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Of the Love of Oldtimers - Dusting Off a Sun Fire V1280 Server

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the mine-bitcoins-while-heating-your-home dept.

Sun Microsystems 281

vikingpower writes "Today, I decided to acquire a refurbished Sun Fire V1280 server, with 8 CPUs. The machine will soon or may already belong to a certain history of computing. This project is not about high-performance computing, much more about lovingly dusting off and maintaining a piece of hardware considered quirky by 2013 standards. And Now the question creeps to mind: what software would Slashdotters run on such a beast, once it is upgraded to 12 procs and, say, 24 GiB of RAM ?"

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my ass is itchy lately (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42867947)

i don't know what's up with it

Re:my ass is itchy lately (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42868005)

check what's up it, it may be the reason.

fuckedcompany.com (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42867965)

what else?

I must be getting old (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42867969)

It doesn't seem too long ago 8 Ultrasparcs and 12GB of RAM was the shit. It must really hurt to pull that invoice from 2005 out...

Re:I must be getting old (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42867997)

Oh and Solaris would be your only real option

Re:I must be getting old (5, Insightful)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about a year ago | (#42868033)


"The Sun Fire server brand was a series of server computers introduced in 2001".

You think something from 2001 is old? What are you? 12?

Re:I must be getting old (5, Insightful)

TWX (665546) | about a year ago | (#42868131)

Heh. My desktop PC is dual 3.2GHz Xeon based on an ASUS PC-DL Deluxe board from ten years ago. It's the most stable computer I've ever owned, even though it spends most of its time booted into Windows XP rather than Linux, and its hardware suspend mode means that when I'm not using it it's not consuming gobs of power.

The only thing that would prevent me from using a Sun like the submitter describes would be the power requirements. I probably wouldn't use the computer to its extent that justifies the power costs to run it.

The computer I'm typing this on is a Dell Latitude D410, which is eight years old. It's normally the shop computer, but works just fine for general computing. It's a lot faster than the much newer netbook, and the keyboard is loads better.

I guess I've graduated from newest/latest/greatest to just wanting computers that do what I want them to do. I get a lot of gear from local surplus dealers, as I don't feel a need to spend more money than I have to for a given result. If the Core2Duo HP in the entertainment center runs XBMC at full 1080p then it's adequate and won't be changed out until it's no longer good enough.

Re:I must be getting old (1)

vlpronj (1345627) | about a year ago | (#42868449)

Nice to find a laptop line that's dead simple to work on and stick with it, isn't? I happened to settle on the D510, just by chance, but I've often bought a lot of 3 for one spare part, and sold 1-2 of them for a little profit, either fixed up or as discrete parts. My desktop PC at home - I just bought a 2nd Xeon 5050 processor for it. If I ever find a cooler in my bare-budget price range, it'll be a happy day. that's a Dell XPS 690 I picked up off the side of the road.

Re:I must be getting old (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42868673)

The only thing that would prevent me from using a Sun like the submitter describes would be the power requirements. I probably wouldn't use the computer to its extent that justifies the power costs to run it.

This is the real problem with old hardware like that. In the not so distant past we had a wall of obsolete HPUX workstations, which while being decent at number crunching, were simply outclassed by new Intel machines (literally it was a wall - 3high by many wide, they stack well). I considered ways of converting them into some kind of compute farm, but they simply weren't worth the air conditioning or power required to run them (not to mention space). Power efficiency has so vastly improved in recent years that for compute tasks it just isn't worth it to keep old hardware like that running.

Re:I must be getting old (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42868517)

In all fairness, in computer years, it is old, beyond geriatric. Technically, it should be dead.

Re:I must be getting old (5, Insightful)

somenickname (1270442) | about a year ago | (#42868587)

It may not be that old but, it's definitely of nostalgic value for a lot of people. 12 cores isn't mindblowing these days but, in 2001, cramming 12 processors (not 12 cores) into a single rack mountable computer was a very impressive feat. I worked at Sun in the late 90s and I'd love to own some brand new gear from that era because, in those days, Sun was doing really impressive things with hardware in an exciting time. It's like wanting to own a muscle car. It's probably not that fast, it handles like garbage, it uses too much gas, etc. But, damn, it's cool.

