Supermicro SuperServer SYS-5028D-TN4T mini-tower available in 1U version featured in 3 node PernixData $10K give-away

Posted by Paul Braren on Feb 14 2016 (updated on Feb 23 2016) in
  • Virtualization
  • ESXi
  • Network
  • HomeLab
  • HomeServer
  • VMworld
  • This past December, you may recall Veeam's $10K give-away story:

    that featured a chance to win the same Supermicro SuperServer SYS-5028D-TN4T mini-tower that many virtualization enthusiasts have invested in. The same system that I've invested in, and rather publicly xenappblog's Trond Eirik Haavarstein. But did you also notice that PernixData also did their $10K give-away first? Admittedly, I didn't spot this until just yesterday, and I'm a guy who was actually at VMworld 2015! What can I say, I didn't make it to everybody's booth, and I'm sure kicking myself now. I would have loved to have done another PernixData video interview. Given how many questions I'm seeing at TinkerTry around clusters and vSANs, I just had to share Frank's post, here you go:

    • VMworld Ultimate Home DC giveaway
      Aug 19 2015 by Frank Denneman at PernixData:

      People like to build home labs. Home labs are great for researching a problem, discovering new features or honing your skill set. Want to get that new certification? Get a home lab and create, tinker and destroy architectures to truly master the subject. It can be argued that a home lab has become almost a necessity to advance your career in IT.
      ..A setup that doesn’t consume power like there is no tomorrow and wrapped in a nice case that possibly has a high Wife Acceptance Factor.

    Wow, PernixData didn't scrimp on this give-away. Of course, having two 10Gbe and 2 1GbE ports onboard each SuperServer, along with full-speed PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe, allows this rig to really show off their PernixData FVP. You too can try FVP Freedom yourself, for free, for up to 128GB of read acceleration, a good use for up to 128GB of RAM on each system.

    Looking closely at the picture, you'll also notice the rather pricey 10GbE switch in the picture:

    I have not personally tried this SYS-5018D-FN4T 1U server out, but the BIOS and all other design elements should be identical to the SYS-5028D-TN4T that I have extensively tested these past 7 months.

    Comparison between the SYS-5028D-TN4T and SYS-5018D-FN4T

    There's a few things you should know about this 1U system, that features the same Xeon D-1540/1541 CPU on the same exact Xeon D-1540/1541 X10SDV-TLN4F motherboard:

    • power supply is lowered from 250 watts to 200 watts
    • PCI slot is turned 90 degrees
    • PCI slot goes from low profile to full height
    • small chassis fans in 1U servers tend to be a bit noisier
    • integrated CPU fan that's on the mini-towers is gone, instead, the passively cooled heat-sink-vanes are much taller, with system fan air moving air across those vanes from front to back


    Yeah, it's Valentine's Day! I would guess that today might not be the best day to ask your significant other for such a purchase ;-)

    If you're looking for a Xeon D-1540/1541 system in a mini-tower form factor, then it would seem the SYS-5028D-TN4T might be better suited for your use, with an even higher WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor), as Frank puts it. Available in the ESXi-ready Bundle 2:


    If you're looking for a Xeon D-1540/1541 system in a 1U rack-mount form factor, then it would seem the SYS-5018D-FN4T might be better suited for your use, seen at Wiredzone, for example:


    If you're just shopping, and/or interested in opportunities to ask me questions during live events, please join me! Details:

    Finally, check out another PernixData guy and his rig:

    • My vSphere Home Lab. 2016 edition
      Visit for details

      Jan 24 2016 by Pete Koehler at An inside the ropes look at Virtualization, networking, storage, and everything else in IT

    Despite some concerns over higher RPM fans, along with some reservations about the usability of the 10GbE Netgear XS708E switch, this Technical Marketing Engineer at PernixData sure sounds pretty darn happy with his rig. It's all about the storage, be sure to see what he says about using the Intel 750 Series NVMe storage that I TinkerTry'd here and here!


    FVP Freedom discussed with PernixData's Tom Queen, after the Providence VMUG on Nov. 19, 2015. I hadn't really thought my off-the-cuff questions through, catching up with Tom as he was heading out, but wow, the opportunities for FVP became much clearer to me on that long drive home.

    See also at TinkerTry

    See also

    Disclosure, LLC is an independent site, has no sponsored posts, and all ads are run through 3rd party BuySellAds. All equipment and software is purchased for long-term productive use, and any rare exceptions are noted.

    PernixData and Veeam did not sponsor this post. Veeam has sometimes run their ad on TinkerTry through BuySellAds.

    TinkerTry's relationship with Wiredzone is similar to the Amazon Associates program, where a very modest commission is earned from each referral sale from TinkerTry's SuperServer order page. I chose this trusted authorized reseller for its low cost and customer service, and a mutual desire to help folks worldwide, including a new way to reduce EU shipping costs. Why? Such commissions help reduce TinkerTry's reliance on advertisers, while building a community around the Xeon D-1500 chipset that strikes a great balance between efficiency and capability.

    I personally traveled to Wiredzone near Miami FL to see the assembly room first-hand, and to Supermicro HQ in San Jose CA to share ideas and give direct product feedback.

    I'm a full time IT Pro for the past 23 years. I've worked with IBM, HP, Dell, and Lenovo servers for hands-on implementation work across the US. Working from home lately, I'm quite enjoying finally owning a lower-cost Supermicro solution that I can recommend to IT Pro colleagues, knowing it will "just work." That's right, no tinkering required.