Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?



  • So I won the $60,000 makeover contest from HPE (https://community.spiceworks.com/topic/1878399-getting-pumped-for-spiceworld-enter-to-win-a-60-000-makeover-from-hpe)

    Since I've never worked with equipment this new (lol), I wanted to see what ideas people have. My initial thought is that it'd be great to build a VMware test environment that I can beat up and learn on. Up until now, I've learned everything I know about VMware in the enterprise in our production environment that I built myself and have grown and learned on over the last 3 years. It'd be great to use this new equipment to build a modern "lab".



  • Maybe use the new equipment in production and turn your existing production equipment into your test environment?



  • What equipment is it?

    The last one I heard would was equipment you'd rare see in the SMB space.

    Getting a list would help us with some ideas.



  • @Dashrender said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    What equipment is it?

    The last one I heard would was equipment you'd rare see in the SMB space.

    Getting a list would help us with some ideas.

    Too lazy to click the link? The items are specified. While total over kill for the SMB, it is still perfectly good hardware.



  • @Shuey Similar to @Danp's suggections, I would certainly use the new equipment in production.

    Now, you have no experience with it, so go ahead and get it setup and learn it in a test environment, but do not waste time. I assume you get full support from this thing because they want to have you preaching the gospel.

    So set it up, drop a test environment on it similar your production setup, then learn.

    Blow it all out and do it again and migrate the production workload.

    Use the old hardware for any kind of lab /learning you want for other technologies that require the hardware. As most things you will want to play with will be virtual and can run on the new system.



  • Great advice Jared, and thanks for the detailed perspective! 😉



  • I am not keen on putting that hardware in the production environment whatsoever! What happens if you lose you job? Or you find another? I say the new equipment is for training purposes. You also make it known somehow that the equipment belongs to you and are only "licensing" to your employer. It's a win-win. They host in their server room, you train, they reap the benefits of your experience.



  • @JaredBusch said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    While total over kill for the SMB, it is still perfectly good hardware.

    Overkill for SMB?

    We were using those in CaaS to host hundreds of machines per rack. Our TMRK infrastructure was on Cisco UCS hosting just as much.

    This stuff is overkill for 99% of the market. If you need high density, like I do, then it's great.

    I did notice that it includes the FC interfaces and switch, but not a SAN. Also very little RAM for what you would need for a high density blade system. So little for $60K worth of equipment.



  • @jmaurelli said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    I am not keen on putting that hardware in the production environment whatsoever! What happens if you lose you job? Or you find another? I say the new equipment is for training purposes. You also make it known somehow that the equipment belongs to you and are only "licensing" to your employer. It's a win-win. They host in their server room, you train, they reap the benefits of your experience.

    Are you really that insecure with new equipment?

    Dude, it's HP. There's nothing to it. Standard equipment used by hundreds of companies over the world. I just got a new HPE StoreOnce appliance. It was all of 10 minutes to configure, setup, and get integrated into Veeam's Backup.

    Considering it's probably at least 5 generations newer than what's in OP's environment, it's wasted as a UAT environment. Other than needing to throw more RAM at it and a SAN, it's pretty kickass.



  • @PSX_Defector I'm glad to finally see someone say something that I also found odd and have been wondering about: Why is HPE giving away this much in equipment, but the specs don't seem realistic? Two blade servers, but only TWO hard drives (total)?! And the drives aren't even flash storage/ssd. And the SAN comment you mentioned as well. This type of device is ideally supposed to be deployed in an environment where it can leverage massive amounts of storage, is it not? We don't even have a SAN where I work, lol. And 64GB of RAM (total)!? Per blade wouldn't be bad, but based on the spec list, it looks like it will be 32GB per blade.



  • @Shuey said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    Why is HPE giving away this much in equipment, but the specs don't seem realistic? Two blade servers, but only TWO hard drives (total)?!

    Because they are blades. It's for high density compute needs, not storage. The drives are there for booting the blade, and really overkill for that as well because of SD cards. Once Vmware is booted, it's really low resource.

