Some time ago i acquired a used Dell C6100 XS23-TY3 2U 4-Node which comes in various setups lucky enough the one i obtained was a 4 node cluster with a total of 192GB ram. With no idea on how to set it up or use it, it has been sitting around for many months now just waiting to be put to use.
I got the server for a cheap price of $350 AUD, this was local so i was able to go pick it up rather then have to fork out for shipping, it came with everything i needed to go except some hard drives, which i already stock brand new ones in the event of possible failures so this was all set. Next thing i had to figure was where i would put this monster, how will i go about my local networking and what exactly will i be using this for, all 3 things are very critical to how you use your system.
Choosing where to put this monster was a critical thing, considering i have family at home and that the level fo noise that comes from the fans is ridiculous i had to start looking to put this in the garage or spare room away from the house, which worked perfect since the spare room was already setup with multiple storage racks all i had to do was clean one out and lump the server, a screen, keyboard and mouse and router on to it and that solution is solved, i can now run the server all day and night and not have it sound like i have a wind tunnel running in the house.
Network side of things was very simple with everything being plug and play so for a basic network switch i went a Netgear gs105 metal body which is an unmanaged switch and does me fine for what i need and since i opted to put the server into the spare room away from the main house i also had to obtain 30+ meters of cat5 cable.
Since the c6100 is a 4 node server i wanted to have some Virtualization so i could take full advantage of all 4 nodes without the high cost of EXSi i have opted to go with Proxmox, which is fully open source unlike EXSi or Zen.
After playing with proxmox for a short time i am more then impressed with its very easy to use interface and command line management. the ability to create new virtual machines or LXC (Linux containers) makes the system very flexible.
Well there we have it, a developers dream system with huge amount of CPU, RAM and Storage at hand and the ability to spawn new virtual machines in minutes if needed.
Next plans are to integrate the system with docker and vagrant to take the ability of windows containers and other docker/vagrant features that proxmox lacks.
So far this is a break down of what this has cost.
- Dell c6100 Server: 350
- cat5e cabling: $30
- Netgear gs105 switch: $40
- HDD $0 spare
- screen $0 had spare
- keyboard $0 spare
- total: $420 AUD