Lab/Demo/Training Server, Refurb


  • Banned

    The goal

    A server which can be used for proof of concepts, training, demonstrations and a panic disaster server if needed but no one will cry if the server is damaged on site.

    XenServer is the hyper visor of choice, trying out Xen Orchestra for the first time with it but with XenCenter as a backup.


    I found this Dell T310 from a UK refurb company.

    Arrived in very good condition.

    • All settings properly reset to factory.
    • Working iDrac
    • Disks were wiped and clean.

    0_1463521974516_upload-9566c0ba-f737-4c1a-8632-eca8dc4c2ba3

    Spec
    CPU 1 x INTEL XEON X3430 8MB Cache 2.4GHz QUAD CORE PROCESSOR
    RAM 32GB (4x 8GB)
    HDD 2x DELL 500GB 7.2K 3.5" SATA
    RAID CONTROLLER Perc 6i SAS/SATA
    BACKPLANE 4x LFF
    OPTICAL MEDIA DVD
    PSU 1x PSU

    Price
    Was about $315.

    Let's see how it does.



  • What's your first project for it?


  • Banned

    @MattSpeller said in Lab/Demo/Training Server, Refurb:

    What's your first project for it?

    Drop a 2016 VM onto it. Run some bench marks. It's already got a raid-1 of the 2 disks and XenServer is installed along with Orchestra.

    Orchestra as a UI does not feel intuitive. XenCenter is almost exactly the same as Hyper-v Or VMWare, Orchestra feels very different. Too many things spread out on the screen for me.



  • @Breffni-Potter said in Lab/Demo/Training Server, Refurb:

    Orchestra as a UI does not feel intuitive.

    @olivier is working on it 🙂



  • @aaronstuder

    Yeah the new version looks sweet.



  • @Breffni-Potter awesome glad you're trying out XenServer.

    How do you have XS installed?



  • @Breffni-Potter said in Lab/Demo/Training Server, Refurb:

    The goal

    A server which can be used for proof of concepts, training, demonstrations and a panic disaster server if needed but no one will cry if the server is damaged on site.

    XenServer is the hyper visor of choice, trying out Xen Orchestra for the first time with it but with XenCenter as a backup.


    I found this Dell T310 from a UK refurb company.

    Arrived in very good condition.

    • All settings properly reset to factory.
    • Working iDrac
    • Disks were wiped and clean.

    0_1463521974516_upload-9566c0ba-f737-4c1a-8632-eca8dc4c2ba3

    Spec
    CPU 1 x INTEL XEON X3430 8MB Cache 2.4GHz QUAD CORE PROCESSOR
    RAM 32GB (4x 8GB)
    HDD 2x DELL 500GB 7.2K 3.5" SATA
    RAID CONTROLLER Perc 6i SAS/SATA
    BACKPLANE 4x LFF
    OPTICAL MEDIA DVD
    PSU 1x PSU

    Price
    Was about $315.

    Let's see how it does.

    What refurb company did you get it from?
    Might be in the market for 2 servers for a Citrix Farm soon.


  • Banned

    @DustinB3403 said

    How do you have XS installed?

    Installed on a 16GB USB inside the machine so it never gets unplugged during transport.

    XenServer seems to do almost everything out of the box VMWare can and it was stupidly easy to install & setup. I fat fingered during the install though. XenServer allows you to install the OS to the same media as you are installing from, so I managed to trash my install USB the first time because they were both identical 16 GB USBs.

    The only thing I'm not happy about, is getting the iDrac 6 virtual console working. Trying a few things out.


  • Banned

    @hobbit666

    There were 5 of them yesterday, they went really quick

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/262381932250?_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

    Though to be honest, I could get double the processor performance if I went for rackmount for the same money. It's only because I wanted a tower format that I went with this one.

    I've got a friend whose a genius at finding servers on Ebay, so if you are shopping, let me know 🙂



  • @Breffni-Potter said

    The only thing I'm not happy about, is getting the iDrac 6 virtual console working. Trying a few things out.

    Is the iDrac6 like the 7 and later models? Where it is installed with very basic functionality in every server, and things like the virtual console have to be licensed?


  • Banned

    @BRRABill said in Lab/Demo/Training Server, Refurb:

    @Breffni-Potter said

    The only thing I'm not happy about, is getting the iDrac 6 virtual console working. Trying a few things out.

    Is the iDrac6 like the 7 and later models? Where it is installed with very basic functionality in every server, and things like the virtual console have to be licensed?

