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ESXI server build hardware questions / sugestions.

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ddimick
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ESXI server build hardware questions / sugestions.

#1

Post by ddimick »

I'm going to migrate my WHS and am planning on running ESXi with two guest OS: NAS4Free and something for real-time H.264 1080P transcoding (e.g. Plex). I plan on running raidz2 on four 2TB drives and four 1TB drives (existing) in a single pool. Data is primarily video media and PC backups, no databases. I may run a third guest OS to support CrashPlan backups.

Would the following hardware support these goals?

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($119.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($87.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair XMS 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Rosewill 600W ATX12V Power Supply ($50.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Rosewill RSV-L4500 case (15 3.5 internal bays) ($99.99)
Other: SYBA SD-CF-IDE-BR IDE to Compact Flash Adapter (Bracket Version) ($6.99)
Other: Silicon Power 16GB Compact Flash (CF) Flash Card Model SP016GBCFC400V10 ($29.99)
Last edited by al562 on 01 Jan 2013 02:25, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Adjusted Subject.

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daoyama
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Re: Newb hardware question

#2

Post by daoyama »

ddimick wrote:Would the following hardware support these goals?
CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($119.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($87.55 @ Newegg)
The mother board looks VT-d supported, if so I recommend you choose VT-d supported CPU.
If both VT-d supported, you can use Direct I/O feature of ESXi.
This feature allows you to use PCIe device on the VM directly.

Here is all CPU list (find your MB supported):
http://ark.intel.com/search/advanced/?s ... &EM64=true

If you are interesting about Direct I/O, see my result of VM on ESXi 5.0.
viewtopic.php?f=78&t=1465#p6133
NAS4Free 10.2.0.2.2115 (x64-embedded), 10.2.0.2.2258 (arm), 10.2.0.2.2258(dom0)
GIGABYTE 5YASV-RH, Celeron E3400 (Dual 2.6GHz), ECC 8GB, Intel ET/CT/82566DM (on-board), ZFS mirror (2TBx2)
ASRock E350M1/USB3, 16GB, Realtek 8111E (on-board), ZFS mirror (2TBx2)
MSI MS-9666, Core i7-860(Quad 2.8GHz/HT), 32GB, Mellanox ConnectX-2 EN/Intel 82578DM (on-board), ZFS mirror (3TBx2+L2ARC/ZIL:SSD128GB)
Develop/test environment:
VirtualBox 512MB VM, ESXi 512MB-8GB VM, Raspberry Pi, Pi2, ODROID-C1

ddimick
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Re: Newb hardware question

#3

Post by ddimick »

I had not considered VT-d, and the i5-3470 that includes it isn't much more expensive. The performance results you posted exceed my requirements. Thanks for the insight!

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apollo567
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Re: Newb hardware question

#4

Post by apollo567 »

ddimick wrote:I'm going to migrate my WHS and am planning on running ESXi with two guest OS: NAS4Free and something for real-time H.264 1080P transcoding (e.g. Plex). I plan on running raidz2 on four 2TB drives and four 1TB drives (existing) in a single pool. Data is primarily video media and PC backups, no databases. I may run a third guest OS to support CrashPlan backups.

Would the following hardware support these goals?

Power Supply: Rosewill 600W ATX12V Power Supply ($50.99 @ Newegg)
Think such an PSU is much overdone, ! have 11 disks with a 330 W PSU.
Thats more than sufficient here...

Regards
apollo
my NAS and its development until today: viewtopic.php?f=63&t=39&sid=039fed830cf ... 4d0abe4a04

ddimick
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Re: Newb hardware question

#5

Post by ddimick »

I think you're right on the wattage, but I was looking for something with a lot of SATA power leads and this one has eight.

