The future of the DL380 G7

In my last entry I mentioned that the future of the DL380 is uncertain and that it’s mostly turned off for noise, vibration etc. Well there is a development that might become the replacement. I wanted to do a custom build at first, so I was scouring eBay for 1366 or 2011 boards with ECC DDR3 support, but I came up empty.

Then, something popped up that I hadn’t considered, a more entry level tower server, but powerful enough to be dual socket and thus featuring the full server chipsets I was after.

What I ended up buying from a Dutch tech community known as Tweakers, was an HP ProLiant ML150 G6, at least, that’s what it was listed as. We’ll find out when it’s delivered later this week. It appeared to be a bottom of the barrel model for the most part, with a single CPU and just a SATA drive cage and 8GB of non-ECC DDR3.

While HP doesn’t list 8 or 16GB DIMMs as compatible, it should work considering it uses the same i5520 chipset my DL380G7 uses. The CPU is now an E5540, a quad core HT at 2.53GHz. I’m going to try and swap that for the E5649 in the Jankinator, which is 6c/12t at the same TDP. Drive wise, I’ve seen that the SAS cages come in at around $70, which isn’t bad, but I’ll probably just try it with SATA disks for the time being to see if everything works out as planned.

Whether I’ll go dual CPU…. probably not. CPU is never much of an issue in virtualization, especially in low load scenario’s like mine. RAM is important, though. I’m hoping I can re-use my 16GB DIMMs. The server has 6 slots per CPU, so with 4 16GB DIMMs and just filling up the remainder (because triple channel) I’d end up with 68GB, which would be awesome.

So yeah, if everything pans out, the DL380 might soon be gone. I’ll probably just swap it for my girlfriend’s DL380G6 so she can use the G7 and I’ll get rid
of the G6 myself.

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