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Mike Merola  
#1 Posted : Monday, September 30, 2019 4:14:59 PM(UTC)
Mike Merola

Rank: Administration

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Joined: 6/6/2018(UTC)
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So I have an older server that I'm trying to find a good use for. Now I know there are lots of articles and forum entries out there about uses for older computers or servers, but my situation is a little different than what most of those suggestions cover. A common suggestion is a file server, or a home lab, or a game server, or a media server, etc.. Well, see I actually have all of that covered already with other equipment at home.


To start off, the server in question is a custom build based off of a SuperMicro H8DME-2 board, with 2x AMD Opteron 2435 6-core CPUs. There are 16 RAM slots that take DDR2 Fully Buffered RAM. It currently has 12x 4GB 667MHz DIMMs for 48GB of RAM. For about $9 more I could bump it up to 64GB of RAM, but when fully populated, the RAM speed slows to 533MHz. There is an HP P410 RAID card in it with 512MB FBWC, a SATA DVD drive, a 4-bay 2.5" hot swap enclosure and a 4-bay 3.5" hot swap enclosure attached to the RAID card and a singular hard drive direct attached to the MB. It's in a very tall tower case with a couple fans (RAM fans too, which are a must for FB-DDR2 RAM). It runs built-in video ATI ES1000, dual onboard GbE NICs, and a 700W power supply. As is, it really only uses like 150-180W of power and cranking away it's not really over 300W, which puts it less than a lot of higher-end desktops actually. It's a little loud, but I don't think it's too bad. Let me know if you might be interested in it...


I have other servers for virtualization, storage, domain, web serving, testing, development, media server, etc.


Many uses that are commonly suggested can be virtualized on my other equipment. What I am looking for is something that would require dedicated hardware. I thought about running it as a firewall device, but the older CPUs don't have the AES-NI instruction set to speed up encryption, so it would likely be inefficient (but would likely still work). I thought about cold storage/archive storage, but there is some risk there (what if the older hardware dies and I can't pull the data off it because it's on a RAID array?). Another option is a security center/server for cameras or other home security features. I don't have any of those other items at the moment, but it could work too. Without case mods and PCI-E riser cards, there is no option to put in any decent (or really any) video card, so anything requiring that is a no-go. It's not particularly fast, but with 12 cores and 48GB+ RAM it can still do some heavy calculating work.


Anyone have any thoughts or suggestions?



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