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Re: Newb hardware question

#6

Post by apollo567 »

ddimick wrote:I think you're right on the wattage, but I was looking for something with a lot of SATA power leads and this one has eight.
Well get adapters and save the Money for something else....
my NAS and its development until today: viewtopic.php?f=63&t=39&sid=039fed830cf ... 4d0abe4a04

davidb
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Re: Newb hardware question

#7

Post by davidb »

ddimick wrote: Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($87.55 @ Newegg)
I have two of these motherboards in NASes and they are working great, see my post here: viewtopic.php?f=60&t=926
Take note about the hard drive settings for the second set of SATAIII ports (ASMedia) viewtopic.php?f=15&t=840&p=3272&#p3272

Edit: Forgot to say...
ddimick wrote: Other: SYBA SD-CF-IDE-BR IDE to Compact Flash Adapter (Bracket Version) ($6.99)
Other: Silicon Power 16GB Compact Flash (CF) Flash Card Model SP016GBCFC400V10 ($29.99)
This mother board does not have an IDE port!!!

ddimick
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Re: Newb hardware question

#8

Post by ddimick »

davidb wrote:This mother board does not have an IDE port!!!
Oops! I have a couple PCI PATA adapters laying around that I can probably use, will have to check on the compatibility.

EDIT: Maybe I'll just go USB instead. CF+PATA adapter+PCI PATA card seems complicated compared to an internal USB header and a 16GB USB stick.

armandh
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Re: Newb hardware question

#9

Post by armandh »

try these direct plug in SATA [power leads not shown]
http://www.logicsupply.com/categories/f ... sh_modules
4 thread 3300 Mhz Intel i3, 1 TB ZFS mirror, available RAM 7.823 Gb, 64 bit NAS4Free 9.1.0.1 rev 573 [88 watts, 48 Mbps]
2 thread 1600 Mhz atom/ion, 1 TB ZFS mirror, available RAM 3.083 Gb, 64 bit NAS4Free-9.1.0.1 rev 573 [27 watts, 35 Mbps]
2 thread 3900 Mhz AMD A6-6400K, 2 TB ZFS Mirror, available RAM 7.557 Gb, 64 bit Nas4Free 9.3.0.2.1771 [89 watts, 68 Mbps]

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Re: Newb hardware question

#10

Post by ddimick »

Having thought this through a little better (and done more research on ESXi), flash boot isn't really useful in my scenario. Since I'm running ESXi as a hypervisor, it needs a local drive on which to create its VFS, and you can't create a VFS on USB storage.

I'll add a SiL3114 controller to run the ESXi boot/VFS drive which will allow me to pass the motherboard's storage controllers through to the NAS4Freee VM. In theory, anyway.

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Re: Newb hardware question

#11

Post by daoyama »

Hi,
ddimick wrote:Having thought this through a little better (and done more research on ESXi), flash boot isn't really useful in my scenario. Since I'm running ESXi as a hypervisor, it needs a local drive on which to create its VFS, and you can't create a VFS on USB storage.
Yes, I forgot it to write.
Currently, I'm using USB as boot ESXi 5.0, SIL3132 add-on card + 64GB SSD as Local datastore (VMFS).
And onboard SATA as DirectPass I/O for NAS4Free. (pass through 3TBx2 + 128GB SSD as ZFS device)
VMXNET3(iSCSI) provides Read 880MB/s, write 560MB/s on 1GB sequential test.

Separating ESXi boot device and Local datastore is recommended for easy upgrade/test.
You can test new version of ESXi only by replacing USB stick.

First I use 250GB HDD as Local datastore, but I switch to 64GB useless SSD for power consumption.
Local datastore is only used for booting NAS4Free VM.
Also I upgraded the memory from 16GB to 32GB.

