hoesl
Contributor
Contributor

Running ESXi on Intel D945GCLF2 with Atom 330?

Hi,

I would like to set up an ESXi Server as a small test system with low power consumption and low noise level for "in office use".

Now I'm wondering if it is running on an "Intel D945GCLF2" Mainboard with "Intel Atom 330" Processor? Is the on board SATA- and Network-Controller supported by ESXi? Maybe anyone is already using this board with VMware ESXi?

Thanks in advance

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17 Replies
jasonlitka
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Supported or not, I wouldn't do it. You'd be better off with the lowest-end Dual-core Pentium or Core2Duo in a cheap Dell. The Atom is a horrible performer, not to mention, very over-priced.

Jason Litka

Jason Litka http://www.jasonlitka.com
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hoesl
Contributor
Contributor

I know the Atom Processor is not the best for a VMware ESXi Server. At the moment the Test-server is running a single Linux OS on a VIA C3 CPU (passive cooled in a very small case) and I plan to run 2 or maybe 3 virtual Linux instances on the Atom. Hopefully with passive cooling in the old case. for low noise emission. I don't think I need a big, hot and noisy Core2Duo Server from Dell. I just want to know if the SATA-Controller and the Network-Cards are working (they don't need to be "supported") with ESXi or if i have to use an other board or if I have to mess around with XEN for visualization?

Regards,

Andreas

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hoesl
Contributor
Contributor

I have news for anybody who is trying the same. ESXi is running on it as long as i don't connect any drives to the sATA Ports. If I connect a hard disk the startup stops at the moment point when esxi tries to load it's IDE-Drivers.

So I installed Ubuntu 8.04.1 LTS as my "Service Console OS" and tried VMware Server 2.0. This is realy working good. I will use it for my concerns.

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Aketaton
Contributor
Contributor

have you tried to install ESX (without the i :P)?

It could work as the southbridge is an Intel ICH7...

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Just to add for anyone looking at this in the future, but with ESXi update 3 VMware changed the driver for ICH7 controllers to IDE so you either have to modify oem.tgz to have ESXi use the ata_piix driver as was the case with ESXi 3.5 Update 2 and earlier or use an IDE install method (see http://www.vm-help.com/).

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jungsberg
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

The option of booting ESXi from an USB-key is very easy, this way you can keep your hard drive as VMFS only.

Check http://www.runningdogleague.com/blog/?p=10 for guidance.

I have ESXi running on Intel D945, and it is not very fast, but compared to the very low power usage (less than 35 watt) i cannot complain.

Kind Regards

Torben Jungsberg

Kind Regards Torben Jungsberg
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Aketaton
Contributor
Contributor

Hi

So you have ESXi using the embedded sata controller in intel Atom for VMFS?

That could be great Smiley Happy

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Schwan
Contributor
Contributor

you have to add a supportet pci-nic, the onboard giga-nic is not useable. i bootet ESXi U2 successfully with this mainboard with a sata disk (but i did the installation to the disk with another mainboard).

best regards,

schwan

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superboer12
Contributor
Contributor

A few days ago I installed VMWare ESXi 3.5 U3 on my Intel D945GCLF2 board, on which I installed 2GB of RAM.

As mentioned before the onbaord NIC doesn't work. Instead I am using a PCI 3com NIC, which works fine.

I installed ESXi on a IDE harddrive and I am using a SATA disk for VMFS (also some NFS storage by the way). I only needed to use a little and easy trick (http://vm-help.com/esx/esx3i/ESXi_install_to_IDE_drive/ESXi_install_to_IDE_drive.php) in order to install it on the IDE drive.

I'm currently running three VM's and can't complain about the performance on this little passive cooled PC.

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jungsberg
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Yes, thats correct, I only have one harddrive it is one big VMFS volume, ESXi is booted from the USB-key (1 gb.)

It' is also true what Schwan writes,the built-in Rantek NIC is not supported, so the only pci-slot must go to a supported NIC.

Kind Regards

Torben Jungsberg

Kind Regards Torben Jungsberg
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dwarf58
Contributor
Contributor

For all it works perfect with Intel NIC. :smileylaugh:

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Aketaton
Contributor
Contributor

Buongiorno

Fino al 27 Febbraio avrò accesso limitato alla mia mailbox.

Per ogni urgenza contattate l'ufficio di Reti (0331 357 400).

Grazie.

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shaneoj
Contributor
Contributor

I was able to install and run ESXi on a D945GCLF with 2gig RAM using an IDE drive. Added a 3com NIC because internal NIC can't be detected.

I was also able to add a SATA drive as a datastore.

My problem now is that whenever I copy files to the datastore (using FastSCP), the ESXi server crashes.

Have you encountered this kind of problem before?

Error messages state like:

"Exception type 14 in world 1148..."

Thanks!

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airfrog
Contributor
Contributor

Just to add my two Cents:

I managed to get ESXi 4.0 working on an ASRock A330GB motherboard. This has an Atom 330 CPU and takes up to 4GB of RAM. The built-in NIC wasn't supported so I got a Intel PRO/1000 GT PCI card. I added a 640GB SATA hard drive and installed ESXi to a 4GB USB key.

Everything runs fine. It isn't exactly speedy, but it will run three or four VMs without too much trouble.

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Kiriakoulis
Contributor
Contributor

This is insane

Running vmware Esx-i 4.0 on an Intel Atom Processor is like you have to wait forever for a couple of VMs, BUT it is VERY intresting about the wattage and power you are earning if you want some little machines to do some homeworks.

So cause i have tryied to do that in two atom machines that i own but, same problem on both "no network adapter found"

Aspire Revo R3600 (No network adapter) although running on ION Nvidia chipset

AspireONE (Not enough memory kernel panic on boot) 1,5 MAX is suited but esx-i 4 needs 2GB to boot, and probably no network or some other harware incomatible would stop it then

So i there are in the market some new boards (atom fixed) itx and i think to make the move

my options are

ASROCK A330GC (with Intel Dual-Core Atom Processor 330 (1.6 GHz)

ASUS AT5NM10-I (with Intel Atom processor D510)

Both with the necessary pci slot for one extra Intel Gigabit Ethernet that i own

BUT which of the them is capable?

Airfrog reports ASRock A330GB but i cannot find such mobo, is it a syntax error??

Anyone else that has custom build Atom esx-i 4.0 or 4.1 ?

Kind regards

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srynoname
Contributor
Contributor

Kiriakoulis, did you try one of these boards? I'm going to buy the ASUS AT5NM10-I.

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wallacengrommet
Contributor
Contributor

struggling to get this working on my revo r3600, I have errors as follows:

<HARDWARE_VIRUALIZATION WARNING: Hardware Virtualization is not a feature of the CPU, or is not enabled in the BIOS>

I have had a poke around in the bios and there is no setting for CPU Virtualization so Im guessing this R3600 is not ESX friendly ?

Next step is bios update ....any other iideas ?

TIA

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