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ESXi on a less expensive PC/Server

Posted on 2010-08-30
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I wanted to know if anyone has installed ESXi on a PC or Server.  Since cost is key, I wanted to know what type/model/manufacturer was used and how well it ran?  My company has a Dell PowerEdge 2970 Server and I installed it there, but wanted to know how cheap we can go for the next one.
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Question by:OCwaste2
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 33563409
The key is the controller - ESXi must support your controller.  You should be able to use ANY simple system if the controller is supported by ESXi.
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by:Danny McDaniel
ID: 33563464
You can install it onto a USB drive and then you will want a SAS or SCSI disk controller for VM storage.  Some people have used SATA, but it's performance is not very good when running multiple VM's.
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by:ddawson100
ID: 33564041
Get your question answered here:

http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/search.php?ie=UTF-8&q=vmware%20hcl

Huge very inclusive list of what's going to work with ESXi.
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by:sstone55423
ID: 33564405
Vmware woroks on pretty much anything.  But -- consider why the hardware tyhat you use is important.  If you have six or seven or more servers all running off that hardware, and the hardware fails, then you have very serious problems.
You want a hardware platform that is reliable and fault tolerant.  You will want a 64-bit processor, of course, and lots of RAM.  To implement RAM fault tolerance you will want ECC memory, probably with a server that supports memory mirroring.  Also, high speed controller for hard disk, and extra fans and power supply in case one dies.
IMO, HP has the best server available for someone wanting to spend little money and implement VMware.  Dell quality is close, but not as high for the same money.
With a basic PC retasked into being a vmware server, you will not be getting any of those things.  You might be able to get mirrored SATA drives on a PC, but not RAID 5 or RAID 10.  You will want SAS drives, and those are not often found on PC's either.
By spending more money for a true server with fault tolerance, it may cost you a few thousand dollars.  But, consider what the down time cost for six production servers will be when a memory module or a power supply fails on a PC running VMware.  
 
If you are going to put all of your eggs in one basket, you want more than a table napkin held together with a rubber band to hold them all safely.
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BijuMenon earned 2000 total points
ID: 33567356
Heres the list of HP Servers that supports ESX 4,
http://h71028.www7.hp.com/enterprise/us/en/servers/4x-servers.html
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