Re:I must be getting old (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42868757)

"The Sun Fire server brand was a series of server computers introduced in 2001".

You think something from 2001 is old? What are you? 12?

Perhaps he will park it next to his ancient Core2 Duo machine.

Re:I must be getting old (4, Funny)

red crab (1044734) | about a year ago | (#42868621)

I concur, this machine isn't old at all by Slashdot Unix Graybeard Users standards. What should i call my HP-UX PA-RISC B2000 workstation after reading this story; manufactured somewhere around BC?

Re:I must be getting old (5, Funny)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year ago | (#42868691)

I've got post-it notes on my desk older than this thing.

Still havent called mom.

Re:I must be getting old (5, Funny)

Trouvist (958280) | about a year ago | (#42868741)

I've got post-it notes on my desk older than this thing. Still havent called mom.

But isn't she just upstairs?

Keep it Vintage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42867971)

Like a classic car it's more interesting if it is vintage. Run vintage solaris.

Re:Keep it Vintage (1)

Princeofcups (150855) | about a year ago | (#42868015)

Like a classic car it's more interesting if it is vintage. Run vintage solaris.

You mean Solaris 8? This is not vintage. It's just one generation EOL, hardly "dusting off." It's just expensive to maintain. We threw one off the loading dock a few months back after replacing it with a M4000.

Re:Keep it Vintage (4, Informative)

mcmonkey (96054) | about a year ago | (#42868049)

This thing ain't vintage. It's just old.

Hang on to it for 10 years. Then it might be vintage.

Re:Keep it Vintage (3, Insightful)

TWX (665546) | about a year ago | (#42868151)

Like a classic car it's more interesting if it is vintage.

I can tell that you aren't into cars.

The people we bought the house from have a Studebaker Avanti with a Chevy 350 in it.

Neighbors next door have a Chevy 350 in one of their vintage Jaguars.

A friend of mine has a Dodge Dart with a Magnum 5.9L V8 with full computer control and EFI.

I have a '78 Chrysler Cordoba that's getting a bored-and-stroked 408 small block.

Some people only value stock restorations, but a lot of us place a lot of value on restomods.

Good question! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42867975)

Obviously you don't want to be running Solaris because Oracle owns Solaris and you won't be able to get any patches - even security related - in any sort of reasonable time frame, if at all, for free.

So it would seem then you're down to a free unix. You might like to try the *BSD platform but it is unclear how well any of these will run on that. Linux, maybe?

Why not just use it as a space heater?

Or better yet, empty it out of all of the cards and use it as a wine rack?

Yeah, I know, that's not what you wanted to do but your problem is that Oracle has seriously made it unworthwhile to own SPARC or UltraSPARC hardware.

Re:Good question! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42868157)

Any of the OpenSolaris forks would run fine.

Mersenne Primes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42867981)

If it can run on it, that's my suggestion.

Linux (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42867985)

I work for a recycling center, and we sell some of our stuff we get on ebay, got a few smaller sunfires in, Debian works GREAT on SPARC machines, its still active, and everything works OOB

I'll adjust your statement... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42868595)

> Debian works GREAT on SPARC64 machines

Go try it with a real vintage sparc32 box and see where you land. Sparc32, specifically SMP, has been broken since 2.2.19, and UP support has been unstable for most of 2.4 and 2.6

I have however heard that netbsd 6.0 or 6.0.1 had sparc32 smp support fixed after all these years, but it's hearsay and not mentioned in the sparc arch changelog.

Xpilot server (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42867995)

Be sure to get some additional disk space. Two internal Disk slots does not get you much. Then again a 1280 with SPARC III boards does not get you much either. Or did you get the SPARC IV dual cores....

high end unix workstations still alive... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42868011)

new mac pros coming this spring!

Hmm. (3, Funny)

smegfault (2001252) | about a year ago | (#42868017)

All maxed out it might just be able to run the newest Ubuntu.

Re:Hmm. (1)

cheater512 (783349) | about a year ago | (#42868091)

Erm I just installed Ubuntu on a crappy 2001 vintage Dell laptop and it works just fine.
I'm using it without a GUI which helps but it could handle Gnome/KDE flawlessly.

Woo 512mb ram and 802.11b wifi.

