My lab currently consists of 3 host, all with different hardware. My goal is to upgrade and standardize them and connect over 10gig for easy vmotion and flexibility. Two of the hosts will be upgraded but one will deprecated and replaced. The host that is being replaced is an older Dell Optiplex workstation that has worked admirably but doesn't play well in the cluster.
New Host Parts List
- Case Fractal Design Core 1000
- Hot Swap Bay Icy Dock ExpressCage 4x2.5
- Motherboard SUPERMICRO MBD-X10SLL
- Processor Intel Xeon E3-1231V3
- Ram 2x Crucial CT2KIT102472BD160B 16GB Kit
- 10g Nic Mellanox Connectx-2
- Power Supply SeaSonic SSR-360GP 360W
- Boot Media Verbatim 16 GB Store 'n' Stay Nano USB 3.0 Flash Drive
- Hypervisor OS ESXI 6.0 U2
Case: I chose the Fractal Design Core 1000 mainly because of the size. It was the least expensive mATX case that had the dimensions I needed with an adequate number of expansion slots (4) and external 5.25" bays (2).
Hot Swap Bay: Based on previous experiences cracking cases open I decided that all future drives in my lab will be hot swap, no exceptions. The Icy Dock ExpressCage 4x2.5 is Icy Dock's entry level model. Its plastic and cheap but it gets the job done.
4 2.5" bays
4 Sata Ports and 1 Sata Power Port
Motherboard: Supermicro has become hands down my favorite motherboard maker. Their IPKVM just makes working with the host so easy and I don't know of anything similar at the price point. It is full compatible with ESXI 6.0, has 6 on board SATA ports, 2 on board NICs and dedicated IPMI so there really wasn't much of a debate on this one.
Processor: I am using the Intel Xeon E3-1231V3 in my other two hosts so this makes for maximum compatibility. I had a little trouble for some reason getting the Intel fan installed on the mobo. I've never had this issue before with this item but the the posts on this unit were a little sticky. I had to remove it and loosen everything before I was able to get all 4 posts to connect properly.
Ram and Power Supply: I have always had good luck with Crucial and Seasonic so I decided not to mess with success.
The entire build took less than 45 minutes and everything fired up the first time.
After stressing the CPU and Ram overnight I installed ESXI to the USB flash drive and everything fired up. I then updated the last U2 release.
The host joined to the cluster with no issues, found all storage and vmotion is working perfectly. Next step is upgrades on the remaining two hosts.