Tag Archives: BRIX

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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ESXi 6.0 Image for Gigabyte BRIX

The ESXi 6.0 base image provided by VMware does not work with Gigabyte BRIX out of the box. This post explains how to create a customized ESXi 6 ISO for your Gigabyte BRIX. These images can be used to do a fresh install or upgrade a BRIX to VMware ESXi 6.0.brix-pro

The Image works for the following BRIX:

  • GB-BXi3-4010: Intel Core i3-4010U (2x 1.7GHz)
  • GB-BXi5-4200: Intel Core i5-4200U (2x 2.6GHz)
  • GB-BXi7-4500: Intel Core i7-4500U (2x 3.0GHz)
  • GB-BXi3H-4010: Intel Core i3-4010U (2x 1.7GHz)
  • GB-BXi5H-4200: Intel Core i5-4200U (2x 2.6GHz)
  • GB-BXi7H-4500: Intel Core i7-4500U (2x 3.0GHz)
  • GB-BXi5-4570R: Intel Core i5-4570R (4x 3.20 GHz)
  • GB-BXi7-4770R: Intel Core i7-4770R (4x 3.90 GHz)

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VMware Homeserver – ESXi on Gigabyte BRIX

Beside NUCs and Mac minis there is another great barebone in the homelab market. Basic requirements for home server are a decent price, good performance and low power consumption. Gigabytes BRIX offers great performance and is small in size and power consumption and thus makes it a great candidate for running ESXi at home. To get started, first a look at the different models available at the moment.

BRIX: Basic Barebone, candidate for ESXi.brix-s

  • GB-BXi3-4010: Intel Core i3-4010U (2x 1.7GHz)
  • GB-BXi5-4200: Intel Core i5-4200U (2x 2.6GHz)
  • GB-BXi7-4500: Intel Core i7-4500U (2x 3.0GHz)

BRIX s: Identical to BRIX barebones but with 2.5″ HDD/SDD support. Slightly larger case and a good candidate for ESXi.

  • GB-BXi3H-4010: Intel Core i3-4010U (2x 1.7GHz)
  • GB-BXi5H-4200: Intel Core i5-4200U (2x 2.6GHz)
  • GB-BXi7H-4500: Intel Core i7-4500U (2x 3.0GHz)

brix-proBRIX Pro: High performance BRIX with 2.5″ HDD/SDD support and quad-core CPU. These are the only systems with VT-d support and thus the best candidate for ESXi.

  • GB-BXi5-4570R: Intel Core i5-4570R (4x 3.20 GHz)
  • GB-BXi7-4770R: Intel Core i7-4770R (4x 3.90 GHz)

There is also a Brix Gaming series with GPU support and a BRIX Projector with an integrated projector. BRIX with AMD and Celeron CPUs are also available but these are not the best candidates for ESXi. I’m listing them here for completeness.

  • BRIX Projector GB-BXPi3-4010
  • BRIX Gaming GB-BXi5G3-760
  • BRIX Gaming GB-BXi5G-760
  • BRIX Gaming GB-BXi7G3-760
  • BRIX Gaming (AMD) GB-BXA8G-8890
  • BRIC (AMD) GB-BXA8-5545
  • BRIX (Celeron) GB-BXBT-2807

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