Well yesterday saw some potential good news for those of us Apple and VMware fanboys. The major limitation of the Mac Mini that most people were warning me about was (and I agreed) the fact that when running ESX we were limited to a single GigE port. When adding FT, iSCSI/NFS and other network traffic we would quickly hit the wall in terms of network bandwidth.
It seems Apple has come out with a Thunderbolt-GigE adapter that could potentially alleviate this bottleneck. The question is whether this will truly be an extension of the PCI Express bus as some have suggested and show up without any additional Thunderbolt drivers for ESX or if we need to add a custom/3rd-party VIB into the vmkernel to get it to work.
Good news is, the Thunderbolt-GigE adapter is available now for only $29. My plan is to drop by the Apple Store on my way home from work today and try it out when I get home. Worst case, I have a GigE adapter for my MacBook Air if it for some reason doesn’t work.
Let me know via comment on this post or on other forms of social media if you have tried or plan to try this. Perhaps we can compare notes and try to get it working… assuming there are issues!
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