Great deals on Servers

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Great deals on Servers

Postby GJ51 » Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:02 pm

I jus thought I'd point out that there are some real bargains on old servers coming off leases at ebay that would make killer Subsonic hosts. I saw dual 2.5GHz quad core Xeon Dells last night with 4 drive bays going for $149. These are pretty large 2U rack servers, but if you find a shelf that can hold them you can add WHS 2011 for $50 and whatever you want for hard drives and have one heck of a Subsonic platform for under $300.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dell-PowerEdge- ... =RTM759773

If I didn't already have 5 servers running in the basement I'd grab a couple of these babies. I still might just because they are a hard bargain to pass up. I've also seen a few others @ $159.

It looks like we may be at the start of a huge wave of server turnover that should be a real deal for home users looking to get into servers being returned off leases. These may not be state of the art, but for the avg. home user they are a great way to get into server tech. If you have thought about doing anything along these lines, the first thing I'd do is grab at least one copy of WHS 2011 for $50 while you still can. There's no telling how long that deal will remain on the table.

Stop and think about it. This may turn out to be an opportunity we may not see come around again for a while, much like buying hard drives before the Thai flood. I've always built my stuff on the cheap by watching for bargains that had a place on my network. This one looks like a winner for the savvy shopper.

Here's another with 16GB of ram.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dell-CS24-SC-Se ... 20d07c7483

Caveat emptor.

I'm only saying that there are some real bargains out there. I am not endorsing any particular item, web site, or manufacturer. Do not expect to hold me responsible for any buying decisions the YOU make. I assume no liability for your decisions. Read product descriptions VERY carefully before you make any purchase to ensure that it meets YOUR needs.
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Re: Great deals on Servers

Postby gurutech » Tue Mar 19, 2013 11:05 pm

Lots of companies are converting their older servers to VM's, either in-house or hosted. (This is what I do for a living...)
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Re: Great deals on Servers

Postby daneren2005 » Tue Mar 19, 2013 11:28 pm

I'm going to have to go server hunting on ebay the next time I have a extra $200. Man that price is ridiculous! I was planning on spending ~$300 upgrading to a low end modern quad core, but there is no point if I can get a dedicated 1U server with 8 cores. They may have a lower IPC then a modern quad core, but the only things I really need more performance from are well threaded, so overall they should be much faster.
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Re: Great deals on Servers

Postby GJ51 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:10 am

gurutech wrote:Lots of companies are converting their older servers to VM's, either in-house or hosted. (This is what I do for a living...)


Hmmm ...

You're the one that needs to be hooking us up! :wink:

A sharp eye and a bi-weekly browse on ebay can save a ton of $$$

My current media server is an HP XW8600 workstation that I got over a year ago for $600 on ebay. It has dual quad core Xeons at 2.83GHz w/16GB ram, dual gigabit nics, case made out of steel, built like a rock, I still look at them from time to time and can't find one with the same specs any cheaper.

You have to be careful and read as many of these things are not state of the art and you have to be sure you'll be happy with the specs especially when it comes to hard drives. Most of these will only be SATA II and may not deal with larger than 2TB drives w/o a software layer. Even so, you can make a dynamite media server on the cheap.
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Re: Great deals on Servers

Postby Munger » Sun Feb 09, 2014 12:12 am

Those rack mount Poweredge servers are indeed beasts, but I should point out that they are also extremely noisy. I mean keep you awake at night through two doors noisy!
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Re: Great deals on Servers

Postby daneren2005 » Sun Feb 09, 2014 2:32 am

Yeah I bought one for $100 but I ended up not bothering. The power/cost ratio just isn't worth it when I can hear it across the house through a closed door.
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Re: Great deals on Servers

Postby baxtr » Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:38 pm

Just picked me up a HP Workstation Z400 FL969UT Intel Xeon Quad W3565- RAM 12 GB -HDD 1 TB -for 320 USD I'm happy with it seeing as its going to replace a Vista machine that is running with a celeron D processor muddling through running Subsonic, Serviio video server, Filezilla server, HFS Http server, Utorrent, plus the OS.....sometimes when my family is streaming a movie to their house from it, you could almost roast marshmallows on the CPU.

I didn't want to spend a lot, and I originally was only looking at the dual processor 2u rack mounts because the beef was there and the cost was dirt cheap. I decided that this one would be good enough, and run circles around my old one that actually never let me down even with the CPU running at 100% while on the fly transcoding the stream.

In the end also, I wanted a tower version, not the large rack mount....they did have servers like the Dell 2900's that were tower or rack that I would have dealt with, I liked the over 3ghz clock of this one.

