Tag Archives: Microserver

Homeserver - ESXi on HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10

After Hewlett Packard Enterprise has missed offering a Microserver in their 9th Generation, it is now back in Gen10. The Microserver series provides affordable servers intended to be used in SMB and as home servers. Due to its low price and power consumption, you can find this system in many virtualization home labs as ESXi hosts or Storages.

The HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 is available with two different CPUs - AMD Opteron X3216 and X3421. Both models a SoC which means that the CPU cannot be changed like the Intel CPUs in Gen8. They support up to 32GB of unbuffered DDR RAM. The server can be equipped with 4 hard drive from the front.

  • HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10, Opteron X3216 (2x 1.6 - 3.0GHz / 15W TDP)
  • HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10, Opteron X3421 (4x 2.1 - 3.4GHz / 35W TDP)

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Fix for FreeNAS on HPE MicroServer Gen10 X3216 Stuck Console Issue

When you try to install FreeNAS 11 on the new HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 X3216, the installer stops booting and appears to be stuck at:

pcib0: <ACPI Host-PCI bridge> port 0xcf8-0xcff on acpi0
pcib0: _OSC returned error 0x10
pci0: <ACPI PCI bus> on pcib0

This article explains how to fix the issue during the installation and how to apply the fix at an installed system using the FreeNAS Web Interface.

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VMware Homelab in 2015 - Systems Revised with vSphere 6

hp-microserver-2.5-ssdIn the past three years I've presented several systems that can be used for VMware Homelabs. Servers for home use are typically not rack based. A good home server is inexpensive, silent and has a low power consumption. In this post I am going to revise the systems presented in previous posts to see how they work with ESXi 6.0:

  • HP Microserver N36L / N40L / N54L
  • HP Microserver Gen8
  • Intel Next Unit of Computing (NUC)
  • Gigabyte BRIX
  • VMware Workstation

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How to Upgrade FreeNAS 9.x to 9.3

FreeNAS 9.3 has been released about a month ago. It comes with NFSv4 and VMware VAAI support which are great enhancements for a virtualization platform. As I am using it on my N40L in my Homelab I decided to upgrade my box to FreeNAS 9.3

FreeNAS 9.3 Features

  • NFSv4 support
  • VMware VAAI support
  • WebDAV support
  • iSCSI sequently read performance increased

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FreeNAS on HP Microserver N54L - Shared Storage for your ESXi

The HP Microserver N54L and its predecessors N40L and N36L are widely spread homeservers. I've written about using it as ESXi host in my Homelab about 2 years ago. Today it is still a great system to be used with ESXi but there are better alternatives, especially due to its limited memory and CPU power. That was the reason why I rededicated my N40L to be central storage and file server with FreeNAS. This post describes what you need to use the N40L as resilient storage and how to configure it properly for ESXi usage. I will talk about NFS sync writes or performance issues with NFS vs. iSCSI and how to workaround them.

freenas-on-hp-microserver-n36l-n40l-n54l

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VMware Homeserver – ESXi on Mac mini

Running ESXi on a Mac mini made by Apple is nothing new. There are many opportunities to consider when you want to build a VMware vSphere Lab or a Homeserver. In this post I am going to cover capabilities, accessories and issues you might encounter in the newest release: Mac mini MD387, Mac mini MD388 and the slightly enhanced Mac mini Server MD389 from 2012/2013. Mac mini offers great performance and is small in size and power consumption and thus makes it a great candidate for running ESXi at home.

esx-on-mac-mini

The latest version offers 3 models which are different in CPU performance and HDD capacity. The Server version has two 2,5" hard drives:

  • Apple Mac Mini MD387LL/A - Intel Core i5 (Up to 2x 3.1 GHz)
  • Apple Mac Mini MD388LL/A - Intel Core i7 (Up to 4x 3.3 GHz)
  • Apple Mac Mini MD389LL/A Server - Intel Core i7 (Up to 4x 3.3 GHz)

