It's been a long time coming, but I'm finally upgrading from my old home server that is currently housing Zabbix. The incumbent server, named "Night King", was built from left over parts from my gaming machine. It has been running 24/7 since 2015. I have been adding more hard drives and keeping up with maintenance (failed power supply) ever since!

Now my needs have grown and Night King can no longer support it. I have been looking for a replacement additional compute resource to develop my professional skills. So for the July 4th celebration in the USA, I'm going to create a new virtualization server!

However I has some requirements:

  1. Must not take up a lot of physical space.
  2. Low noise output.
  3. Low electrical usage.

I live in a tiny apartment and need this thing to be able to be tucked into a corner and out of sight without being bumped into. I also don't want to hear it running, most servers I've looked into sound like a jet engine taking off. I wouldn't be able to sleep ever (I love sleeping)! Lastly it has to sip on electricity, it's already the summer season and I have my air conditioning and gaming PC running as well I don't want add to my electricity bill.

Not pictured  below are the 32 GB of memory.


The Setup

The setup of the NUC was simple. There are four screws on the bottom, right under the stands that need to be removed.

Now you might be wondering if my install of ESXi went well... not really. I initially tried installing ESXi 6.7, but kept on getting an error involving the nic not being supported.

After some research 6.7 doesn't support the nic's on the 8th gen NUCs. :(

Fear not, there are work arounds!


Network Adapter

So it turns out a network adapter with the ASIX AX88179 chipset is needed for 6.7 to work. Mine is currently on order from Amazon. This is the model I bought. Unfortunately it arrives in three days so I'm stuck with using ESXi 6.5 for now.

Using ESXi 6.5

Surprisingly ESXi 6.5 supports the nic on the 8th gen NUC right out of the box. Installing it was painless. Within a few minutes I was up and running!