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New TS140 setup advice


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Hi all,


I am in the process of buying a TS140 to upgrade a N40L which has been serving me well for ~5 years. it currently has one install of Win2008R2 that runs everything I need (alot) and so I intend to run ESXI 6.0 with multiple VM's to break things up a little on the new TS140.


The reason I'm posting is I am a little new to ESXI and the TS140 so I thought it might be wise to list the hardware I'm going to purchase and see if you guys could provide any advice on the setup.


So here is what I intend to do:


  • Kingston 16Gb ECC RAM (will double to 32Gb later)
  • 500 SSD for ESXI and VM images
  • 256 SSD for misc storage for VM's (i.e. databases, FTP...etc)
  • Dual port Intel NIC card 

The idea is that I create 3 x Win2012 servers to serve all the functions I need to:


  • AD & DNS
  • Source control and CI build
  • Torrent stuff
  • Websites & FTP
  • SQL 2012 & MySQL
  • Mail
  • Plex
So I've got the server on the way now, but have I forgotten anything or not specc'ed something right?
Any advice on the set up will be more than welcome! 
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Everything looks good, I have a very similar setup on mine running ESXI 6.


There is 2 things I do differently: RAID 1 with an LSI card and I run the ESXI installation out of a usb 3 drive.


I think you should really consider doing a RAID 1 with the SSDs to protect against failure.



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Hi diegolrz,


Trouble is the LSI card is a few hundred more isn't it? What other (viable) backup options are there if I don't do that?


Are there any benefits from running ESXI out of a USB rather than the disk with the VM's on?



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Hi Guru


I'm running a similar setup to the one you describe.  I left the 4GB stick in which came with the TS140 and installed a further 16GB. A some point I'll remove the 4GB and install a further 16GB instead to take it to the maximum, but 20GB is fine for now.


I've also installed a dual NIC, 1 x 250SSD, 2 x 3TB and 1 x 2TB drives.


I've installed ESXi onto a USB thumb drive which is probably not the best approach, but means if the thumb drive fails I can simply reinstall ESXi on another drive and carry on with minimal down time. It takes a little longer to boot than if it was on the SSD, but doesn't appear to affect overall performance.


I've configured the AMT Remote Management and ESXi management interface to use the on-board NIC, and have the dual NIC card running the ESXi clients with VLAN tagging.


My primary VM's are stored on the SSD - they include Sophos UTM which runs the whole network (DHCP, DNS, Filtering and content control plus VPN access), an instance of Cacti for network monitoring and alerting, and a trial version of Server 2012 R2 for testing / upskilling myself on Domains etc..  I also did a physical to virtual conversion of my old N36L running WHS2011 and that also runs from the SSD with the data migrated onto the larger spinning drives.


To be honest I take a bit of a cavalier approach to redundancy and would agree that the LSI is an expensive addition.  If my SSD fails I can reinstall all the OS's onto another drive, my Sophos instance is linked to another smaller ESXi host which will take over automatically with little / no interuption. The Server 2012 R2 I blow away and reinstall regularly anyway because of the licencing, and I have the installation media to reinstall WHS2011 if required.


My data is backed up using Cloudberry between two different hard drives within the server and I also backup photos, documents and home videos to Amazon S3 to provide an offsite backup.  DVD rips and such would be a pain to rebuild, but I'm moving more to Amazon / Netflix etc.. anyway so we seldom watch anything from the rips now.  When we finally get Fibre available in our area I'll probably move the DVD rip data upstream into Glacier just because recovery from there would still be quicker than re-ripping, but it's not a major priority!


My one main annoyance with the TS140 is the supplier Hard Drive.  Mine (a 1TB Seagate Constellation) was installed in the bottom caddy and the vibration from it made it unusable as the TS140 is in a family room.  I've replaced it with a 3TB Seagate Barracuda which is significantly quieter.  Does your hard drive have a similar issue, or was I just unlucky?



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Never seen Cloudberry before but looks interesting. So you use the Server edition to take copies of the VM's and store on another disk?


I use Crashplan for auto-backups of contents like photos, music...etc, but something to take the pain away from setting up the servers again would be nice!

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Hi Rotor,


Is there any reason apart from a common sense speciation of duties for why you recommend to separate the ESXI install onto a USB?



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So I've got all the hardware now apart from the RAM, but 4Gb is fine for now.


Everything is going awesomely, but how do I make the second drive a pooled storage device between all the VM's?


Thanks for all the feedback guys!

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