    We don't even have a SAN where I work

    Buy one then. $5K for a MSA1040, connect with fibre channel, throw in some SSDs for databases and cheap 'n deep SAS drives for everything else. Maybe $10K total outlay.

    And 64GB of RAM (total)!? Per blade wouldn't be bad, but based on the spec list, it looks like it will be 32GB per blade.

    RAM is cheap, like, super duper cheap. Throw another $1K per blade to beef up your memory a bit.

    Real question is, what is your workload look like and will you need expansion of an additional 14 blades in the future? Can your datacenter handle the power requirements? Will adding this add any redundancy over your probable kludge of a server room?

    If you can't use it, I'll take it off your hands. I have some nice PURE Storage arrays that would love to have a new friend.



  • @PSX_Defector Cool, thanks for all the info!

    I could see "making the sale" to upper management for the SAN, and possibly the rest of the upgrades as well. This raises another concern though: We don't have anything else on our network utilizing 10Gbps links. We'd like to have 10 gig links between two of our datacenter sites, but not sure if management will pay for the upgrade someday or not. The new equipment will obviously be fast at the c7000, but once it leaves that box going to the rest of the network, it'll all be travelling at 1 gig at that point :-/...

    Our two existing VMware hosts are a DL360e Gen8 (hosted at "site 1") and a DL360 G7 (hosted at "site 2"). Each server has 192GB of RAM, and each has one MSA60 DAS for the guest VM storage (12-bays: 10 @ 1TB 10K SAS drives, RAID10, two drives as spares). Site 1 hosts 20 guests and site 2 hosts 5 guests (so far anyway - we plan to add more guests to each host in the future).

    If HPE would let me sell the equipment, I'd be happy to. I'd rather use the money to pay off some bills. Unfortunately, one of the contest rules is that it can't be sold :-S.



  • @Shuey said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    Our two existing VMware hosts are a DL360e Gen8 (hosted at "site 1") and a DL360 G7 (hosted at "site 2"). Each server has 192GB of RAM, and each has one MSA60 DAS for the guest VM storage (12-bays: 10 @ 1TB 10K SAS drives, RAID10, two drives as spares). Site 1 hosts 20 guests and site 2 hosts 5 guests (so far anyway - we plan to add more guests to each host in the future).

    Better density than I thought, and not ancient equipment.

    Your current DAS could be re-purposed as storage with the blade system. You will need a riser card to get a SAS connector. They got a blade interface for Infiniband, but not one for SAS. You will need to talk to the rep to get the right part. Otherwise, pick up a SAN with a fibre interface, lucky for you they are universal. I mix and match stuff all the time.

    Move the 360e over to site two as a backup host, or even a primary host. Use the blades as your new site one infrastructure. Or consolidate down to the single site and have site two come back to get data. But you will have a fallback host just in case one dies or needs to be worked on. Although you will still be SPOF with storage.

    But, all that said, I see plenty of big problems. Power requirements will eat you alive on that. You will need to get some different plugs to even plug it in. You will need to figure out if your rack will even vent the heat out of that thing.

    You might be buying into a very large infrastructure expenditure without any way to use it. Even if it's free.



  • @PSX_Defector said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    @jmaurelli said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    I am not keen on putting that hardware in the production environment whatsoever! What happens if you lose you job? Or you find another? I say the new equipment is for training purposes. You also make it known somehow that the equipment belongs to you and are only "licensing" to your employer. It's a win-win. They host in their server room, you train, they reap the benefits of your experience.

    Are you really that insecure with new equipment?

    No, his point was not to donate $60K of his personal hardware to the business for the business to use. If he loses his job, the job would expect to keep the $60K donation.



  • I'm with the "set up a home lab" crowd here. It's your gear, not the businesses. Build a nice virtual lab at home.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @PSX_Defector said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    @jmaurelli said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    I am not keen on putting that hardware in the production environment whatsoever! What happens if you lose you job? Or you find another? I say the new equipment is for training purposes. You also make it known somehow that the equipment belongs to you and are only "licensing" to your employer. It's a win-win. They host in their server room, you train, they reap the benefits of your experience.

