Building a Homemade SAN on the Cheap: 32TB for $1,500

One of the things I've been working on getting for my lab is a dedicated SAN/iSCSI box, and I was looking to build a quality, performing box, on the cheap. Although those statements usually don't go together, you can build a quality SAN for a reasonable price. For those of you following my blog, you know that a couple of months back, I built a cheap vCenter/iSCSI server using a low-power FM1 dual core Llano, and Starwind's SAN/iSCSI software (the free version). It performed great with IOPS in … [Read more...]

ASUS KGPE-D16 Power Supply: Silverstone SST-ST85F-P

One of my ESXi nodes is a build out with an ASUS KGPE-D16 motherboard that sports 16 cores and 64GB of RAM. One of the challenges with this server build is that the ASUS KGPE-D16 motherboard requires two 12V EPS connectors from the power supply, and not many power supplies actually have these connectors. In fact, one of my favorite places to go shop for power supplies, NewEgg, doesn't have a way to search for power supplies with dual EPS 12V connectors. ASUS KGPE-D16 Power Supply: Dual 8-Pin … [Read more...]

ESXi 5.0 AMD Whitebox Server for $500 with Passthrough (IOMMU), Build #2

As I spoke about in my first post, ESXi 5.0 AMD Whitebox Server for $500 with Passthrough (IOMMU), my ESXi Home Lab is a bit different than most in that I'm not only looking for a lab, but also a production environment to run virtualized HTPCs (XBMC in a VM), and even virtualized PCs for the house. All hardware had to be consumer, but it also had to support ESXi HA (high availability), ESXi DRS (Distributed Resource Scheduler, also known as clustering), ESXi FT (fault tolerance), and other … [Read more...]

ESXi 5.0 AMD Whitebox Server for $500 with Passthrough (IOMMU)

One of the things that I looked for in building my ESXi Home Lab was that I wanted enough hardware at a decently cheap price, to get get practice with the advanced features such as vMotion, Fault Tolerance, and Networking, but I also wanted a functional lab where I could do things like virtualize my NAS and HTPC for the house. In fact, I ended up virtualizing all but a single PC in the house (both my wife and my son use a virtual computer as their everyday desktop), but that's for another … [Read more...]