Playing with this stuff really helps me at work - I would not do anything that I would do in my lab on a production network.

What I would really like is a nice H or E chassis blade center, DS3400s, etc.

sounds just like my lab :)
 

dilidolo

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vCenter:
P4D 3.2G,
4G RAM,
2 x 15k rpm SAS,
Win 2008 R2, SQL 2008 R2

2 x ESXi 4.1:
Supermicro X8SAX,
i7 930,
6 x 4G DDR3,
2 x onboard Intel 82574L nic
2 x Intel MT dual port server nic
Qlogic QLE 2460 4Gb FC HBA

Storage Server:
Supermicro X8ST3-F
XEON W3520
6 x 2G DDR3 ECC
2 x onboard Intel 82574L nic
Intel PT dual port nic
Qlogic QLE 2462 dual port 4Gb FC HBA
2 x 74G 15K rpm SAS - mirror for OS
8 x 300G 15K rpm SAS - RAID 10 for VMware
Intel X25-E for ZIL
2 x Cosair Nova 64G for L2ARC
6 x 2TB 7200 rpm SAS - RAID50 for data
Vertex2 40G for ZIL
Cosair Nova 64G for L2ARC
6 x 2TB 7200 rpm SATA - RAID50 - downloads
Solaris Express 11

Backup Server:
Q6600, 8G ram, 150G OS disk, 2 x 3TB for backup

Switch:
HP Procurve 3448
Brocade 200E
 

QHalo

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How do you like that Brocade 200E? You can get them decently cheap on eBay. Been thinking about one of those for some FC goodness at home. The HBA's are the killers though if you only have PCIe.
 

dilidolo

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How do you like that Brocade 200E? You can get them decently cheap on eBay. Been thinking about one of those for some FC goodness at home. The HBA's are the killers though if you only have PCIe.

It runs very nice. You can get 2Gb HBAs and switches for very cheap and with MPIO, it should give good performance too. Only when you want to try NPIV, you don't really need 4Gb for lab.
 

QHalo

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Yeah 2GB is enough for now to mess around. I don't need anything super fast just enough to get some experience with them is all.
 

ChRoNo16

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New host! Yay!

HP DL320 G4
Pentium D 3.00GHz
8gb DDR2 ram
1x 80gb Sata (Isos and vmware ESXi)
1x 500gb Sata (Vm storage/drives)

Running a nice custom ESXi 4.0 HP Edition XD
 

QHalo

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2Gb is fine for a lot of production setups too. ;) Still a lot out there.

That I did not know. The last place I worked that I was in charge of our ESX hosts, back in the 2.5.2 days, we still had 4GB FC. I'm working on a nice FC build to complement my home lab something not too extravagant but enough to get the basic concepts and to learn. Its the one thing that I never got to really touch when I worked in corporate environment where everyone is silo'd. Lots of "that's mine, don't touch" types and storage concepts are definitely my weak area.
 

Vader

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Got the new NAS today...setting it up now. I'll post pics etc..and do a little review on my blog. Link is in my sig.


back in the 2.5.2 days, we still had 4GB FC

Hey now..i'm still running 4GB FC...be nice!..lol
 
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QHalo

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Got the new NAS today...setting it up now. I'll post pics etc..and do a little review on my blog. Link is in my sig.




Hey now..i'm still running 4GB FC...be nice!..lol

I wasn't hating on 4GB, just saying its hard to believe people still run 2GB when 4GB has been around for so long. :D
 

mac_cnc

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Just snagged a Dell 2950 server from work. Only has 8gb of RAM but its dual xeon. Should get that puppy going this weekend. Now if it didnt eat up 350 watts while running...... ><
 

joshu

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Hi everyone,

I'm about to purchase a couple of esxi hosts and looking at pretty much the same hardware as NetJunkie. However, I need some help regarding my choice of hardware.