    Are you really that insecure with new equipment?

    No, his point was not to donate $60K of his personal hardware to the business for the business to use. If he loses his job, the job would expect to keep the $60K donation.

    Unfortunately, and I still haven't found out the rules and restrictions from SpiceWorks and HPE, there's a strong chance that this equipment HAS to go to the company that I work for.



  • @Shuey said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    @PSX_Defector said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    @jmaurelli said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    I am not keen on putting that hardware in the production environment whatsoever! What happens if you lose you job? Or you find another? I say the new equipment is for training purposes. You also make it known somehow that the equipment belongs to you and are only "licensing" to your employer. It's a win-win. They host in their server room, you train, they reap the benefits of your experience.

    Are you really that insecure with new equipment?

    No, his point was not to donate $60K of his personal hardware to the business for the business to use. If he loses his job, the job would expect to keep the $60K donation.

    Unfortunately, and I still haven't found out the rules and restrictions from SpiceWorks and HPE, there's a strong chance that this equipment HAS to go to the company that I work for.

    Oh, what if you didn't work for one? What would have happened? What if you work for two?



  • @scottalanmiller said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    I'm with the "set up a home lab" crowd here. It's your gear, not the businesses. Build a nice virtual lab at home.

    Read my recent reply



  • @scottalanmiller said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    @Shuey said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    @PSX_Defector said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    @jmaurelli said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    I am not keen on putting that hardware in the production environment whatsoever! What happens if you lose you job? Or you find another? I say the new equipment is for training purposes. You also make it known somehow that the equipment belongs to you and are only "licensing" to your employer. It's a win-win. They host in their server room, you train, they reap the benefits of your experience.

    Are you really that insecure with new equipment?

    No, his point was not to donate $60K of his personal hardware to the business for the business to use. If he loses his job, the job would expect to keep the $60K donation.

    Unfortunately, and I still haven't found out the rules and restrictions from SpiceWorks and HPE, there's a strong chance that this equipment HAS to go to the company that I work for.

    Oh, what if you didn't work for one? What would have happened? What if you work for two?

    I hear ya, but I didn't make up the rules of the contest, lol. I only entered because I thought "Whether the equipment goes to me or the company I work for, who cares. $60,000 in "free" equipment is better than NO equipment 😉



  • @Shuey said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    @Shuey said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    @PSX_Defector said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    @jmaurelli said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    I am not keen on putting that hardware in the production environment whatsoever! What happens if you lose you job? Or you find another? I say the new equipment is for training purposes. You also make it known somehow that the equipment belongs to you and are only "licensing" to your employer. It's a win-win. They host in their server room, you train, they reap the benefits of your experience.

    Are you really that insecure with new equipment?

    No, his point was not to donate $60K of his personal hardware to the business for the business to use. If he loses his job, the job would expect to keep the $60K donation.

    Unfortunately, and I still haven't found out the rules and restrictions from SpiceWorks and HPE, there's a strong chance that this equipment HAS to go to the company that I work for.

    Oh, what if you didn't work for one? What would have happened? What if you work for two?

    I hear ya, but I didn't make up the rules of the contest, lol. I only entered because I thought "Whether the equipment goes to me or the company I work for, who cares. $60,000 in "free" equipment is better than NO equipment 😉

    I'm just saying... how are the rules written that they cause this to work without creating a disaster? What if you are a contractor or self employed? Do you do ANY consulting yourself, ever? If so, that's a company that you work for.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    @Shuey said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    @Shuey said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    @PSX_Defector said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    @jmaurelli said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    I am not keen on putting that hardware in the production environment whatsoever! What happens if you lose you job? Or you find another? I say the new equipment is for training purposes. You also make it known somehow that the equipment belongs to you and are only "licensing" to your employer. It's a win-win. They host in their server room, you train, they reap the benefits of your experience.

    Are you really that insecure with new equipment?

    No, his point was not to donate $60K of his personal hardware to the business for the business to use. If he loses his job, the job would expect to keep the $60K donation.

