What started out as a simple experiment to help me learn more about VMware ESX has now turned into a full blown experiment running my current Windows Home Server setup, along with two Linux servers used for an online FEAR Combat gaming server (for the kids of course) and a private WordPress website development environment running on a single Dell T110 server.
I am now able to create and tear down “server sandboxes” right next to my “leave alone” server setups (i.e. Windows Home Server) given the relative ease with which I can now create new virtual servers. More experimentation is necessary to get to streaming high definition videos which seem to struggle, but standard resolution and audio seem to work fine so far. This certainly seems like virtual servers are now well within the reach of the tekinerd and small home office type setups.
In addition to the Dell server, I also created a low cost iSCSI box using the free OpenFiler software and the VIA Artigo A2000 shoebox sized computer to expand the storage capabilities of ESX and primarily the virtual Windows Home Server which required additional storage to handle my total home PC backup requirements. Details of the final setup are included below, with a more detailed writeup on the Tekinerd Server Pages at http://tekinerd.com/server-pages/at-home-with-vmware-esxi/.
- Dell T110 server (2x 160G drives in my particular setup), 2G DRAM (~$399 special at Dell)
- VIA Artigo A2000 for the iSCSI storage box with 2x WD 500G drives (~$350 all in)
- Dell: VMware ESXi v4 (free download from VMware)
- Dell: Client OS#1: Microsoft Windows Home Server ($99)
- Dell: Client OS#2: OpenSUSE 11.2 ($0) setup as a FEAR Combat Server ($0)
- Dell: Client OS#3: OpenSUSE 11.2 ($0) setup as a WordPress Development Server ($0)
- VIA Artigo A2000: Openfiler v2.3 ($0) configured with 2 iSCSI targets (317G + 465G available)
- Laptop: VMware vSphere Client software ($0)