Tie some IMLACs to it ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42868019)

And use it for MazeWar?

Use pretty paper (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42868023)

Wrap it in pretty paper and use it as a doorstop. I wish I'd done that when I first laid eyes on the Sunfire series. I'd have had a lot less downtime. Sunfires are one of the reasons Sun went out of business, too many bad details ruining any usefulness of their "big idea".

Free software. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42868027)

Many free software projects are not regularly tested on anything other than x86.
Make your system available for free software developers and you will be sure to have
the loag average of 30 or more. Ghostscript project, for instance, would greatly benefit
from testing on minority platforms.

seconed debian (1)

ghinckley68 (590599) | about a year ago | (#42868029)

Its not bad hardware. Not sure core I7s would keep up with it. Not under a heavily thread server load. Single thread performance is going be a bit slow.

Find a SATA Card that will work in it toss some new drives in it and move on.
Video who knows on that its a server just hope for 80col display and everything else is a bonus.

Re:seconed debian (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42868147)

Its not bad hardware. Not sure core I7s would keep up with it. Not under a heavily thread server load.

I'ma guess you haven't tried any 'core i7s' for any serious work. Even the original i7 chips would dust the V1280-era UltraSPARCs, let alone Sandy and Ivybridge. The performance differential is huge. Single or multithreaded.

Re:seconed debian (1)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | about a year ago | (#42868153)

Seriously? Even brand new sun hardware isn't as fast as an i7 in any benchmark I've seen (check spec.org).

The other thing is that Sun v1280 will drink electricity. I remember we had two of those in a data center I helped build in Portland - and even though the room was at 65 deg you could always warm up on the left hand side of those - because the worst heat imaginable poured out the vents on the side.

Re:seconed debian (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Sniper (113827) | about a year ago | (#42868217)

as an ex field engineer, I suspect you are confused... the sides of these were solid sheet-metal, with front-to-rear ventilation.

Re:seconed debian (4, Informative)

puregen1us (648116) | about a year ago | (#42868303)

At the moment we're fighting to remove all the legacy Sun systems from our datacenters, and love the chance to remove these old machines.

They're rock solid, and do a great job. Our databases still run very very well on them, frequently more stabily than newer X86 kit they're being replaced with.


1) Power usage is insane. The datacenter team reported the larger boxes (ie, 12U type beasts like this) use the same power as whole racks of the standard IBM/HP type pizza boxes we can replace them with. Modern Xeons are multi-cored/multi-threaded enough to compete seriously with the older SPARCs, and do a good job of it, without needing their own power station too fuel and cool them.

2) Parts are getting harder to find, and vastly more expensive. As they age the cost of supporting them sky-rockets, and with parts being harder to find if something breaks there is downtime to fix it. That's not a good situation to be in. Indivual parts for these old machines (eg. spare HBA card, etc) are now becoming as expensive as a new replacement system.

huh? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42868047)

How is it that somebody buying 10 year old junk off ebay is worthy of a slashdot story? Did they pay in bitcoin? Is this a new discovey channel show about pimping out used stuff?

AWK (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42868055)

Though on cluster machines with 128 GB RAM I can and have taken down the hive with a simple awk script in bash.


shutdown -h now (1, Redundant)

blang (450736) | about a year ago | (#42868065)

global warming, man.
But if you insist on running somethnig, dtrace is a wonderful thing,
or extract all of /proc/ every minute and stick into rrd.
make 12 solaris containers all monitoring each other.

Re:shutdown -h now (0)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about a year ago | (#42868143)

running a new computer has a larger carbon footprint as greater energy consumption of the older box is offset by the polutants and energy required to manufacture a new low energy consumption unit.

Re:shutdown -h now (1, Redundant)

foniksonik (573572) | about a year ago | (#42868237)

Maybe he can use it for carbon credits. If he promises not to also run and/or buy a new computer for the next ten tears or so. Otherwise it's definitely going to use up energy that would not have been used.

really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42868067)

Wow I must be old. To me old is an Enterprise 4500 and 6500.

How old was the kid who wrote this article? 15?

