Whitebox ESXi 5.x Diskless install

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I wanted to build a simple diskless ESXi 5.x server that I could use as an extension to my Workstations 8 LAB.

Here’s the build I completed today….

  • Antec Sonata Gen I Case (Own, Buy for ~$59)
  • Antec Earth Watts 650 PS (Own, Buy for ~$70)
  • MSI Z68MS-G45(B3) Rev 3.0 AKA MS-7676 (currently $59 at Fry’s)
  • Intel i7-2600 CPU LGA 1155 (Own, Buy for ~$300)
  • 16GB DDR3-1600 Corsair RAM (Own, Buy for ~$80)
  • Intel PCIe NIC (Own, Buy for ~$20)
  • Super Deluxe VMware 1GB USB Stick (Free!)
  • Classy VMware Sticker on front (Free)

Total Build Cost New — $590

My total Cost as I already owned the Hardware – $60 J

ESXi Installation –

  • Installed ESXi 5.0 via USB CD ROM to the VMware 1GB USB Stick
  • No install issues
  • All NIC’s and video recognized
  • It’s a very quiet running system that I can use as an extension from my Workstation 8 Home lab…
Front View with Nice VMware Sticker!
Rear View with 1GB VMware USB Stick
System Board with CPU, RAM and NIC – Look Mom no Hard Disks!
Model Detail on the MSI System board, ESXi reports the Mobo as a MS-7676

4 thoughts on “Whitebox ESXi 5.x Diskless install

    Jeff Benedict said:
    September 13, 2012 at 2:33 am

    Can I ask what might appear to be a crazy question? What good is it without any drives? How / where do you store the VM’s ?

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      mattman555 said:
      September 13, 2012 at 3:34 pm

      Thanks for the question… The ESXi Diskless host would store the VM’s on a shared SAN. In my home lab I use a IOMega IX4 and connect the ESXi Diskless host to it via NFS or iSCSI over IP.

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    Home Lab – More updates to my design « vmexplorer said:
    November 21, 2012 at 3:41 am

    […] will install a second ESXi host similar to the one I built earlier this year only both Hosts will have 32GB of […]

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    […] ESXi Hosts – 2 x ESXi 5.1, iCore 7, USB Boot, 32GB RAM, 5 x NICS […]

    Like

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