I'm thinking of the following items:

BX80605X3450 Xeon X3450 QuadCore HT 2.66GHz 8MB DDR3 TDP 95W

X8SIL-F-B Xeon 3400 Motherboard uATX, IPMI, BULK

CSE-510-200B 1U Mini case 1*Internal 3.5, 200W 80+ PSU

KVR1333D3E9S/4G 2x4GB Kingston RAM


I have been searching for the smallest possible cases for micro-atx boards and I know several people use Lian Li cases. However, I don't need internal disks or expansion cards. Ideally, the servers would be as small and nibble as Apple Mac Minis, but that's not going to happen ;) I'm thinking of the SuperMicro case because it already comes with fans, PSU and although it's a 1U it looks as small as I can get a case for the X8SIL-F board.

What I'm unsure of is whether the board with the Intel X3450 will function alright in the case. I don't know if I would use the stock Intel fan or a different one. I found this thread http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showpost.php?p=6542579&postcount=10 were someone removed the fan and just used the heatsink. Also, I don't know how loud this setup is.

I live in Sweden and can get the above hardware for about $800, but before I order anything I want to ask for advice and if I'm overlooking anything.

Thanks for your help ;)
 

joshu

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Hey AMD_Gamer. I'm going to get a Synology DS1511+ which I'll use for vms and also for storage of media etc for the Macs on my home network.
 

NetJunkie

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I'm thinking that case is going to be loud with those fans. If noise isn't an issue you should be fine. I use the Lian Li 351 case for my lab nodes and I can do low speed fans and they are very quiet. I don't do internal drives either...but every 1U case I've seen is too loud plus they are wider than what I want. I just stack my 3 Lian Li cases.
 

joshu

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Wow everyone answers so quick here! AWESOME! Thanks guys.

NetJunkie as I'm going to have these at home and not in a fancy rack or anything noise is a concern. I've looked at all kinds of options like http://www.hd-plex.com/H5.S.html and even thinking about designing my own cases with the help of http://protocase.com/.

Since you've mentioned that the SuperMicro case will be loud I guess I will have to reconsider and create a new shopping list akin to yours and the BabyDragon build http://rootwyrm.us.to/2010/08/meet-my-esxi-server-the-babydragon/
 

NetJunkie

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Unless there is real load on the CPU my config is very, very quiet. My lab sits in my office about 8' from my desk to heat and noise are a big concern. I have all 3 nodes stacked next to a bookcase so they really only take up the room of one case width. It's not bad at all. I'm using the Intel cooler so no worries there.
 

joshu

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Odd request maybe, but would you be able to post a photo of your vStack :p
 

NetJunkie

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Sure. Not a great pic but I did it fast. The cat says hello and my lab is a bit of a mess, but you can see the cases.

lab.jpg
 

joshu

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Hehe the cat looks comfortable ;) Thank you NetJunkie!

I'm looking at the case now and what I'd need to get i.e. PSU and fans.

Btw what APC UPS is that in the picture and is all your gear running off it?
 

NetJunkie

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It's a 1Kva APC UPS. Most of my gear is on that one. On the left side in the floor is a 1Kva CyberPower. Notice the physical size diff? Which one do you think works better? :) I need to replace that one with another APC.
 

NetJunkie

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Nice stuff! What are you doing with he Cisco gear?

Other than holding the floor down? :) I have it in case I want to do some performance testing. They are 2960S switches. I have some Qlogic 10Gb adapters in the servers. Some good blog posts coming on those as soon as I get further down my list of to-dos.
 

Poplap

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It's a 1Kva APC UPS. Most of my gear is on that one. On the left side in the floor is a 1Kva CyberPower. Notice the physical size diff? Which one do you think works better? :) I need to replace that one with another APC.

i have the same APC UPS powering my Severs, saved my a$$ many time while moving files around. :)
 

Nocturnal

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It's a 1Kva APC UPS. Most of my gear is on that one. On the left side in the floor is a 1Kva CyberPower. Notice the physical size diff? Which one do you think works better? :) I need to replace that one with another APC.
When doing a search for a 1kVA APC UPS I found the BR1000G, is this the right model?
 
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