How many nodes, is TS140 still a good choice, vsan, learning lab?

Nonetoo

New Member
Mar 6, 2017
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Hi all!
I am looking to develop a small learning homelab. I have 4 "gaming" PCs + HP ML30 freenas server. I would like to learn to run some VMs, both windows server and esxi, and to try out vsan. I'm trying to keep this small and quiet right now, later I can maybe add some R410's in the garage. :) For quiet, I think I'm mostly looking at tower type servers / workstations.

There are a number of sub $300 USD servers for sale at the moment, the HP ML10 and the Lenovo TS140 have been cheap recently as new, + there's been some cheap prices for dell T5600 dual xeons on ebay. The TS140 i3 has been at $200 twice in the last month, for example.

1) Is the TS140 still enough of a server to try out some vsan?
2) How many TS140's would I want to really try some stuff out, is 3 x TS140 enough?


Thanks!
 
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mervincm

Active Member
Jun 18, 2014
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I have a pair of TS140s I think they are a spectacular value. quiet, inexpensive to buy, and inexpensive to run. Some ability to expand, easy to implement compared to piecing together used enterprise gear. They are also cheap enough that you can afford to get it wrong :)
If it turns out that you need something special later on, they can be resold. inexpensive quiet energy efficient are always desirable in the used server market.
 

Marsh

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May 12, 2013
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I have 2 x TS140, 2 x Dell T20, brought the TS140 about 3 years earlier. TS140 is dated, no longer manufacture.

Do not pay $200 for a I3 model. Keep any eye on Dell T20 E3 model, very similar ( almost the same as TS140) for around $240. Once every few months , the Dell T20 goes on sale, I brought my 2 Dell E3 model for the $240 price.
 

T_Minus

Build. Break. Fix. Repeat
Feb 15, 2015
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I just repurposed 2x ML10s one into shop system and one into 2nd workstation for people when they're here. E3 v2 CPU seem to be dropping in price... I recently won an E3-1240 V2 for less than 110 delivered, a few bucks more than the 1230 v2 both of which I consider deals! I think I paid $199 each + tax with E3-1225 V2 that I sold around 8mo? Or so after I got them, and they've sat since then... traded 1 away then was about to chuck these and bam, they're in use :)

I've got the 1230 v2 and a Pentium in my HP ML10s, and the 1240v2 will go into a supermicro x9 board.

Rarely much in the E3 arena but power savings is very nice compared to E5!!
 

kevin wilson

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Apr 4, 2015
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Hi,
Actually I opened a thread in this forum several days ago, about buying a quiet server that can be used in a living room. One of the responses i got was that TS140 is going to be replaced by TS150 soon. I do not know how much this fact is important to you. I myself did not decide yet. I want to buy a Xeon based server. Are you thinking about using Xeon or i3 processor ? I am very interested to know how Xeon HP ML30 compares to Xeon based TS140 in terms of noise, and till i am convinced that Xeon based HP ML30 is not louder than an ordinary desktop, i wont by it, as I intend to work with it near my working table several hours each day. I saw somewhwhere that TS130 is 30 decibels, which should be very low AFAIK, but i don't know if it is for i3 or Xeon.
See the thread i mentioned here:
Seehttps://forums.servethehome.com/index.php?threads/quiet-desktop-server.13607/
Kiwi

Hi all!
I am looking to develop a small learning homelab. I have 4 "gaming" PCs + HP ML30 freenas server. I would like to learn to run some VMs, both windows server and esxi, and to try out vsan. I'm trying to keep this small and quiet right now, later I can maybe add some R410's in the garage. :) For quiet, I think I'm mostly looking at tower type servers / workstations.

There are a number of sub $300 USD servers for sale at the moment, the HP ML10 and the Lenovo TS140 have been cheap recently as new, + there's been some cheap prices for dell T5600 dual xeons on ebay. The TS140 i3 has been at $200 twice in the last month, for example.

1) Is the TS140 still enough of a server to try out some vsan?
2) How many TS140's would I want to really try some stuff out, is 3 x TS140 enough?


Thanks!
 

fractal

Active Member
Jun 7, 2016
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To me the deciding factor is "How much memory will I need in each box?"

If you are happy with 32G then there is no reason to avoid the TS140 or, if you can tolerate the bios, a ML10V2, or if you don't want/need IPMI, a Z220. Cheap, quiet, low power, efficient, reasonably powerful.

I bought a budget TS140 several years and it is still my main, 24x7 home VM server with an i3. An E3 may be better but my CPU rarely budges off zero.

I bought a ML10v2 a year or so ago because I thought I would like the 4 drive bay cage. I don't. Nor do I care for the HP bios. Nor do I need IPMI. That box no longer has any drives or memory. I may find a use for it some day, but for now it is empty.

I have a Z220 that I picked up for parts but am using because I quite like it. It is a workstation instead of a server so lacks IPMI and onboard video. But, it boots quick and is low power and is cheap and has the same chipset as the TS140/ML10. Maybe that will work for you too depending on availability. Oh, and it will take desktop processors and memory in case you want more than an i3 and less than an e3 and don't need ECC memory.

Though, if 32G is not enough memory, then ask yourself ... Is 64GB enough? If so, consider the i/e3 v5's like the TS150 and others sport. That will take you to 64GB.

If 64G isn't enough memory then you are into the next class, E5 boxes.

I really like the TS140 for what it is. It can take up to 32G of expensive unbuffered ECC DDR3 memory and has bays for 2 drives before fiddling. There are enough PCIe lanes for a HBA and a 10G NIC, but then it is full. The big question is ... is that enough?
 
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