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Anyone running ESXi 5.1 on an Xserve?


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#1
Keyser0

Keyser0

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Since I found the Unlocker last week, I've been trying to figure out how I want to add an Apple ESXi 5.1 host to my lab. I recently purchased a late 2012 Mac Mini that I'm using as an HTPC and I can't decide if I want to use it as an ESXi host, then getting an older Mini to use as an HTPC. I have the i7 Mini (4 cores) and running a few VMs on it would really allow me to use its power instead of it being idle most of the time. Another option is getting another <$150 Dell server (2 x Xeon L5420 quad cores, already have 2) to use with Unlocker as a dedicated OS X ESXi host. I can't use one of those for OS X now because they're used to study for the VCP exam, which means I have to use vCenter Server. Unlocker doesn't work on hosts added to a vCenter Server. Another option is getting a 2008/2009 Apple Xserve.

I've been doing a ton of Googling this weekend and it seems that there really aren't any major issues running ESXi 5.1 on the 2008 or 2009 Xserve. Apple's RAID card doesn't work but that doesn't matter to me since I'll be using shared storage. I've also read that it runs great on the new Mac Mini but I've found less info on it than the Xserve. At the moment the Mini seems like the more solid option, but adding an Xserve to my home server rack is roughly the same cost of buying an older Mini. Plus having an Xserve in my home rack would be sexy. I'm such a geek. :)

Just wondering if anyone has ESX running on an Xserve and would love to hear details on it and your experience with it. Same goes for those with it on a Mini too. Still weighing the pros/cons of each and I'm torn. Not sure what to do..

#2
MSoK

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Since I found the Unlocker last week, I've been trying to figure out how I want to add an Apple ESXi 5.1 host to my lab. I recently purchased a late 2012 Mac Mini that I'm using as an HTPC and I can't decide if I want to use it as an ESXi host, then getting an older Mini to use as an HTPC. I have the i7 Mini (4 cores) and running a few VMs on it would really allow me to use its power instead of it being idle most of the time. Another option is getting another <$150 Dell server (2 x Xeon L5420 quad cores, already have 2) to use with Unlocker as a dedicated OS X ESXi host. I can't use one of those for OS X now because they're used to study for the VCP exam, which means I have to use vCenter Server. Unlocker doesn't work on hosts added to a vCenter Server. Another option is getting a 2008/2009 Apple Xserve.

I've been doing a ton of Googling this weekend and it seems that there really aren't any major issues running ESXi 5.1 on the 2008 or 2009 Xserve. Apple's RAID card doesn't work but that doesn't matter to me since I'll be using shared storage. I've also read that it runs great on the new Mac Mini but I've found less info on it than the Xserve. At the moment the Mini seems like the more solid option, but adding an Xserve to my home server rack is roughly the same cost of buying an older Mini. Plus having an Xserve in my home rack would be sexy. I'm such a geek. :)

Just wondering if anyone has ESX running on an Xserve and would love to hear details on it and your experience with it. Same goes for those with it on a Mini too. Still weighing the pros/cons of each and I'm torn. Not sure what to do..

K,
The MiniMac especially a late 6,2 with Quad Core i7 and 16GB RAM works really well, just a current issue with the applesmc vmkernel driver, see the thread on the VMware site, link below:

http://communities.v...tart=0&tstart=0

In theory the MiniMac should allow OS X to run under vCenter, as the Unlocker is not required provided you run with the modified iso from the thread above, this would solve your need for vCenter and a desire to run OS X.

In terms of the Xserve3,1 with Intel Xeon 55xx Series processors is officially supported up to ESXi 5.0 U2 with the MacPro5,1 with Intel Xeon 56xx Series processors for ESXi 5.1, however I am sure an Xserve3,1 with Xeon 5500 processors will run fine, I am running an HP Z600 Workstation with Dual Xeon 5520 processors on ESXi 5.1 and OS X without issues.

I personally would go the MiniMac route, but then again I do not have a Server rack at home, and if you can pick up an Xserve3,1 up cheaply as you say that would look really cool in your rack, however future support would be an issue.

Hope these ramblings help, good luck, let us know your final decision, regards MSoK.





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