Skip to main content

Dell's R210-II as vSphere home lab server

My VI3 and vSphere4 home lab consisted of whitebox PCs. For VI3 I used MSI based nonames, for vSphere4 I used Shuttle SX58j3. For the new vSphere5 generation, I wanted some real server hardware. Because of shallow depth requirements, the choice of rackmount servers was limited. I picked the Dell Poweredge R210II instead of the sx58j3 because
- on the vSphere HCL (the sx58j3's won't boot vSphere5 RC !)
- Sandy Bridge low TDP CPUs available (I got the E3-1270)
- onboard dual BCM5716 nics support iSCSI offload (aka "dependent HW iSCSI")
- IPMI built-in (not tested yet)
- dense: 1U (the sx58j3 is about 4 units, but can fit 2 in 19")
- one free PCIe slot (The sx58j3 has 2 slots, but needs a VGA card)
- not incredibly expensive (up to 16GB RAM)
- only one free PCIe slot (max GbE nics needs expensive quadport card)
- incredibly expensive (with 32GB RAM it's 3x the price of a 16GB config)
- can't buy without at least one disk. I'll be running from USB sticks.


Brian said…
Hi! I found your post about using ESXi on a R210-II. Did you get this to work? I tried loading it this morning and it seems to have a hard time recognizing the drive config.

Popular posts from this blog

Volkswagen UHV bluetooth touch adapter & its problems

My Volkswagen car has the "universal cellphone preparation" UHV built-in. This is the main part of a car kit, but requires an additional adapter for connecting to a cellphone. At first, I was using an adapter for my good old Nokia 6310, even after I changed to the Nokia E71. Connecting was easy: pair the phone with the "VW UHV" bluetooth entity, and done. This has the phone connected to the car kit at all times, so even non-call-related functions use the car audio system (e.g. voice recognition).
But progress will have its way, no matter what happens. So in comes the "bluetooth touch adapter". Instead of a phone-specific adapter, this is a small touchscreen device that slots into the UHV dashboard mount. Connecting a phone is very different now:
the Bluetooth Touch Adapter connects to the "VW UHV" device via bluetooth
the phone connects to "Touch Adapter" device, also via bluetoothThe device doesn't allow step 2 if step 1 didn't s…

How to solve "user locked out due to failed logins" in vSphere vMA

In vSphere 6, if the vi-admin account get locked because of too many failed logins, and you don't have the root password of the appliance, you can reset the account(s) using these steps:

reboot the vMAfrom GRUB, "e"dit the entry"a"ppend init=/bin/bash"b"oot# pam_tally2 --user=vi-admin --reset# passwd vi-admin # Optional. Only if you want to change the password for vi-admin.# exitreset the vMAlog in with vi-admin These steps can be repeated for root or any other account that gets locked out.

If you do have root or vi-admin access, "sudo pam_tally2 --user=mylockeduser --reset" would do it, no reboot required.

Multiple VLANs on a Synology NAS

Synology, like other SOHO/SMB NAS vendors, touts VLAN functionality with their current DSM 4.1 software. However, the web interface just lets you specify one VLAN tag to use over each eth interface (or bond interface).
Manual approachIn the busybox environment that you can ssh into as root (after enabling ssh through the webinterface), there's all the tools you need to use multiple VLANs over one link (eth or bond), however:
First you insert the 802.1q module into the Linux kernel:
 /sbin/lsmod | /bin/grep -q 8021q || /sbin/insmod /lib/modules/8021q.koThen you add each VLAN you need to every interface (bond0 in this example)
 /sbin/vconfig add bond0 4And finally you can configure IP addresses on every interface.vlan combination (bond0.4 in this example)
 /sbin/ifconfig bond0.4 broadcast netmask same type of script would work on a QNAP NAS too, by the way. They offer 8021q.ko and vconfig in their commandline environment as well.
Packets from…