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My "new" P3 dell poweredge 1500sc

post #1 of 5
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After several almost-had situations over the last few years...I'm finally getting a decommissioned server: a dell poweredge 1500sc.

Here's kind of a disassemble pic I found on Dell's site:


The drives are SCSI, of course but only two of them. Something like 17gigs each. I was hoping/expecting it would have more.

According to the BIOS setup utility it's a Pentium 3 running at "1266Mhz". I didn't even know P3s came at that speed. Also, it had "open SCO UNIX". Though that doesn't matter now since I already started the DBAN process. For some reason I never associated Dell servers with SCO UNIX. Maybe it was before Linux really blew up in popularity or something?

Now it's my turn to decide what to do with it. I don't think it will really be of that much use to me as a server, truth be told. I forget how much memory it has but it can't be very much. I note at least on the specs on the dell documentation site it has GigE network port. Which is impressive considering its age. It also has two PSUs for redundancy. Which is kinda cool. I mean I'm not sure I could connect them to a modern motherboard but it's kind of neat anyway.

My main idea was to re-do the inside of the thing so I can put an actual, modern motherboard in it. Maybe use it as my main rig chassis. Also it was made to support installing casters on it. I would make my own custom set of wheels but use some comically large things with big treads and like springs or something. From...I don't know one of those tough looking strollers or something.

So anybody have any comments? Ideas? Suggestions? That front bank of HDD bays certainly looks promising. Don't know if it can be adapted from SCSI to SATA but it certainly looks cool...
 
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post #2 of 5
@subassy
Quote:
According to the BIOS setup utility it's a Pentium 3 running at "1266Mhz". I didn't even know P3s came at that speed.

It could be one of the "Tualatin" Pentium IIIs - they were also known as Pentium III-S. I know they came in speeds up to 1.4GHz - I have two of them. smile.gif Another option open to you is to mount the motherboard in a new case (perhaps a rackmount?) and with the addition of a couple of PCI NICs use it as an Untangle/pfSense/Vyatta box.
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post #3 of 5
I've got a similar poweredge at home.. dual p3 866's all 6 scsi drive bays full of 18.6gb scsi160 drives. It made a great stand for my last server (before i built a rack into my new desk for my updated server) and it had a 40/80gb tape drive in it. so i used that as an "emergency" backup of just the essential pics and docs. Otherwise it ran my backup TS3 server. Thing easily took 15min to fully boot into server 2003.

As far as gutting it and trying to mod the case for newer hardware, i think you'd be in for more work than would be worth it. Just my 2cents.gif
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post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by parityboy View Post

@subassy
It could be one of the "Tualatin" Pentium IIIs - they were also known as Pentium III-S. I know they came in speeds up to 1.4GHz - I have two of them. smile.gif

I had no idea P3s came in that variety. Last night I took it to a friend's house to blow all the dust bunnies out (dust was thick enough I doubt it has ever been blown out) and noted it actually has an empty CPU socket. I don't think I really want to put money into a server that is this old.

I also studied how the redundant PSUs seem work: looks like they go into some kind of controller board (for lack of my knowing any proper name) which has the single ATX power cable going down to the mobo. Not sure if I could utilize these in some way for a modern mobo but if I did I wouldn't have to worry about figuring out how to re-wire the panel for the activity LED/power LED/reset button/power button. Something as seemingly minor as that could actually derail any and all ideas for re-purposing this thing.
Quote:
Another option open to you is to mount the motherboard in a new case (perhaps a rackmount?) and with the addition of a couple of PCI NICs use it as an Untangle/pfSense/Vyatta box.

I suppose that would go back to wiring. I could put together some kind of rack or whatnot (lackrack?), wire the whole thing up, learn all the software and...get completely stuck trying to wire up a power button (do'h!). For some reason I just don't seem to have the patients.

The connection seem to be one of those all-in-one plugs with a special connector/cabling made specifically for this board to this case. That's the way it seemed to me anyway.

I'll be moving in a month or so to a much larger place. I'm dedicating an entire room to computer-related stuff and perhaps a corner to things like wiring and soldering.

Anyway the PFSense/untangle is a good idea. Never heard of Vyatta. Web site makes it look like it's paid-only...
Edited by subassy - 7/31/12 at 1:52pm
 
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Hard Drive: Serial-ATA II 3GB/s Windows 7 Ultimate x64 17.3" FHD 16:9 (1920x1080) Battery: Smart Li-ion Battery (8-Cell) 
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Sound Blaster Compatible 3D Audio 
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post #5 of 5
Nah, there's a free version too - Vyatta Core on the Downloads page. :-)
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Mythica
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