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  1. Member
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    #1

    Default Home lab server -- which would you choose?

    I think I'm down to the following two servers for my home VMware lab. There are just a few difference between them. Which of the two would you pick if it were up to you? I think I'm leaning towards the first link.

    Dell PowerEdge 2950 II Server Quad Core X5355 2x2 66GHz 32GB 6X300GB PERC5i 2U | eBay

    or

    Dell PowerEdge 2950 8 Core Virtualization Server 32GB RAM 6X300GB 15K 1 8TB 2ps | eBay

    I've got a copy of VMware vSphere Essentials.
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  3. Senior Member stryder144's Avatar
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    #2
    I would go to the VMware Hardware Compatibility Guide website and see if it is supported by the version of vSphere you are looking to use.

    If the servers are on the HCG, I would say buy the cheaper of the two. Other than the price and the CPU speeds, they appear to be just about even in the specification department. Heck, the cheaper of the two seems to be the faster, as well.
    Last edited by stryder144; 02-07-2016 at 10:03 PM.
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    #3
    Have you checked the ESXI compatibility guide for those two servers? I think those servers are limited to Esxi 5.5 at best. You could use an Intel Nuc and put Esxi 6 for a home lab server. The Intel Nuc will save on electricity cost.
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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Magmadragoon View Post
    Have you checked the ESXI compatibility guide for those two servers? I think those servers are limited to Esxi 5.5 at best. You could use an Intel Nuc and put Esxi 6 for a home lab server. The Intel Nuc will save on electricity cost.
    Yep, just saw that thanks to styder. Back to the drawing board as I definitely want something 6.x compatible.
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  6. VCDX in 2017 Essendon's Avatar
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    #5
    Get a HP DL380 G7, throw some decent RAM on it and as much disk as you can get. Nested lab's the way to go. You may think - oh this server's going to be loud. Well yeah it is loud, but only when it boots up and does its POST things, after that it's just about as quiet as it gets. I have had a G5, then a G6 for all me labbing so far. No issues.
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  7. kj0
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    #6
    Don't have time now, but I will dig out the post I was reading last week where someone did a HomeLab upgrade with supermicro boxes. They only have 1 Fan in them and quite efficient.
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    #7
    you can get the Dell PE R610 for about the same price with dual processors, throw in an SSD drive and you are golden.
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  9. kj0
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    #8
    The issue with the R610's is that they are single RU and are as loud as a jet.
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    #9
    I have a rack in my home office with about 3-4U of space left open.

    I'm also not one that really gets annoyed by PC noise. I've got two machines on my desktop with a ton of fans in them -- at least 6-8 fans in each.
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    #10
    i'm running a 2950 III with esxi 5.5. 32GB ram and a 1TB HD. i have another 1TB HD to add but haven't done it yet. it is quite loud though. the install went smooth and i had no issues. very easy setup
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  12. Reticulating splines... iBrokeIT's Avatar
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    #11
    I went quiet, small(ish) and $$$$ route by using x3 1U servers are replaced each 1U fan with with two Noctua NF-A4x10 fans. I even tore into my 52 port switch and stuck two in there. The 7200 RPM HDs in my NAS are the the loudest thing in my lab. Year and half later still going strong.
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    #12
    T5500 or R710 for me
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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by kj0 View Post
    The issue with the R610's is that they are single RU and are as loud as a jet.

    If you replace the fan with ultra-quiet fans it's purrs like a kitten. All 4 of the R610's I have don't overheat at all, but the fans are super quiet. The Dell supplied fans don't have double-ball bearing fans that are balanced correctly so they make a **** ton of noise.

    But yes a HP DL or a Dell R610/510/710 are popular home-lab servers....

    I'm not the norm, but I got 4 of them right now. ...I'm using vSAN with a 24 port 10G FCoE Brocade switch with dual 10G fiber per host, 4 ports per host. ...I'm also using two QNAP NAS's, one of the QNAP NAS's have Dual 10G FCoE adapter's for the Primary LUN's for the cluster; using vSAN for when I use SQL in the home-lab.

    The 1st NAS I got last year is for the Veeam Backups of the cluster. Whenever I blow away th cluster I just use Veeam to restore the VM's so I don't need to re-do all of the VM's from scratch.
    Last edited by Deathmage; 02-08-2016 at 11:08 AM.
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    #14
    Hands on Lab. I can do most things I need and it's free.
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    #15
    Quote Originally Posted by dave330i View Post
    Hands on Lab. I can do most things I need and it's free.

    I was thinking of moving to NoVA to work in DC, then I figured Dave330i would always be over playing in the lab and then I'd form this friendship that would block out the sun and force me to living in my cave 24/7... so I decided not to move.
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    #16
    Quote Originally Posted by jibbajabba View Post
    T5500 or R710 for me
    Upvote on this, can't go wrong here and you'll be glad you went with a server that's not as loud. Plus, you have a LOT more upgrade options for future projects.
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    #17
    i have a T7500 also to go along with my 2950 but my T7500 only has 4 GB ram and a single xeon dual core CPU. i had planned on just upgrading it but it was cheaper to buy the 2950. i still plan to upgrade the T7500 down the road so then i will have 2 beefy servers to play with
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    #18
    well, to me dudes likes these has always been quiet and powerful enough...
    Shuttle Europe: Overview

    now of course i'm rather playing around with infosec appliances / Linux and and small Windows boxes but well got one and its really doing the job more then well...
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  20. Google Ninja jibbajabba's Avatar
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    #19
    Quote Originally Posted by mokaz View Post
    well, to me dudes likes these has always been quiet and powerful enough...
    Shuttle Europe: Overview

    now of course i'm rather playing around with infosec appliances / Linux and and small Windows boxes but well got one and its really doing the job more then well...
    Not bad - at least it is supporting 16GB of RAM .. but I think with vSphere 6.x onwards you really need 32 per host ....
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  21. kj0
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    #20
    Quote Originally Posted by jibbajabba View Post
    Not bad - at least it is supporting 16GB of RAM .. but I think with vSphere 6.x onwards you really need 32 per host ....
    IN my nested I am running 15Gb per host. The physical host itself only has 32Gb, but it works well until I want to try and spin up vROPs and any other kind of VMware Appliance.
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    #21
    I guess I keep forget that not everyone runs vCD, vRA, vIN, vRO and vROPS in their lab
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  23. kj0
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    #22
    Not all at once and not at the moment. One day....
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  24. Member
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    #23
    Ended up picking up a R710 2x2.93GHz x5570 with 64GB RAM for 3 and change.

    Dell PowerEdge R710 2 5" Server 2x2 93GHz Quad Core X5570 64GB PERC6I 1PS iDRAC6 | eBay

    Gonna need to pick up some HDs now. Any suggestions there?
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    #24
    I think I will pick up one as a present once I pass CISSP

    A Refurbished T7500

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  26. Member Konflikt's Avatar
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    #25
    what about the nested solutions? (WKS + nested vSphere, free iSCSI NAS). only SSD and RAM are needed. That was enough for me during the whole DCA preparation.
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