A while back I wrote about setting up an old Toshiba laptop we had laying around as a workstation to manage my VMware environment including vCO (now named vRO). That laptop has been working well but I wanted something a bit more powerful to use as a permanent Linux workstation as well as possibly dual boot into ESXi. There are a myriad of choices out there but I wanted something small and quiet but still able to house an SSD or two, have 2 NIC’s and be as quiet as possible.
I decided on a Shuttle DS81. The computer is very small (the size of a small paperback book and about as silent as you can get. It is capable of housing a bunch of different low power Intel CPU’s from Celeron’s to i7’s. It can also have up to 16 GB RAM, a SATA drive, an mSATA SSD and includes 2 built in NIC’s. Everything on my wish list. Here is how I configured it:
Shuttle DS81 Barebone Chassis
Intel Celeron G1820 CPU
16 GB Crucial RAM (2 x 8 GB)
128 GB Crucial mSATA SSD Drive (Linux Install)
16 GB Sandisk Crusier Fit USB Drive (ESXi Install)
Note that I didn’t buy any of these directly from the manufacturer. They are available much cheaper through Newegg and Amazon. I had a keyboard/mouse laying around and picked up a used 22″ Dell monitor on a local Facebook yard-sale page for a steal. The system works great. I’m very happy with the performance, sound output and size. In the next post I will describe what I did to get Fedora and ESXi installed and working.