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 ESXi 5.5 All-in-one on Intel DQ87PG 
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Joined: Tue Jan 14, 2014 3:53 pm
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Post ESXi 5.5 All-in-one on Intel DQ87PG
Hi,

I'm currently building my first physical ESXi lab. Will be running ESXi 5.5 and, for starters, it will be an all-in-one box.

-> Reason for building it

I am doing this only for VMware learning purposes, so I will not have SQL DB or anything else. However, I'll test vSphere 5, afterwards move to vCloud etc etc, so I will need some resources / space .

-> I'm taking in considerations :

- Occupied space in my room ( but it is not a must )
- Power consumption
- Noise level ( will be in the same room where I sleep )

-> Hardware :

Was thinking at Shuffle SH87R6. But from their support I received the info that H67 chipset does not support VT-d ( even if after my findings it should be supported ) . Therefore, I decided to Build it myself ( and it will be a little bit cheaper - but as a downside I will have a lot of work to do )

Motherboard Intel DQ87PG - supports vPro, official support for VT-d according to Intel's Site
Case Fractal design define mini - silent ( according to the reviews ), has enough disk bays etc.
PSU Corsair CX430M
Cooler Scythe Samurai ZZ Rev. B - Dead Silent at lower RPMs ; I'm not expecting to have very high loads of the CPU, so it should be ok.
Proc i7-4770s - 65W max TDp
RAM Crucial Ballistix Tactical 32GB DDR3 1600MHz CL8 Quad Channel Kit Low Profile
Disks 2 x Seagate Barracuda 1TB, SATA III 600, 64MB Buffer -> SSD will follow ( I don't care about the data, so no RAID protection needed )


My design :
-> 1. Install ESXi 5.5 ( using a custom iso for the NIC driver) on a USB stick. Create a small VM running NAS4FREE ( or something else ) . Passthrough the SATA controller ( it is a must, can someone confirm that it is working? ), present the disks as iSCSI .
2. Create 2 VMs, install ESXi 5.5 and do a cluster. NAS4FREE & 2 nested ESXi connected to a local only switch for storage.

vCenter will be running on my personal laptop ( i7-2xxx, 16 GB of RAM / Samsuns SSD 840 PRO -- right now this is were I'm running my inception ESXi cluster , using Workstation running on Windows 8.1 )

The nested ESXi will be reinstalled every 60 days- trial version to have all the features + in this way I can test different OS for vCenter.

Future plans:
-> Add SSDs
-> Add another host ( almost the same build, but with i5-4770s and 16 GB of RAM )
-> Maybe add a NAS . Maybe ....

The reason why I don't think I need a NAS & why I'm using mechanical disks is that I will not run many VMs that will have high IOs. Most likely will do some Storage vMotion , some clones, vCloud etc , but I don't mind waiting a few extra time till a VM is cloned/migrated/deployed etc etc. In terms of Noise & Power consumption , yea, SSD will be a lot better.


OR ???
Buy 2 Intel Nucs DC53427HYE ( i5-3427u , having vPro , very low power consumption ), with 16 GB of RAM each and a (cheap) NAS box . I'm not quite sure if scaling will be possible at some point , if I will want to use vSphere Site Recovery / vSphere Data protection , all kind of vSphere products )


I am open to suggestions, but I already broke my piggy bank, so if possible, please suggest something at the same price... Also , I am from Romania , so Amazon/ebay / newegg aren't really a solution , because + shipping + all kind of custom taxes etc etc , it will not be cheaper.

Thank you very much for your time and help !!


Tue Jan 14, 2014 4:00 pm
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