I have recently purchased two Dell servers (via Yahoo Auctions Japan). I have a Poweredge 650 and a Poweredge 850. I have set the 650 up as a router (I know, complete overkill) running pfsense – a great free firewall system that supports a huge variety of hardware. I tried some other firewall systems, but none would detect the raid card, so I really had no choice.

To go into a bit more detail regarding the ‘overkill’ – The system (650) is running a 2.4ghz Pentium 4, with a gig a ram and four gigabytes of raid0 hard drive space. The system is usually running with about 4% cpu and 12% memory usage, but I’ve had it jump up to 60% sometimes. Now I wont have a problem with the router dying with all that P2P traffic over my fiber (100mbps) connection.

The other server (850) I have setup as a domain controller / mail server / web server (apahce) with the usuals PHP, MYSQL and so on. It is currently running this website. Only problem is I haven’t (as of yet) setup a backup routine. So if this dies, I’m going to be very sad. Its currently running a dual core 3ghz Pentium 4 with two gigs of ram and around 40gb of hard drive space.

The overall cost was very reasonable. The 650 set me back about 10,500 yen ($100) and the 850 was around 16,000 yen ($150) . Only problem was that I was orignally trying to build the servers myself. I had picked up a 650 and 850 server chassis for about 2000 yen ($20) and ordered the motherboard and other parts from the US.

The cost of the motherboard and backplane board cost more than buying the whole second hand 850. So now I have alot of unused second hand parts for the servers. If you are interested in purchasing them (in Japan) pop me an email.