ArcGIS for Server is now 64 bit or nothing. My $250 Dell outlet desktop just was not cutting it anymore to push ESXi, at least for this purpose. ESXi version five simply would not install onto the Dell. A change was needed. I upgraded the server and made the Dell into what it was intended to be all along, a desktop.
It only took the time before a flight to find the hardware online with some discounts. A case, motherboard, 16GB of RAM and a quad core processor all showed up today. It really is amazing how fast these things go together. Fifteen minutes is all it took for me to open the boxes and put it all together. This included installing the processor and RAM onto the motherboard and installing the motherboard in the case. True, I have not installed the hard drives yet. I am planning on reusing some drives orphaned when upgrading my NAS device last year. Those should take all of five minutes.
The upside is now I will have a platform for testing multi-server ArcGIS for Server 10.1 configurations. Of course, the first step will be to get ArcGIS for Server reliably running on OpenSuse 11.4. This endeavor has been an interesting experience, and that is putting it mildly.
This ESXi server though, it is a big step in the right direction. It should be interesting to see how it plays out.