This week I decided that I’d take a leap of faith and switch from using full fat ESX 4.1 on my home lab systems to using ESXi 4.1 running from USB keys thus allowing me to remove the otherwise hot SATA disks from my hosts. I also used this opportunity to upgrade my home SAN to 2Gb Fibre Channel. That’s right you heard it “home SAN”. Don’t be fooled though, I use a Datacore software SAN to which I have an NFR (for testing purposes of course) to allow me to convert a standard desktop systems into a storage array. Datacore gets some hard press and that is usually from the guys who don’t understand it or don’t know it, I love it though. Enterprise functionality without the tie in. I do have FC switches but I don’t use them (to loud and hot), instead I go point to point with my fabric.
The first thing I did was prepared some ESXi 4.1 USB keys and I followed this thread on vladan’s site >HERE< for the easiest and fastest way of achieving that:
Quad Core / 8GB Ram / Intel 1000Pro / Qlogic 2Gb FC
Next boot up ESXi and made the necessary configuration changes to bring back my cluster. The things I did notice was: Whilst my 2 mains systems are almost Identical the motherboards are different. And no matter what I did in the bois system#1 would boot ESXi from the USB key much slower than system#2. Even though I knew the USB keys were USB2.0 the bios would only recognise it as USB1.0.
The main aim of this exercise was to reduce some of the heat generated by my lab, in the summer its unbearable as my lab/office is in the loft.
I do have 2 other systems which are my test&dev systems that I’m selling off so I can have a blow out on some new kit:
If you are interested in purchasing them and live in the UK give me a shout on firstname.lastname@example.org . The Spec of these systems are:
Dual Core / 4GB Ram / Dual Intel 1000Pro/ 160GB SATA
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