In the past few months i have been researching on upgrading my home lab esxi white box (Mac Mini Server Late 2012) to a white box with more available resources and capable of running VMware ESXi 6.5.
My Mac Mini had the limitation of 16 GB RAM max. So a need to expand my home lab arose. I still wanted to keep a single system to run virtual machines in my home lab. During my research i came across various builds posted by home lab enthusiasts on their blogs and reddit. However, availability of parts in Australia restricted my options. And finally i settled on the Motherboard and CPU which were reported to work with ESXi 6.0 and above out of the box. Making sure a suitable RAM was another big task for me, as it was the costliest component of all (i ordered 128 GB kit).
I share my experiences with those who might be interested to build their own ESXi white box at home.
For PC Parts i shopped around local stores in Australia:
I had two Solid State Drives (250GB each) in my Mac Mini which i imported to the new White box. I ran CPU and Memory Stress Tests on the new build and everthing reported normal. The softwares i used for RAM and CPU tests provided a bootable iso file. I booted from a USB drive and ran all tests without installing any Operating System. I used Rufus to create bootable USB drives.
— RAM Test: Memory Test (RAM)
— CPU Test: CPU Stress Test
I registered the virtual machines on the SSD’s in my new White Box and i was up and runnig with my new lab in seconds.
Picture of my Build
VMware ESXi 6.5 has a fully functional Web Client built in. There is no longer a need to connect a new ESXi host via vSphere client.
Hope you find this post useful.