I bought my first two ESXi whiteboxes at the beginning of 2009. They were two intel Q6600 processors, 8GB of RAM and a 320GB laptop running openfiler.
A few weeks ago I bought two more hosts to add to my lab and have finally got them built and ESXi installed. I chose to go with AMD processors this time since they were cheaper and was alright without having FT support (to my surprise they DO support FT!). In addition I was also lucky enough to win an Iomega PX4-300d at VMWorld 2011. It came with two 2TB 7200rpm drives. Only two of the four slots are filled so I plan on getting one more 2TB drive and a SSD.
Here is a list of the gear I got:
2x Case ($89.99ea) – I spent a little more on the case than I needed to, you can get two cases of this same size for the price of one of mine – http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112218
2x Power Supply ($34.99ea) – http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817182075
2x Motherboard ($79.99ea) – ASRock A75 PRO4-M FM1 – http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157259
2x AMD 2.6GHz Processor ($109.99ea) – AMD A6-3650 Llano 2.6GHz Socket FM1 – http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103943
8x 8GB RAM ($59.99ea) – CORSAIR XMS3 8GB 240-pin DDR3 – http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145356
2x Dual NICs ($9.99ea) – Intel PRO/1000 MT PCI-X Dual Port Server Adapter (MB only has PCI slots but these still work) – http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=310385505451&ssPageName=ADME:L:OU:US:1123#ht_2300wt_931 —- it’s ebay, so your price may vary!
Grand total for both hosts comes to $1129.82 (564.91ea) excluding shipping.
Total Cluster Resources:
I chose to use my existing vCenter instance and bring them in under the same datacenter, but created a new cluster since the existing cluster has two Intel based hosts and these are AMD. You won’t see any hard drives listed above as I elected to use a couple of laptop 2.5” drives I had around the house.
You will also notice that there are no additional NICs on this list. Right now I am just using the one onboard NIC, but plan on getting two dual port Intel E1000 NICs (about $30ea on amazon/ebay).
I purchased two dual port E1000 NICs off of ebay for $9.99 a piece ($27 total w/shipping) and just installed them. The NICs are recognized in my whiteboxes and functioning properly. I’ve updated my item listing and total.