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Esxi on Intel nuc

Posted on 2014-01-19
Last Modified: 2014-01-19

Please see http://mobile.experts-exchange.com/Software/VMWare/Q_28339370.html#a39792211

I d like to know your experience with esxi on an Intel Nuc 32 gb: which one to buy (or is there only 1 config?), power usage, ease of installation, performance, cost, stability.
I d use it in combination with zfs nas.

Question by:janhoedt
  • 2
LVL 119
ID: 39792404
I have used the i5 version, there are four different versions available, adding 32GB of RAM.

The version we have used are the (D54250WYK), i5 Core, which gives more performance. So in the future, we could if we wanted convert back to workstations.

Most ESXi NUC builders, use the i3 version, to reduce costs, because they are purchasing many.

see here

I'll answer your questions in turn:-

I d like to know your experience with esxi on an Intel Nuc 32 gb: which one to buy (or is there only 1 config?), power usage, ease of installation, performance, cost, stability.
I d use it in combination with zfs nas.

which one to buy (or is there only 1 config?),

Depends on your budget and availability. There are four versions:-


Select the i3, or i5 if you want more performance.

power usage

 65 WATT Max, there is no hard drive, and it uses an external power brick.

ease of installation

Not as easy as installing on a MicroServer....you need to create a custom ESXi, iso, install on VMware Workstation to USB, and then transfer the USB to the NUC

the best method is here


Stability is good, although this is not suppoted or on the HCL for ESXi.

You will need to use with external storage.

It's a good performer, low on power for the price!

Author Comment

ID: 39792445
Thanks. Few more q:
*low power, can you compare to hp NL 40, I understood power usage was 25 watt for nuc (?), is the nuc using half power of NL 40 ...
*can I use existing usb stick from NL 40 to boot nuc (plug NL 40 usb into nuc)?
*in combination with zfs nas, this would be more performant then running vm s locally on raid5 ssd?
LVL 119

Accepted Solution

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 500 total points
ID: 39792465
The power usage is the similar as a N40L without any disks or internal cards. But you can pit more RAM in a NUC, and they are more powerful, but comes at a cost, in terms of expansion, e.g. RAID cards, Internal NICs etc

Remember the Intel chips, i3 and i5, use more power than an AMD processor in the Microserver, and therefore requires more power.

You can certainly try, the USB from current installation, but it's always recommended to re-install.

VMs running on local SSDs will be faster and perform better, than on shared storage.

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