    I thought that only happened with 7 and up but in looking at it it seems they did it by the card.

    So you can get an express card or an enterprise card, but not a license.


  • Banned

    Pair of drives in raid-1. Don't do too badly on this box.

    0_1466028612177_upload-7790dd1f-d245-4696-9d41-ee9cbd44dddd


  • Banned

    So Xen has been running for weeks now.

    I've thrown everything under the sun at it. I've seen VMWare and Hyper-v on boxes of a similar spec but Xen is out-performing them, not by a huge amount but enough to make me consider it as a choice for deployments.

    If only more vendors supported it....



  • @Breffni-Potter Most vendors don't support it because it includes everything you need already, not much value add with that. Unless you really do mean Xen instead of XenServer.


  • Banned

    Bit of a bump.

    Added a pair of drives, everything is running on a single raid-10 array, 1.3TB usable storage.

    XenServer has been replaced with an eval install of 2016 Server for now. I've really liked XenServer but parking it to one side for now.



  • @Breffni-Potter said in Lab/Demo/Training Server, Refurb:

    XenServer has been replaced with an eval install of 2016 Server for now. I've really liked XenServer but parking it to one side for now.

    Why didn't you install the 2016 server as a VM under XS?


  • Banned

    @Danp said in Lab/Demo/Training Server, Refurb:

    @Breffni-Potter said in Lab/Demo/Training Server, Refurb:

    XenServer has been replaced with an eval install of 2016 Server for now. I've really liked XenServer but parking it to one side for now.

    Why didn't you install the 2016 server as a VM under XS?

    I did that when I first got the system.

    I'm messing about with 2016 as a host with Hyper-v.



  • @Breffni-Potter said in Lab/Demo/Training Server, Refurb:

    @Danp said in Lab/Demo/Training Server, Refurb:

    @Breffni-Potter said in Lab/Demo/Training Server, Refurb:

    XenServer has been replaced with an eval install of 2016 Server for now. I've really liked XenServer but parking it to one side for now.

    Why didn't you install the 2016 server as a VM under XS?

    I did that when I first got the system.

    I'm messing about with 2016 as a host with Hyper-v.

    How does it run?



  • Were you new to XS? What is your impression of XS vs. Hyper-V?


  • Banned

    @dafyre said in Lab/Demo/Training Server, Refurb:

    @Breffni-Potter said in Lab/Demo/Training Server, Refurb:

    @Danp said in Lab/Demo/Training Server, Refurb:

    @Breffni-Potter said in Lab/Demo/Training Server, Refurb:

    XenServer has been replaced with an eval install of 2016 Server for now. I've really liked XenServer but parking it to one side for now.

    Why didn't you install the 2016 server as a VM under XS?

    I did that when I first got the system.

    I'm messing about with 2016 as a host with Hyper-v.

    How does it run?

    It's running as a server cluster with nested virtualisation (It's a lab, don't panic because it's a single physical box)

    Really really liking 2016 so far, some nice new features they have snuck into it.

    Apart from the CPU which is obvious, the system runs fairly quickly, everything nice and snappy. It's been up since Sunday.



  • What cool, new features are you finding?


  • Banned

    @StrongBad said in Lab/Demo/Training Server, Refurb:

    Were you new to XS? What is your impression of XS vs. Hyper-V?

    XenServer performance is there, the tools to manage it are there but it almost feels like it needs some new testers on their dev team.

    i.e - My first time I deployed it, I accidentally chose the install media USB as the destination to install it, a minor detail but you'd have hoped they just program out an option like that as it is self destructive.

    Xen has it's place but in a system design for most SMBs I can't see where I would go to that over Hyper-V in Windows world or in a bigger shop, a hyper converged system.



  • @Breffni-Potter said in Lab/Demo/Training Server, Refurb:

    Xen has it's place but in a system design for most SMBs I can't see where I would go to that over Hyper-V in Windows world

    Why Hyper-V in a Windows world? Talking to Windows Admins, they seem to be the most confused and struggle the most with Hyper-V of all solutions. I haven't used 2016, so don't know what they have done to improve things, but Hyper-V seems so hard, specifically for Windows admins in the real world, that that alone seems like the reason that XS would be a decent option.

    What do you feel makes Hyper-V specifically Windows friendly (without deploying it poorly, making it de facto a bad choice for Windows Admins because it encourages poorly designed deployments.)


