My new low wattage homelab esxi build

Discussion in 'DIY Server and Workstation Builds' started by Tooms, Nov 17, 2018.

  1. Tooms

    Tooms New Member

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    Hi

    just to share my new homelab build with the primary focus on low wattages and very silent as it is in my home.
    Hope this can help others with homelab server there is silent and not use to much power.


    Old server

    Build’s Name: ESX01
    Operating System/ Storage Platform: ESXi 6.5
    CPU: I3-2100T 2.5ghz
    Motherboard: Asus P8H67
    Chassis: OEM rack case
    Drives: 64gb Samsung SSD for ESXi OS and Samsung 500gb for VM
    RAM: 32gb
    Add-in Cards: eRIC G4 KVM Remote Managment PCI card
    Network: addon intel 2x 1gbit
    Power Supply: PicoPSU 160w
    Other Bits: 42" rack
    Usage Profile: ESX home lab server
    Wattage idle: 38.5w
    Wattage 100%: 77.9w



    The new server

    Build’s Name: ESX03
    Operating System/ Storage Platform: ESXi 6.7-update1
    CPU: Intel Core i5-7600T 2,80GHz
    Motherboard: Supermicro X11SSZ-TLN4F
    Chassis: Nokia IP440 firewall front mount case
    Drives: Samsung EVO860 500GB (for OS and VM), may add more later
    RAM: 64 GB DDR4
    Add-in Cards: none
    Network: onboard intel 2x 1gbit + 2x 10gbit
    Power Supply: HDplex 400w, 400w output, 19v input DC-2-DC
    Other Bits: 42" rack
    Usage Profile: ESX home lab server
    Wattage idle: 19.7w
    Wattage 100%: 77.9w



    Youtube video of my build
    High Power, Low wattage ESXi server - YouTube
     
    #1
  2. Evan

    Evan Well-Known Member

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    Under 20w with even 10G is impressive !
     
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  3. Tooms

    Tooms New Member

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    It is measure with a fluke 435 power quality analyzer on the mains, so i belives it to be the true value.
    In the video i show how it is measured and with an live view of the value when installing esxi
     
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  4. acquacow

    acquacow Active Member

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    Why only dual core for virtualization? Seems a bit light there.
     
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  5. Tooms

    Tooms New Member

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    This server is for 4-8 vm's and the old server with the i3-2100T was never at high load.

    I am having to esxi home lab server, one for the normal vm's (the one i have replaced) and the other one is for all my test lab setup vm's

    it is more important for me that it is silent, low heat and low wattages then fast cpu, it is okay for me that it takes alittle time extra when running big tasks
     
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  6. acquacow

    acquacow Active Member

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    I definitely get the low power and silent bits. My current ESXi box is an 8-core L series xeon with some flash storage. It maxes out around 100W and is silent, but it's also full atx and on a shelf in my laundry room.

    I just nabbed one of those 4-core Xeon-D 1521 gigabyte datto boards for $130, going to try and make a tiny build like yours and see if I can live with it vs my full atx setup. I'll never be able to have as much dram, but it might be enough.
     
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  7. Deslok

    Deslok Active Member

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    That nokia case is fantastic, I'm going to have to see if there's other like it.
    Any reason if you were going 10gig not to select a low end xeon-d out of curiosity? It would add ECC support.
     
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  8. Deslok

    Deslok Active Member

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    Are you talking about this board? MB10-DS4 it should support 128Gb ram. Although where you got one for 130 seems like a steal to me.
     
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  9. acquacow

    acquacow Active Member

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    https://forums.servethehome.com/ind...on-d-1521-with-i-o-shield-130-shipping.22528/

    But yeah, it supports lots of dram, but I already have ~256GB of DDR3 ECC lying around, don't want to dump the cash on DDR4 for minimal gains =P I have 4 8GB sticks of DDR4 here I'll put in it, but that's about it.


    Now back to the OP...

    Sorry, I didn't even see the old vs new system from my phone. I just saw the old dual core and didn't see that the new box is an i5-7600T. I retract my previous post and congratulate you on the upgrade to more cores/threads =)
     
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  10. Tooms

    Tooms New Member

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    yes it is the perfact case for home lab build with short deept and i am in the process of Mod it to fit this build, but love the way that you can pull out the server and has full access.
    I have collected the cases over time to save them for later use.

    i have not looked into the xeon series much for low power build and was thinking that the Core T series was better.
     
