What MB for low power vSphere ESXi ?

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tfboy

New Member
Mar 19, 2023
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First post here, I hope someone can offer some advice... :)

I'm looking at building a small home lab virtualisation setup. I use ESXi at work so would like to stick to that for home. I'm not too bothered about official support as long as it works and is stable.

For now, I've been using my desktop PC with Virtualbox running 3-4 VMs. It's been fine, but I'd need to upgrade to more RAM (only have 16GB in it at the moment, running W10 as the host OS).

The points which I'm keen on:
  • Low power / quiet system. Don't need much CPU as most of the VMs will be at idle 99% of the time
  • Preferably small footprint. uATX / mATX board with case. Don't really want a rackmount system as they're too large and often noisy with the fans.
  • Support for at least 32 or 64GB RAM
  • Support for M.2 or U.2 NVMe storage - I'm likely to put a 1TB NVMe drive for datastore. Can boot hypervisor from USB or a SATA drive.
  • IPMI support with remote KVM, power control, etc.
I actually have running a Synology / XPenology on a Supermicro A2SDi-8C-HLN4F motherboard which was chosen after some research as it supported many SATA drives out of the box and has IPMI. I've tried with the docker / virtualisation in Synology but need more flexibility. I'm hoping something equivalent exists for entry-level virtualisation in a Supermicro or Asrock Rack board which I think would be ideal (as they tend to have proper IMPI support).

It's just that in my limited searching, at least on AsrockRack systems, no one seems to have any stock and they are rather expensive.

I'm based in UK / Europe so need to source something from there rather than US-based.

Thoughts?

Thanks!
 
Last edited:

tfboy

New Member
Mar 19, 2023
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Thanks CreoleLakerFan. I'll see what variants of those boards are available.
I guess the issue is wanting IPMI. Without that, a plethora of consumer desktop boards are available but if you want remote KVM and power options then that really limits the choices to these Asrock Rack and Supermicro boards.