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Thread: ESXi & Dell 490

  1. #1
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    ** Posted in an ESX forum but you guys have always helped me when I have IT probs so I figured one or two of you might have some comments [GRIN] ***

    This morning (UK time) I plan to flash out for a new server, well actually a Dell 490 workstation with Xeon dual core 5130 and 4Gb RAM, but most importantly it has, what seems o me to be, an impressive spec:

    * 2 x LGA 771 socket (one occupied with Xeon 5130 dual core)
    * 4 DDR2 sockets (2 occupied with 2 x 2GB 667 DDR2)
    * 128Mb PCI-E card (TBH I don't greatly care about this)
    * 160Gb SATA hard drive (not entirely sure if I care about that either).

    What really appeals to me about this system is the upgradeability i.e. I can buy a second 5130 and double it's processing power, buy more RAM (up to 32Gb) and significantly increase its performance, put SCSI drives in it (I have an array card and drives I know will work) and again, better performance. Later on I can even consider upgrading to quad Xeon's (when they are cheaper of course).

    Despite being a workstation I am buying this to be a server, to use ESXi and virtualise my 2003 home server (an IBM x206, P4/2.8, 512Mb, 800Gb disk) and yet still have room to "play" with other virtualised stuff.

    And best of all ... when I'm done with it (when I one day move to a different server) I can retire it as rather nice workstation.

    As long as it works with ESXi (and my understanding is it does) it's gotta be a winner ... anyone have any thoughts on this machine before I commit to it?
    I guess what I am asking is if anyone has any experience of using this machine as an ESXi virtualisation host?

    Kyu

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    UPDATE: It appears that the Dell 490 works fine with ESXi (ESXi can *see* the SATA drive of the system) ... I understand the 490 has on-board SATA RAID but I have yet to establish whether or not ESXi can see such RAID arrays.

    My next problem was trying to figure out what actual CPU was installed (it's a Xeon 5130 but there are at least 2 variants, SL9RX & SLAGC and possibly SLAPB) and I needed some kind of program that would tell me the CPU's actual sSpec (rather than remove the heatsink which looks complicated) so I could add an additional CPU (as far as I know these have to be perfect matches). My first thought was CPU-Z but that told me everything but the sSpec however a little research and I found the freeware program HWINFO32 which reveals a whole lot of system info and specifically told me the CPU was a Xeon 5130 (SL9RX).

    Although it isn't important right now the other thing I'd like to know is what other CPU's the system ... as far as I know it will go up to the Xeon 5160 (so probably will support the 5140 & 5150 as well) and can also support some quad core Xeon's but I'm not clear on which ones (and DELL don't seem to be easily forthcoming with the information, it's been hinted by some that they are trying to push buyers towards some "T" series systems).

    Anyway ... if anyone knows anything about these things please reply

    Kyu

  3. #3
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    I suppose what I really want to know, since I have pretty much convinced myself that the way forward is to put a second 1TB drive in the system along with an existing 320Gb and an 80GB (configuring it with the OS on the 80, VM's on the 320 and data partitions on the 1TB), is is the size of the drive relevant to whether ESXi can see it? IOW ... if ESXi can see a 160GB SATA, is there any reason why it won't also see a 1TB on the same controller?

    Kyu

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