I recently purchased an Intel D54250WYK Next Unit of Computing (NUC) Kit with the intention of using it as a Windows Server for a small business customer in Massachusetts. The office currently supports 5-users and does not have a separate conditioned server room so noise, space, and heat were primary concerns. I was inspired by the purchase of this unit after reading Alex Galbraith’s NanoLab series at tekhead.org. The Intel NUC D54250WYK low power consumption, quiet fan, and small footprint are perfect for this customers temporary requirements. I outfitted the NUC with Crucial’s 16GB Memory Module Kit for Mac (CT2K8G160BM) and an Intel Solid-State 240GB 530 Series mSATA Drive (SSDMCEAW240A401). This customer will be using this as a temporary solution, as a result I wanted to make the Windows server portable. The portability of a VMware virtual machine made ESXi 5.5 seem like a good choice for this temporary solution.
In order to install ESXi 5.5 on the Intel NUC D54250WYK you will need the following:
1. USB Stick, recommend 4GB or higher.
2. UNetbootin available at http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net
3. VMware vSphere ESXi 5.5 .iso available at http://www.vmware.com
4. ESXi-Customizer available at Andreas Peetz’s bLOG http://v-front.blogspot.com/p/esxi-customizer.html
5. ESXi Driver for the Intel 82579V Gigabit Ethernet Controller (net-e1000e2.3.2x86_64.vib)
6. ESXi Driver for the Intel SATA Controller (sata-xahci-1.10-1.x86_64.vib)
Both drivers are currently available at Florian Grehl’s Virten.net website in his bLOG article ESXi 5.x Installation on Intel NUC fails with “No Network Adapters”.
Once you have downloaded all of the required software, prepare the custom ESXi ISO file by adding the .vib driver files. This is done by using the ESXi-Customizer. You will run ESXi-Customizer two times; the first time you will create a custom ESXi ISO file with the network driver; the second time you will use the custom ESXi ISO file you created and add the sata driver. The screenshot below illustrates the later.
Note: You must uncheck the Create (U)EFI-bootable ISO (ESXi 5.0 only) if it has been selected.