Feeds

Reg readers reveal MIGHTY DOMESTIC DATA CENTRES

Servers’n’sofas challenge reveals racks and stacks in the oddest places

Security for virtualized datacentres

The travelling lab

A reader named Elmars asked us not to use his surname, but we can’t leave him out because his story is remarkable: kit on the rack you see at right was acquired in the Baltic countries and eventually shipped to the USA where Customs became rather interested in X-Ray images of its UPS batteries.

Elmars' Home Lab

Elmars' Home Lab

“I am a senior systems engineer running a much larger VMware farm for a cloud-based product for the printing industry,” Elmars wrote. “VMware certification is very expensive and I have yet to find an employer willing to stump up the >$5k for the required courses and certification. They are much more willing to throw me a decommissioned server or other gear - sometimes accompanied with the phrase 'knock yourself out'. With at least one supervisor, I was never really sure if it was meant figuratively or literally.

“All told, probably about $3k in my own money invested and it has brought me a lot more benefit than a piece of paper titled 'Certified'.”

What’s in the rack? Here’s Elmars’ list and explanation:

  • An ancient IBM dual P3 server (933MHz eServer x340) with 4GB RAM attached to a 1.5TB SCSI storage shelf, and 1TB internal SATA array. A dual-port Intel gigabit NIC makes sure the network floods the backplane at will.
  • A SATA storage shelf that is a work in progress.
  • Two VMware hosts licensed for Essentials. V5.1. The hosts are IBM x3455 machines with two sockets and four cores each and 48GB RAM. “These came out of an HPC shop in Texas for cheap,” Elmars says. “They replaced a pair of first generation IBM x3950 machines I had picked up in Germany. It was cheaper to replace the x3950 machines than to power them as they together ate 1KW just to run at idle and don’t support ESXI 5.x.”
  • The last machine at the bottom is an old Rackable box with 8GB RAM and a pair of 2nd generation Opterons serving as OpenFiler NAS providing the data stores for the ESXi hosts. Elmars adds: "35MB/s sustained write speed is good enough for me."
  • “An HP switch I don't even remember where I picked up.”

Home-lab building makes me... thirsty

Kiwi reader Andrew Gall says his lab only looks a little messy because when he took the shot below he’d lived in his current home for just two weeks.

Andrew Gall's home lab

Would your home lab look like this 2.5 weeks after you moved into a house?

He’s done rather well, we think, to stand up the following:

  1. ESX1 Host 1, Quad Core, 8GB RAM, 3TB storage
  2. 8 port KVM + 21” LCD, keyboard & mouse
  3. Old HP ML330 G3, Dual Xeon 4GB RAM
  4. Another old HP ML330 G3
  5. ESX2 Host 2, Quad Core, 16GB RAM, 4TB storage
  6. Media server, not technically part of my training lab but storing a few Linux ISOs
  7. Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V Host, Quad Core, 16GB RAM, 2.5TB storage
  8. 24 port 10/100 switch

The lab “mainly gets used for me to learn new MS skills/technology, and to play around with things that I'd be hesitant to try out on a production network,” Gall told us by email.

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Next page: Cloudy capers

More from The Register

next story
It's Big, it's Blue... it's simply FABLESS! IBM's chip-free future
Or why the reversal of globalisation ain't gonna 'appen
IBM storage revenues sink: 'We are disappointed,' says CEO
Time to put the storage biz up for sale?
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Microsoft and Dell’s cloud in a box: Instant Azure for the data centre
A less painful way to run Microsoft’s private cloud
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.