Sunday, November 13

eBay snipers and Compaq servers

Ok, so I've this web site project going. A bit secret so far but I'm coding some things for a very cool site. And for this site I of course need a few servers to run it on. I'm not expecting insane amounts of hits bit still want to cater for quite some traffic. One dedicated DB server and one Apache server. I have high hopes :-)
After scanning eBay for a few weeks I decided that two good old Compaq DL580s was the way to go. Nice quad CPU machines with lots of redundancy and expandability. And best of all, the price on eBay is quite good. They usually go for about £250GBP in a decent spec. I would have preferred to get Sun or IBM machines but after doing the price/performance maths on refurbished machines HP/Compaq just made more sense. The alternatives where either IBM x350/6000r's or Sun E420r's I guess, perhaps if I can find a real bargin.

I actually managed to snag a DL580 for just £150GBP last week. Quite good spec, 2x700MHz Xeons, 4Gb RAM (yes four!), 3x36Gb SCSI drives and a nice SmartRaid 6400 controller. The drives alone usually run for £35 on eBay.
Haven't much time to play with it yet, re-configured the drives to a RAID5 array, flashed the BIOS to the latest version and installed CentOS on it, feels extremly fast and responsive for being a 4 year old 700MHz machine.
Also bought a few Intel gigabit server NICs at £14 a pop.

Then today I found another nice DL580, good price and all four CPUs installed. So I place my bid, someone bids over, ok I increase my bid by 30 pounds. Then 1 second before the auction ends some bastard snipes it right infront of my nose. DAMN!
eBay should really try to stop people from using these 3rd party softwares to fuck things over.
Looks like I have to get a machine from Germany now, some company there has like 30 DL580s in stock and seem to be quite alright to negotiate with. Hmm, perhaps I should get two more machine so I can get two max speced ones and also have a spair chassis in case things go face up.

PS. Anyone wanna trade 5x 36Gb FC-AL drives (and the bulky MetaStor array the come in) for HP/Compaq SCSI drives? :-)

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