Feeds

Reg readers reveal MIGHTY DOMESTIC DATA CENTRES

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

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Next page: Cloudy capers

More from The Register

next story
The cloud that goes puff: Seagate Central home NAS woes
4TB of home storage is great, until you wake up to a dead device
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES
We don't even know where some of them ARE – Maude
Intel offers ingenious piece of 10TB 3D NAND chippery
The race for next generation flash capacity now on
Want to STUFF Facebook with blatant ADVERTISING? Fine! But you must PAY
Pony up or push off, Zuck tells social marketeers
Oi, Europe! Tell US feds to GTFO of our servers, say Microsoft and pals
By writing a really angry letter about how it's harming our cloud business, ta
SAVE ME, NASA system builder, from my DEAD WORKSTATION
Anal-retentive hardware nerd in paws-on workstation crisis
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
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.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.