The cluster of 4 GB Raspberry Pi 4
- A GeeekPi New Raspberry Pi Cluster Case, that comes with a nice and quiet 120mm RGB fan. I chose this one after a few tries of fans, spacers, nuts and screws. You can disable the RGB leds easily if you don’t want it!
- A RAVPower 4-Port USB Charger 40W to give about 10W of power per Raspberry Pi (I haven’t been able to pull more than 7W of power for one Raspberry Pi 4, while using the CPUs, an ethernet cable and a USB SSD).
- A pack of 4 USB-A to C Cable Short (remember the design fault for early Raspberry Pi 4 not powering on with perfectly fine USB-C chargers).
- 4x Samsung MUF-32AB/AM FIT Plus 32GB USB Flash Drives. They will get the ESXi-Arm install. All Raspberry Pi will use a shared NFS datastore.
- A Cudy GS1005P 5 Port Gigabit Ethernet Unmanaged PoE+ Switch. I got a PoE switch when I was still hesitating in using PoE hats, but the PoE feature is not used here.
- 4 flat Cat 6 Ethernet Cable 1 ft Black. Being flat makes it easy for small spaces.
- A few Raspberry Pi Heatsinks to improve cooling.
- And of course 4 Raspberry Pi 4 with 4GB memory!
Note that there are no micro-SD card in here. I personally have all Raspberry Pi setup to load UEFI from the network (it requires updating the EEPROM configuration), but you can also copy the Raspberry Pi and UEFI files to the USB Flash Drives after ESXi installation.
- FTDI FT4232HL USB TTL Serial Converter Adapter to 4 Port UART to get access to all 4 serial ports at once. I will probably connect it to my NAS hiding behind.
The 8GB Raspberry Pi 4
- iLEPO Quick Charge 3.0 50W USB Charger with 5-Port USB Charging Station. Without mentioning the 50W max and up to 2.4 A per port, the small display makes it the perfect must-have gadget.
- 3 Geekworm Raspberry Pi 4 Armor Case in aluminium alloy. Measured at 55 °C with all cores running full speed, it’s too hot for your hands, but okay otherwise. This type of case also exists with small fans.
- A pack of 4 USB C Cable Short, USB-A to C.
- 3 PNY Elite 240GB USB 3.0 Portable Solid State Drive. 240 GB is enough for ESXi to have a 95 GB datastore with default installation parameters.
- 3 Raspberry Pi 4 with 8GB memory.
- Cooler Master Pi CASE 40 from Kickstarter with another 8GB Rasperry Pi 4.
- Have you seen the absolutely insane BitScope Cluster Blade and Packs???
The HoneyComb LX2K
This is certainly the big sister of all the Raspberry Pi here. This “Powerful 16 Core LX2160A Mini ITX Arm® Workstation” is a beast.
- SolidRun HoneyComb LX2K.
- Cooler Master MasterCase H100 Mini-ITX PC Case with a large 200mm RGB Fan, very efficient in pushing the air through.
- Corsair CX Series 450 Watt 80 Plus Bronze power supply. The Semi-Modular version avoids having too many cables in your tower.
- 2 Samsung 32GB DDR4 2666MHz RAM to get the maximum RAM for this 16 core machine. I also have 2 Dell Memory Upgrade – 16GB – 2Rx8 DDR4 SODIMM 2400MHz ECC waiting to test the ECC support.
- Crucial P1 1TB 3D NAND NVMe PCIe Internal SSD for the ESXi and a 800 GB datastore.
- Sapphir Radeon Pulse RX 550 Graphics Card, supported on Arm. It is however not installed because the PCIe slot is busy with
- Intel EXPI9301CTBLK Gigabit PCIe Network Adapter as the on-board NIC are not supported by ESXi.
- A micro-SD for the firmware (only required for early revisions).
- An old SATA SSD for a second datastore.
- Another HoneyComb LX2K. I shamelessly used the $99 coupon from SolidRun. Get yours here! I will use the DELL ECC memory in that one.
Some other useful parts I’ve been using:
- Cable Matters USB to Ethernet Adapter, a RTL8153 Gigabit Ethernet Adapter supported by ESXi-Arm Fling.
- Cable Matters 3 Port USB 3.0 Hub with Ethernet, same with an integrated USB hub.
- Pi4 Serial and Power board with 5-28 VDC to 5V regulator, RTC with Supercap Backup, PWM Fan and USB-Serial. I was hoping to get the RTC support and adding FAN Control into Raspberry Pi UEFI. Right now the fan is not turning on with ESXi.
- MakerHawk Type-C USB Meter Tester Power Meter
- Too many micro-SD and USB flash drivers…