Description

Leftover bits from previous mini gaming system.

This system went through a few different configurations, including adding a GTX 950 to replace the original GTX 660 which went to a housemate.

After the failure of my original HP Microserver N54L, I decided to kill two birds with one stone, and decided the best use would be an ESXi based virtual lab PC. It has ample CPU resources and enough memory to run any number of Linux and BSD based VM's, including acting as my router whilst running pfSense, using some VLAN trickery.

It currently runs ESXi 6.0, and the pfSense router works by using VLANs in ESXi, whilst connected to a VLAN configured switch (The Netgear GS724T), and presenting the pfSense VM with two separate virtual network adapters.

So.. VLAN 1 is ports 2 to 24, and VLAN 2 is ports 1 to 2. Internet plugs into port 1, and Darkmount plugs into port 2. I setup two port groups under vSwitch - one for LAN with no VLAN tagging, and one for WAN with a VLAN ID of 2. Through the magic of VLANs and ESXi, I get a single port router that thinks it has separate WAN and LAN adapters.

Next step will be moving it to a more NAS friendly case (SST-DS380B looks good, and I can re-use the SFX power supply), replacing the currently useless wifi card with a mini-PCIe gigabit network adapter (yes, they do exist!), and adding an 8 port SATA3 controller card in the spare PCIe x16 slot.

It currently has a 250GB for fast storage (but is currently being replaced under warranty), and a 4TB 5900RPM drive for slow storage. When the SSD comes back from RMA, the pfSense VM will be moving to fast storage.

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Comments

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

This reminds me of the Dark Tower with Sauron's eye...

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Is the ST45SF-G quiet under load? I've heard too many people say it gets loud after 250W or so, and the quietness of the PSU will determine whether I go with a slim-ITX build that I so desire, or settle with a microATX tower.

  • 55 months ago
  • 2 points

I found it ran pretty quiet. I had thermal issues with a GTX 660, and gaming in Australian summers without air conditioning, but that's a fairly specific case/system/location combo issue.

If you don't live in a subtropical climate, and aren't going overboard with the hardware, you shouldn't have too many issues. There are much better cases suited for mini-ITX gaming (Silverstone Raven mini-ITX for starters).

  • 55 months ago
  • 2 points

Thank you for the information. Also, I'm going with a skylake i3 and gtx 950 in a very ventilated silverstone ML08B (based on the Raven 2 RVZ02), so your opinion about the Raven helps out a lot.

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey!! How exaclty do you the get Windows license through the DreamSpark program? I only get some industrial version xD

  • 54 months ago
  • 2 points

You have to contact your Uni/College and get it via their internal store.

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  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

It's a program for college students and universities. If you college is signed up with it, you get a ton of Microsoft stuff for free or at heavily discounted prices. Unfortunately, my college isn't one of them. :(

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Yep, I was fortunate to grab it whilst doing a Uni degree.

Like bloodroses75 said, it's dependant on your college or uni. If you maintain a .edu e-mail from your time there, you may be able to get a copy of Windows Server standard from the generic Dreamspark store (just google Microsoft Dreamspark), and verifying you have access to that .edu e-mail address still - if you're that hard up for an OS license.