New ESXi server build - been awhile

Discussion in 'DIY Server and Workstation Builds' started by thecoffeeguy, Oct 1, 2018.

  1. thecoffeeguy

    thecoffeeguy Member

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    Hey Folks
    I need to upgrade/refresh one of my ESXi servers. Current one is old, loud and noisy old SCSI drives.

    Couple of things I am looking for:

    Quiet and cool
    Ability to support 128gb memory
    (2) CPU's supported, may start with one for now.
    4+ NIC's
    2-4- 2.5 drives for internal storage

    In the past, I have gone with SuperMicro and like their IPMI. Was thinking the same unless there issomethingn better different?

    The case is the thing i have been thinking a lot about.
    I dont need a GPU which should open up options for me.
    I looked at some fractal designs and they have nice stuff.

    Any combo deals that folks recommend?

    Maybe something to just point me in the right direction.
    Is memory still pricey these days? Been awhile since i've built/refreshed a rig.

    Cheers and thank you.

    TCG
     
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  2. marcoi

    marcoi Active Member

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    A price range will help narrow down the suggestions. IE budget of 1000.

    Off the top - Many like systems based on e-5-2600 v2 CPU since they use ddr3 memory and prices for older memory aren't insane. DDR4 is top dollar right for example.

    I think for 1k you could get a dual e5-2680 v2 system with 128GB ram. might need to shop around -ebay, CL, on FS threads here. etc..
     
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  3. thecoffeeguy

    thecoffeeguy Member

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    yea, forgot to put my budget in. it is about $1k, depending.

    I was looking for the same thing as far as memory because one of my current ESXi host (newer one) DDR memory is very expensive.

    any suggestions on a case?
    i should also mention i have a IKEA Lack rack setup that has my patch panel and 24 port switch mounted to it. My current ESXi hosts sit on top of it. I try to keep everything 'clean' best i can, hence why the case is osmething i have spent a lot of time on. :)

    EDIT: One thing i was curious and looking for help on, when looking for mobo, what is the best way to filter? I a looking at supermicro boards on newegg and I just cant seem to narrow down the search. I cant seem to find a board that is NOT DDR4 288. Kinda driving me nuts..ahaha

    Much appreciated!
     
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    Last edited: Oct 2, 2018
  4. marcoi

    marcoi Active Member

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    as for case, depends on if you want a server case with loud fans or more quiet pc case where you put in your own fans, etc. IF noise isnt an issue then a server case would probably work out best.

    As for the parts, they would be used items as they are already a few generations old from a tech perspective. But work great for home lab use.
    Alternatively you can also scope out some old dells r720 on ebay like this one
    Dell R720 16-Core Server 2x E5-2690 2.9GHz 128GB-8 2.5in H710 iDRAC RPS | eBay

    I have an dell r720 and love it.
     
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  5. thecoffeeguy

    thecoffeeguy Member

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    Yea, as much asI would like a r720, the size and noise may get the locks changed on me. :)

    What about mobos? I wa sthinking i could start there. ATX or micro ATX.

    Any supermicro boards I should 'stear clear of'?

    Thx
     
    #5
  6. marcoi

    marcoi Active Member

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    Dual CPU you probably be in the ATX size unless you get some custom made motherboards that is meant to run in a specific case.

    Many of us on the board ended up with a flavor of the intel boards s2600cp. Below is my build out. Which is fairly quiet expect on start up.
    https://forums.servethehome.com/index.php?threads/intel-s2600cp-w-intel-p4000-case.9104/

    Here is example of someone selling that board in a pc gaming case.
    https://forums.servethehome.com/ind...on-e5-2670-128-ddr3-workstation-server.21849/

    Just search around and when you get a list of boards/cpu/memory your interested in, post back to have it vetted out.
     
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  7. thecoffeeguy

    thecoffeeguy Member

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    Very coo. Will do that.
    In the meantime, I came across an exisiting case I can use. It is a micro ATX board setup, but it is nice:

    Fractal Design Define Mini Black Micro ATX Silent PC Computer Case w/ USB 3.0 support and 2 x 120mm Fractal Design Silent Fans - Newegg.com

    Here are some boards I quickly looked at:

    Computer Parts, PC Components, Laptop Computers, LED LCD TV, Digital Cameras and more - Newegg.com

    My concern is the memory. Its all DDR4 which can be pricey.

    This one looks promising:
    SUPERMICRO MBD-X11SSH-F-O Micro ATX Server Motherboard LGA 1151 Intel C236 - Newegg.com

    Can drop in a Xeon CPU, add a 4 Port NIC with some local drives...
     
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  8. thecoffeeguy

    thecoffeeguy Member

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  9. Rand__

    Rand__ Well-Known Member

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    You are looking for dual CPU setup but list only current 1P boards;)

    If you want 2P + Ram then you'll need older tech to stay in budget, if you want newer gen then you'll have to sacrifice something else...
     
