Small form factor ESXi with 64GB+ RAM?

Tjharris

New Member
Oct 17, 2017
3
0
1
58
I’m a long-time NUC user, running ESXi 6.5 as my home server. It’s a dual core with 16GB RAM. It has served me well, but with a couple memory hog VMs doesn’t meet my needs any more.

The Skull Canyon NUC is interesting, but I would like to have more than 32GB of RAM to avoid the same issues I have with my current NUC.

Any thoughts on:
- Supermicro Xeon-D systems? Noise levels too high for office use?

- Denverton Atom systems? Fast enough for general ESXi use? Some of the new Supermicro boards look good.. High core counts and lots of memory, but low clock speed: A2SDi-12C-HLN4F | Motherboards | Products - Super Micro Computer, Inc.

- Other small form factor options?
 

i386

Well-Known Member
Mar 18, 2016
1,852
471
83
31
With small do you mean everything <µATX?

The xeon d (not only supermicro) are awesome for appliances and good enough for smaller vms (128gb limit :D).
After a little bit more than 1 year with a pentium/xeon d I would say that for my use case (storage) I don't have enough pcie slots (one x16 or two x8 on supermicro mainboards, gigabyte has one mainboard with one x16 and one x8 slot).

Noise? "It depends" what chassis you want to use, on the add in cards (and their cooling requirement) and on the utilization of the server.
If you want to buy xeon d with passive heatsink make sure to use a chassis with high static pressure fans.

Other small form factors?
Check supermicros site for iot devices: Internet of Things Gateway Solutions | SuperServer | Products - Super Micro Computer, Inc.
 

Waterkippie

Member
Oct 12, 2017
41
9
8
50
Systems like the SuperMicro E300-8D (Xeon-D) are absolutely not quiet enough for an office. Have it here with lower rpm fans and it's still too loud. (unless it's a room away)
 

Netwerkz101

Active Member
Dec 27, 2015
267
69
28
Systems like the SuperMicro E300-8D (Xeon-D) are absolutely not quiet enough for an office. Have it here with lower rpm fans and it's still too loud. (unless it's a room away)
While this may be true for the system (E300-8D), you can always build a
1u system based on the 503/504 chassis + the X10SDV-TPF motherboard.

I had the above setup and it could not be heard from about 6ft away.
You can use 40mm Noctua on the heatsink or use active CoolJag via swap.
(there is a post about cooling the FCBGA 1667 that shows options you can use)
 

Tjharris

New Member
Oct 17, 2017
3
0
1
58
Thanks for the responses. The noise on the Xeons is definitely a concern. A small tower like the Supermicro SuperServer 5028D might help with noise, but is pretty large relative to the NUC I'm using now.

The Atom IOT servers look promising. I'm just not sure of the horsepower with those. My previous Atom experience was with the old Atom/Ion boards for HTPC use. Those Atoms were not in the same class as desktop/server CPUs. The newer ones seem to be quite a bit more powerful, but I'm wondering how they measure up as a hypervisor.
 

Patrick

Administrator
Staff member
Dec 21, 2010
11,814
4,765
113
I would suggest Xeon D over C3000 series. Doing something like this to the Xeon D will help a lot with noise Near silent powerhouse: Making a quieter MicroLab platform

I actually like the C3000 series a LOT but if you are doing virtualization work I think the Xeon D is better with the L3 cache. If you just need to run a handful of KVM VMs, C3000 works fine. ESXi and many VMs, Xeon D.

A dark horse here, is if you can see yourself with mATX/ ATX, then you can get Xeon Scalable. Start with a 4108 / 4110 and you will have room to upgrade to more RAM, more PCIe/ storage, more CPU, faster networking later while keeping the same platform intact.
 

Tjharris

New Member
Oct 17, 2017
3
0
1
58
Thanks, that's great input. I had seen your Proxmox on C3000 post and that got me interested in the Atom. So, it's good to hear the next level of detail on the performance.

How about the smaller form factor SuperMicro systems, like the E300-8D or or E200-8D? Would replacing the fans in those get them to a reasonable noise level?