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On Building a VMware ESXi Server

I run several of my home servers on a white box VMware ESXi server that I assembled myself, but lately it’s been has been having stability problems.  I have had a couple of VMware “purple-screens-of-death,” several “blue-screens-of-death” on my Windows 2008 Server and Windows 7 VMs, and several kernel panics on my Linux servers.  Not good.  I don’t think heat is a problem, especially as the temperatures have been cooler recently, and the physical machine is in my basement, usually the coolest part of the house.  I’m considering the possibility that I have a hardware problem.

If I need to get a new CPU, motherboard, and memory, I won’t get a cheap mini-ATX motherboard this time.  I’ll try to find a server-class board that won’t break the bank.  And I want a board that will handle more than 8GB of RAM without having to buy super-expensive 4GB DIMMs.

I did some reading of the Tech Report’s System Guide and Newegg.  It looks like I will have to go with an Intel CPU and motherboard, along with DDR3 memory, in order to get a board that supports for then 8GB.  Such a motherboard will cost about $250.  Ouch.  But if I get a good one, I won’t need another for several years – I should be able to upgrade processors and memory as time goes by.  At least, that’s the theory.  Pairing such a motherboard with 8-12GB of DDR3 and a quad-core CPU will give me plenty of power.

All that won’t come cheap, though.  It will probably cost around $750.  But if I can get a powerful and stable system that will last for years, it will be worth it to me.

Posted in Hardware, VMware.

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