Intel NUC as VMware lab solution?

Asif DaslAsif Dasl Posts: 2,116Member ■■■■■■■■□□
I was just looking at these Intel NUC's and they look like the perfect VMware lab solution.. small, powerful, dual or triple screen capable, max 16GB RAM and enough room for a SSD. Is anybody using these in a lab situation?

I had a look at the new Gigabyte Brix Pro which will be released fairly soon, I think I'd prefer these to be honest. They are a bit more powerful and look nicer IMO.

I've got a nice lab at the moment but wouldn't mind throwing some of these in to the mix if they worked alright. If anybody is using these in general, is there any downfalls with them?

Thanks

Comments

  • JeanMJeanM Posts: 1,117Member
    You don't really need multiple screens for vmware lab, but the main issue with NUC will be lack of space/room for nic ports...

    Unless you are talking about using one with VMWare Workstation and not for ESX host or HyperV?
    2015 goals - ccna voice / vmware vcp.
  • Asif DaslAsif Dasl Posts: 2,116Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Yeah the NICs seems to be the biggest problem, I think one should be enough for a lab though?

    The dual or triple monitor would come in useful if you dual boot it. It's got a mSATA port so you could have a 120 GB SSD with Windows 7/8 or Server 2012 on it running vCenter Server and use the 2.5 inch bay with a 500 GB SSD as an iSCSI target drive. Or if it was running as a ESXi host then use the bay as a local VMFS datastore.

    I might try and get a few of these and have them in the parent's house and get a little site to site action going on! I was going to get Shuttle barebones but these could do just as well and are much much smaller.

    I found a few sites afterwards that are using a NUC but I'd still like to hear any horror stories if there are any??

    NanoLab – Running VMware vSphere on Intel NUC – Part 1 | tekhead.org

    https://www.virten.net/2013/12/vmware-vsphere-homeserver-homelab-esxi-on-4th-gen-intel-nuc/

    How to build a Low Power and Fast ESXi Home Lab
  • kriscamaro68kriscamaro68 A+, Net+, Server+, Security+, Win7 MCP, Server 2012 Virtualization Specialist, MCSA 2012 Posts: 1,186Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    If you are running hyper-v you could buy usb3 to Ethernet adapters and use those. The gigabyte box has 4 usb3 ports and you can get gigabit usb3 to ether adapters. That gives you 5 nic's and with nic teaming and the ability to split up nic's in server 2012r2 you can split these up to meet your needs. for the cost to build one up like that though you could just build yourself a nice desktop.
  • Asif DaslAsif Dasl Posts: 2,116Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    I'm trying to get away from desktops if I can, I've got 2 Corsair 600T's and they are too big TBH. I thought the Shuttles barebones would be a good solution but I think these NUCs might work out cheaper and smaller... I need to run the numbers later.
  • Kinet1cKinet1c Posts: 604Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I've got 1 on the way.. and I'll have another next month. Have ordered 16GB for each along with a 4GB USB 3.0 key for each too. I'll be hooking them up to a Synology DS412+ which has 2-4 * 120GB SSD. I should have full lab setup by end of February. I'll likely be picking up an mSata for each NUC for cache.
    2018 Goals - Learn all the Hashicorp products

    Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity
  • SimonD.SimonD. Posts: 111Member
    Not sure how much you're spending on the NUC in Ireland but I have to be honest and say that the SH67H3 is pretty cheap, throw in a lower spec CPU and 16gb of ram you're looking at about £350 for a decent box. I know I spent about £550 on each server and that included an Intel 3770 CPU, a 4 port Pro 1000 VT NIC and 32GB ram.
    My Blog - http://www.everything-virtual.com
    vExpert 2012\2013\2014\2015
  • Kinet1cKinet1c Posts: 604Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    It's down to environmental restraints for me. Need to reduce noise and physical footprint so I'm hoping this will sort it for me.
    2018 Goals - Learn all the Hashicorp products

    Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity
  • Asif DaslAsif Dasl Posts: 2,116Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Kinet1c wrote: »
    I've got 1 on the way.. and I'll have another next month. Have ordered 16GB for each along with a 4GB USB 3.0 key for each too. I'll be hooking them up to a Synology DS412+ which has 2-4 * 120GB SSD. I should have full lab setup by end of February. I'll likely be picking up an mSata for each NUC for cache.
    Excellent! You'll be my guinea pig! j/k Nice setup by the way... it'll go nice with that new job of yours! :)
    SimonD. wrote: »
    Not sure how much you're spending on the NUC in Ireland but I have to be honest and say that the SH67H3 is pretty cheap, throw in a lower spec CPU and 16gb of ram you're looking at about £350 for a decent box. I know I spent about £550 on each server and that included an Intel 3770 CPU, a 4 port Pro 1000 VT NIC and 32GB ram.
    This is the thing, I want to totally re-engineer my lab cause I want to get rid of the huge Corsair 600T's. I've got 2 x i7-4770Ts which I could use in a Shuttle SZ87R6 and I'd go with that barebone because it's got two 4xPCIe slots for my HP NC364T Quad port NIC's. That's IF I went with a Shuttle barebone.

    But I don't know what to do... I have a while to save up for new gear, and it'll probably be a little while before I do anything but I'll have to see if I can offload the desktops to someone I know first then choose between the Shuttle and the NUC. I'd go with the NUC even if it was a little more expensive because of the space it would save.. I need to work this all out in Excel!
  • JeanMJeanM Posts: 1,117Member
    LOL! I personally like having rack mount cases, as it fits my cisco lab and all in one place, I built an ESXi using one of the Norco shallow cases. Fits everything inside nicely.

    Corsair 600T is huge though!!!
    2015 goals - ccna voice / vmware vcp.
  • Asif DaslAsif Dasl Posts: 2,116Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    I've nowhere to put rack mounted cases. We have smaller houses in Europe than you in the US! So you can imagine how much space the 600T takes. I should, I repeat should, have got rid of them sooner before I went building a new lab around them, then I wouldn't have this little problem - but you live and learn!
  • Kinet1cKinet1c Posts: 604Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Asif Dasl wrote: »
    Excellent! You'll be my guinea pig! j/k Nice setup by the way... it'll go nice with that new job of yours! :)

    I ended up cancelling the order.... as I want to see if there's lab equipment wherever I end up first. If not, I'll be ordering swiftly. Will update soon.
    2018 Goals - Learn all the Hashicorp products

    Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity
  • Asif DaslAsif Dasl Posts: 2,116Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Good thinking Kinet1c, that would save you a lot of money alright...

    I worked it out in Excel and the Gigabyte Brix Pro is very expensive compared to the Shuttle SZ77R5 and only has a max of 16GB of RAM for about the same price. I measured the dimensions of the 600T and I can get 4 Shuttles in the same space as 1 x 600T! I've decided to keep the 600T's anyways because they are still a good lab machine but I'm going to pick up 2 Shuttles SZ77R5 because they can hold 32GB of RAM and have a remote 24/7 lab. On the second 600T I'll run a nested lab and that'll be my gaming machine also. Those NUCs are very tempting though.
  • Kinet1cKinet1c Posts: 604Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I'm going to have to do some final costing myself and I also want to get a definitive answer on whether or not the additional NIC(s) via mini PCI express are fully functional as it may be a restriction that's a dealbreaker.
    2018 Goals - Learn all the Hashicorp products

    Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity
  • SimonD.SimonD. Posts: 111Member
    I was at a VMUG session the other day where one of the presenters was doing just that and it appeared to work just fine, the only issue was cable routing.
    My Blog - http://www.everything-virtual.com
    vExpert 2012\2013\2014\2015
  • Kinet1cKinet1c Posts: 604Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    2018 Goals - Learn all the Hashicorp products

    Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity
  • SimonD.SimonD. Posts: 111Member
    It was indeed ;)
    My Blog - http://www.everything-virtual.com
    vExpert 2012\2013\2014\2015
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