The HP ProLiant ML110 G5 Server provides all the necessary server features in an affordable, functional package. The Intel processor provides the necessary computing power, while a mix of PCI and PCI-Express slots deliver the expandability for the future. ESX 3.5 supports SATA so you will be able to use the local storage as a VMFS datastore. There is however only one thing to look out for. The integrated NIC is not supported by ESX Server 3.5, so you will have to install a supported NIC in order to install ESX 3.5 on the ML110 G5.
The other good thing about this little box is the noise levels. I have one standing on my desk right next to me and I have to actually look at the LED’s on the front to see whether the server on or off. There’s just no noise, and that is perfect if you would like a server at home.
If you would like to take advantage of all the cool feature that VI3 offers, get two of these servers and Install ESX 3.5 on them. For storage, attatch them to an ISCSI target for a central datastore so you can make use of Vmotion, DRS and HA.
A cheap and easy way to get an ISCSI target server up and running, is to install Openfiler (www.openfiler.com, an open source NAS/ISCSI solution) on another machine, and use that as an ISCSI target. Note, that I have NOT been able to get OpenFiler to install on the ML110 G5, as the storage controller inside my ML110 G5 doesn’t seem to be supported by rPath Linux, which OpenFiler was created with.