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Florian Grehl

ESXi on 13th Gen Intel NUC Pro (Arena Canyon)

Intel's Raptor Lake-based 13th Gen "Arena Canyon" NUC Professional series is now available to purchase. This article takes a deeper look at their capabilities to run a Virtualization lab base on VMware ESXi Hypervisor. While VMware does not officially support NUCs, they are very common in home labs and test environments. They are small, silent, transportable, and have very low power consumption, making them a great server for running your cost-aware home lab. While there are many NUC-like clones in the market today, the original Intel NUC is still very popular due to its superior endurance. My first "Pro" NUC, the NUC5i5MYHE is currently 8 years old and still runs without problems.

The 13th Gen Arena Canyon is available with i3, i5, and i7 CPUs. The i5 and i7 versions are also available with vPro Support.

  • NUC13ANHv7 / NUC13ANKv7 (Intel Core i7-1370P vPro - 6 x up to 5.20 GHz / 8 x up to 3.90 GHz)
  • NUC13ANHv5 / NUC13ANKv5 (Intel Core i5-1350P vPro - 4 x up to 4.70 GHz / 8 x up to 3.50 GHz)
  • NUC13ANHi7 / NUC13ANKi7 (Intel Core i7-1360P - 4 x up to 5.00 GHz / 8 x up to 3.70 GHz)
  • NUC13ANHi5 / NUC13ANKi5 (Intel Core i5-1340P - 4 x up to 4.60 GHz / 8 x up to 3.40 GHz)
  • NUC13ANHi3 / NUC13ANKi3 (Intel Core i3-1315P - 2 x up to 4.50 GHz / 4 x up to 3.30 GHz)

The Arena Canyon is Intel's professional line in their 13th NUC Generation and the successor to the 12th Gen Wall Street Canyon. This system is intended for professional use cases and has significant enhancements for your homelab running ESXi. As known since the 11th Generation, it has an expansion bay that allows you to install a second network adapter.

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10" Rackmount Kit Collection for Intel NUC (3D Printer Models)

In the last 10 years, I've purchased plenty of Intel NUCs to run my VMware home lab. Keeping all the equipment organized can be challenging. With the help of a 3D printer and a 10 Inch rack, I started building custom rackmount kits for my equipment.

The NUC is attached to the cage using two VESA mounting screws on the bottom. Alternatively, it can be fixed with a velcro strap. The front plate has 6 connectors, in which a keystone adapter can be installed. This allows easy access to connectors from the front. Search for “keystone coupler” to find various options.

With the special 1.5U design, you can install two NUCs in 3U without a gap. The mounting screws will perfectly align with the rail, despite being in half position.

This is a two-piece print that is glued together using a rigid triangle-shaped connector. The two-piece design allows for printing without any supports and you are going to have a nice-looking front (with the Prusa Textured PEI Powder-coated Sheet). To fit the front on the Prusa bed, rotate it by 54°.

I recommend printing in PETG because the weight and heat might deform PLA over time. You might also want to increase the bed temperature if you have problems with the edges lifting up (The edges of the print bed are usually about 5-10°C cooler).

Read More »10" Rackmount Kit Collection for Intel NUC (3D Printer Models)

10" Rackmount Kit for 12th Gen Intel NUC

With all the equipment that is necessary to run a homelab, it can be challenging to keep the space organized. I'm running Intel NUCs in my homelab since the early generations and never found a good solution to organize them, so they were always laying around on a shelf. With the help of a 3D printer and a 10 Inch rack, I started building custom rackmount kits for my equipment.

The first project is my latest 12th Gen Intel NUC and the final result looks like this:

Intel 12th Generation NUC Rackmount Kit

Read More »10" Rackmount Kit for 12th Gen Intel NUC

VMware ESXi 3.5 - 8.0 Hypervisor Size Comparison

VMware's bare-metal hypervisor ESXi is in the market for 15 years now. During that time it has been continuously refined and new features like the Container Runtime in vSphere 7.0 have been added. In vSphere 8.0, a completely new ARM-based architecture has been introduced. In this article, I am going to have a look at how much the hypervisor footprint has been changed from ESXi 3.5 to ESXi 8.0.

  • ESXi 3.5 - 46,01 MB
  • ESXi 4.0 - 59,99 MB
  • ESXi 4.1 - 85,19 MB
  • ESXi 5.0 - 132,75 MB
  • ESXi 5.1 - 125,85 MB
  • ESXi 5.5 - 151,98 MB
  • ESXi 6.0 - 154,90 MB
  • ESXi 6.5 - 135,39 MB
  • ESXi 6.7 - 129,51 MB
  • ESXi 7.0 - 149,40 MB
  • ESXi 8.0 - 226,62 MB

Read More »VMware ESXi 3.5 - 8.0 Hypervisor Size Comparison

vSphere 8.0 Performance Counter Description

This is a list of all performance metrics that are available in vSphere vCenter Server 8.0. Performance counters can be viewed for Virtual Machines, Hosts, Clusters, Resource Pools, and other objects by opening Monitor > Performance > Advanced in the vSphere Client.

These performance counters can also be used for performance analysis with PowerCLI, Python or Perl.


PS> Get-Stat -entity (Get-VM <VMNAME>) -realtime -stat "cpu.usage.average"




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vCenter Server 8.0 Tips and Tricks

This article covers Tips and Tricks for the vCenter Server Appliance In vSphere 8.0. While not all tips are recommended to be used without assistance in production environments, they might come in handy when you need them. Whether you are new to vCenter Server or an experienced user, these tips will help you get the most out of it.

  • Clear HSTS Settings in Chrome
  • Remove Browser Certificate Warnings (VMCA Root Certificate)
  • Enable SSH
  • File Transfer with SCP/SFTP
  • Public Key Authentication
  • Disable or Increase Shell Session Timeout
  • Password Expiration
  • Reset vCenter Server Appliance 8.0 root password
  • Reset vCenter Server SSO password (administrator@vsphere.local)
  • Create a Backup Job
  • Install Additional Software
  • VMware Datacenter CLI (DCLI)
  • Run Docker Containers
  • Connect to the Embedded vPostgres Database
  • Wait after a reboot - Common Startup Errors

Read More »vCenter Server 8.0 Tips and Tricks

How to Install PowerCLI 13 with Python 3.7 on Windows (Required for ImageBuilder)

With the release of PowerCLI 13, VMware has introduced some major enhancements. One of the most exciting features is that PowerCLI is now fully Multi-platform, which means that all functions are available for all PowerShell Core supported operating systems including Windows, macOS, and Linux. If you are planning to use the ImageBuilder module, you will need to have Python 3.7 installed on your machine.

If you want to use ImageBuilder-based commands in PowerCLI 13, you might see the following error:

Add-EsxSoftwareDepot: Could not initialize the VMware.ImageBuilder PowerCLI module. Make sure that Python 3.7 is installed and that you have set the path to the Python executable by using Set-PowerCLIConfiguration -PythonPath. See the PowerCLI Compatibility Matrixes for information on the Python requirements.

This article explains how to install and configure PowerCLI 13 with Python 3.7 to be ready to use ImageBuilder.

Read More »How to Install PowerCLI 13 with Python 3.7 on Windows (Required for ImageBuilder)