North Korea just set off a nuke (-1, Offtopic)

CajunArson (465943) | about a year ago | (#42868079)

Since Slashdot won't post it for another 36 hours: North Korea just set off another nuke. The USGS has detected a 4.9 to 5.1 magnitude artificial earthquake centered at the same location as previous tests: http://inagist.com/all/301169171180433408/ [inagist.com]

Re:North Korea just set off a nuke (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42868165)

if a buncha filthy gooks wanna nuke themselves who gives a shit?

Re:North Korea just set off a nuke (1)

blackC0pter (1013737) | about a year ago | (#42868169)

Wow. Thank you for reporting that so quickly. Suddenly, the wasted heat from an old V1280 seems like nothing in comparison the global warming from a nuclear bomb test... That being said, (going back to the topic) you might want to compare your energy costs for this server vs. just buying a new server or even using EC2 time. It might not be as cool but it is slightly more practical :)

Re:North Korea just set off a nuke (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42868205)

Only the right wing news sites show this (as of this posting, nytimes and cnn do not, wsj and foxnews do). This is clearly paranoid neocon propaganda.

Re:North Korea just set off a nuke (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42868213)


well, nytimes is reporting the earthquake but not spazzing out about flying nukes or whatever the infotainment clowns are doing.

Re:North Korea just set off a nuke (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42868219)

As someone living in Seoul, all I have to say is, who cares.

Re:North Korea just set off a nuke (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42868249)

That reminds me of an ancient fable... Kim, a scorpion, somehow gets a fox named Carter to agree to carry him across a river, as long as Kim agrees not to develop nuclear weapons. So half-way across the river Kim starts testing nukes. Carter is all like "wtf?!" and Kim just laughs and says "You fool! I'm a communist dictator! It's my nature."

Not that old. (1)

aussersterne (212916) | about a year ago | (#42868081)

I still have a Sun SparcStation 20 with 2 SM71s in my closet with SunOS on it.

Until last year, I had the IPC on an AUI adapter on a nonprofit network I manage acting as a public terminal.

And yet it's funny how even post-2000 machines have already become so obsolete as to be silly, especially in the server space.

Re:Not that old. (1)

DarthBart (640519) | about a year ago | (#42868293)

I want a Sparcstation ELC to run as a serial console/network admin console in my server room.

And for a while I had a Sparc20 with a pair of dual Ross Hypersparc-150s and 512MB of RAM. Stupid fast for a Sparc machine, but you could cook an egg on the chassis.

Re:Not that old. (1)

thogard (43403) | about a year ago | (#42868533)

I've got a few SPARCStation 20s that can replace the servers running the core business. Sure they aren't fast but they can still do the job. I think they are about 19 years old. I also have a pair of SPARCServer 1000 that could take over loads they use so much power they are only good as space heater or if I need a power supply to jump start a car. There was a time when my web site was running on a SPARCStation 1

Benchmarks (1)

rbprbp (2731083) | about a year ago | (#42868083)

I would like to see how it stands against current CPUs. Aside from making it available for open-source projects which could benefit from testing on not-very-common architectures, I don't see much use for it either.

KDE4? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42868095)

With those specs, it might be able to run the latest KDE4.

Not THAT old. A Sun-2, that would be vintage. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42868103)

That's the oldest one I ever saw run. Still have a Sun 4 pizza box in my office to support a single customer.

mind the power supplies (1)

mug funky (910186) | about a year ago | (#42868111)

those buggers may be redundant, but if one goes you're still up shit creek.

also, one of them went splodey in my old boss' face one time. i can't say i was too upset about it.

OS? (3, Informative)

CapeBretonBarbarian (512565) | about a year ago | (#42868117)

For OS I personally would stay in the Solaris realm. I'd try out the the open source Ilumos/Opendiana based distribution that Martin Bochnig has been working on :


Speaking of labours of love, Martin's one man effort to port the open source fork of Solaris back to the SPARC platform would be a good fit.

Debian GNU/Linux - sparc64 (2)

fak3r (917687) | about a year ago | (#42868127)

I've run Debian on Ultra 1 and Ultra 5. OpenBSD is another option, I ran it on the Ultra 5 to run as a fw for a time.

Power (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42868187)

You may not pay for power but your parents surely do.

Seriously. Replace this with a single socket, 8-core x86-64 chip and be done with it.

