I have always been a person who favors new things over used ones. There are mainly two reasons for that. The first reason is that usually the price difference is not that big so, why buy something that someone else was using? The second reason is that you cannot check how the previous person “treated” the thing. Specially in IT, it is often the case that you will find out something does not work only when you need to use a specific functionality.
That being said, I decided to ignore everything I wrote above, and went for a used HP Microserver Gen10 on Japanese Yahoo Auctions. No, not the “plus” version. To be honest, I was aiming at the Gen8, since it could be found for as low as 15,000 yen, but I lost it in the last seconds of the auction. With a little more research, and with my needs in mind, I decided to go for the previous Gen10 since the power consumption of the processor, in the specific model I got, was really low.
The main purpose I bought the server was to set up a VMWare Exsi and have some of my own virtual machines running on it. Even though I could not find any specific information on compatibility on the Internet, I went on and installed it. Success!
The server is quiet and runs nicely, until you take the cover off. Yes, that is true, once you try To run it without the cover, the air flow is apparently disrupted, and the machine will overheat.
The machine I got from Yahoo Auctions came with an inoperative DVD drive. That was not an issue as I was planning to set up an SSD for the main OS anyway.
My current setup includes an SSD and 4 drives. I did not have the budget to add drives of the same size, so for now I am running the system with two sets of RAID1 (500 x 2 and 1000 x 2).
Drawbacks? Well, I really would love to buy the new Gen10 Plus, but at the current price tag, that was impossible. At a fraction of the cost, for a machine that will be basically serving as a file server for the house, I think it was a pretty good deal. My old buffalo link station is slowing down, and I would hate to lose all my kids’ pictures. Having a proper computer/server gives me peace of mind.
I am considering Cloud Storage… but it is not as fun as setting up your own server.
EDIT: I did install Win10 to test it out. Because the SSD is in SATA5, Windows was creating reserved partitions in the first virtual drive (RAID1). This was far from ideal, as if the OS fails, I do want to be able to access all my files. To solve this minor issue, I had to remove the front drives and install Windows with ONLY the SSD connected.