I will start with this topic, I’m working on it since I joined my actual work.
My box is running this hardware:
Case Thermaltake Mozart
PSU Corsair CMPSU-450VX
Motherboard MSI Z77A-G41 Intel Z77 Chipset
CPU cooler Noctua CPU Cooler NH-U9F
CPU Intel Core i5-3570 (not k series)
RAM Geil Evo Corsa PC3-13600 32 GB (Quad-kit)
Graphic card XFX AMD Radeon HD 6450 GDDR3 1 GB
2x Hard Drives: 1TB (main storage) and 500GB (DB and Backup) WD Caviar Green
Network card Gigabit Realtek 8111E (same as well known 8169) integrated
Network card PCIe Broadcom BCM5761 (external)
Storage adapter PCIe ASMEDIA ASM1061
USB3 PCIe card with NEC chipset D720201
The actual configuration is based on Vmware 5.1 U1, build 1065491.
With this configuration, I implemented 26 virtual machines plus 1 template (Windows 2k8)
I’m currently testing two VDI solutions: Vmware View (version 5.2) and XenDesktop (version 5.6 + latest fixes)
In addition, I have a cluster with two Vmware 5.1 and relative openfiler nas (NFS), two Windows 2012 machine, cluster setup with relative iscsi storage (again a Windows 2012), a cluster of two Linux Centos 6.4 (without any storage at the moment).
Also, I’m running XenServer for testing purpose.
I using a virtual router, Vyatta, to separate my internal VM network from my external network (LAN).
Everything is over IPV4 as well over IPV6 with dedicated addesses per machine (I’m a tester and tunnel user of HE.net).
The machine is fully compliant with Intel VT-d and Intel EPT, in fact I have also an instance of Hyper-V plus a dedicated HTPC using the graphic card in pass through mode (VMDirectPath).
You must disable audio card and CPU integrated video card to allow it work properly.
Also, this specific motherboard, it’s using bios version 2.5 instead of the latest one.
In fact, unfortunately, it’s based on a UEFI bios and any newer bios makes it unusable with ESXi.
For reference, you could check the links below:
Pass through mode (VMDirectPath):
MSI G41/G45 and Realtk 8111e issues:
At the end, this solution was a very economical one and, thanks to the case, the PSU and the perfect CPU cooler made by Noctua, it’s also very silent.
My Vmware ESXi running