Replace the R510?

I’ve been pondering getting rid of the Dell PowerEdge R510 we bought a few years back and replacing it with something a little more modern. Factors:

  • I don’t particularly need/want the enterprise shit - we almost never use iDRAC (it’s the old Java version so it’s a pain, I have a thing to run it in a container, but that assumes the server’s online, which you don’t really need iDRAC at that point), I’ve only got one PSU, one UPS, etc. I don’t even really need ECC RAM, data corruption is just not that critical for us.
  • I’m not even 100% convinced I need the hotswap SATA bays. They’re nice to have, but I could certainly live without them.
  • It’s heavy on power, even though most of the time it’s idle. This isn’t really a factor on it’s own, because anything more efficient has such a high capital cost that the break even point is years out, but it’s definitely a factor to include.
  • It’s noisy. I didn’t care at first, but now I do. In the summer I have the air conditioner going, but in the other three seasons it’s really annoying now.
  • I actually stand a reasonable chance of getting more for it than I paid for it. Ridiculous.

What to replace it with though? I want to keep a rack, I just don’t want the rack in my office after we buy a house, unless I can’t avoid it. So I’d like a rackmount chassis, with rails, and that’s going to set me back most of what I’d get from selling the machine at the cheapest. For a decent case, it’s significantly more, particularly after shipping.

It definitely needs to be at least 3U in size, which would let me use (hopefully) 120mm fans instead of the little 60mm screamers in the R510. 4U would be better if it allows for 140mm behind the disks, throw a wall of EK Vardars behind them at about 60% duty cycle and it should stay reasonably comfortable without making too much noise.

I think I’d like a modest Ryzen machine. That should give us all the CPU power we need, though RAM is likely to be expensive depending on the machine I could put say 16GB in it now and throw more at it later once finances recover.

Today while just idly browsing around I found someone in Melbourne selling a SuperMicro chassis that actually looks like it’ll fit the bill. It’s a tiny bit more than I can reasonably get for the R510, but it’s a 3U chassis, that they still make and sell, with hot swap drive bays. It takes a standard ATX or EATX motherboard, and while what’s in it is somewhat of a downgrade from what I have it’s not as if it’s in any way that’ll impact how we use the machine. I don’t think with the configuration of the chassis I’ll be able to squeeze even a single 120mm fan in there, but there are plenty of threads of folks shutting this exact chassis up and it already has some of the hard work done.

But best of all if I can take the server board out that’s in it, sell it off, and replace it with a standard ATX board with a consumer Ryzen in it, I’ll probably halve our server power consumption, create less heat, create less noise, and pick up a pretty significant performance boost.

I wrote the seller to see if it’s possible to arrange picking it up this coming weekend, as I’ll happen to be over in their area. We’ll see if it pans out.

Horsham, VIC, Australia fwaggle



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Horsham, VIC, Australia

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