I am getting burned out at my current job at an under-staffed MSP and I have just started studying for the VCP5-DCV exam to help build out my resume that has limited experience. I want to set up a ESXi home lab to play around with, but I have some limitations. I live in an apartment and don't have anywhere to put loud server equipment. I already have a FreeNAS box that I will be using as my SAN for testing. I also have an older Dell PowerConnect managed switch with gigabit ports that I can replace the (very loud) fans in and use.
I am looking to buy/build two ESXi hosts for relatively cheap, just needing to run 4-5 VMs each and being relatively quiet as they will likely be running in my room. My current FreeNAS box runs in a Fractal Node 304 and is very quiet, I was thinking about sticking with that form factor. Below are the parts I'm looking at buying:
- Fractal Node 304
- ASRock E3C224D2I
- Intel i7-4790S
- 16 GB DDR3 1600
- RAIDMAX RX-530SS
- Whatever boot drive I find laying around
This will run me about $700 per host. Does anyone have any suggestions for bringing the price down or improving performance for about the same price? Thanks much.