Fished myself a server out of the ‘bay, an IBM eSeries xServer 345. Two dual-core Xeons 3.2, three 32 GByte Ultra320 SCSI HDD in a RAID 0 with hot spare, 3 GByte RAM, four network interfaces, all for 50 Euro. It was very clean inside and data-wise, booted only into the various BIOSes and RAID configuration utilities, no remnants of it’s former configuration found on the disks. Two disadvantages became apparent right away when I tried to set it up: Being quite an old model (ca. 2003), disks for it are hellishly expensive and rather small. The biggest I could find online is an IBM 300 GByte for 363 Euro. Talk about casting pearls before swine, I think I’ll make do with the three disks that are in it and perhaps use an adapter. The other thing you’ll notice right away is how loud the fans are right from power-up. I think they run at max and never turn down irregardless of server load. There’s got to be a way to tame them!
Setting it up, I had a bit of difficulty getting Ubuntu Server on it (the CD drive wouldn’t boot the Solaris DVD, go figure!). Those Xeons are i686 processors, so we’re in 32-bit land. Having wasted some CD-Rs on 64-bit Linux ISOs, I finally found the right ISO and one of the last remaining CD-Rs to burn it to. Then the CD drive in the server was a bit temperamental and wouldn’t allow the beginning of the Ubuntu installation to finish several times. Well, enough war stories, I’m happy to report that the installation is advancing smoothly now, mainly over the net:
Now, where do I find a way to turn down these jet engines, er… fans? Any advice welcome.
Oh, and about the machine name. I had a scheme running with $evil-computer-name-out-of-a-novel-or-a-movie, but I’m fresh out of them. Now it’s natural philosophers.