Lab Upgrade Analysis Paralysis Dell R620

So my Dell 620 raid card and other items are no longer supported by VMWare ESXi 7. I really don’t want to buy another server for my home learning and business backup items as my Xenservers on R610s run great. But should I just buy a supported RAID card, or turn it into a Truenas system and use nested virtualization by converting my R610 to XCP-NG? I have redundancy in my R610s and having an actual shared storage would probably work well. And I could pick up a small 10GB switch as well. Again just looking for suggestions. Only reason I am running VMWare because corporate job*

A couple of questions:

  • What RAID card is currently in the R620?
  • Is it the 8 bay or 10 bay version?
  • Are both XCP-NG servers running off of local storage?

If I’m reading this correctly your environment consists of:

  • R620 - VMware
  • R610 - XCP-NG
  • R610 - XCP-NG

With everything running at 1gbe speeds?

  • R620 RAID card is PERC H310 Mini
  • 10 Drive Bay
  • Yes they are on local being backed up to 2 different NAS (TErrastation and WD Cloud)
  • Everything 1GB but have 10GB cards in all machines Broadcom Extreme 10GB Copper
  • 2 R610s are actually running Xenserver 8.1 thinking of migrating to XCP-NG as I was afraid of Xenapp Support

Looks like the H710 is supported on ESXi 7.0 and pretty cheap, I’d probably go that route.

Swapping to the H710 will net you a couple of things

  • It’ll let you install VMware on your R620
  • It can be flashed to HBA mode without issues if you decide to convert to TrueNAS down the line and use the box for shared storage.

Instructions for the flash are here: I used it on the H710 in my R720XD and it’s been running FreeNAS, now TrueNAS perfectly for ~8 months.

Honestly thinking of just putting TrueNas on it and using nested for ESXi but will pick up that raid controller. With having only 1 Vmware instance no real benefit from redundancy. As well as I am using 2 2TB SSD SAS drives in each system so doing a TrueNas I would get 6 drives of SAS SSD. And could always just get a small NUC or something for ESXi. Likely replacing my Barracuda with A Truenas setup as well and saving a little power. Thanks so much for suggestions! I have an R710 in garage I forgot about as well Aaaaaahh!

Do you know if it will work if you flash it to IT Mode?

Another option (currently my setup) is to remove raid cards (too much heat for my setup). I moved the disks over to a Synology NAS and plugged a 10G nic into both and connected them with a DAC cable.
Works like a charm :slight_smile:

If you’re feeling daring, you could pick up the H710 + an external HBA plus a disk shelf. Pass the external HBA over to a TrueNAS VM on ESXi.

I have an H710 in my R720XD that I flashed over to IT mode for TrueNAS, works perfectly. I believe the H310 has similar capabilities but I haven’t tried it personally.

Will check into that just feel I get more bang for my buck doing it that way. Using it as a TrueNAS .

As long as the R620 has enough storage for your needs, money would be better spent upgrading the R610s to something newer. They’ve got a couple of years left in them for sure, but I don’t believe they support VMware past 6.7u3, though that shouldn’t matter as much using XCP-NG.

My 610s are basically Xenserver XCP-NG and honestly they run great. Whenever I get a machine I go off CPU specs. The VmWare is just because we use at work and have no real lab so everything is prod (crazy design). I may just come out better getting a dang Truenas* I am also thinking power I currently have this all in my house so if I am getting something I am thinking of efficiency. And right now my failure is possibly on my Terrastation and it is on 1GB link but it has 7TB of data on it. But I agree my 610s will need an upgrade I hope that if I upgrade home lab I will get a Dell VRTx or something.

Having used a VRTx at my last job, they’re a PITA and power hungry for homelab. They’re not even that great for main-line production use in 2020 unless you’ve got the 10g switch option. We had the 1G and it ended up being an issue since we were running Hyper-V. Might be fine with VMware though.

I’ve been liking SuperMicro’s node system. My main cluster at home is a 2U 2 node system and runs great. At work we just went Nutanix and they use SuperMicro 2U 4 Node systems which is what we have.

I’ve seen HP DL360P Gen 8s go pretty cheap on Ebay now and then. like $250 for 96GB, dual E5-2640s, and rails.

Yeah looking for modular now I think. But I always forget about Super Micro. Glad Nutanix works last job we tried but didn’t scale for us but Hyper Converged they solid. Thanks for the suggestions lol will look on ebay and update thread