Fanless Supermicro SuperServer SYS-E302-12D features new Intel Xeon D-1700, finally a silent 1U, but storage is limited

Article & photo (screen-shotted above) are by Cliff Robinson at STH. This product isn't even announced by Supermicro yet, all we have is his article with photo featuring a specs card, for now.


Having looked at a very promising, non-Supermicro fanless solutions in the past, I was glad to see Supermicro apparently intends to refresh their existing fanless chassis SuperServers with a Xeon D-1718T 4-core and Xeon D-1736NT 8-core CPUs designs, each featuring an astounding dual 25GbE ports and quad 1GbE ports. This is testament to their intended lives as tough solutions for punishing extremes of weather when living at the edge, along with very low latency and high bandwidth requirements. Note these also feature PCIe 4.0 for double M.2 NVMe throughput, rather important for virtualization home labs where operations like vMotion and VM cloning are common.

You might also be interested in reading my three recent, closely-related articles, in this order:

  1. Intel Xeon D-1700/D-2700 (Ice Lake D), a promising choice for efficient home labs? (leak/rumor)
  2. Intel Xeon D-1700/D-2700 (Ice Lake D) finally launched, up to 20 cores/2.5GHz/3.5GHz Turbo/25GbE/1TB RAM and PCIe 4.0 doubling NVMe SSD speeds!
  3. Needs and wants for TinkerTry's 2022 virtualization home lab replacement based on Intel Xeon D-1700/2700

As my long-time readers know, I'm always on the hunt for whatever hardware might help me finally refresh my aging (circa 2016) virtualization home lab. Turns out there isn't much, at least not yet, and supply chains and world climate are big wildcards.

As for these particular Supermicro systems, we don't yet know pricing or availability details for the CPUs they're based on, never mind these white box solutions based on them. But we do now know some of the speeds and feeds, based on ServeTheHome's first-in-world quick look by Cliff Robinson. He gladly took some photos while at Supermicro's booth at the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona:


If you have a close look at the specs card in their image, and compare those with my needs and wants article, you'll see it meets my memory, networking, and noise (fanless) requirements. But you'll also see that it falls short in these areas:

  • just 2 2.5% SATA drive bays
  • just 2 M.2 bays, one b key for SATA (boot), one m key for NVMe (VMFS/datastores)

The biggest source of complaints that Wiredzone received about 1U servers used in home labs was noise, causing a higher return rate. The much quieter mini-towers enjoyed far than a 1% return rate. Wuiet was one one of the many reasons I personally wanted a mini-tower with a larger fan that ran at a much lower speeds, so it is much quieter if located in or near bedrooms, and has room for many more drives.

TinkerTry's Take

I was hoping for Supermicro to also come up with a 2U (plus cooling fins) solution with a lot more storage versatility, especially with NVMe or M.2 slots. While there is room for a half height PCIe slot, it will only get you 2 more M.2 NVMe slots in an AOC (Add On Card).

I expect this system, or future systems like it, will be very worthy contenders for consideration in many virtualization home labs, great for many use cases. I'm hoping to see these systems listed on and VMware's Compatibility Guide soon!

VMware vSAN?

One use I'd love to see somebody out there attempt would be a fanless 4 node vSAN, consisting of four of these fanless nodes with 2 NVMe drives in each, coupled with a fanless 10GbE switch. That would seem to be appealing to more people than a stack of four Intel NUCs would, which typically have some pretty loud fans when under load.


Disclosure: I was a VMware employee from 2017 to 2019, helping customers learn about a variety of vSAN ReadyNode and Dell VxRail solutions, so I'm biased, and I quite like vSAN. I also currently work at Dell as an SA talking to customers about a variety of enterprise solutions including Dell VxRail. But neither of these day jobs justified running vSAN or VxRail cluster fulltime at home. Even if something like VMware's Project nanoEDGE was something I'd be to just buy as a mostly turn-key solution. Instead, maybe a system capable of housing a resilient and supported boot device for proper vSphere 8 (or whatever it gets named). It would also probably need to have 4 capacity drives and 4 caching drives. This would allow a home lab vSAN enthusiast (or SE like I was) to occasionally run 4 nested ESXi VMs, each with a capacity drive and an NVMe caching drive passed through to it, something I tested in 2018. That way, a proper 4 node vSAN cluster could be created as a learning exercises with all the bells and whistles including erasure coding, and it would also actually be quite performant as well, so showing it off to others wouldn't be a problem either. Still, that's a lot of resources to have dedicated to vSAN, even though it'd all be running in one hosts. Why? Those 8 SSDs couldn't easily be repurposed for other uses when not using vSAN, at least not without breaking the vSAN cluster.


Feb 24 2022 - TinkerTry YouTube Channel - Intel Xeon D-1700/2700 finally launched, seemingly well-suited for virtualization home labs!
Feb 24 2022 - ServeTheHome - FINALLY! New Intel Xeon D. Hello Ice Lake-D!

