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Old 06-16-2011, 11:40 PM   #1
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Default Best old server for ESXi

So I have this old Dell Poweredge 2650 with 4GB RAM, and I was running ESXi on that for a while, but it is 32-bit so limited to v3.5 and 32-bit hosts. I got the thing for about $100 and paid another $100 for 3 or 4 74GB SCSI Hard Drives for it.

That in itself isn't all that bad, I could still run 3-4 VMs on it if I upgraded the RAM, but the cheapest RAM I have found for it is 34$/2GB stick: 73P2030 MEMORY PC-2100 2GB IBM and it would be rather costly and probably not worth it to put money into a 32-bit machine.

I was thinking about looking on Ebay or something for another older type depreciated server that I might be able to nab for cheap. I would like something that is at least a quad-core or quad-core capable and able to utilize at least 16GB ram (24 preferably). Does anybody know of any servers that might fit the bill?
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Old 09-06-2011, 10:35 PM   #2
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Default Re: Best old server for ESXi

*bump*
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Old 09-08-2011, 01:04 AM   #3
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Default Re: Best old server for ESXi

Keep in mind, you can do a lot with 32 bit. Servers handle memory addressing differently than desktop PCs where "less than 4GB? Go 32 bit. More than 4GB? Go 64 bit" applies.

In your case, there's nothing wrong with ESXi 32 bit, and I'm kind of curious what you'd want to throw at the server that it would need so much RAM to begin with.
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Old 09-09-2011, 11:23 AM   #4
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Default Re: Best old server for ESXi

Four sites with redundant domain controllers for each. Plan on putting some Linux servers into each site to test doing things with Linux vs Windows, also integrating Exchange into these servers once I get that far. Virtual clients to test restrictions with AD. Call Manager lab. I imagine this would take a little bit of memory, even allocating 2GB a piece to each Server 2008 would come out to 16GB and there is a maxed out server. Nothing left for my home network or other testing.
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Old 09-09-2011, 03:20 PM   #5
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Default Re: Best old server for ESXi

If you want redundant domain controllers, they should be located on-site and not in VM's on the same site. Kind of defeats the whole purpose. At work, we run three DCs, two virtualized, both are backups with one physical DC, and each remote site (two) has two DCs, and either physical or virtual (one of each or both with one site)

As long as you're aware of why it's a bad idea to virtualize DCs at one site as both primary and backups, there's no reason to stop you, it's just bad practice.

But that's not why you're here..

Most decent ESXi servers are several grand, and will do what you want. You might be able to snag one used, and you don't need all that much - our primary heavy iron system is a pair of E5520's and 64GB of RAM running ESXi 4.x. The host is a Dell PowerEdge R710, and even used on Ebay, they're still $2-3k.
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Old 09-10-2011, 04:14 PM   #6
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Default Re: Best old server for ESXi

Absolutely defeats the purpose. I was going to put each domain controler across hosts, like the Seattle site DC1 would be on ESXi-1 and DC2 would be on ESXi-2 but since this is a test environment I am not really too concerned and I do not want to make things anymore complicated as they are.

I am currently looking at two HP Proliant DL385 Dual AMD Opteron 2.4Ghz Processor, 8Gb DDR1 PC3200 ECC Ram for about 145$ a piece, but I need to do some more research as whether or not they are compatible with ESXi or XenServer, and their ability to be upgraded.

Also looking at maybe just putting together some whiteboxes from newegg with phenom x4 or x6's with 8GB for now and add another 8 later, but that is a pricy option as well.
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