In a previous article VMworld 2016 Barcelona Hackathon, I noted that I had won an i3 NUC at VMworld in Barcelona. After playing with that for a few days and helping Alan Renouf test his Home Lab Deployment Script, I decided I wanted to have a full 3 node cluster - but with the i5 Processor … so, I went shopping!
Intel NUC i5 Model:
Caching Tier Storage:
Capacity Tier Storage:
Boot USB Stick:
NUC Cluster Switch:
Not shown above
Wireless Bridge (had this router in a box, no longer being used):
Fortunately, installation of the NVMe, SSD, and memory is an easy process. All you need is a fine tip Phillip’s head screwdriver
Installed - Front
With 3 i5 NUCs in a cluster, I just couldn’t help myself… I just had to name them Larry, Moe, and Curly. As for the fourth NUC, the i3 that I got at VMworld, I stuck WIndows 10 Pro on there and named it Shemp ;) Boot time on these things is way fast! considerably faster than my previous servers! Oh, and just for kicks, I let my son use the i3 for an evening so he could let me know how it performed when playing League of Legends over our 802.11 ac wifi… His response was that there was not any noticable difference compared to his gaming laptop :)
You may be wondering what’s the point of that Netgear…. Well, a bulk of my lab (the older hardware from previous post) is in my basement and these NUCs are in my 2nd floor office. The Netgear serves as a wireless bridge so that the NUC cluster is accessible to the vCSA running on one of the servers in the basement.
Installed - Back
Fortunately, the back-side of the cluster is facing a wall so this little rat’s nest isn’t easily visible when entering my office.
- Ports 1-4 are on the default VLAN for Larry, Moe, Curly, and Shemp respectively
- Ports 5-8 are on the vSAN VLAN for Larry, Moe, Curly, and Shemp respectively (Although Shemp is currenly Windows, this may not always be the case and I like having a direct-connect from a workstation in to the other VLAN).
- Port 10 is used for the Uplink to to the rest of the network via the Netgear
NUC Cluster - Stooges
Once the cluster has been setup with vSAN enabled, here’s a shot of my summary page.
NOTE: The Virtual SAN Health will keep a Warning under Hardware compatibility since the NUCs aren’t on the vSAN HCL. I’ve deleted the (could have also just disabled) the three vCenter alarms associated with these so that my hosts don’t constantly show a warning:
- SCSI Controller on Virtual SAN HCL
- Controller Drive
- Controller Release Support
Proactive Test Results
Well, not sure if I needed to run these, but there was a button to push so I pushed it ;) All passed, so cool!