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Want to buy a basic server

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Want to buy a basic server

Postby WestbankRules » Sep 19th, 2017, 2:54 pm

I want to set up a basic server lab for networking. The focus isn't so much on the server software but the ability to run a db for monitoring and setting up various cisco and other devices. The newest cpu features and as much RAM as possible are a priority though I am not as concerned with hdd's that are expensive to work with. I can start with eval server software and likely experiment with linux too. A SATA drive capable machine would be convenient as I have a number of them I can install and swap out as I need. Compact size would be good. It doesn't have to be rack mount.

I have of course searched lots and frankly my head is swimming with possibilities. So any suggestions folks? TIA
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Re: Want to buy a basic server

Postby Jlabute » Sep 19th, 2017, 5:07 pm

Perhaps you can check out Dell. Servers will come typically with a Xeon processor and your choice of OS.

http://www.dell.com/en-ca/work/shop/servers-storage-and-networking/sc/servers
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Re: Want to buy a basic server

Postby TylerM4 » Sep 19th, 2017, 6:57 pm

I don't understand what you're trying to do.

A lab implies more than one device and you want it to create database for storing network equipment configuration information? You lost me.

Servers are little different from PCs. The big difference is that uptime and remote management is a bigger concern so they're usually built with higher quality components and with redundancy, alerting, and ease of management in mind.

For "playing around" I recommend you just use a standard desktop PC and install a server OS.
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Re: Want to buy a basic server

Postby 36Drew » Sep 20th, 2017, 12:12 pm

I, too, am confused. Network administration and system administration are two different disciplines.

If you are trying to set up a system to install and test some software in a lab setting, you can easily use your own PC or laptop for this.

If you are trying your hand at systems administration and just want a server install to play with, then go create an AWS account and launch an ec2 instance. You can get a lot of runtime hours for the thousands you would otherwise spend on an enterprise server.
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Re: Want to buy a basic server

Postby rekabis » Sep 21st, 2017, 7:48 pm

For something just to play with, I would recommend the Dell R710 series. You can find a bunch of them on eBay, clear up to dual octo-core processors and the full 288GB of RAM. Few come with hard drives (data privacy issues) or even the hotswap trays the drives sit in, and if you want real RAID-10, RAID-5 or RAID-6 you will most likely need an add-on card, but these machines typically start out in the $150-300CDN range (before shipping), depending on options. They are also Hyper-V 2016 and VMware compatible.

Pretty cost effective when compared to freshly cast iron.
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Re: Want to buy a basic server

Postby pmaria » Sep 26th, 2017, 10:32 am

As others have said you definitely don't need a "server" just for a lab environment. I have an entire lab of virtual machines running on my i7 desktop computer using Hyper-V in Windows 10. 2 Windows servers, 1 Linux server, 3 Win 10 / 7 workstations. I run several server applications on the servers, and test various iterations of software on the workstation clients. The beauty of this setup is I can revert any of the machines to a previous state in a matter of seconds of something isn't working right. And if I need an additional server for a special case, it just takes a few minutes to spin one up.

All this runs on one physical computer, with the only real restrictions is you need lots of RAM, i have 32gb, enough hard drive space for the VMs and Windows 8 or 10 Pro.

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