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I'm going crazy over ESXi builds!


Pancakes
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I want a nice powerfull and small server for ESXi

 

My Original plan was to get a G8 Microserver and stick a Xeon in there, load it up with raptors and 16GB RAM.

 

But the server + Xeon + RAM comes to like $700. So I decided I could build my own, that comes to around $700 and is mATX with 32GB of RAM and a 8 thread Xeon

 

But then for $500 I can get this with 24 threads, and 48GB of RAM... - http://www.ebay.com/itm/HP-PROLIANT-DL160-G6-2-x-SIX-CORE-L5639-2-13GHz-48GB-RAM-4-x-HDD-TRAYS-RAILS-/111125027387?pt=COMP_EN_Servers&hash=item19df915a3b

 

But that would be loud as hell. Why are there no cheap tower servers? any suggestions?

Edited by Pancakes
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A couple of weeks ago I set up a DL360p Gen8. Yes, when booting up, the 16 little fans inside (8 pairs of fans set in push-pull formation) are loud as hell, but once WS2008r2 booted up it quieted down a lot. It still wasn't silent, but it wasn't nearly as loud as I feared it would be.

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Would 1 door muffle the sound? 

 

I might get some rack stuff and just get a lackrack in the meantime 

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That HP Proliant is a nice rack mount system, but yes - any 1U server is going to have a constant wind tunnel sound. No way around it with the small fans. If you can put the rack in a separate room (especially if you pony up for some SAS drives) with those CPUs and especially the RAM it will be a nice ESXi system. One thing you'll really appreciate is the remote management, Keeps you from having to have a monitor connected for install and later any troubleshooting. 

 

If you want to go low noise, low power though, you can use almost any workstation class server. I posted this on another build question, but for example here in my room in Iraq I have a Dell 990 with a core i5 (2500) and 16 Gb of RAM hosting multiple VMs via ESXi 5.1, including multiple 2012R2 DCs and file servers as well as my production pfSense router and some Windows clients.

 

TK_990_ESXi_setup.png

 

 

 

Everything in the light orange box is hosted on the ESXi box pictured below:

 

CameraZOOM-20130727021603622.jpg

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That's an awesome idea! I think I would want to do RAID 10. Whats a good LP 4 port RAID Card that would work with ESXi?

 

I think I'll try find a cheap HP Z210 SFF Workstation. That way I can have a hyperthreading Xeon if I want, and 32GB of ECC

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I know this is going to be a lot of reiterating but...

 

"Why are there no cheap tower servers"? 

 

GREAT servers don't have to be labeled "server" or "workstation".  Don't limit yourself to things that do.  (Timekills re-purposed box is a GREAT example of this) 

 

People seem to buy a machines (the Microserver is a GREAT example) and then want to change it so greatly it no longer fulfills its original purpose and then are often disappointed when it cant do things it was never designed to do despite the great cost.   Right tool for the job from the beginning is great advice.  

 

Write down EXACTLY what you want from a server and EXACTLY what you want it to do, set your budget,  and go from there. You went from originally wanting to build up just about the smallest quality server (Microserver) to considering installing rack mount equipment.  Thats a big jump and looking at all options is great but what do you really need/want?  As a side note while having a server rack screams nerd-cred and sounds amazing and awesome it has a LOT of downsides in a home environment and usually with rack mounted servers your upgrade paths are greatly limited.  

 

What are you wanting to run ESXi for in the 1st place?  Production machines , learning, or what?  If so what machines will they be? How many drives are going to go in it? Again, knowing what you want/need this to do is the most important thing for you (and us) to know to help pick out the right hardware.  With the answers to these questions (and the budget cap) people could probably give amazing suggestions for actual machines &/OR components to build from.  

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Thats just the problem, who knows what I might want to run? I just enjoy messing around with ESXi/Hyper-V as its just like having free PC's (If that makes sense)

 

I think I now have perfected it

 

HP Elite 8200 SFF / 8300/ Z210 WS SFF - Can be had from $200 to $500 depending on spec

32GB DDR3 ECC/Non-ECC - Depending on what CPU and PC

i5 / Xeon (Ill have to get a GPU for pretty much all the HT Xeons)

ICY DOCK MB994SP-4S

4 x 600GB Raptors in RAID 10

Intel PRO/1000 PT Dual NIC

LSI 9240-8I?

 

Still deciding on a RAID card though

Edited by Pancakes
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While I agree with FiLiNuX that it's ideal to be able to spec out your server needs in advance, I also agree with Pancakes that it's not always possible. And, sometimes, in the to and fro of posts, new possibilities arise that basically no one thought of at the start.

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Thats just the problem, who knows what I might want to run? I just enjoy messing around with ESXi/Hyper-V as its just like having free PC's (If that makes sense)

 

I think I now have perfected it

 

HP Elite 8200 SFF / 8300/ Z210 WS SFF - Can be had from $200 to $500 depending on spec

32GB DDR3 ECC/Non-ECC - Depending on what CPU and PC

i5 / Xeon (Ill have to get a GPU for pretty much all the HT Xeons)

ICY DOCK MB994SP-4S

4 x 600GB Raptors in RAID 10

Intel PRO/1000 PT Dual NIC

LSI 9240-8I?

 

Still deciding on a RAID card though

I have a Z210, nice workstation, you will need to get creative with power connections.

Specs list 16GB as max memory, not sure if you can get to 32GB.

The Icy Dock are nice, but if you don't require swappable drives, this works with Raptors;

http://www.starsurplus.com/viewitem.lasso?i=2-FAN-HDD-BRACKET

There are a lot of new LSI 9240-8i on ebay, cheapest I have seen for new is this;

http://www.ebay.com/itm/151092270468?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649

I bought one of these, unfortunately I did not check the shipping location,,,,,, should be here late Aug,,,,,,,

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