  • Banned

    @scottalanmiller said

    Why Hyper-V in a Windows world? Talking to Windows Admins, they seem to be the most confused and struggle the most with Hyper-V of all solutions. I haven't used 2016, so don't know what they have done to improve things, but Hyper-V seems so hard, specifically for Windows admins in the real world, that that alone seems like the reason that XS would be a decent option.

    If you can't cope with doing hyper-v well, you can't cope with XenServer, Yes you do get more toys immediately with XenServer but to use them properly you need that competence to use them safely.

    Again, in a larger environment where I would consider using Xen's features, I'm pushed towards a Scale system which is very different but actually better in the long run in a lot of set ups.



  • @Breffni-Potter said in Lab/Demo/Training Server, Refurb:

    If you can't cope with doing hyper-v well, you can't cope with XenServer, Yes you do get more toys immediately with XenServer but to use them properly you need that competence to use them safely.

    I don't know if I agree. Installing XS well takes, like, zero effort. Take any decent commodity server, pop in the CD, it takes care of itself. It's done well (enough at least) out of the box.

    Hyper-V is nothing like that. You will, by default, be led down all kinds of bad and confusing routes. You can do XS well long before you can even figure out how to acquire Hyper-V.



  • @Breffni-Potter said in Lab/Demo/Training Server, Refurb:

    Again, in a larger environment where I would consider using Xen's features, I'm pushed towards a Scale system which is very different but actually better in the long run in a lot of set ups.

    Sure, once we get past the one or two node systems where XS and Hyper-V really play well. But when it is just one host and you don't want something crazy, I think XS, from what I've seen, is dramatically easier for someone in the Windows world to not mess up. Hyper-V encourages licensing problems, total confusion as to what is running, more licensing overhead confusion that it takes effort to run XS at all, unreliable or untested software RAID, direct GUI management and more. None of which is required, it's mostly ecosystem problems, but those items make me feel that "for Windows admins", XS is specifically a better bet.


  • Banned

    @scottalanmiller said in Lab/Demo/Training Server, Refurb:

    @Breffni-Potter said in Lab/Demo/Training Server, Refurb:

    If you can't cope with doing hyper-v well, you can't cope with XenServer, Yes you do get more toys immediately with XenServer but to use them properly you need that competence to use them safely.

    I don't know if I agree. Installing XS well takes, like, zero effort. Take any decent commodity server, pop in the CD, it takes care of itself. It's done well (enough at least) out of the box.

    Hyper-V is nothing like that. You will, by default, be led down all kinds of bad and confusing routes. You can do XS well long before you can even figure out how to acquire Hyper-V.

    I literally built a brand new server in full disaster mode at 2am, the crucial time when I am bound to make mistakes, Hyper-V, 2 server VMs, all done nicely to a standard but most of the work was the guest VMs, the hypervisor was simple. Whether that's XS/ESXI/Hyper-v, they are almost apples to apples for installing, I mean maybe for fun we should line up a tech with the same hardware, video record time trial him installing each hypervisor.



  • @Breffni-Potter said in Lab/Demo/Training Server, Refurb:

    @scottalanmiller said in Lab/Demo/Training Server, Refurb:

    @Breffni-Potter said in Lab/Demo/Training Server, Refurb:

    If you can't cope with doing hyper-v well, you can't cope with XenServer, Yes you do get more toys immediately with XenServer but to use them properly you need that competence to use them safely.

    I don't know if I agree. Installing XS well takes, like, zero effort. Take any decent commodity server, pop in the CD, it takes care of itself. It's done well (enough at least) out of the box.

    Hyper-V is nothing like that. You will, by default, be led down all kinds of bad and confusing routes. You can do XS well long before you can even figure out how to acquire Hyper-V.

    I literally built a brand new server in full disaster mode at 2am, the crucial time when I am bound to make mistakes, Hyper-V, 2 server VMs, all done nicely to a standard but most of the work was the guest VMs, the hypervisor was simple. Whether that's XS/ESXI/Hyper-v, they are almost apples to apples for installing, I mean maybe for fun we should line up a tech with the same hardware, video record time trial him installing each hypervisor.

    Maybe the problem is that people who know choose XS and people who are confused chose HV? At one time, @John-Nicholson and I watched for like a year on SW and every single (literally EVERY single) mention of HV was because the person deploying it was confused and thought that they had to or were deploying something else or didn't know how it got there or thought that it gave them something that it did not. Every, single, one.

    It might be the confusion leading people to HV, which then causes them to be confused about how to use it.

    That you can use it well, already knowing how virtualization works, isn't relevant to the normal Windows world and isn't indicative in any way.


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