I recently purchased a new lab server to continue tinkering / enhancing my knowledge of VMware products, this was due to my other lab servers being in transit from Australia which would take 3-4 months!! so i couldn’t be without for such a long time.

So after thinking long and hard about investing in some second hand Dell’s or HP’s rack servers off eBay… I ended up going with a brand new SuperMicro sys-5028d-tn4t

I really didn’t need such large, loud and power hungry servers at home! I also thought…. the additional money I would spend on electricity in the long run would justify getting the low power SuperMicro… and after all I still have my other 3 i7 ESX 6.0 hosts in transit so I would end up with too many servers.

Something really nice about the server is the remote management (iLO, BMC, OOB… what ever you call it). Even tho the app doesn’t look very flash, it’s nice to monitor and manage the host from my phone!

The feature to flash the BIOS via IPMI is part of the Out Of Band (OOB) license package, it allows mass updating of BIOS and BIOS settings, aside from updating the BIOS via the IPMI GUI.

The license is sold under P/N SFT-OOB-LIC, and Supermicro offers companies a single evaluation key (does not expire). If you never requested this evaluation license you can do so via the link.


Some pain points I had with the server:

  • DO NOT ORDER OR USE THIS RAM: Samsung M386A4G40DM0-CPB (1x, 32GB, DDR4-RAM, ECC) I ordered 4, plugged them in and the server wouldn’t boot. Even tho the RAM appears to meet all the spec’s to work on the server…. the thing wouldn’t boot past this boot screen.

So I ended up getting the supported RAM at a much higher cost…

  • SLOW DISK PERFORMANCE and CRASHING: The machines were waiting over 1-2 sec for reads and writes on SSD’s with almost 0 load!!!, The OS’s of the VM’s that managed to boot would crash, hang and more…This was all due a known issue with the wrong AHCI driver being used. So do check out the link if you have the same issue its a very quick and simple fix.


  • The 10Gbe card needs the drivers installed manually, they do not come pre-loaded on ESX 6.5.


Otherwise I love this thing!!