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VMware Homeserver - ESXi on 4th Gen Intel NUC

Whether you want to build a vSphere Home Lab for testing or a Home Server, basic requirements are the same: decent price, good performance and low power consumption. The Intel NUC (Next Unit of Computing) family has grown to the 4th generation, including some great enhancements for ESXi Hosts. Definitely the best enhancement is that Intel has added a SATA port to the board, that allows to use more than a single mSATA SSD.

intel-nuc-4th-gen

Intel NUC Systems are available as system board only and with a chassis. The 4th Generation NUC is available with 3 type of CPUs: Celeron, i3 and a i5. You can choose between a chassis with, or without 2.5" drive support.

Available Models (Kit / Kit with 2,5" Slot / Board only):

  • D54250WYK / D54250WYKH / D54250WYB: Intel Core i5-4250U (up to 2x 2.60 GHz)
  • D34010WYK / D34010WYKH / D34010WYB: Intel Core i3-4010U (2x 1.7 GHz)

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HP Microserver with 2.5" SSD

vSphere Flash Read Cache (vFRC / vFlash) and VMware Virtual SAN (vSAN) - That are the two groundbreaking features in vSphere 5.5. To use one of the features your hardware has to to fulfill a mandatory requirement - A Solid State Drive. To use a SSD with your HP Microserver you need an adapter. Most adapters or "Mounting Brackets" do not work because they are only good to fit the SSD into a 3.5" slot. They do not have the SATA Connectors at the required position. You need a special adapter for the SSD to fit into the backplane.

hp-microserver-2.5-ssd

  • HP Microserver N36L
  • HP Microserver N40L
  • HP Microserver N54L
  • HP Microserver Gen8 G1610T
  • HP Microserver Gen8 G2020T

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vSphere 5 Homelab – ESXi on HP Microserver Gen8

Hewlett Packard has updated its widely distributed Microserver Series to Gen8. This extremely affordable server which was initially made for SMB and home servers has become very popular in the virtualization scene. Due to its low price and power consumption you can find this system in many virtualization home labs. The Generation 8 Microserver (Gen8 or G8) comes with more power, upgraded ports and an integrated iLO.

hp-gen8-microserver

The HP Microserver Gen8 is available in 2 versions - G1610T and G2020T. Both models are equipped with a 2 core CPU and can support up to 16GB of RAM. The system is shipped with 4 hard drive trays, which allows the installation of any SATA hard drive. It also has a CPU socket, so you can change the CPU.

  • HP Microserver Gen8 G1610T (2x 2.3 GHz)
  • HP Microserver Gen8 G2020T (2x 2.5 GHz)
  • HP Microserver Gen8 E3-1220V2 (4x 3.1 GHz)

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vSphere 5 Homelab – ESXi on Intel NUC

When you want to build a VMware vSphere Lab at home, Intel might have a great system for you: The Intel NUC family - The Next Unit of Computing. The system was initially designed to be used as home theater or digital jukebox. Due to it's power it is also a fully adequate replacement for a desktop computer. The Intel NUC is big on performance and surprisingly small in size and power consumption and thus makes it a great candidate for a virtualization home lab.

Intel-NUC-Box

The Intel NUC System is available as system board only and with a chassis. Currently there are 4 models available, beginning with an Intel Celeron processor and ending with a powerful Intel Core i5 vPro processor:

  • DC53427HYE Kit / D53427RKE Board: 3rd gen. Intel Core i5-3427U (up to 2x 2.80 GHz)
  • DC3217IYE Kit / DC33217GKE Board: Intel Core i3 3217-U (2x 1.8 GHz)
  • DC3217BY Kit / DC33217CK Board: Intel Core i3 3217-U (2x 1.8 GHz)
  • DCCP847DYE Kit / DCP847SKE Board: Intel Celeron 847 (2x 1.10 GHz)

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