So my previous / semi current setup was / is a whitebox ESXi box and an official 8 bay synology NAS. I had to retire the whitebox ESXi host as I was having a weird issue with Linux guests which I put down to using consumer hardware. As I am clearing out stuff I started to think about the idea of combining my NAS and ESXi needs into one box. I've been hitting up ebay and various forums, and I have come up with the following (prices are in brackets and GBP) X9SRi-F Motherboard (150) E5-2640 V1 (35) 64GB DDR3 ECC Registered 8x8GB, (120) SAS9205-8i flashed to IT firmware (already have this lying around, you know as I do...) Case wise I am a little torn, it needs to be rack mount and short ish <600. My two options are: https://www.servercase.co.uk/shop/s...bays---eatx-motherboard-support-sc-43400-8hs/ Thats an 8 bay 4u case. Pros are price and size, cons are outside of the 8 bays there is no more disk expansion and I would have to look to PCI-E based flash storage for the datastores. https://www.servercase.co.uk/shop/s...ive-bays-6gbs-minisas-+-2-x-525-bays-sc-4316/ this is a 16 bay 4u case. Pros are more disks means I can look at cheaper datastore disk options. Potential for more expansion, internal fan wall will help with cooling. Cons are its bigger and more expensive. The plan is to pass the HBA down to the Guest VM which will be running xpenology. Thats gives me the same 8 drive bays I have now for my centralised storage needs. The rest of the resources would be available for VM's. I dont run any production VM's at home, but I like to tinker and experiment a lot, the biggest constraint has always been memory for the VM's. Eg, I want to setup a few OpenEDX boxes to test, or maybe a DC, exchange box and an SCCM server etc. With my 32GB rig I always ran into walls. I think i could actually get a decent price back for my synology too. So the overall cash investment would be fairly low. Anyways enough ramblings, what do you guys think, am I nuts?