[talk] When is hardware too old?

Brian Gupta brian.gupta at gmail.com
Thu Oct 10 15:59:53 EDT 2019

R710s and above are still decent machines. You can upgrade parts and
get a lot of cores and RAM. The R720 can be upgraded to 24 cores and
1.5TB RAM. They are datacenter-centric so are noisy especially when
powering on or running at load. However, loudness-wise an aquarium
that has a 6 inch waterfall will be louder. (I have a 720xd running
stress tests and it's not too bad. Barely bothersome from 10-15 ft
away.) It's hard to beat these machines for bang for the buck.
However, I probably wouldn't want to keep one permanently running in
my apartment, unless I had a 19" rack setup and am ok with a bit of
heat/noise, and a likely noticeable bump in my AC bill.

There is a huge aftermarket for these servers and their parts, that
will keep them in production use for many years to come, so I think
you had a nice score.

- Brian Gupta

On Thu, Oct 10, 2019 at 12:18 AM Sujit K M <kmsujit at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Oct 10, 2019, 6:31 AM Charles Sprickman <spork at bway.net> wrote:
>> 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.
> Was in a similar position. Would keep a gifted free hardware to hack and do personal work when needed.
>> Thoughts?
>> Thanks,
>> Charles
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