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Old Servers from an Auction Site?

ultimatebob

Lifer
Jul 1, 2001
23,901
1,667
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I stumbled on this weird liquidation auction site in Washington that is unloading a bunch of higher end server hardware. One of the more interesting pages was this list of servers:

https://murphyauction.hibid.com/catalog/116594/audience-science-only-only/?cpage=13&ipp=25

Some of these servers have 20 TB of storage and 128 GB of RAM in them, but only have bids of around $20 (so far). I'd be half tempted to bid on one of these, except that I'd have to go to Washington to get them if I won the auction.

What would you do with one of these if you got a hold of one of them? Home file/movie server, perhaps? Personally, I'd like one as an ESXi test server, but then I'm weird like that. Maybe I'd just part them out and sell the parts on eBay.
 
Feb 25, 2011
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I don't think that's weird. ESX host and file/PLEX/test-tinkering server is what I would use one for. (It's what I use my current server for - those would just be way the hell beefier.)
 

XavierMace

Diamond Member
Apr 20, 2013
4,307
449
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The R720XD is the only one I might consider. The rest are too old. There's a reason there's no bids on them.
 

ultimatebob

Lifer
Jul 1, 2001
23,901
1,667
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I thought that the amount of equipment on that site that they were trying to get rid of at one time was weird. There must have been 300 servers on that page. You would think putting them all on the market at once would drive down the prices, no? I mean, are there really that many people looking for used servers in the Washington area?

Also, I saw that a lot of the servers don't come with drives, yet they have separate auction listings for lots of drives. Why not put those two together, and have some complete servers ready to go?

It's probably a good thing that I don't live nearby. I'd probably get myself one of those F5 load balancers to play with, just because I'm not allowed to play with the one I have at work :)
 
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XavierMace

Diamond Member
Apr 20, 2013
4,307
449
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No there's not a market, and that's the problem. Let me explain how the surplus server market works. Company does server refresh. They have two basic options.

A) Sell old servers off to try to recoup a small amount of funds.
B) Contract somebody to ewaste them.

You can find servers of that generation by the thousands. Therefore both the servers and the parts are worth next to nothing. No OS is included which makes them of limited value to the hobbyist wanting to experiment. They have no warranty so they're of little interest to small businesses. They're available in such quantity the parts are nearly worthless. The Supermicro's have a little more value because most of their chassis use standard ATX parts so for hobbyists, you can get more life out of the chassis. It costs about $100 to ship a server via ground which makes the value of the chassis next to nothing. 128Gb of RAM sounds like a lot if you're not used to dealing with servers, but 128Gb isn't all that much for a server. Most of these will handle 768Gb or more and most of the time companies cheap out and use the smallest DIMM's possible so if you want more, you have to replace not add. If you're wanting to part them out, there's not a huge market for low capacity ECC dimm's. The processors are literally worth as little as $5 depending on model. So that's a lot of work for very little profit.

The C2100's and Rx10's are Westmere-EP's. AKA first gen i7's. The Rx20's are Sandy Bridge/Ivy Bridge. I've still got a stack of Westmere-EP servers in my closet from my last lab rebuild that I've had on Craigslist on and off or over a year.
 

ultimatebob

Lifer
Jul 1, 2001
23,901
1,667
126
I hear what you're saying... a lot of those servers are old and wouldn't be worth buying simply because they're too damn big for the power you're getting and use too much electricity while running.

I'm not sure if the lack of a Windows licenses is a big deal, though. I'd probably just put a free copy of ESXi on there, and run a bunch VM's with CentOS or Ubuntu. Or, maybe I'd just install Docker and play with containers.
 

XavierMace

Diamond Member
Apr 20, 2013
4,307
449
126
If you don't need the CPU grunt, and don't have a need to learn anything about the server hardware, just build your own ESXi whitebox. Yes it's obviously going to cost more money. But it will be far more energy efficient and make far less noise.
 

Red Squirrel

No Lifer
May 24, 2003
60,031
8,741
126
www.uovalor.com
The shipping on that would probably be ludicrus, but even if it's like a grand to ship it's still cheaper than building an equivalent box. Very tempting. Most of those arn't showing the price though.
 

ultimatebob

Lifer
Jul 1, 2001
23,901
1,667
126
The auction is over now. I saw the prices before it ended, and the newer servers were well over $2,000 each. They were local pickup only, as well. So much for a bargain!
 

Genx87

Lifer
Apr 8, 2002
41,061
494
126
Ebay is a pretty good place to find older hardware. Built out a home Hyper-V cluster with the following just in the last 2 weeks.

1xDell R510 12+2(internal) bay, 2x6core Xeon, 24GB ram, 2x4 1Gbe nics, 2x1Gbe built in ports. H700 1GB. 2x Samsung 850s boot drives, 8x 3TB Hitachi 7200 rpm, 4x Crucial 275GB M300s.

The above is my SAN.
Below are my Hyper-V nodes.

2xDell R610s. I got these for 80 bucks a pop. 64GB ram, 2 socket, 6 core Xeons, 8x1Gbe nic ports.

switching - 2x HP 2910-24G.

15U rack

Total for the above build under 1500 bucks.
 

Genx87

Lifer
Apr 8, 2002
41,061
494
126
Wow, you got R610's with 64 GB of RAM in them for just $80? Nice find!
The description for the R610s was kind of a mess. So I decided for 80 bucks lets see what they come with. I was also impressed with the dual PSU and 8 nic ports. Made for a really cheap Hyper-V node. Just needed to add two HDs.
 

Red Squirrel

No Lifer
May 24, 2003
60,031
8,741
126
www.uovalor.com
The problem I always see with Ebay is the shipping is always crazy. For a little bit more money I can just build a new machine. I imagine there are still some gems if you look hard enough though, but all the times I've looked I find servers going for ~$400 asking like $600 for shipping. Then add duties and potentially other fees, and it's not that much cheaper than building new.
 
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