r_engel
Contributor
Contributor

Home Lab ? Feedback and recommendations please!

Hi Guys,

Great forum. Smiley Happy

I'm looking at setting up a home ESX test environment...

Looking at some cheap ex-lease server hardware to get me going.

I'm about to look through the hardware compatiability list, however does anyone have one of these (servers) setup as an ESX 3 server?

Virtual Centre... hmm... not sure yet.. probably just a simple whitebox unknown brand will do?

Here's the link to the potential candidate in question... feedback welcomed..

FYI - I'm looking to setup probably 2 VM's on this box..

One being an ISA server (firewall) the other being a web server/mail server. (test only!).

HP Proliant ML370 G3 Xeon 3.2GHz Tower Server[/url]

or...

http://usedservers.com.au/product_info.php/cPath/2/products_id/14

might even look at this for some storage if needed??? \[overkill for a home test environment??]

http://usedservers.com.au/product_info.php/cPath/11/products_id/29

Cheers

R.

Message was edited by:

ken.cline@hp.com to shorten the URL

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15 Replies
rsa911
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

about white boxes:

have a look here :

http://www.vmware.com/community/thread.jspa?threadID=99237&tstart=25

or do some googling, you'll find plenty of sites/blogs on this topic

you can also search the forums, topic has been discussed lately

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rschmidt1300
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I setup my test lab using Proliant DL360 G2 servers. You might want to take a look at them. You should be able to get dual processor 2GB servers on Ebay for significantly less than the off-lease servers you are looking at and when you are done you can put them right back on Ebay. I was lucky enough to have access to a SAN for testing so I was able to do VMotion, HA, and DRS. You might want to look at setting up an iSCSI system so you can experiment with these as well.

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r_engel
Contributor
Contributor

rsa - thanks for the post.. the costings for a whitebox is in excess of 700 pounds, which is approx $1600AUD, that's way out of my price range.

I'm looking to spend no more than around $500 for a test box at home.

I just found this... this seems like a good little server to start off with.

Remember ,this is only for testing purposes for myself.

if the box isn't sufficient, I'll ebay it or use it for something else..

ompaq Proliant DL580 Quad Xeon 700MHz / 2048MB RAM[/url]

Message was edited by:

ken.cline@hp.com to shorten the URL

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r_engel
Contributor
Contributor

I'd love to be able to setup DRS or Vmotion at home, but I need SAN for that, and don't particularly want to be running a rack in my bedroom!

This 580 on ebay looks like a good buy.. (check out post reply to rsa)..

In addition, I'll probably look for a very low end desktop/tower box to act as the Virtual Centre Server. setup some sort of AD/security on it and then play around with the policies..

R.

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admin
Immortal
Immortal

You can do HA, DRS, and VMotion from a NFS server...so you don't have to buy a SAN just to experiment with those features at home.

I have 3 HP DL360's at home...and it all works great with VI3.

Chris

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r_engel
Contributor
Contributor

Just bought this for $80AUD.

That should suffice a test/lab for ESX 3?

Compaq Proliant DL580 Rack Mount Server

Quad Intel Xeon 700MHz Processors 1Mbyte Cache

2048 MB ECC Reg SDRAM

4x18.2GB Ultra SCSI

Compaq Integrated Smart Array Controller

Redundant PSU's

64 Bit Dual 10/100 NIC Card

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westie123
Contributor
Contributor

I don't believe your raid controller is supported in VI3.

http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vi3_io_guide.pdf

I have just bought a dl380 g2 for £150 to use at home.

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admin
Immortal
Immortal

I really enjoy the HP DL360 G2's not only because they cost less than $400 on ebay...but the fact that they have built in iLO. I can power my servers on/off from anywhere in the world. Demonstrate remote ESX installs...etc.

I used to go for the Dell PowerEdge 1650's, but they make much more noise...and the DRAC cards are not even close in performance to the HP iLO cards...plus, they take up an extra PCI slot in the 1650's.

IBM's RSA cards, at least in the older generations, don't perform as well as HP's iLO cards either.

Now, if I were wanting to test out Virtual Iron, I would need to buy a much newer set of servers that support VT. I'm not prepared to do that yet...but as soon as I can make as good of a living with Virtual Iron as I do with VMware, I might consider upgrading my lab environment. Smiley Happy

Chris

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JoanieWaite
Contributor
Contributor

Remember Compaq was taken over by HP. The Smart Arrays are listed under HP Storage in the I/O guide.

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Ken_Cline
Champion
Champion

Yep...if it uses the "cpqarray" driver, it won't work with VI-3. If it's a "cciss" based driver, you're good to go.

Ken Cline VMware vExpert 2009 VMware Communities User Moderator Blogging at: http://KensVirtualReality.wordpress.com/
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rsa911
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Alas the built in "Compaq Integrated Smart Array Controller " use the old "cpqarray" family driver, so it's not compatible with ESX 3

homever you'll find plenty of used smartarray 5302 or 5304 series which use the new driver type and are compatible with the DL580...

so only a few extra $$$ and you're set Smiley Happy

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JoanieWaite
Contributor
Contributor

The DL580 G2 had a 5i plus which is one of the cciss drivers.

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rsa911
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

yep but the "Quad Intel Xeon 700MHz Processor" is still DL 580 G1 Smiley Sad

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JoanieWaite
Contributor
Contributor

I remember attaching a SAN to a DL580 with NT4.0 on it back in 1999. Now the only new HP hardware I see are blades!

VMWare is cool.

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rsa911
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

>Now the only new HP hardware I see are blades!

Consider yourself lucky to see/use bleeding edge hardware Smiley Happy

I've yet to see my first blade running ESX, and I've seen too much DL580G1, G2, G3 G4 Smiley Sad

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