Tech · virtualization vmware · 2021-04-20 · Daniel

Not long after my last post, the PoE HAT for my Raspberry Pi died -- to be more accurate, one of the components on the board disintegrated. I don't know if this was a manufacturing defect or the result of a bad solder job related to the fan, or something else. In any case, disposed of that HAT and ordered the GeeekPi PoE HAT. My ESXi-on-ARM setup has been up and running since, connected by a single cable.

Raspi 4

I have this system booting from iSCSI, so there are no local filesystems -- the SD card is used only to initiate the boot process, the system boots from iSCSI, and datastores are on the filer and are accessed via NFS. I love the elegance of this setup.


So far, I have created several VMs: Alpine, CentOS 8, Ubuntu, Raspberry Pi OS, and FreeBSD. I haven't really done much with any of this, but in my time with it so far I am impressed with its speed. Speed-wise, it obviously doesn't compare to my R610, but for about $100, it's great for what it is, and it makes an excellent geek toy. And yes, I bought it mostly as a toy, but I do plan to use it for some real-world services: In addition to general OS play, I plan to at least add a VM here to my anycast DNS setup.

I might also build a VM on this server in order to relocate my UniFi controller. I'm undecided because I'm not sure how much I like the problem that involves: if the raspi dies, so does my ability to run my controller. Solving this problem is important since I currently run my UniFi controller in a VM that is hosted on my R610 and is NFS mounted. I do need to find another solution to the UniFi controller issue, since there are two switches between my R610 and my filer -- meaning that whenever I upgrade one of those switches, I have to reloate the controller VM to my iMac. This is not how you should do it!

I haven't installed vSphere in a while, but now that I have two ESXi servers, I might do that again, so that I can manage this entire setup more easily.