Updated ESXi server

I have recently update, or should I say replaced, most of the hardware on my ESXi server. My main reason for the upgrade is to build a storage server with the most of the hardware that I currently have and use the newer and faster hardware for the ESXi server. The storage limitation with ESXi 4.1 were too limiting for my needs, hosting the RPM files and linux distributions being server by my mirror server. The new ESXi server hardware is as follows:

Power supply: Seasonic SS-400ET 400W EPS12V (49$)
Motherboard: SUPERMICRO MBD-X9SCL-F-O (180$)
Processor: Intel Xeon E3-1230 Sandy Bridge 3.2GHz (235$)
RAM: 4x Kingston 4GB DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 ECC (58$)
USB Key: TDK 4GB Mobile USB 2.0 Flash Drive (7$)
Case: Norco RPC-470 4U Rackmount Server Case (90$)

Current hypervisor software is VMware vSphere 4.1 (free). The server is connected with via a cross-over one gigabit (1Gb/s) iSCSI link to my storage server where I have mapped a 1.5Tb LUN to host the virtual machines. I will discuss this setup and configuration in more detail in a later post.

Performance has been very stable so far and there is a small but noticable increase in speed, especially processor intensive tasks, over the first build I did.

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Updating Areca driver on ESXi 4.1 u1

1). Download and install the VMware vSphere Client and VMware vSphere CLI on your Windows system.

1.1). If you have a older driver, remove it from ESXi terminal by connecting via SSH and running the following commands:
~ # esxupdate -b ARC remove –maintenancemode
Removing packages :vmware-esx..######################################## [100%]

Running [/usr/sbin/vmkmod-install.sh]…
The update completed successfully, but the system needs to be rebooted for the changes to be effective.

~ # rm /tmp/stage/firmware/usr/lib/ipkg/bulletins.zip

Removing the bulletins.zip file resolves the problem of the following error message:
Please wait patch installation is in progress …
The format of the metadata is invalid.Duplicate definitions of bulletin ARC with unequal attributes.

1.2). Reboot the host.

3). Launch VMware vSphere Client and login the ESXi server.

4). Through VMware Vsphere Client, set ESXi server into “Maintenance Mode”.(select Inventory–>Summary tab–>Enter Maintanence Mode)

5). Launch VMware vSphere CLI.

6). key in “cd bin” on VMware vSphere CLI.

7). key in “perl vihostupdate.pl -server ESXi_4.X_IP_address -username root -password “root’s password” -b CD/DVD_ROM_directory:\offline-bundle\offline-bundle.zip –nosigcheck -i” on VMware vSphere CLI
Please wait patch installation is in progress …
The update completed successfully, but the system needs to be rebooted for the changes to be effective.

8). After loading Areca driver is finished, close VMware vSphere CLI.

9). Exit maintenance mode on the ESXi server through VMware Vsphere Client.

10). Reboot ESXi server.


Reference: http://communities.vmware.com/thread/311457?start=0&tstart=0

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First ESXi Server

I decided that I need to build myself a home ESXi server in order to consolodate my old physical servers I have. Using older hardware and doing very few properly managed backups, I’ve lost important data more then once. My goal here will be to build a more stable environment to run my servers and also expand and try out new ideas and solution within the virtualied environment.

Last week, I began ordering the parts that I will use for the new server build. I will also be using some old parts from previously built servers that are either laying arround or currently running and will soon be replaced.

Here are the new parts:

Power supply: Antec TruPower 550W (90$)
Hard drive: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F4 HD204UI 2TB (105$)
Motherboard: SUPERMICRO MBD-X8SIL-F-O (195$)
Processor: Intel Xeon X3440 Lynnfield 2.53GHz Quad-Core (240$)
RAM: 2x Kingston 4GB DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1066 ECC (107$)
USB Key: Kingston DataTraveler G3 4GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive (7$)
Case fan: 2x APEVIA CF8S 80mm (3$)

I am planning on reusing the following hardware:

Case: AOpen Custom PC
Hard drives: 4x Seagate Barracuda ST3500320AS 500GB
Hard drives: 2x Seagate Barracuda ST3160812AS 160GB

RAID controller: HighPoint RocketRAID 2300 PCI Express SATA II (3.0Gb/s) Controller Card (130$)
Hard drive cage: COOLER MASTER STB-3T4-E3-GP 4-in-3 Device Module Hardisk Cage (24$)

I will document my build process once all the parts arrive

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