Daisuke Aoyama
NAS4Free 10.2.0.2.2115 (x64-embedded), 10.2.0.2.2258 (arm), 10.2.0.2.2258(dom0)
GIGABYTE 5YASV-RH, Celeron E3400 (Dual 2.6GHz), ECC 8GB, Intel ET/CT/82566DM (on-board), ZFS mirror (2TBx2)
ASRock E350M1/USB3, 16GB, Realtek 8111E (on-board), ZFS mirror (2TBx2)
MSI MS-9666, Core i7-860(Quad 2.8GHz/HT), 32GB, Mellanox ConnectX-2 EN/Intel 82578DM (on-board), ZFS mirror (3TBx2+L2ARC/ZIL:SSD128GB)
Develop/test environment:
VirtualBox 512MB VM, ESXi 512MB-8GB VM, Raspberry Pi, Pi2, ODROID-C1

ddimick
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Re: Newb hardware question

#12

Post by ddimick »

If I install boot and VMS on a single drive (two partitions), can I can still boot and test new ESXi versions off a USB stick?

ddimick
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Re: Newb hardware question

#13

Post by ddimick »

Word of caution using the ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP motherboard on-board SATA connectors:

ESXi 5.1 will PSOD on you when trying to use passthru on the Intel Panther Point controller responsible for the six SATA ports labeled SATA2_2, SATA2_3, SATA2_4, SATA2_5, SATA3_0, and SATA3_1. Passthru for the controller managing SATA3_A1 and SATA3_A2, which ESXi calls "unknown", works fine.

ESXi 5.0U does not have this problem. All onboard SATA ports work with passthru under ESXi 5.0U.

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Re: Newb hardware question

#14

Post by ddimick »

I've completed this build (probably). Full description including lessons learned is at http://pcpartpicker.com/b/yxP.

I'm going to add a Sybase SY-PEX24028 dual-gig Ethernet adapter in order to get jumbo frame support.

Image

Not included in the list below are the hard drives, which I already had:

Hitachi HDS723020BLA642 2TB x2
Seagate ST31000528AS 1TB x4

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($192.28 @ TigerDirect)
Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($94.54 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Value Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($70.67 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Rosewill 600W ATX12V Power Supply ($54.36 @ Newegg)
Case: Rosewill RSV-L4500 ($99.99)
SAS Controller: IBM ServeRaid M1015 SAS/SATA PCI-e RAID Controller ($74.45)
SAS-SATA Cable: StarTech Model SAS8087S450 19" (50cm) Serial Attached SCSI SAS Cable - SFF-8087 to 4x Latching SATA ($27.99)
SAS-SATA Cable: StarTech Model SAS8087S450 19" (50cm) Serial Attached SCSI SAS Cable - SFF-8087 to 4x Latching SATA ($27.99)
Total: $642.27
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-14 10:57 EST-0500)

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Re: Newb hardware question

#15

Post by devastator »

ddimick wrote:Word of caution using the ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP motherboard on-board SATA connectors:

ESXi 5.1 will PSOD on you when trying to use passthru on the Intel Panther Point controller responsible for the six SATA ports labeled SATA2_2, SATA2_3, SATA2_4, SATA2_5, SATA3_0, and SATA3_1. Passthru for the controller managing SATA3_A1 and SATA3_A2, which ESXi calls "unknown", works fine.

ESXi 5.0U does not have this problem. All onboard SATA ports work with passthru under ESXi 5.0U.
Is it possible to passthru the 6 ports on the panther point controller, and use the other 2 on 'unknown' for the datastore ?

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Re: ESXI server build hardware questions / sugestions.

#16

Post by devastator »

Nobody ?

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Re: ESXI server build hardware questions / sugestions.

#17

Post by cozmok »

Not sure if you're still needing an answer, but just in case...

ESXi only lets you (DirectPath) pass-through whole devices (like the controller), so I would guess it will not let you separate just 6 ports out of 8. You can try, it'll let you know right then.

However, you could use RDM (Raw Device Mapping, essentially SCSI-passthrough), and send just the 6 SCSI devices to your N4F VM.

Here's a post that I referenced for my build:
http://blog.davidwarburton.net/2010/10/ ... -for-esxi/

Let me know if you want more details, or how I did mine.

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