i want to setup home lab with cheap equipment. what is the minimum config i need?
thinking of getting 2 pcs with sata drives with the minimum for cpu and mem it takes to run esx
then i need a iscsi type storage to act as a san.
Can someone please recommend something
If you don't plan on using x64 VMs then you can pick up an older server from eBay for a reasonable price. For example, I use an IBM x335 and x336 and then work fine to run 4 - 5 VMs. They're both single processor servers with 3 + GB of memory. If you want to run x64 VMs then you'll need something then you'll need to get an Intel processor that supports Intel VT. Some of the cheaper Intel dual core processors that are available don't. You can also look at AMD processors.
For a motherboard you'll want one that has a SATA controller that ESX ships a driver for. It won't be supported, but it will be sufficient to be able to run off of SATA drives. I've started a list at the below thread which includes models that community members have found working.
If your SATA controller is one of below, it should be able to load up Ok with the SATA controller. Even if it is not, you can edit the XML files that contain the device mappings and tell ESX to load a driver for your specific device. Do you have a current windows / Linux install on this machine?
<name>82801GR/GH (ICH7 Family) Serial ATA Storage Controller AHCI</name>
<name>82801GBM/GHM (ICH7 Family) Serial ATA Storage Controller AHCI</name>
<name>2801GR/GH (ICH7 Family) Serial ATA Storage Controller RAID</name>
<name>82801GHM (ICH7-M DH) Serial ATA Storage Controller RAID</name>
<name>82801GB/GR/GH (ICH7 Family) Serial ATA Storage Controller IDE</name>
<name>82801GBM/GHM (ICH7 Family) Serial ATA Storage Controller IDE</name>
So if you don't get a CPU with Intel VT, you will not be able to run 64-bit VMs?
I'm planning to get a Quad-core CPU and they all seem to have Intel VT? The Q6600 or Q9300 seems to give most bang for the buck right now.
Otherwise, I guess I have to choose from the table you just sent on Core2Duo.
1xEvga MB, 650i Nvidia Chipset $75 on newegg
1xELCHEAPO PCI-E Video Card $25 newegg
2x SATA or 1, Drive. I used some ole 250gb drives, and stiped them via the nvidia raid set.. 500gb newegg =$100 Ea
4x 2 GB ddr2x 800 $40 ea from newegg (not fast, but More than enough for server $160
1x Q6600 Quad Core CPU..(or whatever with VT). i mention the Q6600 as it is FAST!!!, and as of today, one can get from microcenter for $199 www.microcenter.com
1x Case CHEAP=$50
$600 .. Not bad, for a very DECENT ESX server. Cool part is the onboard sata is recognizable by ESX. Drawback is that with my 2x250 sata- even raided from nvida raid.. ESX still sees 2x 250.. so i made a VMFS and added Extent=500gb.. Still not bad. The Nvidia NIC is also recgonixable, and utilzed..
I added some spare scsi drives as they were lying around.. but still not bad. W\ 8GB and the Quad.. i run 11 Virtual machines (web servers, citrix servesr2, veritas server, microsoft DPM server, edgesight, SQL , ).. a variety of servers, and performance is still decent.. not a Screamer, but for $600 (ie minus cd rom, floppy, etc.. just the bare essential) performance does indeed Rock....
Here is bad news.. Expansion is horrible.. My other 3 servers are Asus P5M2 /sas.. Cool part is that the onboard SAS raid, destroys the nvidia raid, it has 2x Broadcom GB nics, more importantly, 2x PCI-x Slots.. Which i have a dual port GB, and 1x Fibre in all 3 servers. The asus board is like $300-340.. like 200 more.. but the added NIC, Real raid, and more importantly, the ability to really expand, is worth it in the long term. I tried Fibre on the EVGA board, and just plugging that into my Fabric, slowwweeeeddd everything down.. (IM not a San guy, so i have no idea how to really tweak it)..
But there you goess
The serial ATA on the EVGA board shows up as = MCP51 Serial Ata Controller
It does mount VM's and boots them.
on the Asus board = LSI1068 (sas controller), and 82801 GB/GR /GH (Ich7 Family).. i dont have any drives on it, so donw know if that serial ATA works or not.