See also at TinkerTry







  • New 1U Supermicro SuperServer SYS-E300-9D 4 and 8 core Xeon D-2100 models bring back the E300-8D's M.2 slot and network ports
    Oct 31 2018

    Closing thoughts
    Given the higher return rates for 1U Xeon D-1500 systems to Wiredzone these past 3 years, I still have no regrets to focusing my attention on the much more versatile mini-tower form factor Bundles, with far greater family acceptance factor and bang-for-your-buck than all similarly priced 1U variants. That's all detailed at That said, of course I've been keeping my eye out for appealing alternatives all along, seen here for example.

    Realistically, I'll likely need to wait for Intel's long-awaited 10nm production finally gets going before I can possibly justify investing in new gear to keep, not just test.

  • Intel Xeon D-2100 announced, a promising choice for efficient home lab datacenters?
    Feb 08 2018

    Closing thoughts
    Finally, my thoughts. I had frankly hoped a 3 year wait would result in a smaller than the 14nm design of the original Xeon D, but that just isn't happening quite yet. Perhaps pressure from AMD will accelerate the shrink soon, which would tend to result in even lower watt burn.
    Higher watts generally means louder fans, or larger chassis, or both
    Larger CPU size may mean Mini ITX motherboard designs have no room for M.2 slots, example pictured here

    I'm also skeptical whether DDR4 prices will fall far enough for the 512GB of memory maximum will ever be something obtainable in the home lab in the Xeon D-2100's lifespan.




See also

  • Welcome to the Intel Ice Lake D Era with the Xeon D-2700 and D-1700 series
    Feb 24 2022 by Patrick Kennedy at STH
    In this article and video, Patrick calls out the Supermicro SYS-E300-12D-4CN6P in the E300 chassis, along with the Supermicro SYS-110D-16C-FRN8TP in a 1U chassis. While those look promising, they're also likely to be too loud to be located anywhere near living spaces in most homes. I'd much prefer a mini 2U with lower speed fans, or even a mini tower that offers at least 4 M.2 slots, which could be quite awesome for VMware vSAN, both as a native node, or to host 4 clustered ESXi VMs, each with its own M.2 slot passed through (VT-d). Also for O-RAN (ORAN, Open RAN), read onward...
    Near the end, Patrick concludes:

    The Xeon D series is interesting. We saw platforms focusing on the 5G Open vRAN market as well as more traditional networking markets. Beyond these platforms, Xeon D gets used in many applications from control planes for switches to controls for airplanes. These products will be around for many years so getting new features is not just about what is available today, but also what will be needed in the future. That is why seeing big feature upgrades with this generation is very important.

  • Intel Launches Xeon D Processor Built for the Network and Edge
    Feb 24 2022 by btarunr at Tech PowerUp

    Rakuten Mobile deployed the world's first open, fully virtualized cloud native infrastructure in Japan to deliver a reliable, flexible, scalable, secure and resilient mobile network for its partners and end customers. It has incorporated the new Intel Xeon D processor for optimal performance while meeting its specifications to design Symware, a compact, lightweight, self-cooling and weatherproof, containerized RAN solution, working in collaboration with Intel and Juniper. The solution is optimal for the densest urban environments in the world, and in this case, Tokyo, demonstrating the power of vRAN, built on Intel technology.

Re-posted by RobinWuzz at reddit /rakutenundervalued:
Intel Launches Xeon D Processor Built for the Network and Edge

  • Xeon D Refresh: The Little Hyperscale Engine That Could
    Feb 24 2022 by Timothy Prickett Morgan at The Next Platform

    Those deploying the Xeon D processors are not running applications that are bandwidth constrained as much as they are compute constrained and they also need to encrypt data in flight and at rest. To that end, the Sunny Cove core has lots of new cryptographic instructions as well as data compression instructions, which will be important for storage appliances as well as for 5G base stations, and of course there are AVX-512 vector math units with mixed precision integer support to do all kinds of things, including running AI inference out there at the edge.

  • Intel unleashes new Xeon processors for the network and edge
    Feb 24 2022 by Joel Khalili at

    The new Intel Xeon D chips are built on the company’s Ice Lake platform and feature integrated AI and crypto acceleration, built-in Ethernet and various other features that cater to common network and edge workloads.

    Ahead of MWC 2022, Intel told TechRadar Pro and other media that the new chips deliver “breakthrough performance” across use cases such as security appliances, enterprise routers and switches, cloud storage, wireless networks, AI inference and edge servers.

  • ESXi on Intel NUC 12 Extreme (Dragon Canyon)
    Feb 24 2022 by William Lam

    if you attempt to boot ESXi on an Alder Lake CPU, it will actually PSOD (Purple Screen of Death)
    Before folks get too excited, I do have some slightly bad news to share if you are considering ESXi with the 10GbE option. The inbox Marvell driver for ESXi does not currently support this particular consumer 10GbE network adapter.


Keith Townsend, @CTOAdvisor:

We’ll see the hypervisor running on all kinds of hardware in support of the edge. Nice read of how ⁦@IntelBusiness⁩ Xeon-D is a response to the use case.

Intel Photos