There comes a time in every server’s life when it’s no longer needed. The advent of virtualization has made this very real and very interesting. Here we have a fairly decent model server – HP Proliant ML 350 G5. Sure, it’s not the newest kid on the block, but it’s got some chops. 8GB of RAM, hot swap dual power supplies, hot swap SATA drives (8 of them) and dual Quad Core Xeons. 3 Gigabit Ethernet ports. ILO2.
In the past, this machine had Windows 2003R2 (32-bit) which didn’t take advantage of the 64-bit architecture and certainly couldn’t take advantage of the additional 4GB of memory.
Wait – Dual Quad Core Xeons? Can we say “VMWare Host”? Yes We can.
What was once a slow and painful to use 32-bit server with a RAID 5 is getting a makeover.
RAID 0+1, the latest firmware updates, VMWare 4.1 Update 1 – oh yeah. Sure, it’s only going to run a small handful of over-provisioned VM’s, but it’s all we need. In time, we’ll upgrade the memory and it can do more (when it’s needed).
Why not RAID 5? Performance. You need IOPS in a VM environment. That means more spindles, less storage space.
Also, with VMWare, I can add iSCSI targets to the hypervisor layer – even boot VM’s off of it. Cool, huh? I’ll be attaching a little Netgear ReadyNAS unit with about 3TB of usable space.
This server would surely have found it’s way into the “unused” pile and eventually pushed out the door to recycling without this re-lifing.