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Old June 10, 2013, 08:27 PM
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Default Servers home lab

Iíve been studying for Windows Server 2012 certification (MCSA) since itís been out last fall. One certification is done, two more to go. I set up my first home lab around a KGPE-D16 with two Opteron 6128 (Aeacus: Judge of the Elysium and a H8SGL-F-O with a single Opteron 6128 for studying virtualization and some clustering but quickly found that setup a little limiting for my needs and recently came across some articles about Dellís Poweredge C6100 XS23-TY3. Thinking of the potential, I took the jump and look at what came two weeks ago.



Being server hardware, itís a big box and really heavy. The UPS guy asked me to help him carry the box from his truck to the house. I took it out and put it on my table.



This thing is just awesome. Itís a 2U made of four nodes. Each node can be pulled out independently of the others. Thereís two flavors of the C6100: 12x3.5Ē disks and 24x2.5Ē disks.



Hereís a pic of all nodes pulled out.



Each node comprises two Xeon E5530, 24 GB of RAM (with room for expansion), a LSI SAS 1068E, dual Gbit LAN with one other port for IPMI and four 72 GB 10k RPM drives. Iíve setup two drives in RAID 1 for booting and Iíll use the two others for normal storage.



I also got a model with redundant 1100W power supplies. The one problem with that server: It is LOUD. When you first start one node, itís not too bad but when all four nodes are under full load (aka folding) and Iím standing next to it, it is really loud. Even when I wear my noise canceling headphones (Sennheiser PXC-250ís).

My current setup where I put my hardware is right under my daughtersí bedroom so having this jet engine right below their room blowing in full 24/7 (I can clearly hear it when standing in their room) is not an option so this got me thinking about a cold room we have at home thatís used for storing a bunch of stuff...



And toys for the little ladies...



Once empty, the room measures 4í3Ē by 10í6Ē so gives me ample room to fit my hardware in there.





To make this work, I need shelves (putting stuff on the floor is not an option), cooling, power and LAN.
For shelves, I thought of getting a used server cabinet but the door is only 24 inches wide so it doesnít pass. I couldnít find a used server rack (4 posts type) and brand new was out of my budget (400+$) so I ended up finding some metal shelves on sale at Canadian Tire. These will do for now.



For network connectivity, I found a Netgear GS724T-300NAS on special at NCIX and couldnít pass up the opportunity. So, here it came last week.





This weekend, I cleaned the room up and prepped the concrete for painting.

Stay tuned for moreÖ
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Last edited by doup93; September 27, 2013 at 09:51 AM.
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Old June 11, 2013, 05:27 AM
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Looks good. Seems like everyone is all over those C6100 for VM stuff. Need to start saving for one of my own.
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Old June 11, 2013, 08:12 AM
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I really want to see the goodies, but my eyes are not strong enough for the tiny photos.......
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Old June 11, 2013, 09:38 AM
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I'll post bigger versions tonight.
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Old June 11, 2013, 10:52 AM
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Looking to upgrade my small basement homelab. Keep us up to date with lots of(hopefully bigger) pictures!
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Old June 11, 2013, 05:18 PM
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OK, just moved all pics (of bigger size) to Skydrive.

Adding to my worklog: A few days before acquiring the C6100, a friend of mine bought my KGPE-D16 setup: board, CPUs, RAM, HDD's, RAID card and all. I kept the other rig thinking of using that as my file server. A few days later, same friend called me saying he had a rackmount case to give to me as he didn't need it. He didn't know what brand it was and had no documentation with it. When I saw it, I knew it would be interesting for me as it had 8 hotswap drive bays on the front and a n+1 power supply setup. After looking around, I found out it was a Chenbro RM31408 case and was thrilled by this.

I already had 4 Seagate 2 TB drives so these fill out half of the drive bays. So the setup for my file server will be:

Chenbro RM31408
Supermicro H8SGL-F-O
AMD Opteron 6128
4x2TB Seagate drives
OCZ Vertex 2 60 GB (as boot drive)

I already had a Noctua NH-U9D0 and wanted to use that but it's too tall to close the top so purchased a Dynatron A5. I'm out of town this week so it should be waiting for me when I come back. I'll post some pictures then too.

I installed Windows Server 2012 on that setup and created a Parity Storage Space with all 4 drives thinking I would get decent performance... Wrong. Read performance reached 350-400 MB/s which is good but write performance is... dismal and that being still a nice word to put it. I got about 20 MB/s on writes. Searching about parity storage space performance, I came across this article:

Why Windows Server 2012 Parity Storage Spaces Might Perform Slowly - Premier Field Engineering - Site Home - TechNet Blogs

So in the end, parity storage space should be used only for reading, not writing. Next step, get a real RAID card for RAID 5.
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Old June 11, 2013, 05:54 PM
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I cant imagine a home use for such things. That being said I looked these up on eBay and the price is smoking for what you get. I want..........
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Old June 11, 2013, 06:33 PM
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For me, I was able to sell my old server at a good price and paid a good part of the C6100. I'll be setting it up as a Server 2012 Hyper-V cluster (3 nodes) and System Center 2012. On its spare time, it will be folding. Initial runs folding in Windows indicate 20-25k PPD/node.
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Old June 12, 2013, 01:38 PM
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Hey Misterd,

Now's your chance: Lot of 25x 45U Server Rack Cabinet w 200x PowerEdge C6100 Servers | eBay
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Old June 12, 2013, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doup93 View Post
LOL. I wonder what work would say if I rolled up with that to install in the colo.
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