Entry Level Cloud on a Budget

The Hardware

The Hardware for our cloud project:

– 4x Extreme Networks Summit X440 Switches
– 8x DELL PowerEdge 2950 Twin Quadcore Servers (refurbished)
– 2x Promise VessRAID 1840i+ iSCSI SAN
– 32x 2TB Seagate SATA HD (7200rpm)
– 16x 120GB Kingston SATA SSD

I got the 8 PowerEdges off of eBay, for about half the price of a single, all-new-all-shiny top-notch-state-of-the-art machine. They came equipped with twin quadcore XEONs @ 2.33GHz, 32GB RAM and a PERC 5 integrated RAID controller.

The VessRAID I chose because it had some pretty decent reviews and promised (no pun intended) quite some bang for the buck, especially when compared to other solutions. A big plus are the 4 GigE ports, as I will make heavy use of link aggregation (LAG) in this project. It’s much easier to handle a bunch of LAGs in a stack than it is to handle the same bunch of MLAGs across two switches… Not implying that I ain’t gonna put MLAG to use though!

The Extreme Networks Summit X440 offer 24 GigE ports (4 shared copper/SFP) and can be stacked quite easily. Also, the company has broad, existing knowledge of ExtremeXOS and because the X440 is rather affordable. Plus I think they’re pretty nifty, too!


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