xcheney
Contributor
Contributor

Enquire about a New Server (Supermicro) for ESXi

Hi All,

We are buying a Supermicro Server especially for running VMWare ESXi 3.5.

Question:

1, Since this model is not show up in the compatiable list from VMWare, wondering is this Server OK to run VMWare ESXi 3.5? Comments please.

2, We bought a VMWare Infrastructure License, and as I know, we can use this license for up to TWO CPUs. That means we can use this license to install ESXi on two physical Servers with single CPU(quad-core) on each Server.

Please help us.

Many Thanks!

xin

Here is the quota:

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5 Replies
Dave_Mishchenko
Immortal
Immortal

Is the server listed as compatible with ESX 3.5? If you go with a system that works with ESX 3.5 then you'll likely be OK with ESXi. I would pay particular attention to the storage adapter that you pick and stick with something on this list - http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vi35_io_guide.pdf.

That means we can use this license to install ESXi on two physical Servers with single CPU(quad-core) on each Server.

Yes, but you have to install the license on a VMware License server (windows app / service - http://download3.vmware.com/software/vi/VMware-licenseserver-64192.exe).

I'd also suggest more memory per CPU core. If you go with 4 GB per server with a typical workload you'll run out of memory before CPU.

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matthewk
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

A few thoughts:

1. More memory is better. 2gb RAM FBDIMMs that work with that server are around $70 each.

2. RAID - unless there's more hardware not listed, you're not going to have RAID in that configuration. ESX does not support Adaptec HostRAID. You need the ZCR card.

3. RAID monitoring - once the ZCR card is added, there's no way to monitor your RAID with ESXi. The Adaptec Storage Manager won't run on ESXi.You have an Infrastructure license which suggests to me that you could run ESX 3.5 and you could then run ASM in the SC.

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xcheney
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks Dave, this Supermicro Server is not listed as compatible with ESX3.5 yet. The storage RAID card I was going to use is the onboard one, which is not on the vi35_io_guide list either, I guess. I may be better choose another one?

Thanks Matthew,

1, It seems your provided memory price is cheaper than the one I got here, is it because different brand? I may ask them to change memory to 3 x 2gb RAM FBDIMMs.

2, I didn't know thatAdaptec HOST RAID is not supported by ESX. You save my life. So I difinetely need to get a RAID Card.

3, I almost forgot RAID monitoring. I only see the benefits of ESXi and forgot ACM can't run on it. Actually currently we have one Supermicro Server running ESXi now. It is working great. This Server is using Adaptec RAID Card(not on board one), and RAID5, SATA Harddisks. Does that mean if there is one disk failed, I wouldn't be able to get it rebuild unless I have ACM? Man, I think I have to switch back to ESX..

Sorry for my questions, I am new to Server area.

One more question: It is said on the vi35_io_guide.pdf that: NOTE IDE RAID and SATA RAID are not supported for the VMFS file system. How come our current Server is running Adaptec RAID with SATA Harddisk? (because SAS???)

Thanks very MUCH!!

x

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matthewk
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Memory: I'm recalling pricing from NewEgg.com, a popular online vendor. $70 is generally the going rate for a 2gb FBDIMM from a variety of vendors. If I'm not mistaken, you need to put DIMMs in pairs, but I could be wrong.

RAID: If a drive fails, you're not going to hear about it unless you check it manually. You might get an alarm from the server itself, but that may or may not be useful to you.

IMHO, unless you are going with a fully supported system, ESXi is not the way to go for production. Its impossible to monitor system vitals without the proper support or out-of-band management. Unfortunately, that means white box = full ESX for now unless you're just doing testing or dev.

SATA: ESX 3.5 and 3i support onboard SATA on a limited set of controllers. SATA drives are fully usable when hidden behind SAS controllers, SANs, or NASs. Its kind of a confusing grey area.

If I was in your situation, I'd pick a SuperMicro barebones without onboard SAS, buy an Adaptec 5 series RAID card, and run full ESX.

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xcheney
Contributor
Contributor

Hi Matthew, Just want to say Thank You! I now have more clear idea. Thanks!

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