SMB / Enterprise Hardware for Linux Environment



  • So these two things have lit a fire inside me:

    https://community.spiceworks.com/topic/1607552-best-way-to-get-a-linux-job
    and
    http://www.smbitjournal.com/2015/06/make-your-business-jealous/

    The next step is becoming less ignorant about the hardware used by Linux shops (learning has to start somewhere, right?). Am I right in assuming said SMB shops would/could use the same Dell PowerEdge hardware we use where I am and expect CentOS to have drivers to support it?


  • Service Provider

    Yes and no. Linux Admins certainly expect to see mostly the same hardware as their Windows counterparts... mostly Dell, HPE, SuperMicro and so forth. That won't change.

    What does change is these two things:

    • Windows ubiquitously expects hardware RAID. Linux often expects it, but not it is not the same level of assumption. Linux software RAID is mature and powerful and growing in scope with BtrFS so has lots of use cases that are unique.
    • Linux runs on hardware that Windows does not including ARM servers, Power servers, Sparc servers and Itanium plus you can find it on ancient stuff like PA-RISC, Alpha and so forth. So you sometimes see Linux on big iron on which Windows cannot run.

  • Service Provider

    However, something very important.... you would expect to only run Linux (with very rare exception) as a VM, not on the bare metal. In that way, same as Windows, however....

    Unlike Windows, two major hypervisors leverage Linux. KVM and Xen. So when using those you need Linux to be on the bare metal AND in a VM.



  • @scottalanmiller said in SMB / Enterprise Hardware for Linux Environment:

    However, something very important.... you would expect to only run Linux (with very rare exception) as a VM, not on the bare metal. In that way, same as Windows, however....

    Unlike Windows, two major hypervisors leverage Linux. KVM and Xen. So when using those you need Linux to be on the bare metal AND in a VM.

    That's what I figured as far as almost all instances of Linux being VMs (as our one CentOS server is a Hyper-V VM). Although I have a beefy desktop at home, on which I can run several Hyper-V VMs, my goal is to try to get my hands on some of the hardware that would be potentially used in a business, in order to do some of the projects mentioned in those articles.


  • Service Provider

    @EddieJennings said in SMB / Enterprise Hardware for Linux Environment:

    @scottalanmiller said in SMB / Enterprise Hardware for Linux Environment:

    However, something very important.... you would expect to only run Linux (with very rare exception) as a VM, not on the bare metal. In that way, same as Windows, however....

    Unlike Windows, two major hypervisors leverage Linux. KVM and Xen. So when using those you need Linux to be on the bare metal AND in a VM.

    That's what I figured as far as almost all instances of Linux being VMs (as our one CentOS server is a Hyper-V VM). Although I have a beefy desktop at home, on which I can run several Hyper-V VMs, my goal is to try to get my hands on some of the hardware that would be potentially used in a business, in order to do some of the projects mentioned in those articles.

    Not a bad idea. Talk to xByte and get something cheap and older. An R710 is an amazing home lab machine if you can handle the noise. Anything that will take slow, consumer SATA drives works great too, unless you are trying to test IOPS. For many labs, a single small CPU, two or four big SATA drives (like 3TB drives) and a bit of RAM (64GB -128GB) on enterprise gear can make for an environment that acts exactly like full on enterprise hardware (because it is) with out of band management, failover components, hardware RAID and all of that... and the lack of extreme speed for CPU and disks is of no concern as you only have one or two users.

    So in reality, even an R310 will do what you want. Hard to imagine that more than four drive bays will be useful.


  • Service Provider

    If it wasn't for wanting to learn enterprise hardware, an Intel NUC is great, too. But there is big value to knowing server hardware. I've blown minds in an interview when I had the same enterprise gear at home that a Wall St. firm was deploying every day. I was literally the only person they had, in interviews OR on staff, that had ever even touched the gear before... and it was sitting in my basement. Having hands on with enterprise gear at home really is important, even if it seems like a silly thing.


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