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  10. thecoffeeguy

    thecoffeeguy Member

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    yea, i should have clarified. 2 Proc would be nice, but not required. Looking to maximize what i can with my budget. I need to build a NAS box as well...heheh..so many toys!
     
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  11. TLN

    TLN Active Member

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    I have ASUS tower, that comes with Z10PE mobo (Dual Xeon E5-v3/v4, DDR4) PSU and everything. Can be installed in the rack. Get CPU and memory and you're good to go. Comes with CPU Coolers and I'll add M.2 SSD to use as boot drive.
     
    #11
  12. thecoffeeguy

    thecoffeeguy Member

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    One thing I was curious, the boards I a looking at all seem to be DDR 288.
    64gb total, is 4 sticks and the sticks seem to be about 100-200 per stick?

    that sound right? or am i way off :)
     
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  13. Rand__

    Rand__ Well-Known Member

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    288 pins you mean?
    Else it would be DDR4-2133 or 2400, which can be around that price range for a 16GB stick.
    Thats why the general recommendation was to go back one generation to use DDR3 memory if you need/want loads of it
     
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  14. thecoffeeguy

    thecoffeeguy Member

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    Thanks, yea. Wanted to confirm.
    Now the task to find the motherboard with that memory.

    Thank you

    EDIT: One thing I wanted to ask is the proper way to match the memory to the mobo. I recall reading in some threads that not getting memory that has been officially tested by SuperMicro could be bad?
    Just want to make sure before I start buying stuff.
    Thx
     
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    Last edited: Oct 5, 2018
  15. Rand__

    Rand__ Well-Known Member

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    Usually there is a tested module list at the board page.
    I have had mixed results with SM boards, sometimes even modules working fine in one board don't work in the other, but sometimes the boards take everything I throw at them without a hickup, so its a mixed bag in my experience.
     
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  16. nk215

    nk215 Active Member

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    You want an option to use 1 CPU on a dual CPU board + lots of cheap memory. The best option (if you can tolerate the size) is a Supermicro X9DR3-LN4F board. It has 12 memory slots per CPU so you can use the cheap 8gig stick and can get 96gb setup starting out with one CPU configuration. It also has 4 NICs that you wanted

    I have this board and really like it. A top dual e5-269x DDR3 setup is significantly cheaper than a DDR4 setup with similar performance.
     
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  17. thecoffeeguy

    thecoffeeguy Member

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    Thanks. I appreciate the feedback.
    doing some research this weekend, I think that my options are to go with DDR4, 288 DIMMS. I just dont really see a lot of options. My setup would probably start wwith 64gb memory, but eventually get to 128gb.

    i also started to think that I would prefer 3-4 local SSD drives attached to it, just for the local storage piece.


    Think i am going to look for another case with more drive bays that i can mount drives in, just in case.

    so now, the big question is, what mobo and CPU? :)
     
    #17
  18. thecoffeeguy

    thecoffeeguy Member

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    Alright, herre is what I have come up with.
    Feel free to tell me if its bad/good or needs rework:

    case:
    Fractal Design Define R6 USB-C Blackout Brushed Aluminum/Steel ATX Silent Modular Mid Tower Computer Case - Newegg.com

    I like fractal and it has lots of bays inside for SSD drives, local storage for the server:

    mobo:
    SUPERMICRO MBD-X11SSH-F-O Micro ATX Server Motherboard LGA 1151 Intel C236 - Newegg.com

    CPU:
    Intel Xeon E3-1220 V6 Kaby Lake 3.0 GHz (3.5 GHz Turbo) LGA 1151 72W BX80677E31220V6 Server Processor - Newegg.com

    Still matching memory.

    yea? na?

    Thanks folks!
     
    #18
  19. Rand__

    Rand__ Well-Known Member

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    Lol, funny how pricing reality takes everbody to the bottom, going from top original list to a X11SSH/E2-1220 ;) (No worries, everybody has been there).

    So, that is a cheap solid basis you picked but don't expect it to run loops around anything. I have 3 similar setups for my test cluster (just to get the lights on) and they are ok-ish.

    Now it totally depends on what the box is going to be used for?
    4 SSDs worth of local storage might be overkill for a 4 Core/4 Threads/64 GB Box... you will run into CPU issues after just a few VMs. Maybe better to at least upgrade to the 1230 which has 8 threads.
     
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  20. thecoffeeguy

    thecoffeeguy Member

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    Yep. Reality brought me crashing back down. :)

    would you recommend anything different, based off of your experience with your setup, besides the CPU? The idea for the local storage was just in case i need it (I have plans to build a FreeNAS box someday..heheh)

    much appreciate your help

    EDIT: I swapped out that CPU for the 1230...the extra 4 threads should be helpful.
     
    #20
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2018
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