youngy100
Contributor
Contributor

Cheap ESX server, onboard SATA - Working !!

Hi, just thought I would let people know that I got ESX 3.5 working on some cheap hardware with SATA.

Purchased:

E2160 (no VT - 64bit guests, only found out after purchase) clocked to 3.0Ghz $94au

Gigabyte P35-DS3 $131au

4GB 800 RAM $102au

128MB 7300 Video Card $29au

SATA HDD - allredy had lying around

Intel 10/100 nic (NEED DUE TO REALTEK ON BOARD NOT SUPPORTED BY ESX) - allready had lying around

So for $356 Australian Dollars I have a ESX server.

Installation:

Here is the wierd stuff, I had to use a USB DVD/CD rom, if I used a IDE it would say no storage found. Also I had to use esx text mode for the install, with no PS2 mouse connected. I am using the orange SATA0 port for the HDD. You must set the SATA in the BIOS to ACHI and RAID/IDE, try the install it will fail, reset the ACHI back to what it was and try the install again. Also my Silicom PCI SATA (addon card) was reconised only once ESX was installled, I could not install to it. I think this is how I got it to work, I have only installed it twice so far, once I get the final release of 3.5 I will try again.

Hope someone finds this interesting for a home setup

Youngy

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10 Replies
ejward
Expert
Expert

Even easier ..... it works on my IBM ThinkPad. The 3i version anyway. I found that out by accidentally booting off the thumbdrive.

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Drivintin
Contributor
Contributor

Here is what i want to know:

Boot up the 3.5 CD, sees my SATA drive, install to it. Reboot, and i get the whole "Mounting root failed"

So not supported right? well if i boot into the recovery console option it boots like a champ. Debug mode doesn't work also. I am thinking the damn kernel image is missing the SATA drivers, cause it isn't loading them. If you dmesg and look at the two diffrent boots they are VERY diffrent.

So what is up there?

z

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alhall
Contributor
Contributor

I have been using the LSI MegaRAID 150-6 SATA now for some time and it's great!

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alhall
Contributor
Contributor

Also you may want to consider using OpenFiler. With OpenFiler I can do iSCSI SANs or NAS. This allows me to do vmotion.

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admin
Immortal
Immortal

Good Price, but I'm running 5 ESX Hosts, Openfiler, UDA, Lab Manager Server & VC all within WS 6 on a PC running Vista x64 & 4GB RAM , the hosts have VMs on them too, obviously this is a dev environment.

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Skilachi
Contributor
Contributor

Also using the LSI LogicMegaRAID 150-4 SATA and works great on my ESX 3.0.2/HP ML110 G4 XEON Core DUO 3040 1.86GHZ, 4GB RAM. Thinking of getting (2) 500GB SATA drive and add more storage to make it 1TB. Does anyone knows the limit storage on 3.0.2? Also, how can I clock the speed to the maximum if possible?

Regarinding Openfiler, do you need a solid machine to host this or a low budget should do as i'm planning to test out the Vmotion aspect as well?

Thanks.

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alhall
Contributor
Contributor

The OpenFiler requires as a minimum P3 256 MB RAM and 4GB HDD. I'm using P3 (Dual) 1GHz, 2GB RAM and 2 TB (5-500GB HDD) RAID 5

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blackforce
Contributor
Contributor

Dont forget to add the $3000 for ESX.

Hope your not running it on the same license Smiley Happy

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GWVM
Contributor
Contributor

the same kit these days can be built from MSY for $312AUD

anyone know if this same rig works for vi3.5?

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GWVM
Contributor
Contributor

E4600 | $133au

Gigabyte GB-P35-DS3R | $139au

4GB 800 RAM | $96au

128MB 7300 Video Card | $28au

SATA HDD | $43au

Intel 10/100 nic | $20au

Case | $40au

$499 for an ESX server Smiley Happy

like youngy100 said ; i had to also boot from an external USB DVD as it will boot from the ESX CD on the onboard IDE but will not install.

i used the same SATA port on board as well.

in BIOS i have the RAID disabled and the SATA set to IDE

i don't use an external SATA controller in the machine ; my disk is all NFS (presented from a W2k3 server running Windows Services for Unix.

big thanks to youngy100 for the post and the idea. cheap way to create your home lab ; and with 3.5 having the 60 day eval, and a rebuild taking only a short period of time, its a winner!

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