[talk] When is hardware too old?

Charles Sprickman spork at bway.net
Thu Oct 10 02:06:56 EDT 2019

> On Oct 9, 2019, at 9:25 PM, Richard Thornton <thornton.richard at gmail.com> wrote:
> Seems like you got good machine! Is it noisy?

It’s in the garage, so not a huge deal, but it’s actually really quiet once the OS is loaded. It is a 2U box, so it doesn’t have those really tiny/high-pitched whiney fans that 1U boxes have. I think if I move it to the other side of the room from my little workshop (which is where the server and firewall live) it will be largely inaudible.

Dealing with a chicken and egg situation on a drive firmware update - need windows to run the update, but the updater won’t run if anything in the RAID array is marked “degraded”. Oh Dell...


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> From: talk <talk-bounces at lists.nycbug.org> on behalf of Charles Sprickman <spork at bway.net>
> Sent: Wednesday, October 9, 2019 21:01
> To: talk
> Subject: [talk] When is hardware too old?
> 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.
> Thoughts?
> Thanks,
> Charles
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