Playtime: HP Blade Center - part 1: The buy

Playtime: HP Blade Center - part 1: The buy

I was watching a youtube video about bitcoin mining which led me to a video on linus tech tips which led to another video ... and so on.

No this not a post on bitcoin mining so if you are looking for that sorry please move on.

During this trip down youtube lane I stumbled across a youtube video about starting HP C7000 PowerUp by Andrew Johnson and I was intrigued by the mere size of the machine. So my first primal internet instinct was to google "Buy hp c7000" which was a huge disappointment because new these things fully stuffed with blades easily go over 20K EUR for entry level configurations. So that's a no-no.


But wait... On those same search results there are lots of eBay entries. So I started looking at the proposed auctions which led me to these websites that sell revision, second hand hardware.

Meet Bargain Hardware

My choice was which a company based in the UK (I live in Belgium) which had very reasonable shipping rates for huge things like these (about 120 kg). I paid around 40 EUR shipping.

This website was my walhalla for the next couple of days. After browsing around each page like a dozen times looking for those sweet deals I decided it was time to order something I set my budget on 500 EUR max to not get seduced to buy too much at once.

So how this works at Bargain Hardware (and I really like this concept) is that you "Configure-to-order" which means buying this hardware is essentially like ordering a sandwhich where you can choose your own toppings.

The enclosure

So I started to configure myself a C7000 enclosure, nothing too fancy:

As you can see I did not overdo it. Since my knowledge is very limited on these machine I chose only 1 interconnect module.

Let's talk about that one module, the "1GB Ethernet Pass-Thru Module" is essentially a module with 16 1GB ethernet ports. While many sites mention this is the more expensive module over for example the "HP Virtual Connect Ehternet Module 1/10GB" which was one of the other options , I read somewhere that the pass-thru module is just straight forward to setup as it is a 1-to-1 mapping of blade to ethernet port. No additional configuration required.

Aside this module you'll notice I only bought 1 Admin module which makes sense since this for me is a toy to play with.

My first blade

Okay so I have configured myself an enclosure, but there are no blades in it. So currently I just bought a box that makes a lot of noise (trust me on the noise)

So next up was a buying a blade. Since I already fell in love with Bargain Hardware I also trusted upon them to sell me a blade.

Now buying blades without any prior knowledge is like looking at the pastries at a bakery, they all look delicious and you don't know which to pick...

As it turns out the blades exist in generations and currently there are 10 generations if I am not mistaken, however the website sells the BL460C blades and in that series it seems you can pick from generations 1, 6, 7 and 8.

Not wanting to spend too much on these toys (remember the 500 EUR budget) I selected the following:

I picked the middle generation of what is available and went for the 7th generation with 2 Xeon 6-core cpu's (that's 12 in total which turn into 24 virtual ones with hyper threading), picked 32GB ram and 1 disk of 146GB 10K SAS SFF

So I ordered for a total of £ 540.64 which is around 600 EUR. I know I went over budget, but that's what budgets are for, no?

Now I have to wait for the order to arrive at my home.

Read what happened next Playtime: HP Blade Center - part 2: Woops