    #10
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2018
  11. Deslok

    Deslok Active Member

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    It's 100% based on which xeon you're looking at, the xeon-d 15xx series are low TDP parts that offer integrated 10GBe as part of the SOC

    From a performance standpoint the 1521 is in the same ballpark as your 7500t
    Dell Inc. OptiPlex 3050 vs Supermicro Super Server - Geekbench Browser

    The TDP for the 1521 is listed as 45 instead of 35 but the 10gb nic moves into the cpu instead of on the mainboard, you also gain up to 128gb ecc as an option as opposed to just 64gb
    Intel® Product Specification Comparison

    There's also the 1518 which brings the tdp back down to 35w and has some tempting 6gig+2 10gig motherboards from supermicro
     
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  12. kapone

    kapone Active Member

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    My switch consumes 5 times this much...:oops::oops:
     
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  13. Tooms

    Tooms New Member

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    some good points, the 10g chip is the hottest on the board now. so get into the cpu and cooler may be better and why the tdp is a little higher.

    the 128 gb ram support will be an add bonus, but it also cost then i have budget it to.
     
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  14. Deslok

    Deslok Active Member

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    There's always next build! and I get the cost side the lower bin xeon-d chips are usually at least "affordable" but that's still a 400-600 dollar motherboard depending on feature set unless you get lucky like those gigabyte boards mentioned earlier in the thread.

    A question on the psu side, are the DC-DC supplies more efficent even with an external brick? I had been considering something like the SST-NJ450-SXL in my home server(which isn't nearly as low power as yours at the moment thanks to lots of spinning discs although the C2750D4I sips power and seems to keep up with opnsense and a few other small vm's I run)
     
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  15. Marsh

    Marsh Moderator

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    The lowest price so far for Xeon-d board was the $130 Gigabyte MB.

    If you missed the $130 deal, you could find a Supermicro X10sdv-4c 10gbe board between $275 to $300 ( after ebay 10% off coupon ).
     
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  16. Deslok

    Deslok Active Member

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    those X10SDV boards are fantastic, I have an X10SDV-TLN4F with the 1541 running blue iris and my cameras at work although for home I'd be more interested in the X10SDV-TP8F myself which unfortunately trends towards 500-600
     
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  17. Tooms

    Tooms New Member

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    The main reason that use the DC2DC, like the PicoPSU in the old server and now the HDplex in the new server, is that I can then move the power supply outside the case to an power brick, so the heat from the power conversion is happing outside the case and only the smaller cooler DC2DC converter is inside the case, so this way it keep the server cooler = lower heat and less noise from the fan in the case overall.
    It also gives more space in the case.
     
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  18. Evan

    Evan Well-Known Member

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    Heat and space as @Tooms indicated.

    I would guess at this low power (~20-30w idle and less than 100w at load) there is only handful of Watts (maybe 1-3w) difference between the below kind of options;
    - class VI brick and DC-DC converter
    - 250-300w bronze/silver/gold
    - 450 platinum fanless
    - 500 titanium fanless

    I don’t know as I haven’t tested but from the ones I have used and the review I have read then it’s a guess they must all be similar. (In performance not price)
     
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  19. kapone

    kapone Active Member

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    I tested PicoPSUs, HDPlex, Supermicro and the HP 460w "platinum" power supplies, and the diference between the HP and the DC PSUs was <2w. Oddly enough, the Supermicro "platinum" power supplies were NOT that efficient.

    Granted, at 20w idle that theoretically is 10%, but in practice it's a rounding error. The HP PSU can be had for peanuts (even the DC-DC PDBs to go with it), does not require any external cabling, plays nicely with rack mounting, won me over. An added benefit is that it is practially silent. I mean it. It does have a 40mm fan as such, but anything more than 6" away, I promise you cannot hear it, and that's with a dual Xeon board pounding away at >300w.
     
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  20. Tooms

    Tooms New Member

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    The HDplex 400w is listed a around 90-95$ and the power brick is reuse from old laptops, the PicoPSU is only around 50$
    I guess the other good fanless psu will be the same or more.

    So for me the best fit is the HDplex 400w
     
    #20
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