Recomendation on lab servers

Discussion in 'Business & Enterprise Computing' started by dyde, Jan 1, 2019.

  1. dyde

    dyde Member

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    Im looking for 2-3 used servers to run ESXi for some lab testing.

    We are a HPE Shop at work, so i was looking at something like a DL320e Gen8, but open to suggestions of other vendors.

    Im not too worried about RAM or Storage as i can add this, mostly just looking for best bang for buck system.

    Requirements:
    -SFF / 2.5” bays that I can put SATA SSD’s in.
    -DDR3
    -PCI-E slot so I can add 10gbe
    -1U Form factor
    -as cheap as possible, whilst not being super ancient.

    Any recommendations on what I should be looking out for would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Doc-of-FC

    Doc-of-FC Member

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    Do you really need that much processing power, if it's for a lab it's likely to be off most of the time or idle chewing power.

    Have you thought about things like the https://www.hardkernel.com/shop/odroid-h2/ ?

    For a fraction of the power draw, you have other options, unsure about esxi nic compatibility although the driver can probably be sideloaded.

    You'd be hard pressed trying to get a better bang for buck over the long term.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    dyde

    dyde Member

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    Don't need much at all CPU wise, but probably more than a Celeron.
    2 of the three hosts will be running 24/7 for a few VM's that need to be active (UniFi, PRTG, VPN, NextCloud, etc)
    These VM's currently run on a 4U ML350 Gen8, hoping to better use that 4U of space to run multiple servers.

    I don't think this will do what I am after for this purpose (I will definitely need more than 32GB RAM and 2 SATA ports per host),
    However this is a very interesting unit and I may get a couple to play with. Thanks!
     
  4. s4mmy

    s4mmy Member

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    Again as above was stated, i run my lab on a Dell Optiplex SFF with added memory, runs ESX perfectly and uses much less power.
    Its an i7 with 64GB of RAM and 2x 1TB SSD's.

    As you also needed, my box runs 24x7, runs my UniFi Controller, CCTV software, and also a server for PLEX.
     
  5. Dilbery

    Dilbery Member

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  6. DivHunter

    DivHunter Member

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  7. Dilbery

    Dilbery Member

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    True, unless OP wants 6.7. By the looks of it 6.5 will install fine, it's just not "Supported" (Insert spooky face here).

    For a home lab, it'd be fine. And definitely much newer than a DL320
     
  8. NSanity

    NSanity Member

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    6.5 is dicks.

    6.7u1 or bust. its the first version worth moving to since 5.5-current
     
    dave_dave_dave likes this.
  9. DivHunter

    DivHunter Member

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    Matthew kane might still have an R720 or two that could do the job.

    I I forgot the 1U bit.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  10. Matthew kane

    Matthew kane Member

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    Never had a R720 but had some T620 in my possession for a short period late last year.
     
  11. DivHunter

    DivHunter Member

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    That's the ones I was thinking of, right guts wrong form factor.
     
  12. Matthew kane

    Matthew kane Member

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    For a home lab 6.5 is fine.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    dyde

    dyde Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions,
    To elaborate/clarfiy

    Form factor is important as the server is colo’ed

    Whilst this lab will be running all my normal VM’s (5-10) plus anything I spin up for testing from time to time, it’s actually the hypervisor that is important.

    This is for learning VMware in an an environment that as closley resembles production as possible.
    I intend to run the full suite of VSphere, vSAN etc, with the possibility of investigating NSX at some point.

    I may have found a decent option that is 6.7u1 compatible, one of those Supermicro servers that is 4 hosts in a 2u enclosure.
    Just trying to talk myself into ponying up the money.
    Its a bit of coin for something that is the same generation as the HP it would replace.
     
  14. ex4n

    ex4n Member

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    I would look at some R610's or something, they are dirt cheap these days, with dual 6 core xeon and 48gb of RAM, you should expect to pay no more than $300-500, with rails included too. Price will vary depending on which disks and drive trays it comes with, if any.

    Meets all your requirements as far as I can tell, 1U, 6x 2.5", dual PSU, DDR3, dual socket, cheap, etc. I have some with SFP+ cards in them and had no issues, also running ESXI 6.7.
     
  15. NSanity

    NSanity Member

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    You know you can do nested virtualisation right?
     
  16. OP
    OP
    dyde

    dyde Member

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    Yep, I’m just stubborn :)

    I was considering just reinstalling my current Hyper-V box as VMware, restoring the VMs and setting up nested environments, but I wanted to change other things and decided I want to just start with “new” hardware and leave that system alone for the moment.
     
  17. NSanity

    NSanity Member

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    or just installing vmware on hyper-v
     
  18. OP
    OP
    dyde

    dyde Member

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    Something I could do right this moment without leaving my couch... oh that would be way too easy!

    I did have a quick look into this as an option, my reading seemed to sugest this was straightforward in server 2016, but not so much in 2012.
    That said, I should probably at least attempt this $0 low effort solution.
     
  19. OP
    OP
    dyde

    dyde Member

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    So due to my impulse/reckless late night eBay use, this is what I have ended up with
    https://ebay.us/mGVeW2
     
  20. s4mmy

    s4mmy Member

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    You spent $2k? :confused:
     

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