Intel NUC As A ESXi Host (part 7)


Now that ESXi has been installed, and you can manage it will the vCenter client, you will notice that your ESXi host is in maintenance mode, as it should be.  We set this at the end of the automatic script.


Table Of Contents

This will be a multi-part post, as it covers a lot of topics…

  1. NUC Specs, and build information,
  2. Building a custom ESX image that includes drivers for the NUC’s network card and SSD,
  3. DHCP, PXE booting and automatic installation scripts,
  4. Synology configuration for VMware datastores,
  5. Networking, VLANs and getting it to work,
  6. Installing ESXi,
  7. Any other configuration,
  8. Final (random) thoughts.


Other Configuration

You should also notice that the Storage and Network sections are also populated correctly with the settings you configured in the automated script.  You may need to rename your storage datastores if this is the first ESXi host.  The will have long “weird” names that are no use to anyone in a home lab.

Host Cache

Since I am using a 30Gb drive, and the ESXi installation only requires about 10Gb, I can use the remaining space as a host cache.  This is useful as it may help speed up your virtual machines.  To learn more about Host Caches, check out the official VMware documentation, and this great post by Duncan Epping at Yellow-Bricks.

Duncan’s Blog also gives the instructions for enabling the host cache, but I’ll give them here too, with screen shots of my system.

  1. Select your host (if you have more than one, you will need to do this on each one in turn),
  2. Select the Configuration tab along the top of the main section,
  3. Down the left hand menu, near the bottom, select Host Cache Configuration,
  4. You should see only one drive listed in the SSD Datastores list.  Notice my free space says 19.60GB,


  1. Right click on the drive, and select Properties,
  2. In the next window, tick the box labeled “Allocate space for host cache“, and select the top radio button “Use maximum available space (19 GB)“.  Click OK when done.


  1. The ESXi host will then create the host cache files required.  They are all 1Gb files, so in my case 19 of them will be created.  Once done, the host cache space and free space columns will change to show the correct values…


If you then browse to the local datastore, you will see that there are indeed several files, all 1Gb in size…




There will be more configuration settings coming soon.!

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