    Unfortunately, and I still haven't found out the rules and restrictions from SpiceWorks and HPE, there's a strong chance that this equipment HAS to go to the company that I work for.

    Oh, what if you didn't work for one? What would have happened? What if you work for two?

    I hear ya, but I didn't make up the rules of the contest, lol. I only entered because I thought "Whether the equipment goes to me or the company I work for, who cares. $60,000 in "free" equipment is better than NO equipment 😉

    I'm just saying... how are the rules written that they cause this to work without creating a disaster? What if you are a contractor or self employed? Do you do ANY consulting yourself, ever? If so, that's a company that you work for.

    Again, I see where you're coming from, and I agree. But you know how rules can be sometimes (a lot of "gotchas"). I'm subject to THEIR TERMS, whether they make sense or not 😕



  • @Shuey said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    @Shuey said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    @Shuey said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    @PSX_Defector said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    @jmaurelli said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    I am not keen on putting that hardware in the production environment whatsoever! What happens if you lose you job? Or you find another? I say the new equipment is for training purposes. You also make it known somehow that the equipment belongs to you and are only "licensing" to your employer. It's a win-win. They host in their server room, you train, they reap the benefits of your experience.

    Are you really that insecure with new equipment?

    No, his point was not to donate $60K of his personal hardware to the business for the business to use. If he loses his job, the job would expect to keep the $60K donation.

    Unfortunately, and I still haven't found out the rules and restrictions from SpiceWorks and HPE, there's a strong chance that this equipment HAS to go to the company that I work for.

    Oh, what if you didn't work for one? What would have happened? What if you work for two?

    I hear ya, but I didn't make up the rules of the contest, lol. I only entered because I thought "Whether the equipment goes to me or the company I work for, who cares. $60,000 in "free" equipment is better than NO equipment 😉

    I'm just saying... how are the rules written that they cause this to work without creating a disaster? What if you are a contractor or self employed? Do you do ANY consulting yourself, ever? If so, that's a company that you work for.

    Again, I see where you're coming from, and I agree. But you know how rules can be sometimes (a lot of "gotchas"). I'm subject to THEIR TERMS, whether they make sense or not 😕

    I KNOW, and that's why I'm pointing out how THEIR TERMS work, right? I'm saying, that by what you said their rules were, this is how it works. I'm not saying you aren't tied to their rules, I'm pointing out what their rules mean.



  • Whoa, new reply threading. That's different.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    @Shuey said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    @Shuey said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    @Shuey said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    @PSX_Defector said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    @jmaurelli said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    I am not keen on putting that hardware in the production environment whatsoever! What happens if you lose you job? Or you find another? I say the new equipment is for training purposes. You also make it known somehow that the equipment belongs to you and are only "licensing" to your employer. It's a win-win. They host in their server room, you train, they reap the benefits of your experience.

    Are you really that insecure with new equipment?

    No, his point was not to donate $60K of his personal hardware to the business for the business to use. If he loses his job, the job would expect to keep the $60K donation.

    Unfortunately, and I still haven't found out the rules and restrictions from SpiceWorks and HPE, there's a strong chance that this equipment HAS to go to the company that I work for.

    Oh, what if you didn't work for one? What would have happened? What if you work for two?

    I hear ya, but I didn't make up the rules of the contest, lol. I only entered because I thought "Whether the equipment goes to me or the company I work for, who cares. $60,000 in "free" equipment is better than NO equipment 😉

    I'm just saying... how are the rules written that they cause this to work without creating a disaster? What if you are a contractor or self employed? Do you do ANY consulting yourself, ever? If so, that's a company that you work for.

    Again, I see where you're coming from, and I agree. But you know how rules can be sometimes (a lot of "gotchas"). I'm subject to THEIR TERMS, whether they make sense or not 😕

    I KNOW, and that's why I'm pointing out how THEIR TERMS work, right? I'm saying, that by what you said their rules were, this is how it works. I'm not saying you aren't tied to their rules, I'm pointing out what their rules mean.

