The Xeon D Supermicro SuperServer "Bundle 2" of joy, a complete home datacenter virtualization solution that really flies

Posted by Paul Braren on Dec 7 2016 (updated on Jan 26 2020) in
  • HomeLab
  • HomeServer
  • ESXi
  • VMware
  • Presentations
  • FlightAware-composite-of-Southwest-3219-and-718 composite map, Dec 08 2016.

    I'm flying with this home datacenter tomorrow, to present at my 14th user group presentation this year. This time, it's to one of the biggest VMware User Groups in the US, over in Minneapolis Minnesota! OK, I'm not actually trying to fly with that UPS battery, but everything else is going with, mini-tower server itself tucked safely into luggage, easily fitting into the overhead bin. I even use a bunch of those little foam "TinkerTry IT @ home" houses to protect the in-transit server, and to toss a few to audience members that ask great questions ;-)

    Of course, my live demo will show how fast this system really is, and I'll soon be publishing a video of what I show off at these live demos. Videos and presentation are now available!


    Bill of Materials

    Front view, left-to-right:

    • Bicycle Poker Size Standard Index Playing Cards
      Shown for scale.
      Available at Amazon.


    • Black Carbon Fiber Vinyl Roll

      Simply cut, then peel-and-stick over the black painted chassis cover, helps protect the finish during travel. Easy to remove/replace too, without the goo.
      Available at Amazon.

    • Ubiquiti EdgeRouter Lite

      Million packet per second router.
      Available at Amazon, B&H, Newegg, see also product page and articles.
      Doing those DHCP reservations/DNS duties for easy VCSA deployment, and letting Windows and Linux hosts and VMs be friends, talking to each other by firstname, FQDN, or IP basis. I actually cloned the home's identical router to this travel/demo/development router, so my family still has web access when I'm away, and so my server gear doesn't even notice it left home.

    • Cyberpower 1000PFCLCD

      Sine wave UPS compatible with new PFC power supplies, featuring USB signal cable.
      Notice the LCD display is showing that this entire vSphere 6.5 datacenter using only 66 watts at idle. The USB signal cable, in conjunction with the free VM appliance, does automated graceful shutdown of all VMs and ESXi during power outages.
      Available at Amazon and B&H, see also product pages and article.

    • TechFlex F6 Woven Wrap 3/8" 10' Wiring Split Wire Covering

      Covers up that Ubiquiti power strip's white cable.
      Available at Amazon.

    Rear view:

    • CablesOnline 1ft. Short 3-Conductor PC Power Cord
      Replaces the 6' power cord that comes with the SuperServer, reduces clutter.
      Available in 5pk at Amazon.

    • Ultra Spec Cables Printer Power Cord/Cable 1ft (Figure 8, Dog Bone, Double Barrel)

      Replaces the Ubiquiti router's included power supply cable, reduces clutter. Apparently that original Notebook Power Cord part is longer available, but this newer part sure seems to be the equivalent. I have not tested it, but it is highly-rated.
      Available at Amazon.

    • Monoprice Cat6a SlimRun patch cables

      Everybody loves these when they see them in person, and can't believe how thin yet sturdy they are. Featuring 10GbE rating, using 8 1' lengths (as shown), with blue arbitrarily chosen to indicate 10GbE connections. You can also see my 14' and 14' SlimRun cables headed off to the left, the longest available, for my laptop and for the router's ETH0 WAN uplink to the demo location's college internet.
      Available at Amazon and Monoprice, see also product pages and articles.

    Inside view:

    Not pictured. These items are optional. Of course, over time, newer SSDs will come out, you can install whatever M.2 or SATA drives you'd like.

    • Samsung SM951 M.2 NVMe 128GB SSD
      Formatted as VMFS 6.81 datastore, see also article.
      Available at Amazon.

    That's it, no smoke and mirrors, no hidden cable management system, you're looking at everything front and back. The Bundle 2 even came with the 32GB USB drive for my ESXi 6.5 hypervisor. TinkerTry donates these to Wiredzone by the way, making your unboxing and install experience a little merrier. See for yourself, in up to 4K!

    Always room for improvement

    I'm still working to try to get these parts listed at Wiredzone, to ideally bundle them into one shipment. That UPS is a big challenge though, given the various SKUs needed for various geos. So you're likely much better off ordering your PFCLCD series UPS locally, visit Cyberpower's product page then select your country, now you have your part #. If you're near the EU, don't forget to choose the EU Bundle 3 that ships from The Netherlands.

    Click twice for a much closer look.
    Click twice for a much closer look.


    Supermicro SuperServer SYS-5028D-TN4T 12 Core Xeon D-1567 Bundle 2 unboxing/SSD inst. [no-edits/4K]
    VMware vSphere 6.5 tour on Xeon D, deploying a 22GB Win10 VM from Samsung SM951 to Samsung 950 PRO in 15 seconds

    VMUG Minneapolis Presentation

    Here's the link to the PDF version of the PPT shared at the conference!

    VMware UIs showing SuperServer Summary

    vSphere Client - Windows/C# still works in 6.5, but only for ESXi, not for vCenter/VCSA.
    ESXi Host Client.
    vSphere Web Client.
    vSphere Client.

    Dec 10 2016 Update

    The folks at the VMUG in Minneapolis yesterday we're wonderful to hang out with and present to, and I quite enjoyed the enthusiastic audience's many questions afterward. They even put up with facility projector issues for the first 10 minutes, while I went ahead with "winging it." All good fun!

    Matt Heldstab, the MNVMUG leader at left, asked the audience how many in the room had ever been to, and the audience response totally blew me away. This has never happened before.

    See also at TinkerTry