I mostly use Hyper-V at work so I decided to make an ESXi box to play with random stuff.
I started with ripping apart a 1U supermicro server based on a X7DBU board. I got it on ebay for a pretty good price. (well under $200 with shipping included) Not exactly a silent setup
The CPU's are only 2x L5320 1.86GHz but it has 32GB ram.
With the current prices of RAM thu the roof I figure this would be a great bang for the buck setup to play with.
The case I used was a NZXT 210 I had lying around. The X7DBU did NOT want to fit so I had to do some modding.
Right now I only have 3 VM's (win2k12, win7 and ubuntu) but I plan on building a typical windows infrastructure (2012 DC's, exchange 2013, sharepoint, something with a med size SQL database blah blah blah to get more familiar with a 2012+ environment)
Case + Board
Hacking the case up to make the board fit. I didnt have tin snips with me. Was going good with the nibblers until I hit a rivet that was in the way, so I just bent everything caveman style.
Cooling - I have a bunch of spare AP-15 Gentle Typhoons I ordered a while back so I finally put some more of them to use:
Ziptied nice and snug. Kinda reminds of of one of those quad RC helis heh.
All put together, Some random drives in (no raid yet, but maybe soon):
Loaded up on test bed:
The finished product is not quite silent but its not audible from ~5feet away so Im happy.