3D graphics (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#42868195)

Use it to create some cool 3D animations. You could possibly set up the system to render using all the CPUs.

*yawn* (2)

pjohnson (13070) | about a year ago | (#42868215)

Not only do I still run Netra X1s (similar vintage) in production (DNS, low volume SMTP) I also take pride in using a Cobalt Raq2+ at home for DHCP and local DNS. I also have a vintage Ultra 2, Ultra 5 and Blade 100 I could dust off for work if they weren't power hogs compared to the Raq 2+.

Needs lots of power (4, Informative)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#42868221)

Hope you don't pay much for your electricity, fully populated and busy, that server is going to draw around 3000W [oracle.com] of power.

With that power draw, if you're paying $0.12/KWh for electricity, it would cost around $250/month to keep it powered, not including cooling costs.

Still more efficient than the x86 architecture (0)

kriston (7886) | about a year ago | (#42868227)

These old beasts are still, watt per watt, more efficient than the x86 architecture. The local cache per processor, along with the highly optimized RISC pipeline, can't be matched.

It's a shame that we are saddled with legacy CISC-to-RISC just-in-time conversions and bus contention, even with the Xeon and Opteron's huge local caches. The SPARC was just better.

Re:Still more efficient than the x86 architecture (3, Informative)

blang (450736) | about a year ago | (#42868315)

I think you're forgetting how little computing power you're getting out of the sparc processors.
And the risc pipeline being highly optimized doesn't do you any good when you get 10x the speed out of a $50 intel chip.
Sparc was better in 1995.
By 1997 it was already playing catchup to everythnig else.

Re:Still more efficient than the x86 architecture (2)

kriston (7886) | about a year ago | (#42868555)

That's a good point.
Even dollar-for-dollar it was never better.

Toss it (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#42868239)

The other day my company was tossing out some huge server looking thing. They said I could have it if I wanted, it was a huge disc array. It was the size of a small car. So I asked how much space that monster had... 1 Terabyte... no thanks. Some stuff should just go in the landfill.

can you please donate it to GNU compile farm (5, Informative)

decora (1710862) | about a year ago | (#42868255)

they will stick Debian on it and people will use it to port free software.

they do have a sunfire but it's almost out of disk space and there are tons of people using it already.

You laugh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42868261)

Until about 3 years ago, I used a Sun Blade 2000 at work. It is essentially a workstation version of this beast with 1x 900Mhz core and 512mb ram.
It was a piece of crap, but we had really important software that wouldn't emulate and we couldn't replace.

Dusting off? (3, Insightful)

HockeyPuck (141947) | about a year ago | (#42868273)

Yeesh, and here I thought you'd have found a Sparc Center 2000 or other old sun boxes. Perhaps something that ran SunOS and not Solaris... or something newer with SBUS like an e4500...

It's not old if it has multiple cores.

Re:Dusting off? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42868301)

SC2000? That's not really that old. Give me some sun3 or sun4 VME-based systems any day!

Or, you know, old vaxen. They never die, they just go north.

Antique? (3, Informative)

asaul (98023) | about a year ago | (#42868333)

We still have a V1280 in production (despite my best efforts to get rid of it), in fact I am sure we have an E3000 and some E450s somewhere in the place that somehow runs part of the network in a way no-one understands.

No emotional connection (4, Interesting)

Weaselmancer (533834) | about a year ago | (#42868359)

I own some old stuff. An Amiga 2000, a C64, an Apple IIe, a Macintosh se/30. I maintain them because they were a part of my childhood. I have an emotional connection to these machines. Someday (I am watching) I will buy the digital microvax my old university used for their comp labs if I can. Loved that box. Spent days on it. I'll own an original Defender cabinet someday too.

I guess what I'm trying to say is why? You have no connection to this machine. You won't get nostalgic when you see it boot. Why bother?

Re:No emotional connection (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42868481)

Well, nostalgia is literally what you make of it -- a delusion of a good time past. The world is so full of examples of people in love with vintage items they've never touched, and existed before them, that it's absurd to start listing them.

Unless you're only trying to be snarky and list 'Look At The Cool Stuff I Have Peons', then what they hell are you trying to say here.

