[talk] When is hardware too old?

Charles Sprickman spork at bway.net
Wed Oct 9 21:01:13 EDT 2019

Hi all,

Some home lab advice…? So I’ve been gifted an old Dell R-720. It’s from 2012 or so, pretty old.

It has:

2 CPUs - Intel Xeon CPU E5-2609 0 @ 2.40GHz, 4 cores (8 w/hyperthreading)
48 GB RAM - DDR3 DIMM 1066MHz (6 x 8GB)
PERC 710 mini RAID controller w/512MB RAM and battery backup
4 Broadcom 1Gb/s NICs
600 GB Seagate 15K 3.5” drive x 5 (2 are showing errors, may or may not be bad)
iDRAC 7 (no enterprise license)

It all seems to be in working order, other than two possibly bad drives.

So… I have three options:

- recycle
- give away
- use for some VMs
- sell (maybe $300 if I’m lucky and go local w/craigslist?)

Now every now and then I find a need to spin up some weird linux distro or some other testing that I don’t really want to run in vmware on my desktop or laptop because it’s going to be around for a few weeks/months. My home “server” is an older HP and I try not to use it for experiments, plus it only has 16GB of RAM.

I can tell this was originally used for a bunch of virtual machines, and if it can handle 6 instances of Windows Server 2012, then a few *BSD and Linux installs are going to do OK. The “iDRAC” is on a trial enterprise license and it’s pretty nice - remote BIOS updates, java-less & flash-less remote KVM, there’s an SD slot to boot off of, it’s all pretty nice, even “luxurious” for home use. I’d run the freebie vmware hypervisor just so I could move VMs between this box and my desktop w/o much fuss.

What I’d spend money on:

- bootleg iDRAC enterprise key ($30 on ebay)
- 2 or more large/cheap SSDs for VMs (I’d keep two of the existing drives for the OS - about $130 x2)

This is all much cheaper than introducing a new server.




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