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Not only is this system good enough for my new ESXi home lab; 16gb RAM, 2x Intel I3 Cores, 1x 1GB LAN. The Intel NUC is also very power friendly. It currently uses only 15W with 5 VM’s running on it (including this blog) The total system with 1NIC and 16GB ram comes down to 380 euro!
I’ve compiled all of the major components into a list below:
|2x Intel Next Unit of Computing DC3217IYE||578,00|
|2x Corsair SO-Dimm 16GB(2x8GB) DDR3 PC3-10600||156,00|
|2x DeLOCK Nano 4GB USB Stick||17,00|
|2x Power Cable 220V Notebook, C5||9,00|
The total costs for 2 NUC’s where 760 Euro (incl. VAT)
The only downside of this setup is the lack of FT support. as I don’t use FT in my lab this is no issue.
I’ve found some good instructions how to get ESX5.1i running on the NUC here (thanks to TekHead)
I purchased 2 NUC units and connected them with NFS to my QNAP TS-459 Pro II and fired up some VM’s. I must say the speed of the NUC is good. 16Gb of ram is just enough to fire up 5-10 VM’s and I don’t think you don’t need much more CPU power for that amount of RAM in your lab.
The QNAP NAS box was always a bit slow on NFS, especially when I run more than 5 VM’s and download or watch some movies at the same time. That’s why I currently use Nexenta-CE in my lab. This decided me to also build a low power NAS box next to the Intel NUC’s.
I selected energy efficient components and made sure that the whole setup would not use no more than 60W (without disks)
I previously run my Nexenta on physical XW9400 Workstation. This setup with 5 SATA and 3 SSD disks would use 200W concurrently. Now the whole green setup is using nothing more than 90W with 4 SATA and 4 SSD’s included!
|Intel Core i3-3220T, 2.80GHz, 3MB, HD2500, S1155 (uses 35W max)||118,00|
|CoolerMaster Silent Pro M2 420W (modular and 80 Plus Bronze certificated)||69,00|
|Asus P8H77-M S1155 H77 4xDDR3 mATX (this board is able to run 32Gb of RAM)||89,00|
|2x Corsair Vengeance LP 16GB(2x8GB) DDR3 1600MHz CL10||178,00|
|Lian Li PC-A04, mATX, Zwart (mATX with room for 8x 3,5 disks)||99,00|
|IBM serveRAID M1015 (IT Mode),||125,00|
|4x SAS cable Mini-SAS SFF-8087 to 4x 7-pin SAS/SATA, 50 cm||50,00|
|1x Intel PRO/1000 PT Dual-Port PCI-e Server Adapter||25,00|
The whole setup costs around 753,00 EURO (inc. VAT)
I took the SATA and SSD disks out of my previous Nexenta setup.
I decided to run ESXi on my low power NAS and install Nexenta CE as a virtual machine. Now I can play around with how much memory Nexenta needs to perform optimal for my lab environment. and run my management VM’s (vCenter / vCloud Director) on the NAS machine. Now I can use both NUC’s as a whole new cluster for VM’s running inside vCloud Director!
I ended up with bashing my head to the wall. I FORGOT to pick a board that is VT-d capable… how stupid. I ended up attaching every disk from the M1015 controller as RDM to my Nexenta VM.
Attaching all disks as RDM is probably costing me some performance but it’s not noticeable for now.
Now that I am having 64Gb of RAM… I’m Currently running the complete vCloud Suite: