My Home Lab

Recently I built 2 whitebox ESX servers and I selected this Chieftec cabinet. The cabinet is a Rockstar. The cabinet supports upto 6 internal disks. The configuration of the cabinet is such that the disks are very easy to access and change.

Each server’s configuration is:

Cabinet: Chieftec BH-02B-B-B
PSU: Amacrox 450 watts silent SMPS
Processor: Intel Xeon X3430
Motherboard: S3420GPLX
RAM: 24GB ECC registered (6 x 4GB DIMMs Transcend)
HDD: 4 x 500GB Western Digital (Stripe)
USB: Sandisk 2GB USB sticks for ESXi installs

PS: the board has a internal onboard USB slot, so no more dangling USB sticks

External Switch: TP-Link SG3109. This is a layer 2 gigabit managed switch.


7 thoughts on “My Home Lab

  1. Hi
    I am looking to build a similar system. Can you tell me how much these cost and how quiet these are. Will be good if you can post a picture of the sytem

    • Hi,

      The street prices as of today for various components are:
      – Motherboard + CPU costs between Rs.18000/- to Rs.24000/- depending upon what exact model select and where you buy.
      – Cabinet costs about Rs.8000/-
      – Two 500GB disks costs about Rs.5000/-
      – DDR3 ECC Registered RAM of 4GB DIMMs costs about Rs.2400/-

      Let me know if you need additional details.


      • If you are looking for a budget system, consider Intel DH55TC with Core-I3. Its a good motherboard and supports upto 16GB RAM. With small modifications you can make ESXi work on this board. Look at the following post for additional details.

      • Thanks Shekhar . I checked in Bangalore The GPLX motherboard is not available . There is a GPV motherboard and that can take only 16 GB memory . The prices were in the same range that u mentioned +/- 100 Rs

        Can you also indicate how is the performance ? How many VMs were you able to run on this . Have you tried running KVM

        Sorry for too many questions

      • Sure Hari,

        Well, I have a GPLX and GPLC and I would recommend buying GPLC instead of GPV. Have you explored the newer S1200 series boards from Intel. Again if you are building this for a home lab, I would still recommend DH55TC it can take i5 processors. As VMware does not support software/fake raid, i would also optionally suggest investing in a cheap RAID card. Go the through the VMware HCL for pointers. (Some LSI, Highpoint are available in India are not very heavy on the pocket).

        Number of VMs depends on the kind of load you are running. In my test lab (with almost all VMs having below 10% CPU utilization with total configured vRAM is ~32GB), I am running around 16 VMs.

        Thanks. Shekhar

    • Hi Hari,
      Try LSI or Highpoint. These are cheap. Search on ebay if not available locally. Please ensure what you are buying is listed on VMware HCL. I am away from home hence can’t verfiy this but i bought an LSI 1064A something for about 8k. Cheers Shekhar.

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