Dell PowerEdge R410

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Dell R410

The PowerEdge R400 series is a full-depth dual-CPU server platform that usually has a 4x3.5" drive arrangement, but did have a variant with 6x2.5" drives as well. The R410 generation uses DDR3 ECC memory and supports the Gulftown generation of Intel CPUs.

The backbone of my homelab is made up of two Dell R410's: romulus and remus. Together the form the bulk of my system's compute power, storage capacity, and hosting capabilities. Even with as much stuff as I have crammed onto them I am still nowhere near to using their full potential.

Hostname Model CPU Memory Storage OS
remus 2010 PowerEdge R410 Intel Xeon e5500 Series 48GB DDR3 ECC 4x WD Red 3TB, RAID 5 CentOS 7.5
romulus 2011 PowerEdge R410 Intel Xeon x5600 Series 96GB DDR3 ECC 4x HST Travelstar 146GB, RAID 5 CentOS 7.5

Romulus

Romulus is the newer of the two servers, coming from the 2011 series of the R410. It has a standard 4x3.5" drive configuration and two Intel Xeon x5600 series CPUs. I've installed a Dell PERC h310 and four 146GB 10K SAS drives in it, giving it considerably higher R/W throughput rates than its companion.

Remus

Remus will always be special because it was my first server, literally pulled out of a dumpster my sophomore year of college. Since then I've replaced the motherboard, drives, backplane, CPUs, and memory (which admittedly does start to evoke the Ship of Theseus).

Remus is older than Romulus, coming from the 2010 generation of the R410. Like Romulus it also has the standard 4x3.5" drive configuration, however it houses four 3TB Western Digital Red NAS drives which make up the bulk of the homelabs data storage capacity. The Intel Xeon e5500 series processors also make it slightly slower than Romulus, though it has more memory.

Remus also sacrificed its DVD drive to host a 256GB SSD boot drive which runs the host operating system.

Configuration

My preferred server-side operating system is CentOS, and as such both Romulus and Remus are running CentOS 7.5 on bare metal.

Both are configured to run KVM for virtualization and Romulus is setup with an instance of the Open Virtualization Manager (OVirt) to manage the virtual machines running on both hosts.

See the configuration section for more information.

Upgrades

These are planned upgrades that will eventually be made to these systems:

  • Upgrade Remus from e5500 to x5600 processors. This will allow virtual machines running on one server to be live-migrated to the other.
  • Balance RAM distribution across the two servers, moving memory out of Romulus and into Remus.
  • Upgrade memory modules running at 1333MHz to modules running at 1600MHz. This will allow virtual machines running on one server to be live-migrated to the other
  • Restructure shared and internal storage. See the ongoing redundancy improvement efforts

Last updated 2019-08-31