Happy New Years everyone! I was supposed to get this out right before the holidays but #babylam got really sick and I had to put this on hold.
Back in November I threw out an idea on Twitter to see if the #vCommunity would be interested in doing a group buy for some Supermicro kits, especially for those looking to upgrade their personal home labs to take advantage of all the new VMware goodies such as vSAN, NSX and PKS for example.
Just thinking out loud … but would the #VMware Home Lab Community be interested in a potential Group Buy for Supermicro gear? Could be bare-bones chassis or some package configuration with memory + storage?
— William Lam (@lamw) November 14, 2018
Within minutes, I had several dozen replies and it was clear that folks were definitely interested in refreshing their lab, especially with a smaller and more modern platform. Over the last few weeks, I have been working with MITXPC (who I have worked with before) on putting together some packages that would appeal to the majority of the community. Initially, I was thinking about three options: system-only (no memory/storage), system with memory (no storage) and system with memory and storage. To be clear, system means complete chassis with CPU and motherboard included. Please see the product links below for more details.
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with MITXPC nor am I receiving any referral bonus/compensation for the discounts listed below.
UPDATE 2 (02/04/19) - Apologies for the delay, it has taken a bit longer than expected. I just received an update from MITXPC this afternoon that they now have everything in place to enable the group buy. Based on the survey data, we have two packages that will be offered as part of the group buy, E200-8D (system only, no memory) and E200-8D (64GB memory). If you are interested in either of these packages, please submit your information at https://mitxpc.com/pages/vgblog no later than Feb 13, 2019. Once MITXPC processes all the request orders (no payments yet), then they can then determine the discount level to apply for each of the respective packages and will work with you directly on completing the transaction. For folks who were part of the initial interests survey, I will be sending an email later this evening to inform you the instructions.
UPDATE 1 (01/16/19) - I have just closed survey, we had a total of 142 response and below is the summary of the results. The next step is to get the promotion codes enabled and I will send out an email with all the details including the duration of the promotion period.
Given the large number of storage configurations including vendors and online competitive pricing, we decided to remove the last option (system with memory and storage) as it would have been very difficult to narrow down to just a couple of configurations. This left us with just two options: system-only (no memory) and system with memory. From a memory standpoint, we went with 64GB as this is usually the most constrained resource and it also enables users to deploy multiple VMware solutions even with just a single host. The E200-8D memory configuration comes with 4 x 16GB UDIMM (non-ECC) and E300-9D memory configuration comes with 2 x 32GB RDIMM (ECC)
For the system itself, I went with two of the most popular and expandable platforms, the E200-8D (6-Core)and E300-9D (8-Core) with the former supporting up to 128GB of memory and the latter supporting up to 256GB memory. These systems are also packed with plenty of network ports (both 10GbE copper + 1GbE) and best of all, both systems are on VMware's HCL here and here respectively. For those interested, I have written about both platforms before, the E200-8D were used in past VMworld Hackathons which you can read more about here and the E300-9D which I recently got my hands on which you can read more about here.
Below are the four packages for both the E200-8D and E300-9D along with their associated quantities and discounts. From a pricing standpoint, MITXPC tells me they are very competitive and do not mark up their Supermicro kits by much. These discounts were put together by the MITXPC team in supporting the VMware Home Lab community and hopefully you can see that reflected in the discounts which you will not find any where else. For shipping, MITXPC does ship internationally and rates will really depend from country to country. If you want to get an idea of the shipping costs, feel free to add one of these systems into the cart and proceed to check out (just do not pay for it) and you can get an estimate for the shipping destination.
For those seriously interested in the group buy, I am running an initial survey to gather feedback on which of the four package(s) are the most popular, I will leave the survey open for about 2 weeks. More details will come once I have the results which I will communicate using the email you submit in the survey.
Note: Emails submitted will NOT be shared with MITXPC and will only be used to communicate updates regarding the group buy. Once the promotion is live on MITXPC site, you will have a special code to use when submitting the purchase and at that point, the transaction will be between you and the MITXPC.
You can access the survey link here or you simply fill out the details below: