VLOG #1 – Home Lab Server Refresh

This is something new that I’m trying, I’ve been thinking about creating a regular VLOG as a way of communicating with other techies and readers of this blog (techhead.co).

So here it is,  my first VLOG which covers my wanting to refresh my dormant, and now slightly outdated, vSphere based home lab.   

I’ve always looked towards the HP entry level range of servers for my home lab, particularly due to them running very good deals on them from time to time.

I like the tower form factor of server for my home lab, so HP’s ML110 and ML115 models have been a great fit.  That is until they went end-of-life…

The HP MicroServer came along and provided a nice small form factor, also at a good price (when discounted).  Though the limitation I always found with the MicroServers was the 16GB maximum memory, and the CPU horsepower could sometimes be a little bit restrictive, although this was less of an issue with the Intel based CPUs found in the MicroServer G8.  This didn’t make the MicroServers bad lab machines, far from it, they offered great bang for buck, though I just missed having the ability to upgrade them to accommodate multiple virtual machines running more demanding resource requirements found with modern day operating systems and applications. 

I still have my ML110 and ML115 servers, though they are getting a little long in the tooth now, ie: 5+ years, and I could do with something fresh.

So I’m back in the market for a new lab server, something that won’t break the bank but with enough resources at its disposal to run all, or at least the majority, of my vSphere lab infrastructure.

Dell PowerEdge T20 VMware vSphere Lab ServerThis got me looking at different brands of entry level server with the most obvious place to start being Dell.  Why Dell?  Well, I work for EMC and as you’ve probably heard we’re currently in the process of merging with Dell to create the largest IT company on the planet – exciting stuff, as I’ll get exposure to even more cool tech.  Also, Dell owns  and runs the Alienware gaming PC/laptop brand, what’s not to like?

I got in contact with the great folks over at ServersPlus (.co.uk) and they informed me of an attractive deal that Dell is currently running on their entry level PowerEdge T20 tower servers.  So this seems like the right time to order my first Dell lab server, I look forward to trying out a new brand of lab server.

Although ServersPlus are a UK based company I have heard of them shipping to Europe before, though I’d recommend contacting them if you are based outside of the UK to find out the logistics and costs associated with doing this.

Here is the link to the Dell PowerEdge T20 deals at ServersPlus – just remember to factor in the cost of increasing the memory to either 16GB or 32GB, along with a SATA disk if you buy the Celeron based T20 model (as it doesn’t come with a disk as standard, although the XEON model does, ie: 1TB SATA).

Please let me know what you think of the VLOG format, and if this is something you’d like to see more of regularly in the future.  Thanks. Smile


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