What can I use a server for in my CCNA home lab?

fmitawapsfmitawaps Banned Posts: 261
I'm looking at Dell and HP servers on ebay. Nothing fancy, under $100 only. I kind of want to get one and hook it up with the routers and switches in my CCNA home lab, but I really have no idea what I'd use it for. I need a reason to get one.

I can get a copy of Server 2012 datacenter, and I have activation codes for it already. But still I don't know what I'd DO with it.

Anyone got any ideas? I already have my important files backed up on multiple external hard drives.

I've been looking at them and thinking "a used server and any old pc look a lot alike". But if I got one I'd get a rack mount style even though I have no rack. It would look cooler.icon_rolleyes.gif


  • quickman007quickman007 Member Posts: 195
    For under $100 I can't really see what you would do with it except maybe practice DHCP Relay. If you grab something that can handle VMware vSphere 6 you could do some pretty decent stuff. Not really a server guy so maybe I'm missing some things you could do. I'd invest the money into more networking equipment or Raspberry Pi's. I remember wishing I had more hosts when I went through the CCNA and the Raspberry Pi is a good way to remedy that issue.

    EDIT: Just looked on Ebay and apparently there are some decent rack mounted servers for $100. From my understanding those are super loud, though.
  • fmitawapsfmitawaps Banned Posts: 261
    Yes, those little 40mm fans spin at high speed. If I did get one I'd take most of the fans out. Leave 1 or 2 for the cpu cooling and that would be enough.

    I've tried to find specs on the rpms of those fans, but haven't been able to find much, the one thing I did see said they turn up to 8500 rpms.

    I could install Server 2012 datacenter on it, but them I don't know what I'd do with it except just poke around the OS a bit. I could use it to make a virtual machine, but then I'd need a copy of VMware software for that.

    Most of the 1U servers I see are Dell PowerEdge 1950 Gen 3's, some HP Proliants too.
  • gc8dc95gc8dc95 Member Posts: 206 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Server with a few NICs, loaded with GNS3, DHCP, and other network services could provide several useful scenarios.
  • dhay13dhay13 Member Posts: 580 ■■■□□□□□□□
    i just bought a dell PE 2950iii off ebay for $150 plus $50 shipping. 2 quad core xeons, a 1 TB HD and 32GB ram. very loud. i installed esxi 5.5 on it with a few VMs
  • kohr-ahkohr-ah Member Posts: 1,277
    Check out reddit's homelab sub. They can link you or give you some good ideas on home equipment.

    I myself use a NUC 4th gen running esx 5.5 for gns3 which runs 15 routers 4 switches and 2 N7K Titanium images and it barely eats processing power and CPU.

    For non GNS3 (CSRs) I'd do a box with a lot of RAM that you can spin up the win box on also.
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