Affordable Server for ESX / ESXi

Dell’s 1900 series servers are a great entry level virtualization server.  It’s the perfect hardware to get you started with ESX or ESXi, at an affordable price.  Affordable price being a relative term of course, but you can configure a 1900 series server, tower case, for less than $3000 in most cases, and depending on the deals that are going at the time, maybe even less.  $2300’ish in my case and a few of my co-workers.

With the configuration below, I’m currently running 10 VMs (virtual machines) including production and development environments with plenty of room to spare.  Processor and RAM utilization, along with storage, would probably yield another 10 VMs depending on what they were doing.  Now, with ESXi being free, VMware and Dell are putting in consumer hands, technologies that used to be reserved for enterprises only, and if you take into account some of the Virtual SAN appliances that are available for download from VMware (some free), you could have your own virtual enterprise infrastructure.

Want to learn a technology?  Want to play with new things?  Already have an MSDN subscription?  Why not create an environment in which you can play and not be dependent upon your employer’s equipment, network, and infrastructure?  If I remember correctly, my 1st major application development workstation cost a lot more than this.

Oh and if you do go this route, don’t forget to enable "Virtualization" in the system bios so that you can install 64-bit OS’s.

Oh, and another thing… some of Dell’s discounts don’t show up until you add the server to your cart.  I thought I had missed the deal, added the server to my cart, and had an immediate $750 discount.

I also imagine that this server would work well with Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and Hyper-V, but I haven’t tried yet.

Happy Virtualizing!

The configuration I purchased is:

PowerEdge 1900
Quad Core Intel® Xeon® E5310, 2x4MB Cache, 1.60GHz, 1066MHz FSB
[222-6792]

Additional Processor
Quad Core Intel® Xeon® E5310, 2x4MB Cache, 1.60GHz, 1066MHz FSB
[311-6842]

Memory
16GB 667MHz (8x2GB), Dual Ranked Fully Buffered DIMMs
[311-6199]

Keyboard
No Keyboard Option
[310-5017]

Optional Feature Upgrades for Integrated NIC Ports
LOM NIC is TOE Ready
[430-2966]

Primary Hard Drive
250GB 7.2K RPM Serial ATA 3Gbps 3.5-in Cabled Hard Drive
[341-3803]

Primary Controller
FREE UPGRADE to PERC 5/i, Integrated Controller Card
[466-4787]

Floppy Drive
No Floppy Drive
[341-3052]

Operating System
No Operating System
[420-6320]

Mouse
No Mouse Option
[310-0024]

Network Card
Single Embedded Broadcom® NetXtreme II 5708 Gigabit Ethernet NIC
[430-1764]

Removable Disk and Tape Drives
No Internal Tape Drive
[341-4205]

CD/DVD Drive
48X IDE CD-ROM
[313-4570]

Cables
Hard drive cable for configurations with more than 4 hard drives
[310-8432]

Documentation
Electronic Documentation and OpenManage DVD Kit
[310-8292]

2nd Hard Drive
Discounted upgrade!250GB 7.2K RPM Serial ATA 3Gbps 3.5-in Cabled Hard Drive
[467-5087]

Hard Drive Configuration
Integrated SAS/SATA RAID 5, PERC 5/i Integrated
[341-4020]

Hardware Support Services
3Yr BASIC SUPPORT: 5×10 HW-Only, 5×10 NBD Onsite
[985-3307]
[980-7030]
[985-3298]
[980-0412]
[985-3317]

Installation Support Services
No Installation Assessment
[900-9997]

4th Hard Drive
250GB 7.2K RPM Serial ATA 3Gbps 3.5-in Cabled Hard Drive
[341-3803]

5th Hard Drive
250GB 7.2K RPM Serial ATA 3Gbps 3.5-in Cabled Hard Drive
[341-3803]

3rd Hard Drive
250GB 7.2K RPM Serial ATA 3Gbps 3.5-in Cabled Hard Drive
[341-3803]

Server Accessories
1.44MB USB Floppy Drive, External
[341-0839]

Additional Documentation
PERC 5 English Documentation
[310-7586]

 

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