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My recent purchase - HP Microserver N36L

About a month ago I ordered a [HP Proliant N36L][hpn36l], commonly known as the HP Microserver. I had been looking to replace my aging P3-900mhz Gateway and all-round utility server for quite some time, and when I saw this on special for only $200, I knew this was going to be the perfect replacement.

With the ability for it to have the system boot off an Internal USB device, being able to take up to 8GB of DDR3 RAM, and have 8TB of hard drive space, it will be able to meet the requirements of the current box, and add on a few new abilities in the process.

While I have been waiting for it to arrive, I figured that this would be a good opportunity to do a few guides about the configuration of the machine, both at a Hardware and Software level, and be able to provide a few guides to virtualisation.

Hardware wise, the current plan for the server I have will be to do the following upgrades:

  • Change the standard 1GB of Ram to 8GB of ECC Ram;
  • Remove the 250GB hard drive that comes with it, and replace it with 4 x 2TB hard drives;
  • Into one of the PCI Express ports, add on an additional Network Card (NIC), which will take the machine from 1 Ethernet Interface to 3; and
  • Add in a USB Drive to the internal USB Slot to give us a 16GB System disk, that will provide fast access for the system (and hopefully provide a quick boot).

Software wise, I want to have a go and setting this machine up as a Virtual Machine Host, using Virtual Machine Platforms such as [Xen][xen], [VMWare ESXi][esxi] and [KVM][kvm].

Once we have the machine built up from the base, I will then use the opportunity to go over some other deployment and centralised configuration tools. One example of this will be [Puppet][plabs].

And so, after quite a long wait, the Microserver finally arrived today.

So in the next few days (possibly the weekend), I will kick off with the first article on this series. If you have any suggestions of things you would like to see done with this box, [drop us a line via twitter][contact], and I'll try and give it a go for you.

[![]( "Front of the HP ProLiant N36L by Samat Jain, on Flickr")][hpflickr]

Image from Flickr, by [Samat Jain][hpflickr]. Used under a Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

[hpn36l]: "HP Proliant N36L on" [hpflickr]: [xen]: [esxi]: [kvm]: [contact]: [plabs]: