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Old 05-02-2017, 04:38 AM   #1
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Servers for me or your to play with

Edit - damn it, can a mod fix the typo in the title?!

Hi all,

This is a general offer for geekery. Its not the normal sort of post, so as usual if this is not welcome, I apologise.

I recently bought myself a server rack, complete with 8 Dell PowerEdge 2950 servers. Basic HW list is below.

I'm relatively novice to Linux, have been tinkering since the 1990s but never got further than the very basic. I'm pretty good in the Microsoft world, and very novice in the networking world but very keen to learn.

The purpose of this post is twofold - firstly a request for ideas of things I can do with this new setup which are fun and interesting. I already have some ideas of my own, so expect some "Help me" posts appearing soon!

The second is an offer, if anyone wants a server or two to tinker with, I can set up remote access. They're no better than a decent PC I guess, but they're numerous, and full of cores and NICs, so someone might want something to experiment. This will NOT involve any exchange of money either way, to be clear! I can't guarantee how reliable it will be to contact either the network or myself.

5 of them are 2 x Intel Xeon X5450 3.0 GHz quad core processors and

2 of them are 2 x Intel Xeon 5130 2.0 GHz dual core processors and 2GB/4GB DDR RAM respectively.

I think the last one is broken, but it makes a lovely shelf.

All have PERC 6/i RAID controllers.

Currently limited on server-level storage - I have a total of 12 SAS 15K 73GB drives (a mix of Seagate and Toshiba) and some SATA stuff I had lying around, one 400GB, one 500GB and a bunch of much smaller ones.

Joining them together is a Cisco SG300-28 Gigabit Managed Switch.

Connecting them to the Internet is (currently) a Juniper SSG20 firewall (which doubles as a router). I have a home ISP connection with dynamic IP but my ISP is well known for changing them very rarely. I have a good ISP, and a reliable 50Mb down, 3Mb up connection.

I also have 2 x Cisco 2600 routes, but sadly limited to 10Mb Ethernet so not in use.

I also have a whole host of basic tech stuff, a bunch of laptops (mostly i5 spec), 10/100 hubs and switches, another Cisco SG300, Cisco 2142 and 1100 series APs, mostly old or cheap stuff.

I'm not afraid of spending a bit of money in principle to follow through an idea, but the whole purpose of this setup is to tinker with some tech and teach myself some stuff, so its not like I have a budget to play with.

That's it, I hope that this can provide some interest to someone here, and if not, I apologise for the 30 seconds of your life I just wasted.

I will be posting this same post elsewhere too!

Last edited by fishkake; 05-02-2017 at 04:46 AM. Reason: Title typo
Old 05-02-2017, 05:08 AM   #2
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Location: UK
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The server hardware here is really old... 2950s must be what 8/9 years old? Just a warning, they will probably consume a lot of power needlessly.

If you are after a test environment, I'd suggest building a VM cluster, using something like KVM or openstack. Or if you wanna go further then get into something like LXC or Docker for containerization.

Personally my home set-up which I am currently still setting up is designed for the following

KVM host (+NFS Share +Samba)
Web Server (Apache 2.4 using MPM_event)
PHP Server (running PHP-FPM 7.1)
Database Server (MariaDB 10.1)
Mail Server (Postfix +amavis +spamassassin +postgrey, Dovecot)
Game Server (used for hosting online games, I.E. minecraft)
Old 05-02-2017, 05:54 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by r3sistance View Post
The server hardware here is really old... 2950s must be what 8/9 years old? Just a warning, they will probably consume a lot of power needlessly.
Yeah, I know, hence my remark that they're no better than a PC (by which I mean a non-gaming PC circa 2010!). Its really the quantity that they've got going for them. And you're right about the power.

But hey, they were cheap. To be honest I got my money's worth just in the rack and the Cisco SG300.

Some sort of VM apparatus is on my to-explore list already.
Old 05-02-2017, 06:00 AM   #4
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I suggest proxmox. Opensource, really easy to install. Fun to use and tinker with
Old 05-03-2017, 07:09 AM   #5
Registered: Jun 2016
Distribution: any&all, in VBox; Ol'UnixCLI; NO GUI resources
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Cool! But my <$20 XPnetbookVBoxES already overwhelms me with what I can learn
Secret to editing Thread Title: click "Go Advanced"; then it will re-appear!
Are you in USA? I'd love to wander over and chat ways to 56Gbps max out those SG300s WoW!


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