Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Big Servers

Among all the computers and electronics here at the ACCRC, there are servers with a nice chunk of processing power available, sitting around and gathering dust. Some of the less heavy (weight and power) ones are being turned into Ubuntu install servers. These ones are just sitting around being useless at the minute. There are two I have documented, a Sun Enterprise 450 and an IBM 9406-5xx. Both appear to turn on and run, and I am focusing on the Enterprise for diagnosis because it has a VGA-compatible card and a serial port for input. (grrr... proprietary sun mouse/keyboard connector)

IBM 9406-5xx:

Sun Enterprise 450:

Are there any ideas on what these could be repurposed to do? Anyone going to slip us a fat wad of cash in exchange for either of them? Or does anyone know about getting by the system key protection on the 9406, or if it's even possible?

1 comment:

jns said...

I have an E450 and I have converted it to a NAS.

It's a bit of work, but it's fun.

It has a good number of PCI slots in which you can place sata controller cards.

I reverse-engineered the at-like power connector and made a breakout-cable that converts it to a number of sata power cables.

Be aware that modern sata drives won't fit perfectly into the drive bay slots. In the back there is a piece of metal that may block the cables to the HD, depending on your HD of course. This is thick metal that might be tricky to cut out if you're up for that.

Another hurdle is that you need very long sata cables to go from one end of the case where the motherboard (and your sata controller cards) are, and the drive bay/psu area. I did find cables that were long enough online, but they had very crappy connectors.

That said, if you get it all worked out, it's totally worth it. That thing fits a LOT of drives.

I tested mine with 1TB drives, and combined them into a zfs zraid array, worked great.

Since this thing will run solaris it is perfect for a zfs nas.