Now I just need to find a WHS 2011 download....I have a technet key but can't find the disc anywhere...Grrrrrr


The old vista one will now become my NAS box
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Re: Great deals on Servers

Postby Darkcraft » Sun Feb 23, 2014 4:26 am

Just to clarify, the servers in the original post (not available anymore at the link anyway) would be the type of thing the average user would want to get if they had something like a basement, such as the original poster, or an extra computer room to spare. They would not be ideal for multipurpose tasks such as a secondary HTPC+NAS server setups. They would be relatively loud, surprisingly bulky, and you'd be severely limited on dedicated video card options.

If you already had some servers in Colocation though, it would be a good addition. The "L" series of Xeon processors are aimed at a lower power consumption too, which is always nice. Those would make for a good VPS node as well, depending on what RAID configuration and drives you pair with it.

I wish I'd considered the Subsonic community a few years ago when my company was offloading 10,000-30,000 Dell servers (of all shapes, sizes, and age though). Oh well, I'll just think of it as an unspoken proactive favor to all abuse departments across the nations that are aggressive in regards to copyright laws.

Just throwing in my 2 cents. You're better off with a a managed/unmanaged host (VPS, Dedicated, Cloud, whatever) than doing a home server for these types of applications the vast majority of the time, especially when more than one person will be using it concurrently.
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Re: Great deals on Servers

Postby GJ51 » Sun Feb 23, 2014 1:39 pm

I've added a few more servers to the "farm" since my original post. All the comments to that post are good discussions as it should be in a forum like this. Yes. true rack style server equipment is a bit larger and louder than what would be practical if a buyer doesn't factor in the size and the noise before making a purchase of that kind; but if you have the right area to set it up, it's the biggest bang for the buck you can find. Comparing it with what some people are paying for NAS devices that are a real pain to hack and have limited expandability - it's no contest.

There are other good options as well. Perhaps the best compromise is a solid used workstation that will have plenty of power and still run quietly. I now have 2 HP xw8600 workstations that were reasonably affordable and have enough power to handle just about anything. I just added the second one this week, a bit pricier than average, but with dual quad core xeons running at 3.16GHz and 128GB of ram I'll be able to run more VM's than I'll probably ever need. At $850 it was a bit higher than I normally go, but it will pay off as I now need to set up replication and failover for some of my other servers.

You can easily find xw8600's in the $500 range with 16GB of ram that are pretty solid. Keep in mind that these aren't the typical HP consumer crap. These are well built solid steel cases that have ECC memory and cooling fans for the ram. I bought my first one about 2 years ago and it still sells at about what I paid for it. If you want some real crunch power there are HP Z800 dual six core machines out there in the $1500 range. No doubt a bit of overkill for Subsonic, but a great foundation for someone who wants that kind of power.

The best middle ground I've found is to grab a used HP ex 490 MediaSmart server. They can be picked up for under $300 on ebay and if you want to make them faster, it can be done. I now have 3 of those running. All have faster CPU's and 4GB ram than what they were when I bought them. 2 are running Q9550s quad core xeons and the 3rd has a 3GHz dual core Xeon. All have 4 drives installed for plenty of storage space. The primary drive has to be 2TB or less, but the remaining bays can handle larger drives. Theoretically you could configure one of these with a Q9550S, 4GB ram, a 2TB primary drive, and 3 4TB additional drives. Not a bad setup for something that fits on a bookshelf and runs very quietly. Throw in WHS2011 for $50 and you have an exceptional value for the core of a home network with the ability to back up all the PC's attached to the network.

The point being - there are plenty of great options out there that can fit a wide range of user needs. I think when I originally posted some of this information it was a bit of an attempt to offer alternatives to what I saw others spending on NAS devices that they wanted to use for Subsonic. NAS devices are a niche product that can be made to run Subsonic, but that isn't what they were designed to do. They are fine devices, but for my $$ I can get more bang for the buck with some of the alternatives I've found.

Cheers
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Re: Great deals on Servers

Postby baxtr » Sun Feb 23, 2014 2:11 pm

GJ51 wrote:You can easily find xw8600's in the $500 range with 16GB of ram that are pretty solid.


I almost grabbed one of these but the Mrs. wouldn't let me spring more than $300..I really wanted a dual processor model, even if just for bragging rights, but I hung my pants up in the garage, put my skirt on and said "Yes Dear, you are right, this one will do just fine " :roll:
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Re: Great deals on Servers

Postby GJ51 » Sun Feb 23, 2014 6:07 pm

You can always find and add parts later. A bit more costly than buying what you want whole, but the pain can be spread out a little bit. There's a vendor selling DDR2 4X4GB sticks for $80 ea. if you want to add memory.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/131095175067?_t ... EBIDX%3AIT

Other parts can be found easily by searching "xw8600" and then sort the listing by lowest price.

I think you'll really like what you've got - but expect a bump in the electric bill.
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