Tuesday, January 1, 2013

My shiny and new white box

It`s the new year and it started with a resolution (or more like a hope - or both) - I am trying to post on the blog once a week.

This one is about the white box I have acquired before Christmas. The main purpose of the white box is to replace the old one which had only 8 GB of RAM and was wasting a lot of my time. Since I could not do any upgrades to the old one I had to buy a completely new computer. It all evolved around the idea of being able to accommodate a vCloud Director deployment and after a bit of googling around I came up with the following:
- Intel Core i5-3470 - 4 cores @ 3.2 GHz, 77 W (my current Q9400 eats up 95W), no HT, but a lot of nice virtualization technologies: VT-x, VT-d,VT-x with EPT;
- since max RAM supported by the CPU is 32 GB then max it was: 4 x 8 GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 dual channel @ 1600 MHz;
- motherboard ASUS P8Z77-V LX2 - Intel Z77 express chipset - integrated gigabit NIC and video graphics, SATA3, SATA2 and loaded with UEFI (my first UEFI home usage device);
- the case to hold it all is Antec NSK4482 with 380 W power source.

It all went up to around 550 EUR. The HDD are reused from the old box: 1 x Mushkin Callisto 60GB SSD , 1 x Intel 330 120GB SSD and 1 x Western Digital Caviar Black 640 GB SATA 2.

After moving the HDDs from the old computer to the new one, the only configuration I had to do was to select the management interface in ESXi DCUI. Since the new rig has only 3 fans (CPU, Case and PS), it is also very silent (the old one is a real noise making machine with 5 fans). I am very happy with the arrangement, but the only tests I have done are with the current infrastructure (1 x root ESXi, 2 x virtualized ESXi, VCSA, NetApp filer, VSC,  FreeNAS and AD). All VMs are kept on the Intel SSD. I will install vCD as soon as possible and see how it moves.

After a week, I got a glimpse at one of my friend`s white box, which uses Shuttle SH67H3 barebone. If you want a smaller foot print then go for the Shuttle. It also has an interesting CPU cooling system that uses the fan from the power source. So only 1 fan in the whole system. However it is 100 EUR more expensive and there is no room for 3 HDDs. 

I am confused about what to do with the old white box, so I had sacrificed a 2 GB USB stick, had installed ESXi and stuck it in the first USB port I saw. This way I have another ESXi host with 8 GB that could also be used.

No comments: