Home Lab Upgrades - Part 2

Home Lab

Published on 9 February 2016 by Christopher Lewis. Words: 604. Reading Time: 3 mins.

Ok so the bits and bobs have started to arrive and I have put together one of the hosts and after a little work, I now have one host up and running with he following:

homelag resources

The components in ESX-Host-1 are:-

  • 1 x SuperMicro MBD-X11SH-LN4F-0 Motherboard (4 x 1GbE, 64GB, Socket 1151, M.2 PCIe, IMPI 2.0, 8 x SATA3)

I chose this motherboard for multiple reasons; a) the 4 x 1GbE network ports mean that I don’t need a separate card, b) IPMI means i can remote controller the server to build it once plugged in c) supports 64GB RAM, d) its MicroATX so i can build it into a small case!

More information can be found at SuperMicro Website.

  • 1 x Intel Xeon E3-1275 V5 “Skylake” (4C/8T)

I had no preference over which Intel E3 v5 Skylake processor I purchased, I just wanted it to have HT. Therefore, it was a decision between the E3-1245 or E3-1275. Unfortunately (for me) only the E3-1275 was in stock (and it was more expensive!)

Intel E3 v5 cpu
  • 64GB (4 x 16GB) DDR4-2400 Crucial Memory (1.2V CL17) - Part Number CT7982105

I am a big fan of Crucial memory even though they can be pricey. I chose this memory because there isn’t much out about DDR4 EUDIMM’s and I was guided by Crucial’s website as being compatible with the SuperMicro Motherboard.

  • Samsung SM951 SSD 256GB (M.2 PCIe)

Originally I opted for the well respected Samsung EVO 850 250 GB (SATA M.2) but because, like most men, I didn’t RTFM. It seems the SuperMicro motherboard unlike the Gigabyte Server boards only work with M.2 PCIe. To be honest I didn’t realise there were two types of M.2, lesson learnt. I have ESXi installed and the rest of the SSD used for Host Caching.

  • Seasonic Fanless Platinum 400W and Modular Power Supply
Seasonic Fanless Platinum 400W and Modular Power Supply

The Seasonic Fanless Platinum 400W PSU is a lovely PSU and is well packaged and delivered in a lovely velvet case. Considering the amount of components in the host, I wanted to use a modular power supply to reduce the amount of unnecessary cabling. There is currently no HDD, no Optical Drives and therefore the only cables from the PSU are the ones to power the motherboard!

  • Silverstone Sugo SG-10
Silverstone Sugo SG-10 Case

Small MicroATX cases seem to be very rare. There are lots of Cube style cases but what these make up for in height and depth, they just put on the width. I hoped the Silverstone Sugo SG10 would fit the bill. I do like this case, it has some quirky things about it which means the PSU is at the front of the case with an power lead extension style plug. This is odd because the power switch is inside the case so you cannot isolate the PSU without opening the case (or as I have learnt an unfolded paperclip through the vent on the side). The other odd thing about the power supply is when mount it and plug it in, the supplied side fan gets in the way of the power lead so had to be removed. No a major issue as there is two other fans in the case and in my case not a lot going causing airflow issues.

Having put it all together, it seems VMware ESXi 6.0 recognises all of the components and I look forward to adding another host in a week or so to complete my two node cluster setup!

I also purchased a Cisco Small Business SG300-20 and an addition 4 x 3TB WD Red SAN drives for my Synology NAS so I can have a dedicated NFS or iSCSI using RAID10.

Published on 9 February 2016 by Christopher Lewis. Words: 604. Reading Time: 3 mins.

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