Proxmox on an IBM System x3550 M3

How painless of an installation can I expect putting the newest Proxmox on an eleven year old IBM System x3550 M3. The server has sixteen gigs of RAM but I have the opportunity to get three of these servers for $100/each. Though I also have to buy HDs.

Second part of this question. The internal LAN on these IBMs is Gigabit. Does Proxmox do a good job of sharing all fourty-eight gigs of RAM when I cluster these units together?

Anything else a novice Proxmoxer should keep in mind when tackling a project like this ?

As I continue to dig into this, perhaps it’s pertinent to also say that these servers have dual X5650 processors. The Lenovo website is showing these servers were made in 2010.

And relative to my compatibility concern in my previous post, is there an issue regarding running the latest Linux kernel on older server hardware like this?

Usually, running Linux on an older CPU works in your favor, because when a new CPU comes out it may not have support at all, and if it does have support, it may not be 100% feature-complete. An older CPU typically will have full support. When it comes to RAM, that amount of memory can stretch pretty far when you get into memory ballooning, as well as containers. That way you can make better use of the resources.

Having only Gigabit ports only really impacts you in a cluster when you migrate a VM from one underlying server to another. For example, if you have all your VMs split evenly between three servers, and you need to move all the VMs off of server A to server B to do maintenance on server A, the migration process would take a lot longer on Gigabit, but the only downside is just that - it takes longer. Whether or not to upgrade to 10 gigabit depends on how much that means to you. For me, I only have gigabit on mine. I don’t mind waiting longer for VMs to transfer when it comes to that. I may upgrade to 10gig, but if I do it’s only if I can do so for a good price and it makes for a good video. But honestly, if I never upgrade to 10gig, I’m fine.

Of course, if you’re doing shared storage on gigabit, then the performance of the VMs in my experience will downright choke and they can become unresponsive if too many of them have disk IO at once. So long as you’re not doing shared storage, gigabit is fine.

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Thank you so much for the reply. I really like the way that you think. I can really relate to the stories that you’ve told on your channel about starting at the very bottom; and also your story about your ADD.

I remember walking around with shoes that were falling apart when I was about twenty years old, and before I was in the tech field I had a short career as a security guard ::nerd_face: … oh, those were the days.

I’m ‘so’ tempted to go ahead and purchase these IBMs presumably before someone else snatches them up. But I’m hesitant since I don’t have the kind of bootable media that I used to have, my “toolkit” to test older hardware before I purchase it.

No need to respond to this message, it just made sense for me to link to a Linux Questions Forum post that I saw about the exact machine that I am considering purchasing. There are also some good sources on the Proxmox Forum as well.

The problem in the LQ post was lack of support for SATA in Fedora Core 4 & 6. However that was several years ago and Proxmox is Debian based. So, as you say, it often works out better when running Linux on older hardware in regard to support in the operating system :heart: