Is the new Mac mini 2019 suited for VMware vSphere/ESXi home labs?

Specification Differentiations These features: From the Oct 30 2018 Apple Event. Standard: Desktop 8th-generation 3.2GHz Intel Core Processor Thunderbolt 3 / USB C expansion (4 ports) NVMe based SSD storage running at full speeds Optional: up to 6 cores up to 64GB of RAM (SODIMMs) up to 10GbE…

Oct 30 2018

Supermicro SuperServer Xeon D increases DDR4 support from 2133MHz to 2400MHz while Xeon D-1541 bundle prices are lowered

Updates to this article added below, with automatic 200MHz speed recognition arriving with BIOS 1.2, for the Xeon D-1541 only. I've been informed that this is unlikely to change, but any difference in speeds of any other Xeon D system are unlikely to be noticeable. When the Xeon D was first…

Jun 22 2016

Deep dive inside video of the Supermicro SuperServer 5028D-TN4T including component installation

I'm pleased to announce a new video that takes you all around and inside this mini-tower server, with some constructive advice. During the course of this comprehensive look at the physical design, I also find that all of the following assembly was quite straight-forward: unboxing (extremely…

Jul 2 2015

Supermicro SuperServer 5028D-TN4T accessories and aspirations

Updates to this article below The Supermicro SuperServer 5028D-TN4T motherboard and CPU installed come pre-installed in a compact chassis with a 250 watt power supply, all pre-wired and ready to boot, complete with a 3 year warranty. Most places you buy this system, it arrives bare-bones, which…

Jun 29 2015

Supermicro SuperServer 5028D-TN4T first impressions

JUN 30 2015 Update - New "deep dive inside" 38 minute video now available. Since last night's live-streamed unboxing and power-up-ing, I've since spent a bit of quality time off camera with this little beast, installing and configuring and testing ESXi 6.0. While fresh in my mind, I…

Jun 26 2015

TinkerTry's Xeon D-1540 fueled ESXi 6.0 home lab build begins LIVE!

Updates to this article below, and lots of pictures now available too! A second camera view is now available, without the desktop shown, here. Rather than hours of arduous video editing to join the best of both videos together, time is probably better spent doing a new much shorter new video,…

Jun 25 2015

Supermicro SuperServer mini-tower ordered with 64GB of memory for $1900, the ultimate home virtualization lab?

My Supermicro SuperServer 5028D-TN4T is now on order, see status updates below. JUN 30 2015 Update - New "deep dive inside" 38 minute video now available. Back in 2013, we broke past the 32GB RAM restrictions for VMware ESXi 5.5, even the free version. But the hardware costs of getting a…

Jun 23 2015

Intel's Haswell-E X99S and Atom can handle 64GB of memory, affordability TBD

VMware ESXi or Microsoft Hyper-V home labs crave RAM. Lots of RAM. It's likely the bottleneck you'll bump into first. It's also not easily upgradeable, once you hit your CPU/motherboard limits. So we continue to wait for possible solutions. My own 2011-vintage Z68 based vZilla build has 32GB of…

Aug 11 2014

Haswell Z97 limited to 32GB memory max, an unfortunate reality for virtualization enthusiasts

I decided to open a web page feedback dialogue with Intel about Z97 memory limits earlier this week, on behalf of the home virtualization lab enthusiast community. I wanted to have confirmation before publishing this article, to be reasonably sure that Intel's site didn't have some sort of…

Jun 7 2014

VMware ESXi 5.5 Free Hypervisor breaks past 32GB RAM restriction

It's fair to say I've been more than a little enthusiastic about pushing the boundaries of what's possible with single, affordable, consumer level Core i7 system, with 32GB of regular DIMMs coming in at right around $200. It's really why this site was started back in June of 2011, with dawn of…

Aug 28 2013

With the recent suspension of Microsoft TechNet, is the return of VMware VMTN less likely?

This is big news today. I'm fortunate to have an active, corporate bulk MSDN subscription through April of 2016. But those with TechNet-only aren't likely to be terribly happy about today's news. Microsoft to shut down TechNet subscription service Ed Bott, Jul 1 2013 Summary: One of the best…

Jul 1 2013

2013 Apple Mac Pro as a virtualization platform? Think about it...

Yeah, nothing polarizes opinions more than talking about Apple. Hang on a second though, keep an open mind. I've used PCs since the mid 1980s, and I have to admit, from an engineering and design perspective, little out there impresses me like the surprisingly affordable 2011 Mac mini. Excellent…

Jun 11 2013

ASRock Z77 Extreme4-M Motherboard works nicely with ESXi 5.0

I'm still rather fond of how TinkerTry.com/vzilla turned out, but I realize that those buying new are likely to shop around for a Z77 based system with decent ESXi 5.0 function. While I cannot speak from first hand experience, I can say that this isn't the first time I've heard of the continued…

Aug 23 2012

32GB of memory on the ASRock Fatal1ty Z68 Professional Gen3 Motherboard

Feb 22 2012 Update: $207.99 USD after promo code, ends midnight eastern time tonight! Here's the purchase link: www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231487 Here's my DIMM drama. An intriguing tale of a month or so of oh no, followed by 32GB of sweet oh yeah! When purchasing a 4 DIMM…

Feb 13 2012