berwhale

General Advice for ESXi 6.0 New Build

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Hi,

 

I've just bought a Dell T20 PowerEdge Server which is configured with the following hardware:

 

Intel Xeon E3-1225V3 / 3.2 GHz

24GB ECC RAM

Samsung EVO 850 250GB SSD

WD Black 2.5" 750GB HDD

1TB 3.5" HDD (came with server, not intending to use this)

Marvell 88SE9215 4 port PCI-e x4 SATAIII Controller

Intel 4 port GbE NIC (it's actually a Sun branded card that a friend gave me)

 

My intention is to virtualize the functionality of the Xpenology boxes in my sig plus play around with some other VMs. I'm familiar with virtualisation, but haven't played around with the nuts and bolts of ESXi before.

 

I've installed Vsphere 6.0 to the SSD which is also available as a data store along with the WD Black - these drives fit nicely in the ODD bay at the top of the T20.

 

I've already created a test VM with DSM5.2 and played about with adding disks (including using PCI pass-through of the Marvel controller to the 1TB disk).

 

I plan to setup something like this:

 

DSM VM 1: File Server (no other app packages) - 2x vCPU, 2GB RAM - Move 4x 3TB DSM disks from old server and connect via PCI pass-through of the Marvel controller. Also pass-through one of the Intel NICs

 

DSM VM 2: File Transfer (Transmission, SABNZBD+, Couch Potato, etc. with VPN enabled)- 2x vCPU, 1GB RAM - Pass-through one of the Intel NICs

 

DSM VM 3: Media Server (Plex incl. transcoding) - 4x vCPU, 2GB RAM - Pass-through one of the Intel NICs

 

Does this sound OK? Are there any issues with using PCI pass-through and is it worth doing? Any advice or suggestions would be much appreciated!

 

Thanks,

 

Paul.

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I have custom build ESXi server (i7-4790s + 32GB RAM + 6*3TB WD RED).

 

The ESXi is starting from USB dongle + VMs are one SSD 1TB.

 

My VMs are:

 

1. File server + Transmission + VPN + MySQL server (Kodi) + NTP server + SickRage + APC UPS server

2. Kodibuntu

3. vCenter appliance

4. LinuxMint client

5. MS Windows 10 client

6. OSX client

7. XPEnology

8. PXE Server

 

PCI pass-through:

- File server - LSI MegaRaid card

- Kodibuntu - ATI Radeon 6450

 

There's no problem with pass-through. Only problem I had with NIC cards. I have Intel's NIC, but for ESXi 6.0 it's obsolete card (it's not supported and it's not working on full speed), but my integrated NIC is working. Your config looks just fine.

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Hi Spigot,

 

Thanks for the info. Your mix of VMs is pretty similar to what I want to run.

 

BTW, I had to set the Intel NIC (vmnic0) to '1000 Full' rather than 'Auto Negotiate' as it would set itself at '10 Full' otherwise. This is the integrated Intel I217-LM, rather than the quad card I've added - not really played with that yet.

 

Update: My quad port Intel NIC appears to be fully supported in ESXi 6.0...

 

http://www.vmware.com/resources/compati ... 3&vcl=true

 

And so is the on-board one...

 

http://www.vmware.com/resources/compati ... 6&vcl=true

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Hi berwhale.

 

I tried to set up Intel NIC to "1000 Full", no luck. But it doesn't matter, because I use it for ESXi management and the integrated NIC works.

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Hmmm, it still reverts to 10 Full after a reboot, even if I've fixed the line speed to 1000 Full. I'll try switching the port and cable to see if that helps.

 

I think I will probably use the on-board NIC for out of band management (Intel AMT) and one of the ports on the Intel quad card for ESXi management.

 

Update: I created another vSwitch for the guest network and teamed two ports of the quad card to it. I've left the management network on the internal NIC and it seems to negotiate 1000 Full fine now.

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