The Intel NUC also known as the Next Unit of Computing is a very popular platform for running VMware based homelabs. I have been working with the Intel NUCs since 2016 with their 6th Generation model when I decided to rebuild my personal home lab. Since then I have continued my efforts to ensure that vSphere continues to run extremely well on this amazing little platform even if it is not officially supported by VMware, which now also includes the latest 11th Generation (Tiger and Panther Canyon NUCs).
At the end of last year, I came across this fascinating Intel NUC documentary that was put together by Robtech, which I highly recommend a watch.
While listening to some of the use cases that SimplyNUC had observed over the years which has spanned land ⛰️, air 🛫, sea 🛳️ and space 🚀, it got me thinking about some of the use cases that I had come across while talking to our VMware customers.
Disclaimer: The Intel NUC is not officially supported by VMware and therefore they are not listed on the VMware HCL
A common misconception is that Intel NUCs are only useful for homelab purposes and has no place for running production workloads, which is just simply not true. Here are some of the common use cases that I have seen over the years, most of which are deployed at the Edge/ROBO:
- vSphere Development/Testing, Education and Training
- Retail, Grocery, Industrial Factories and Ships
- Build Automation (CI/CD)
- Telco/NFV (e.g. Network/Hardware monitoring)
- Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)
I also wanted to take this opportunity and to share some of the stories on how some of our customers have taken advantage of this platform, even though it is not officially supported by VMware and some of the underlying business drivers. Hopefully these stories will educate, resonate and perhaps even inspire other customers to explore different computing platforms, especially at the Edge where constraints and requirements will differ quite significantly when compared to a typical Enterprise Datacenter.
If you would like to share your story of how you are using Intel NUC and VMware for production, feel free to reach out using the contact page.