Small office ESXi server sanity check

leonroy

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Oct 6, 2015
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I need to replace an ageing HP DL360 G6 running a 4x disk RAID 10 array of SAS drives. It has the 1GB flash backed write cache option.

It’s hosting Zimbra, UniFi, Plex (just me using that) and Elastix PBX plus a few light weight lab type VMs. At most it sees 2-3 users concurrently.

I pay the electricity bill so keen to buy something with low power consumption.

Was thinking the HPE DL20 Gen10 would be just the thing but a bit unsure on storage. We currently use about 500GB on our existing ESXi box.

There seem to be two real options with the DL20. The dual SATA 3.5” configuration and the 6x 2.5” SATA config.

I was thinking to save money by getting the 3.5” option and fitting a 1TB or 2TB Samsung NVMe M.2 SSD onboard. I can’t see a need for a 3.5” spinning disk though a 2.5” SSD (might) be needed down the line though unlikely in the near term.

Other options might be a Supermicro Atom C3000 box. My current DL360 has a Xeon E5540 so even an Atom might be comparable. HEVC encode/decode support would be the icing on the cake but not critical. Either way any recommendations welcome.
 

Evan

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Jan 6, 2016
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DL20 would be a decent option. But I would get the 2.5” version as lots of cheaper disks around you could use.
 
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leonroy

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@BoredSysadmin I'm a bit of a Synology fan boy and very familiar with their DSM. QNAP have tempted with their great CPU options but my other problem is that my Zimbra support contract requires a supported platform and AFAIK VMware is the only virtualized platform whom Zimbra support. I also already have a vSphere and NAKIVO license so changing platforms isn't possible right now unfortunately.
 

BoredSysadmin

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Mar 2, 2019
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Ok, in this case, I'd strongly recommend ensuring that server you go with is on VMWare supported list. Case in point is ESX 6.5+. While I could install 6.0 on sandy bridge box, 6.5 won't install due to the required CPU feature.
I personally would hard pass on HP and HPE stuff.
Rather go with Dell R240. 4x3.5 in raid 10 for storage and PCI-e NVMe for OS/apps install [btw: AF/512e drives ARE supported by ESXi 6.5+]
VMware Knowledge Base
 
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leonroy

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Thanks @BoredSysadmin - any reason you’d pass on HP gear?

I’ve always bought their ProLiant and Procurve kit and never once had an issue on anything apart from the higher price and slight difficulty getting the spec I want from a VAR.
 

BoredSysadmin

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Too many issues with reliability, maddening and terrible support portal and their recent decision to do a walled garden for drives/downloads only during active support contracts/warranties.
And Dell would still offer a cheaper price than HP any day.
 

Evan

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Dell, HPE, Lenovo, Fujitsu. Essentially all same stuff, better to have support I would say, if not just build Supermicro etc but as far as I know no chance for on-site support etc. It’s a kind of cost vs risk calculation.

All roughly the same cost also. All reliable (yes I know people have bad experiences now and again or even specific batch issues but generally they are are all similar)
 
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leonroy

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Yikes @BoredSysadmin so that's what everyone was talking about. I'm replacing the G6 range so haven't bumped into that problem.

Do Dell have this kind of ransom ware approach to BIOS updates?