Homelab with ESXi 7 and Dell T440

I have quite a lot of different projects going on all the time. I built ESXi 5.5 server years ago but it only had 4 cores and i changed it to use Proxmox for a while now. I need more than 4 cores for my projects so i had Virtual Servers from Hetzner and Upcloud (both have servers in Finland). I just used Wireguard or IPsec to tunnel them into my network.

Buying 24/7 cpu power from clouds is expensive so i decided to buy server to my home and run ESXi on it. I had following requirements for the server:

  • I wanted 2 socket system so i can upgrade it cheaper later if i need more power
  • Server to be ESXi 7 compatible
  • I want to change cooling fans to more quiet models so i can run server at home

CPU

I ended up buying Dell PowerEdge T440 Tower Server with Xeon Silver 4210 (13.75M Cache, 2.2GHz).

Cooling

Dell T440 has 1 120mm fan with standard 4 pin PWM and it also has second fan connector on the motherboard but it’s 5pin some Dells own for redundant cooling fan. I replaced the original cooling fan with 120 x 120 x 25mm NF-F12 industrialPPC-3000 PWM and it is really quiet. If i need more cooling i will buy one of the Noctuas LGA3647 socket cooler and attach it to power supply with Sata cable.

RAM

I bought Kingston KTD-PE426D8/16G 1×16 GB 2666MT/s RDIMM Dual Rank and will by more of these when i need more RAM. Server came with 1×16 GB 2666MT/s RDIMM Dual Rank so i have now 32 GB.

Hard drives

For hard drives i bought 3 x Kingston DC500R 960 Gt SATA III 2,5″ SSD and i’m running them with RAID 5. I also needed to buy 3 x CoreParts 3.5″ HotSwap Tray SATA/SAS and 3 x CoreParts ConversionBracket 2.5″ to 3.5″. Server came with 1 x 480GB SATA SSD 2.5″ Hot-Plug which i’m now using for images, swap etc.

ESXi 7

I want to run ESXi from SD card so i had to buy ISDM and Combo Card Reader 385-BBLF and also 2 x Kingston 32GB microSD cards. I bought 2 SD cards because Dell supports SD card mirroring for redundancy.

I’m running ESXi 7 now with Dell EMC customized VMware ESXi 7.0.

https://www.dell.com/support/home/en-my/product-support/product/poweredge-t440/drivers change Operating system into VMWare ESXi 7.0

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