Ladies and Gentleman. It’s time to update the Perfect vSphere lab! You can see my popular post about the SH67H3 here. While that lab still works great with ESXi 5.5 and some people will still build them because they are a good value at this point, there is another Shuttle machine worth writing about these days. The SZ87R6. I was able to get my hands on one and install ESXi 5.5. It runs beautifully. (Well, it seemed to run beautifully. See notes above.) It includes support for Haswell chips and best of all has two integrated gigabit NICs. Now, in order to get the NICs to work, you have to create a custom iso that has the supported driver. The box does not work right out of the bat with ESXi 5.5. I’ve documented how inside this post. NOTE: At this point, we’re still waiting on a decent driver. Even if you follow these steps, the Realtek 8168 driver doesn’t appear to work properly on this box. Update: 8/1/2014: There are some updates though here in the comment thread which now appear that we’ve found a fix!
It’s a good easy build, good airflow and quiet like the SH67H3. 32GB of maximum RAM which I tested using this Crucial memory. The hard part is getting your hands on them as they’re fairly new.
One thing you’ll want to think about doing is adding another dual port NIC. This Intel adapter is a great one to pair it with. It’ll give you a total of 4 NICs!
Some specs about the SZ87R6:
- Processor: Intel Haswell Core i7, Core i5 and Core i3 LGA1150 socket, 95w max.
- Chipset: Intel Z87
- Memory: DDR3 1333/1666, 4 slots, 32GB Max.
- VGA: Integrated in CPU
- Audio: Realtek ALC892 7.1 channel High Definition Audio
- Ethernet: Dual Realtek 8111G 10/100/1000
- Storage Interface: SATA 6G
- Expansion Slots: Expansion slots: 1*PCI-Ex4, 1*PCI-Ex16, 1*mini-PCI-E(mSATA),1*mini PCI-E(short)
- Onboard Connectors: (2) 4 Pin fan connector V, (4) SATA 6.0 connectors, (1) ATX main power (2*10), (1) ATX main power (2*2), (1) 2×5 pin USB header, (1) RS232 header, (1) Low Pin Count header, (1) SP/DIF header, (1) AUX-in header
- Front Panel: (1) USB 2.0 Port, (1) USB 2.0 Port with mobile charger mobile device charger feature, (2) USB 3.0 Port, (1) External microphone jack 1/8”, (1) External headphone jack 1/8”, (1) Power button, (1) HDD Led, (1) Power Led
- Back Panel: (4) USB 2.0 Ports, (2) USB 3.0 Ports, (1) eSATA port, (1) Line in jack 1/8”, (1) Line out jack 1/8”, (1) Side surrond out jack 1/8”, (1) Rear surrond out jack 1/8”, (1) Center bass out jack 1/8”, (1) RJ45, (1) CMOS clear button, (1) DVI-I Port, (1) HDMI Port
- Drive Bays: (1) 5.25″ ODD bay, (2) 3.5″ HDD bay, Supports 2.5″ x 2 / 4 HDD, with accessory PHD3 x 1 /2
- Power: 80 Plus Bronze 500W power supply