pblackstock
Contributor
Contributor

Cheapest way to host ESX 3.0.1!?!?!?

I need to run ESX the cheapest way possible for dev reasons. I dont see the point in spending vast amounts of money if I dont have to, because what I run ESX on will never go into production.

So, my question is what is the cheapest way to host ESX?

Has anyone figured out how to run ESX under MS Virtual Server or VMware Workstation?

If not, what is the cheapest route hardware wise that is compatible with ESX 3.0.1? I am not looking for monsterous performance, just usable.

Any feedback would be most appreciated! Smiley Happy

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23 Replies
acr
Champion
Champion

My first ESX 3 went on a Compaq ML310 with an Adaptec SCSI Adaptes and two 36G Disk.. Brought all the bits separately..

All from Ebay, cost under $200(ish)..

rock0n
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

My testlab contains three P4 workstations.

ESX 1&2:

P4P800

~3GHz

36GB SCSI HDD

Adaptec 29160

2GB RAM

these are the two ESX configs.

WinXP Host with VMWare workstation:

Host itself used for VI client

VM1: fedora core iSCSI target for 200GB shared storage

VM2: win2003 with dns, dhcp and sql for virtual center DB

VM3: winxp hosts VirtualCenter and license server

very cheap setup, no Server and not very loud.

hope that helps

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pblackstock
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks very much guys.

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MR-T
Immortal
Immortal

EBAY is the way to go.

You could build your own test rig, but I remember reading an article about a guy who went out to build a cheap "home grown" esx server and ended up spending twice what he could have spent purchasing an old HP DL360 from the net.

It's worth a look, there's stacks of 2nd hand kit there.

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VirtualKenneth
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Currently testing with a IBM Intellistation. (not on the support list)

I've swapped out the SATA disk (the SATA controller doesn't work) for a IDE disk.

Currently i'm configuring the COS to act as a iSCSI server so I can place the VMFS on the local IDE disk as well.

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virtech
Expert
Expert

I believe the guy that built the cheap "home grown" option also worked for VMware !

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Gabrie1
Commander
Commander

If you live in Europe, check out the german ebay. The ammount of used HPs DELLs etc is hughe. I've bought DL380G1, UPS 1400, Cisco 3550 switch, Smart Array 5300 and few disks for around 500 euro.

Gabrie

http://www.GabesVirtualWorld.com
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doomdevice
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I´ve got two HP XW6200 Workstations with Adaptec SCSI Controller with VMware ESX 3.0.1 installed.

Because I want to be able to test VMotion, DRS and VLAN Support, I bought some HP 8port Switches (1008) I think and a standard PC with 150 GB SATA disks for setting up a Linux with iSCSI Target and NFS Server.

My virtualCenter runs within a virtual machine of one of the ESX Server.

VI PowerScripter [http://www.powerscripter.net] Every Click can be a customized function within VI client
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MR-T
Immortal
Immortal

I have to say, I'm impressed with all the imaginative ways people build test rigs.

At some point when I've got the time I'd like to build a box which doesn't scream like a boeing 747 each time I power it on.

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jonhutchings
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

That sounds like it's not going to be rapid Smiley Happy your COS is going to be doing a lot of work (all disk I/O for the VM's as well as everything else). why not beg or borrow or ebay a second PC/server for your storage, even the cheapest system will be better than looping back to the local disc in my opinion.

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VirtualKenneth
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

It's just for some small testing purposes (of NFS) at home.

I've got some blades, an EVA en a VLS on the background which I can connect to anytime I want Smiley Happy

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jwlindem
Contributor
Contributor

I too have an HP XW6200 Workstation. I can't seem to even get ESX to install because it says I likely need to load disk drivers. Any idea where to get these and how to load them? I see reference in the documentation to a 'driver disk', but I can't tell if they mean that generically, or if I need to load my own drivers. I'm dead in the water here. Thanks for any and all help/suggestions.

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thomaskn
Contributor
Contributor

Take a small server e.g. hp ML110 P4.. put inside e.g. the intel Dual Core 2.66 CPU and 4G RAM and take the LSI Megaraid 4port SATA Controller, so you are able to take big and inexpensive SATA HDDs and got a pretty good ESX Server.

We´ve got three testmachines, 4G, DualCore 2,66, 1,2 TB each for less than 800.- €

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mphodge
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

At some point when I've got the time I'd like to

build a box which doesn't scream like a boeing 747

each time I power it on.

I got around this problem by putting my two servers in the garage Smiley Happy

However, the postman is now wondering what on earth is going on in there...

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Rumple
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

I put together a system with a Tyan 2881 board, operteron 265 and 4GB RAM, 2610SA SATA controller (Dell branded) and 5 250 GB SATA drives

Running 8 VM's at the moment including Citrix Access essentials and its worknig just fine although I think I am near to maxing out the memory.

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GavinJ
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

We did a bit of a feature on this earlier on in the week - some more options to throw into the mix: http://www.xtravirt.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=58&Itemid=67

Cheers

Gavin

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Dave_Mishchenko
Immortal
Immortal

Gavin, on the link you provided would you know if Nicolas was using SATA drives with the Asus P5M2-SAS?

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GavinJ
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Hi Dave,

I've sent an email to Nicolas to ask the question and will post back any reply.

Cheers

Gavin

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GavinJ
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Dave,

Yes he was. I've posted a some further information to the site: http://www.xtravirt.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=58&Itemid=67

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