Re:No emotional connection (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42868745)

I had some Zilog (S8000 I think they were called) unix boxes from the 80's but they all burned up in a fire last year .....

Built my first MIDI interface on one of those by modifying a serial
port card.

If you can lay your hands upon a copy (1)

Denogh (2024280) | about a year ago | (#42868361)

Solaris 8. Hell, go all out with the retro vibe and toss on iPlanet and run a web site full of animated GIFs.

In all seriousness, we run several SunFire V480s and V1280s at work. They do, in fact, have Solaris 8 iPlanet installed and we use them to run a web app and some data processing software we built in house. We're ditching them in favor of T4s pretty soon, but they've treated us pretty damned well for about 10 years.

SunFire? Old-timer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42868365)

Laddy, me thinks you haven't gone far enough back in time in the Delorean. Any 64-bit SPARC machine is not old. A SparcStation 4, 5, 10 or 20 might be old, or better yet, a Sun SLC or ELC. A Sun 3/80 with a 68030 or a NeXTStation might be old. A DECStation 3100 is old. A microVAX is old.

Wasting your time, and a lot of energy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42868389)

Unless you can parallelise planting trees to offset the >3000 watts this draws.

Resurrecting old computers in this way makes absolutely zero sense.

I remember when I got a loaner V480 once... (1)

boethius (14423) | about a year ago | (#42868431)

... and the data center operator literally ran to my cabinet after I fired it up proclaiming I was now well over the 80% of the 20amp circuit I had. Ran it anyways for a couple weeks. I don't think the machine ever really served out its intended purpose - to be a burly web/database server for a product launch that never quite happened - but it was still kind of fun to play with it at the time.

Hardware Fetishist's Dilemma (1)

Improv (2467) | about a year ago | (#42868441)

The thing about systems is that you generally shouldn't need to think very hard to find a use for them, unless you have too many systems. You either buy systems to meet your needs, or you have standing needs that will tell you what to run on the thing.

Anyhow, the V1280 isn't an antique by any means. It was a really really nice piece of hardware when it was released, and I think that was just 3 or 4 years ago.

It gets faster. (1)

eWarz (610883) | about a year ago | (#42868443)

We just upgraded an 'ancient' dell 2950 from a Xeon (core architecture) 1.6 ghz to 3.2 ghz. 2 gb to 16 gb RAM...a 7 year old server that would stomp most desktop machines lights out (save for the graphics card....but then again, that's not what a server is typically for.) 15k RPM 600gb hdd...yeaaah..:D

Room heater (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42868493)

Seriously, this thing will be uninteresting very quickly. It's a room heater, it's an expensive room heater. It requires two (2!) 220v 15a circuits (4 if you plug in the backups). It will have fans that are LOUD and that Do. Not. Shut. Off. Or slow down, or ever get any quieter. All of the upgrades (CPUs, RAM, etc.) are rare and expensive.

And after you've rewired the house and parked this in the garage, you're going to end up with a bash prompt that will be identical to one you can run on a Raspberry Pi for $40 and a couple of batteries.

Get a PC, even a multi-core, multi-socket PC and spool up a mini-cloud server with a bunch of VMs, or even a PC with Solaris and Zones and ZFS and such running on it. Or rather spool up a Solaris VM on your current machine, boot it up, go "Well, that was fun", and the delete it to save the 2G of disk space and be done with it. Sorry, but this is uninteresting hardware.

Power usage (1)

hism (561757) | about a year ago | (#42868539)

I thought about buying an old Sun or SGI box for kicks... the thing that killed it for me was that if I ran with any sort of regularity, it would be terrible power consumption. And it doesn't run anything useful to me that a newer, more efficient machine wouldn't run...

Hope you have a 240v outlet near by.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42868541)

... as she doesn't run on 120....

8 CPU == 2150W || 12 CPU == 2900W || Max 3300W (1)

meehawl (73285) | about a year ago | (#42868619)

You're going to need some bigger power cords [oracle.com]:

The Sun Fire V1280 system is supplied with four detachable power cords:
Voltage: 200 to 240 VAC
Circuit breakers - North America (4): 15A to 20A
Inrush Current: 18A after 100 microseconds
Surge Current: After 5ms brown-out short term surge is higher at 75A
Power Consumption: 3300W max

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