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ESXi or Hyper-V for a N40L?


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Hi all,


This is my very first post here. Been looking for a good forum that is dedicated to running home servers for a while now and this site keeps comign up on my Google searches so must be a good idea to post some questions :) I hope I can contribute too.


Anyway, to my question in hand.


I've got a HP N40L which I have been very happy with. At the moment I've got 8GB RAM, 4x2TB disks running off the motherboard, and up until recently I was running Debian Linux and ZFS on top in a RAIDZ1 configuration.


However, as my background has been 20+ years of Microsoft OS'es, I'm afraid my short love affair with Linux has faded and I'm fed up of fighting with it.


I can deal with it under ESX because I can just create a Windows Server VM for the areas I need one in and just leave my media running on a Linux VM.


However, I've been thinking about this quite a bit lately, and am wondering if I should go the Hyper-V or ESXi5 route (again)


I am shortly about to upgrade the N40L with 16GB RAM and a HP P410 Smart Array w/ 256MB  Battery Backed Cache. This will run my 4x2TB disks in RAID-10.  I've got around 1TB of Data and my data needs haven't grown in a long time (I delete old stuff a lot so I don't use a lot). I've also purchased a double drive bay for the ODD bay to run my 128GB SSD (which I will boot my VM's from) and a 1.5TB disk to take backups of the important stuff from my array.


My other thought was going for straight Windows Server Essentials, but this doesn't give me Hyper-V. I've played with it a bit, and while the Storage Spaces system seems intriguing - I think I'm better off with the P410. (I had one before but sold it!)


I'd like to run a production VM that holds all my media, and run 1-2 VM's for testing. But I do also have an i7 2600 desktop with 16GB RAM that runs VMWare Workstation happily, so I could abandon the idea of running VM's on the N40L altogether - but I like that I can setup domains on seperate VM's and leave them run.


I am more than comfortable with sharing out the array from the P410 via RDM - I did this with a Linux VM before.


So a full list of mods to my N40L include: -


4 x 2TB WD RED disks

Crucial m4 128GB SSD

1.5TB Seagate Barracuda backup disk

P410 Smart Array w/ 256MB BBWC

Intel CT Desktop Gigabit Network Adapter

Icydock 3.5" and 2.5" disk combination caddy

BIOS MOD to enable 5th SATA port etc

Replacement of the 120mm fan and power supply fans - (I find it's not the quiest of PC's. My i7 w/ GTX680 and a few case fans is quieter! though it does have a LOAD more air flow)


Any thoughts and insights would be welcome.




Edited by twinsun
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Based on your hardware and needs, I would wait for essentials R2 as it will come with Hyper-V and go the P410 route. I have a passionate dislike for Storage Spaces.

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Oh really?


I had now idea Essentials R2 had Hyper-V coming.


My next quandry is setting up the RAID array. Currently I'm thinking about RAID10 which gives me 4TB of space, and some nice performance.


I also really fancy getting a Gen 8 Microserver and a proper Xeon CPU (1230L or 1265L) to have myself a proper ESX lab (And use the current one as storage- iSCSI etc)

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