vmware esxi, the beginning

My journey to virtualization began with vmware in 2012, at first just with the vmware player but later on with esxi (5.0).

At that time my whole concept was a single “server” using direct attached sata disks for storage and using a single network adapter for network connectivity.

The setup was a small AMD E-350D dual-core low-power CPU clocked at 1.6Ghz, 8GB RAM and a 500GB SATA disk i had lying around. Powered by esxi 5.0 i was able to virtualize some small tasks like a download vm using pyload or a networked printserver for my old usb printer. I played a bit around building more and more vms for different tasks so that every (groupable) task has its corresponding vm in case i need to put one down for maintenance.

Quickly the 8GB as well as the HDD’s IOPS where at a max, so adding another 8GB and a second harddrive was the obvious solution. Astonishingly the small CPU was able to provide good enough performance for my 4-8 vms i had at that time, which where debian and windows based.

At that time i only had 3mbit/s down and 300kbit/s up which limited the use of jdownloader over pyload, as jdownloaders immediate resource consumption is higher as pyloads, but when downloading pyload is far worse, but having only 3mbit/s results in an overall better performance of pyload.

When working in the IIT department of a local company i had contact with a 3 node esxi cluster with dual 6-core xeon-e5 with HT and 64GB ECC RAM (sadly no DRS as the license fees are…high), which was far more powerful than my little server. After some time i wanted to build my own small, but very efficient virtualization server for future expansion¬†when more power is needed.

I ended up with the following build:

  • Xeon e3-1265lv2 with a tdp of 45w
  • 32GB DDR3 RAM
  • Asus P8CWS with dual intel gbit lan and capable of vt-d (in case i need it)
  • 2x500GB SATA (from previous build) + 1x 250GB
  • 16GB USB thumb drive¬†for esxi
  • silenced case

Measuring the power consumption at the wall plug at full load it showed ~50W which i found impressive.

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