    I don't even know what their rules are yet, lol. I'm still waiting for someone from SW or HPE to contact me 😃



  • @Shuey said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    @Shuey said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    @Shuey said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    @Shuey said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    @PSX_Defector said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    @jmaurelli said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    I am not keen on putting that hardware in the production environment whatsoever! What happens if you lose you job? Or you find another? I say the new equipment is for training purposes. You also make it known somehow that the equipment belongs to you and are only "licensing" to your employer. It's a win-win. They host in their server room, you train, they reap the benefits of your experience.

    Are you really that insecure with new equipment?

    No, his point was not to donate $60K of his personal hardware to the business for the business to use. If he loses his job, the job would expect to keep the $60K donation.

    Unfortunately, and I still haven't found out the rules and restrictions from SpiceWorks and HPE, there's a strong chance that this equipment HAS to go to the company that I work for.

    Oh, what if you didn't work for one? What would have happened? What if you work for two?

    I hear ya, but I didn't make up the rules of the contest, lol. I only entered because I thought "Whether the equipment goes to me or the company I work for, who cares. $60,000 in "free" equipment is better than NO equipment 😉

    I'm just saying... how are the rules written that they cause this to work without creating a disaster? What if you are a contractor or self employed? Do you do ANY consulting yourself, ever? If so, that's a company that you work for.

    Again, I see where you're coming from, and I agree. But you know how rules can be sometimes (a lot of "gotchas"). I'm subject to THEIR TERMS, whether they make sense or not 😕

    I KNOW, and that's why I'm pointing out how THEIR TERMS work, right? I'm saying, that by what you said their rules were, this is how it works. I'm not saying you aren't tied to their rules, I'm pointing out what their rules mean.

    I don't even know what their rules are yet, lol. I'm still waiting for someone from SW or HPE to contact me 😃

    Hard to hold you to rules that weren't part of the contest.



  • Here's another thought: Let's say they DO let this equipment be "mine" instead of the company's... The equipment is next to useless to me as is (because I would need more infrastructure added to it in order to make it "fully functional", especially based on the replies I've gotten from ML members so far). I can't afford all of those extra costs...





  • @Shuey said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    Here's another thought: Let's say they DO let this equipment be "mine" instead of the company's... The equipment is next to useless to me as is (because I would need more infrastructure added to it in order to make it "fully functional", especially based on the replies I've gotten from ML members so far). I can't afford all of those extra costs...

    That's definitely the trick here, it's a blade center which is very tough to use and will end up acting like a loss leader that will cause you to invest into it and then keep spending money on it in the future. It's actually got some financial risk to deploy just because it is so likely to encourage bad decisions in the future. It's not as useful as it sounds for your environment if you don't already have what it takes to leverage it.

    http://www.smbitjournal.com/2009/12/the-dangers-of-blade-servers-in-smb/



  • @scottalanmiller said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    @Shuey said in Ideas for how to use new, free gear from HPE?:

    Here's another thought: Let's say they DO let this equipment be "mine" instead of the company's... The equipment is next to useless to me as is (because I would need more infrastructure added to it in order to make it "fully functional", especially based on the replies I've gotten from ML members so far). I can't afford all of those extra costs...

    That's definitely the trick here, it's a blade center which is very tough to use and is meant to be a loss leader to get you to invest into it and then keep spending money on it in the future. It's actually got some financial risk to deploy just because it is so likely to encourage bad decisions in the future. It's obviously not a set of equipment meant to "improve" anyone's environment. It's equipment that no SMB would ever buy themselves and is not nearly as useful as drastically less expensive gear. And it is potentially incomplete. It's not a makeover, it's just leftover gear.

    http://www.smbitjournal.com/2009/12/the-dangers-of-blade-servers-in-smb/

    Well, now I feel even more excited about winning this contest! 😛



  • Best bet is to resell the equipment. It's not that it is useless to you, but it is risky and sounds like it requires additional investment which would be pretty silly to invest in random gear that has little value for you.


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