Tag Archives: NUC

Homelab - Will ESXi 6.5 run on Intel NUC?

esxi-on-5th-gen-NUC5i3MYHEVMware vSphere ESXi 6.5 is here and while you should wait to upgrade your production, it's time to explore the new features in your Homelab. I've received a few questions on whether it is safe to upgrade.

Short answer
ESXi 6.5 will run on 5th and 6th Gen NUCs just as ESXi 6.0 U2

Long answer...

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Which Intel NUC to buy for running ESXi? (August 2016)

I'm using Intel NUCs in my homelab since a couple of years and have helped many people to get their lab up and running. This post takes a look at the models that are currently available and makes some considerations which NUC to buy at the moment for specific use cases.intel-nucs-comparison

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Tips for running an Intel NUC Based VMware Homelab

Extend Storage Capacity with USB Datastores
If you need more storage capacity, use external USB drives. You can also use old M.2 or PCIe SSDs by buying an USB3.0 adapter. Make sure to use USB 3 and performance will be fine. Installation is explained here. You can also use USB Disks with VSAN.usb-datastores Read more »

VMware Homeserver – ESXi on 6th Gen Skull Canyon Intel NUC

Intel has launched the Skull Canyon NUC which completes the 6th Gen NUC family with a powerful Core i7 CPU and a redesigned chassis. I will take a look at its capabilities as homeserver running VMware ESXi. NUCs are not officially supported by VMware but they are very widespread in many homlabs or test environments. They are small, silent, transportable and have a very low power consumption, making it a great server for your homelab. 6th Gen NUCs in the old layout are also available with an i3 or i5 CPU which have been reviewed here.

esxi-skull-canyon-nuc

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ESXi Installation on NUC6i7KYK fails with "Fatal error: 10 (Out of resources)"

When you try to install VMware ESXi 6.0 on the latest Skull Canyon Intel NUC (NUC6i7KYK), the installation fails with one of the following error messages:

Error loading /tools.t00
Compressed MD5: 39916ab4eb3b835daec309b235fcbc3b
Decompressed MD5: 000000000000000000000000000000
Fatal error: 10 (Out of resources)

Error loading /tools.t00
Compressed MD5: 000000000000000000000000000000
Decompressed MD5: 000000000000000000000000000000
Fatal error: 15 (Not found)

NUC6i7KYK-Skull-Canyon-NUC-back
This problem is caused by the Thunderbolt Controller, which is a new component in the NUC6i7KYK, and therefore only the Skull Canyon NUC is affected. The problem can be solved by temporarily disabling the Thunderbolt controller during installation.

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VMware Homeserver – ESXi on 6th Gen Intel NUC

Intels 6th Gen NUCs are out and it's time to take a look on their capabilities as homeserver running VMware ESXi. NUCs are not officially supported by VMware but they are very widespread in many homlabs or test environments. They are small, silent, transportable and have a very low power consumption, making it a great server for your homelab. I've posted a preview on the new models in December. Currently, 6th Gen NUCs are available with i3 and i5 CPU

6th-gen-nuc

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Preview on 6th Gen (Skylake) Intel NUC for VMware ESXi

The 6th Generation of my favorite Homelab systems are ready to be launched and the shipping is expected to start in December. Intel NUCs are small, silent, transportable and have a very low power consumption, making it a perfect system for homelabs or homeservers. Intel has put its latest Skylake mobile CPU into the mini system.

6th-gen-skylake-nucIntel NUCs were never officially supported by VMware but they have a great community support. Their last 4th and 5th Generations are proven in many homlabs or even for demonstrating Virtual SAN deployments.

  • 6th Gen NUCs are equipped with Skylake CPUs
  • i5 and i3 systems will be available in December 2015
  • Up to 32GB of DDR4 SODIMM memory
  • Available with and without 2.5" HDD slot
  • M.2 slot with PCIe x4 support
  • External SD Card Slot
  • Intel I219V Network Adapter

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Building a Single-Node VSAN

single-node-vsanI was wondering if it possible to speed up my Intel NUC based ESXi with Virtual SAN. The idea is that compared against vSphere Flash Read Cache, Virtual SAN can use the SSD not only as read cache but also as write buffer. This post explains how you can create a Virtual SAN Datastore on a single ESXi host from the command-line without a vCenter Server.

It goes without saying that this is neither the idea behind Virtual SAN nor officially supported by VMware. It also violates VMware's EULA if you are running Virtual SAN without a VSAN license. To assign a licence you need a vCenter Server and wrap the single ESXi into a Cluster.

My configuration for this test:

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5th Gen Intel NUC with 32GB Memory

Intel NUCs with ESXi are being used as home servers and in many home labs. If you are generally interested in running ESXi on Intel NUCs, read this post first. Officially, it is limited to 16GB memory which might come a little bit short for virtualization labs. Recently Crucial has launched 16GB DDR3L modules for an affordable price (Intelligent Memory was the first in the market with 16GB modules, but they were quite expensive). I've ordered two Crucial 16GB modules (CT204864BF160B) and tested them in my 5th Gen Intel NUC (NUC5i5MYHE).

crucial-16-gb-module

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USB 3.0 devices detected as USB 2 in ESXi 6.0 and 5.5

In my latest post USB Devices as VMFS Datastore in vSphere ESXi 6.0 I had a problem with USB 3.0 devices that are detected as USB 2 in ESXi. I know that USB 3.0, also known as eXtensible Host Controller Interface (xHCI), is supported in ESXi 6.0 and ESXi 5.5 Build 2143827 or later. Unfortunately all of my devices are detected as USB 2.1, despite the USB 3 hub was visible. This problem applies to both, USB devices in path-through mode, and USB devices mounted from the command line with usbarbitrator disabled. The solution was quite simple and not related to an ESXi, but to a UEFI configuration.
xhci-smart-auto

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