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jlpoole
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PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2015 4:52 pm    Post subject: XEN Hardware: Inexpensive Parts List? Reply with quote

I am recommending to a friend that he build a Gentoo box for the liberal arts education the Gentoo installation process offers. Then after he builds the server, I am recommending that he rebuild the server and run XEN with two Gentoo (32 and 64 bit) environments therein. I think this will be an excellent exercise for him to build up some Linux chops.

What I'm interested in is specifying parts for a system that are proven to be reliable and not expensive. Performance is not important, that it works is. I'm thinking a motherboard that supports an AMD multicore processor and 16 GBs RAM and some regular disk drives (not RAID). I'm not a fan of built-in network cards on motherboards; I prefer replaceable network cards, usually made by Intel. He could start with 4 GB RAM and build a Gentoo 32 bit system. Then he could expand the RAM at a later time and build a XEN server that supports a 32 VM and a 64 VM.

Would readers be willing to post their motherboard and chip combinations with estimated cost for servers that they are running xen on that might serve as a starting point? I'd like proven systems rather than suggestions. I was burned in one experience when I built my XEN server and then learned that the motherboard I used was incompatible with the XEN software -- something that really surprised me and caused me to then use the XEN project's software.

I always thought if I were to teach a course about Linux, I'd assemble a parts list of some inexpensive, but reliable, hardware and have the students build their own Gentoo box. Now I feel as though that parts list ought to be something that could also serve as a parts list for a xen server.
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2015 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jlpoole,

You can get a whole gen 8 HP Microserver for £120 after you take account of the £60 cashback.
Price wise that will be hard to beat.
It works as supplied but you can add more RAM and HDD to taste.

Why XEN?
I have a gen 7 Microserver hosting 4 KVMs.
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NeddySeagoon

Computer users fall into two groups:-
those that do backups
those that have never had a hard drive fail.
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jlpoole
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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2015 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeddySeagoon wrote:
jlpoole,

You can get a whole gen 8 HP Microserver for £120 after you take account of the £60 cashback.
Price wise that will be hard to beat.
It works as supplied but you can add more RAM and HDD to taste.

Why XEN?
I have a gen 7 Microserver hosting 4 KVMs.


Thank you, Neddy. If I recall, you worked extensively with virtual machines.

I was not aware of the "gen 8 HP Microserver" so I looked around and the cheapest I could find was this "HP ProLiant MicroServer Gen8 Ultra Micro Tower Server System Intel Celeron G1610T 2.3GHz 2C/2T 2GB DDR3 No Hard Drive 712317-001" with 2GB ram and no hard drive at Newegg starting at $445.

XEN was the only open source VM hosting environment I'm aware of? I want the ability to add whatever Linux build, e.g. Slackware, Gentoo 32, Gentoo64, on top of the XEN. What do you recommend if not XEN?
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2015 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jlpoole,

That's it on newegg but the price is absurd. In the UK, all we usually see is the $ changed to £ and the numbers stay the same.
Its not such good value in the USA as the UK.

XEN is the oldest hypervisor and works almost anywhere. Kernel Virtual Machine was next but needs CPU support. It does allow guests to run unmodified, or you can do away with the emulated hardware and use the Virtio drivers. Next there is containers, which I know very little about.

I used to rent a XEN VM but all my own are KVMs.

My own HP Microserver is a Gen 7 one, with the AMD Neo 1.6G CPU.
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NeddySeagoon

Computer users fall into two groups:-
those that do backups
those that have never had a hard drive fail.
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