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With the release of Intel Xeon D this week , many people regard Xeon D-1500 as a perfect low-power virtualization node. The current Intel Xeon E3 series has been limited to 32GB RAM for several generations and Broadwell Micro-Architecture-DE promises to solve this problem. We have been using the pre-production version of Supermicro X10SDV-F and the onboard Intel Xeon D-1540 SoC to test the new platform and achieved exciting results this week. We took a new image of VMware ESXi 6.0 and wanted to understand the features that the new platform must provide.

As a hardware reviewer, the compatibility of VMware ESXi with new pre-production platforms often creates some pressure when trying to figure out how to make the onboard hardware work. VMware has a stricter hardware compatibility list (HCL) than Microsoft Windows or many Linux variants, so it is often necessary to manually add drivers to the ESXi image.

Install VMware ESXi 6.0 on Xeon D server

We installed the SanDisk Ultra Fit 16GB drive onto USB 3.0 to match the USB port on the Supermicro X10SDV-F platform. USB 3.0 booting has always been problematic on some platforms, so we want to test a harder situation. When using iso installed from IPMI to install to a USB drive, there is no problem with the VMware ESXi 6.0 installer. At this time, we have no drives connected to the system.

SanDisk Ultra Fit 16GB ESXi 6.0

After restarting, everything is normal. Some parts of the machine information are not visible, which is common in pre-production gears like Supermicro X10SDV-F. We can see that there are 8 CPUs on 1.9GHz, which is the basic clock of the pre-release version of Intel Xeon CPU D-1540 (the factory version is 100MHz faster.) Supports DirectPath I/O, and we have 64GB RAM 8 CPU/16 threads ESXi The 6.0 node is idle at 22w, and now we have better heat dissipation of a suitable size. This is great for anyone who has been looking for low-power ESXi nodes.

Supermicro X10SDV-F ESXi 6.0.0 is installed. Although no drive is connected in this example, there are still 6 SATA 3 ports, one PCIe x4 m.2 port and one PCIe 3.0 x16 slot on the motherboard, so you can actually build one Decent vSAN node on this platform.

According to our Ubuntu 14.04 LTS results, we see evidence that Xeon D integrated PCH is shown as Lynx Point in ESXi 6.0, and Lynx Point is the code name of Intel C220 family PCH.

in conclusion

There must be more powerful ESXi 6.0 options on the market. The pre-production samples of the Intel Broadwell-DE platform and Supermicro X10SDV-F we are testing can be used out of the box through the VMware ESXi 6.0 installer iso. Of course, even with the first released Avoton and Rangely Atom C2000 platforms, it is much easier than earlier.



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