Recommendations for ESXi hosts

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PHXAZCRAIG Forum Pro • Posts: 18,592
Recommendations for ESXi hosts

I'm trying to upgrade my home network, which is often a testbed for my consulting business.   I want to replace my three ESXi 6.7 hosts with new ones that support Win11 and are generally faster.

I do not need much storage in the hosts as I am running an iSCSI SAN with three target LUNs at the moment.   Each of my current hosts boots from a 60gb SSD, and I plan to reuse what I can (power supply, SSD, case, etc.)

Currently I'm running  AMD FX-8300 CPU's (8 cores) with 32GB of (I think DDR3) RAM and quadcore 1Gbps NIC's.

I want new hosts with 64GB of RAM, at least 8 cores and dual 10GB Ethernet (Cat6a) nics.   I've got my hosts spread around my house in closets, and at this point it seems I'll need to recable.  (2.5Gbps would work with my Cat5e cabling, but I don't see how to support that in VMware.)

So I need to build or buy something, but I'm having sticker shock at the prices.

I also have a question regarding GPU emulation, and how/if that really works.  Not sure I need it, but I'm wondering about taking advantage of that using Ryzen 5700g or 5800g.

I had been getting motherboards with built-in video.  (Only use a monitor on these hosts rarely once set up, so need no 3d anything.)   I'm wondering if the 5700g can provide me with basic monitor capability cheaper than getting a motherboard, cpu and cheap graphics cards.

One other thing - the hosts need to be quiet, so no screaming fans.  Usually this argues in favor of a big case, to hold a big CPU cooler.   I'm unfamiliar with SFF designs, but I see some clear advantages there for me.

So - recommendations for a cpu/motherboard combo that either can take a 10 Gbps (dual-port) nic or has two built-in, capacity for at least 64GB of RAM, and at least 8 cores.   Only need a single boot SSD and minimal graphics capability.   I don't care about Intel versus AMD, but it does seem like Intel ends up being a more expensive build, and I need three of these.

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Phoenix Arizona Craig
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