DIY 1U Low Power Low Cost Vmware ESX Server

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I’ve been looking all over the web for some low power low cost rack mount 1u servers that I can throw on ESX, be compatible, have them fit on a 2-post rack and properly connect to my FreeNas ISCSI server for shared storage. I’m not a fan of non-rackmount servers and I really didn’t want some deep pizza box that takes up a ton of room. I searched around the web for the perfect server and found it.

Although I heard a lot of people have issues with this server, I have not had any and it works great. If you have a specific purpose for it such as I have then it should be a nice cheap solution that works very well.

So let’s cut to the chase, what am I running my ESX hosts on?

Parts List:

  • Server Bundle: ASUS RS100-X7 1U Server Barebone LGA 1155 Intel C202
    • The server comes with 250W PSU, C202 Motherboard and a small case that fits perfectly in my 2-post Skeletek home rack. The MB has dual Intel NICs which I was looking for. You want to stay away from Realtek crap.
  • CPU: 1 x Intel Xeon Quad-Core Processor E3-1230V2
  • Memory:2 x Kingston 8GB DDR3 1333 2x4GB ECC KVR1333D3E9SK2/8G
    • Total of 16GB. I didn’t need more and the cost wasn’t worth it for 8GB RAM sticks. Also, I heard that ASUS doesn’t support many 8GB RAM sticks for this mobo.
  • Disk:Mushkin Enhanced Chronos MKNSSDCR60GB 2.5″ 60GB
    • This SSD is used for the VMware ESX OS, some local ISO storage and 16GB host cache to improve performance if memory runs dry.
  • OS:Vmware Vsphere ESX 5.0
    • Everything is compatible and works like a charm.

Cheers!

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