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Help me decide on my next server!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone.
So a lot of you know that I love the Dell C1100s, and I currently have 1 with 48GB of RAM that runs the majority of my workloads. I bought it about 5 months ago, spent $30 adding 12GB of RAM , so I have about $350 in it. I got a great deal, and wish I could find another that cheap. Problem is, the sellers of these C1100s have jacked up the prices, and I got a local offer of $650 for this server. Can't say no to profiting $300 on it, but I need to replace it.
I love the L5520s and I think price-to-performance (including the thought of power draw) can't be beat, so I want to replace it with a similar dual L5520 platform. From my research, I've found Dell C1100, R410, R610, R710, and HP DL160G6, DL180G6, DL360G6, DL380G6. I've spent all day thinking about what I want from the box, and I think I have figured out my priorities with it.

I'll be running Server 2012 R2 with Hyper-V, and my current workload is ~12 VMs, which is using ~18GB of RAM. I plan to sell my house and move in the next 3 months, and start building a house in the next 6 months and my new house will have a dedicated server room. I plan to have 2-3 similar boxes (dual L5520s) using SAN storage from another box with hardware RAID 10 with SSDs (either 4 x 500GB, or 6 x 250GB). I also plan to have 6 NICs per server, 4 using MPIO to my SAN and 2 using LACP to my LAN. Local storage will be 2 x 60GB SSD in RAID1, so 2.5" drive bays are fine.

Nice to haves would be, redundant PSUs, 4 onboard gigabit NICs and 2 or more PCIe slots if there are only 2 onboard gigabit NICs. Some of the HPs have integrated RAID controller (RAID on the motherboard, with a hardware controller such as the P410i, or the B110i -- B110i supported 0,1,10 which will work for me) which is also a plus. Everything will be racked, so 2U vs 1U is not a problem. Low power is good, and quiet is good (quiet as or quieter than a C1100)

Anyway, I've made a table from recent eBay findings that others will probably find interesting. Red is what I have ruled out, and yellow is what I'm thinking about:



#2 is the cheapest, and I would get 3 of them total if that's what I went with. 24GB per server will work, but 36 is ideal and 48 is even better if the price-per-GB is less than the 36GB boxes. The drive is a plus, but I won't use it.
#6 is the same as #2, but with 48GB of RAM. It is the most affordable dual L5520 box I could find with 48GB of RAM. I would probably only get two of these total, if I went with this.
#2 and #6 have 2 PCIe slots which is also a plus, so I could add plenty of gigabit NICs if needed. They both have the B110i controller which I would prefer to the Intel onboard of the C1100.
#10 is probably my favorite, aesthetically. I think these looks great, but they don't come with rails, which I'd have to buy. I'd have to spend another ~$20 on a faceplate. I believe this is the newest server out of those on the list, and it comes with a pair of 10K SAS drives which I would probably use for the OS instead of getting 60GB SSDs. Quad NICs is nice, because I wouldn't have to drop $100 on a quad gigabit NIC card, but get a dual card instead. Redundant PSUs are a huge plus. If this had 36GB of RAM, it would definitely be my choice.
#11 is on my list only because it's a 2U box. It has a P410i, which is nice, but I believe the B110i would do everything I need, so I won't call that a plus. Quad gigabit NICs and redundant PSUs are a plus, but the R610 has that. Price is negligible between this and the R610. If this was significantly quieter than all the others, I would get this...but having these servers in a dedicated room, I can't use that to justify a 2U. Getting 3 of the #2 would be cheaper than getting 2 of these, so this is really my last choice.

Ugh, tough choices! Going with #2 is getting it because they are cheap, and #6 because price-per-GB is fantastic. I really like the Dell though!

Help?
post #2 of 5
Thread Starter 
I figured people would actually be interested in a thread like this, since you can see the best bang for the buck used OEM servers currently available. Guess I won't spend my time creating a spreadsheet like that to share again.

Regardless, I've decided to go with a Dell R610 (aka #10). 24GB RAM, dual Xeon L5520, quad gigabit NICs, and dual PSUs. Paid around $490 for it, which is a heck of a deal. Just need to buy rails and a new SSD, and will be good to go with it. I will eventually get another (or maybe two more, depending on power pull and noise) in the future.
post #3 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by tycoonbob View Post

I figured people would actually be interested in a thread like this, since you can see the best bang for the buck used OEM servers currently available. Guess I won't spend my time creating a spreadsheet like that to share again.

Regardless, I've decided to go with a Dell R610 (aka #10). 24GB RAM, dual Xeon L5520, quad gigabit NICs, and dual PSUs. Paid around $490 for it, which is a heck of a deal. Just need to buy rails and a new SSD, and will be good to go with it. I will eventually get another (or maybe two more, depending on power pull and noise) in the future.

Definitely interested in what you think of the R610 when you get it in. Curious what the noise is compared to the C1100. Also great spreadsheet!
post #4 of 5
You made the right choice with that R610. And you got a great price. Where did you get it?

I think I paid 1,100 for mine. But I added some features you don't have.

Dual hex core x5760s
Larger dual PS (700 watt not the 500s)
24 Gigs ram
Drac 6 enterprise with Vflash (allows you to boot ISOs like macrium reflect to back up the core drive)
Perc 700H w BBU (don't get the perc 6i)
Raid 1 twin 1TB SAS drives (these are not cheap)
Face plate
Rails

I love it and its super quite, no louder than a regular PC. I have a Dell 1950 server that is super loud. The R610 is quite.

The R610 is the best bang for your buck server in 2015. The only advantage the newer ones have is they use less power.

Mine runs from 100 - 140 watts usage, that includes a router, switch and external USB drive. So unless you have 10 of these the money savings on power will not make up for the cost of say buying the next generation server. Large companies are dumping these to save on power, the new ones will be NO faster.

Even my old 1950 with 32 gigs and dual last gen quads feels the same as the R610 with 5 guest OS running. You won't start to feel much difference unless you really are pushing them. You will run into ram issue way before you run into cpu performance issues.
post #5 of 5
Definitely a nice spreadsheet. I can't comment much since I don't care at all about OEMs; prefer whitebox builds.
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