14 Replies Latest reply on Mar 15, 2008 4:23 AM by rbrambley

    ESX 3.5 test lab

    Dentifrice Novice


      Hello all,



      I want to test ESX in lab for my traning on a desktop pc.






      What I want is a motherboard that support recent processors (pentium D, core 2 duo, AMD x2 dual core,etc..) with raid sata and 2 supported NIC.



      Do you have suggestions ? (It can be a motherboard with everything onboard (raid, NIC,etc..) or seperate raid card and seperate NIC).



      Lower the price, better I feel...



      thanks !!






        • 2. Re: ESX 3.5 test lab
          cduncan Novice


          As a new user I can understand how difficult it can be to find documentation on this site. Try this link. It will take you to the general HCLs, there, you can filter by VMWare 'Product'. Once you find the appropriate HCL, use it as a guide (or bible) for acquiring supported hardware:



          You may also want to read through the "Guest Operating System Installation Guide" under the OS you plan to install. This guide will tell you about driver compatibility issues you may run into:



          I've found that 'most' of the information is there. VMWare's documentation is very deep, but unfortunately not well structured for the novice user.


          Hope this helps.

          • 3. Re: ESX 3.5 test lab
            burnswilcox Enthusiast


            For a low end test lab, this is one of my servers. I was shocked that it actually worked, but it does..



              EVGA 122-CK-NF66-T1 $90 on new egg.  Works fine, Recommended Asus P5m2 /sas  $300- new egg



            My high end test lab has 3 of these servers+ q6600 Quad core cpu's  8GB ram



            The asus board has 2 onboard GB nics (which you will need), 8 channel SAS controller. I have 6x500 GB drives hooked up to one of min, works wonders..  Onboard Video (which you need)



            Most important with the asus, is 1x pci 32 slot, and 2x pci-x slots (which you will want for more NICS), anda PCE-E slot. I have a 2port GB nic in my PCI-E



            For the $300 you get a MBVideo2x NICS + 8 Channel Sata/sas raid controller, in which ESX 2.5- to present see and work good with.






            IF you get 2 of any server, get the left hand VSA.  The 30 day eval for iscsi..  I know there are free stuff out there, but this one, will prepare you for what you will reallllly see out in the field. Plus the practice of storage migrations..



            • 4. Re: ESX 3.5 test lab
              Dentifrice Novice


              Hello again !






              Thanks for your anwsers.






              Just want to let you know I bought a Dell Dimension C521 (AMD 4000+ dual core, 2 gig ram, nvidia chipset) and put an Intel NIC dual port in it and voila !



              Everything works ! My sata , my NIC... Only thing I miss is a raid card but it's just a lab so ...



              thanks again !



              • 5. Re: ESX 3.5 test lab
                Dave.Mishchenko Guru

                Which model of SATA controller does ESX list the C521 as having?

                • 6. Re: ESX 3.5 test lab
                  Dentifrice Novice


                  sorry for the delay.



                  Right now it's not installed. I'm waiting for my new hard drive (probably this week).



                  As soon as I reinstalled it, I'll give you the information you need !



                  • 7. Re: ESX 3.5 test lab
                    stevi.velvet Novice


                    2 Questions for any of you



                    (1) Do you need at least 2 NICS for ESX (v3.5) ?



                    (2) Problem conceptualising IP allocation - If a farm consists of 3 virtual servers each with it's own IP, then each guest must have it's own NIC..true ?












                    • 8. Re: ESX 3.5 test lab
                      burnswilcox Enthusiast

                      Actually only 1 Nic is needed. On mine, i have 12 VM's on 1 server. the EVGA mb. Works. BUT during high network traffic, (acronis imaging, or Backup exec type activities.) you can tell.


                      But in a test environment, only 1 nic is needed. (1 nic, consolevirtual networkvmotion) easily. Iscsi, / high network activity will impact it..



                      2nd question- not at all.



                      you give the ip to the Console (IE the server). Using default install, it creates a VM network on that same NIC.



                      Each guest you give ip, in my case 12 of them,- They plug into the VM network, which is hooked up to the LAN. So in essense, traffice from vm to vm, is lightening fast, but from vm's on that host, to physical servers / other vm's on other ESX host's. That 1 nic handles the entire load of whatever servers need access.






                      Best way to get a judge of what all it is doing, is go to VEEAM and download their monitor tool, or get ESX charter. That way you can get much better idea on what kind of network/disk/cpu/mem activity that is happening on your ESX hosts.

                      • 9. Re: ESX 3.5 test lab
                        stevi.velvet Novice


                        Thanks!._.almost_ there



                        Guest Server A has



                        Guest Server B has



                        Host Server Public



                        Assume that there are Quad NIC, 1 Spare, 1 console 1 Host & 1 for all Guests









                        How does a Router\Switch route packets for seperate IPs to the Same Physical NIC  ?









                        • 10. Re: ESX 3.5 test lab
                          burnswilcox Enthusiast


                          I Myself,




                          2x for console+Vmnetwork (which includes the host and all guests)




                          1x dedicated for secondary console/Vmotion




                          1x as spare, or for DMZ network, or whatever.




                          With 3.x i havent had the need or really seen the need for a dedicated Console. Except for a very HA / Paranoid environment.





                          • 11. Re: ESX 3.5 test lab
                            azn2kew Champion





                            Your website specified Dell XPS M1710, which I currently use but install ESX 3.0.2 using WMware Workstation 6.0 method for labs.  I'm wondering you install ESX 3.0.2/3.5 on a bare metal or using WS 6.0 ? I remembered I've loaded ESX 3.0.2 disks in and can't intall from it gives me error but have to try again to see what message....so I didn't try it than but only using Workstation 6.0 method plus more use with Windows XP for other purposes gaming for instance!


                            "The Power of Knowledge"



                            • 12. Re: ESX 3.5 test lab
                              Dentifrice Novice


                              Hello again,






                              Dave, here's your anwser : MCP51 Serial ATA Controller 



                              • 13. Re: ESX 3.5 test lab
                                Dave.Mishchenko Guru

                                I tried 3i on bare metal booting from a USB flash drive.  Seemed to work Ok and I would think 3.5 would be fine on it as well.  It's my work PC so I'm back to a more "productive" OS and waiting for an update to VMware Worktationstation so that it won't crash when starting a VM on a 3.5 / 3i VM.

                                • 14. Re: ESX 3.5 test lab
                                  rbrambley Lurker

                                  go to http://vmetc.com/2008/03/14/esx-home-lab-hardware-shopping-list/ for the parts to build a dual core AMD host for $337or a quad core Intel host for $695