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Dell Poweredge R510 Hyper-V vs ESXi


burnin_bones
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Hello all, and thank you for your contribution to the open community!

 

I have a dilemma, I have a (for home use) fairly beastly server at my disposal:

Dell Poweredge R510 gen11

32GB RAM

Dual - Quad core 2.26 Xeon processors with 4 virtual cores per socket, essentially a 16 core server.

8 - external SATA/SAS drive bays

6 - 1TB SATA 7200RPM drives

2 - 300GB 15k SAS drives

The RAID controller on board is a PERC-6i.

 

I *hope* to double the ram in the near future which is where the dilemma comes in...

 

The free version of ESXi, which you all know is limited to 32GB of ram, which is plenty, but we all want more.

Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials is capable of 64GB of ram and of course has Hyper-V. (I can also get this for free through legitimate channels) *or any other version of Windows Server for that matter

 

(the following is my hypothetical thoughts on this as I have not tried/tested this yet)

If I were to use Windows, I was planning on creating a RAID mirror for the OS then RAID-0 the remaining 6 individual drives to present to Hyper-V 6 individual "virtual" drives (essentially bypassing the hardware RAID controller) and then use them to create the NAS...

 

I haven't read a lot on the use of Hyper-V for this purpose, but what I have read is that people are using normal SATA drive channels/etc to move forward, my hesitation is the presence of "virtual" drives to the OS/hardware layer and any complications/limitations this may cause... To install xpenology, I was going to create a Hyper-V VHD out of all of the drives combined and then begin the install, essentially creating a NAS and Windows Server in one chassis shell, I can dedicate1 NIC to the NAS and 1 NIC to the Server OS. Another major reason I wanted to use Windows OS is to use the extra functionalities of the essentials platform(such as remote desktop services with RemoteFX to essentially give me thin client access around the household for server side media players)

 

 

As for ESXi, I was planning on running it off of a USB drive, and using all 8 drive slots for VM storage with a similar setup, 2 drive bays for a server OS to fiddle with, a usb drive to host the xpenology OS off of (I think I read that is how it can be done) and then the remaining 6 drives for the NAS... I don't think much more needs to be explained about this particular setup...

 

I currently have a server running ESXi with some auxilliary VM's on it to perform media associated aquisition/sorting storing tasks with an external tower running FreeNAS as the actual storage device. I hope to consolidate and solidify the current setup as well as get rid of a NOISY older Poweredge 2950 III that sounds like a jet 24/7

 

Please Please Please provide me with some sort of guidance and or shoot my "lofty" thoughts down... I would like a solid setup that I don't have to "tinker" with to keep running all the time.

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First of all with ESXi 5.5 they have removed 32 GB RAM limitation.

Second is If you were running DSM as a Virtual machine, it boots from emulated image that mounted as IDE hard drive, not USB.

Third and the most important: Are you sure that you really need that monster as your home storage, running 24/7 and jacking up your electricity bill?

My preference would be a small efficient NAS for large storage and separate VMware server with modest local storage for whatever other needs. Run it only when needed and backup local VMs or run them directly from NAS or from small local storage on VMWare server.

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First of all with ESXi 5.5 they have removed 32 GB RAM limitation.

Second is If you were running DSM as a Virtual machine, it boots from emulated image that mounted as IDE hard drive, not USB.

Third and the most important: Are you sure that you really need that monster as your home storage, running 24/7 and jacking up your electricity bill?

My preference would be a small efficient NAS for large storage and separate VMware server with modest local storage for whatever other needs. Run it only when needed and backup local VMs or run them directly from NAS or from small local storage on VMWare server.

 

XPEH,

Thanks for the info! That pretty much seals the decision for me as that was my only holdup between the two, and in fact I will be much better off using ESXi, I like it, I just didn't like the 32GB limitation.

I also didn't consider that as it is all emulated, I could emulate an IDE channel for the install, perfect!

 

As for the final question, No I don't believe that the server I am using is the BEST answer, but it is in hand, can't beat that right? Plus, compared to my current setup, it will be a step in the power savings area, I currently have a desktop PC running FreeNAS and a server running ESXi, I am going to consolidate the two, into 1. The other reason for the move is that my desktop has only 4 drives in it and expanding it would cost me more money and a reconfigure anyway, this chassis has 8 bays that are ready to go.

 

I plan on eventually creating a NAS out of the current desktop, but I need to do this step first to convert and preserve my data...

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Well,

Thanks to Tuatara's guide for idiots on installing in VMware, I now have a running Synology NAS on ESXi 5.5 with (currently) 2.2TB of drive space, once I get some of my data moved over to it I will be able to expand it with some more drives.

 

I appreciate your input and advice on the situation XPEH!

 

I have also installed server 2012 on the datastore in order to play around with it.

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My only thoughts here concerning Hyper-V vs ESXi, due to the small amount of users Hyper-V solution has serious limitations (e.g 100Mb legacy network adapter , older DSM version, w2012R2 not recognizing my onboard LAN ...). It's not the concern of most of people nor those who are working with fixing and enhancing xpenology.

 

When virtualizing xpe, ESXi is widespread and has way better support here. That's why I began with Hyper-V then removed everything to install VMware's core hypervisor instead.

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