I've been wanting to revive some equipment from the garage. I have some old dual Xeon machines that I picked up from a contract a while back. I also bought some "Designed for Google" dual CPU Xeon boards that I haven't used for anything. I've been using one of these boards in a server that's been running non-stop for probably 6 years and it's always been rock solid. Now that I'm documenting Xen Cloud Platform as part of the Xenapi Admin Project I wanted to put together a multi-host cloud using Xen Cloud Platform and it's best if your hosts match thus the renewed interest in getting this machine up and going.

However, there's been a few problems. 

  1. The CPUs from the Google boards don't work in the ASUS boards due to different FSB
  2. I only had three CPUs for four sockets
  3. I was missing a heat sink too
  4. They use DDR2 ECC Registered ram which isn't common
  5. Intel should have their teeth kicked in for designing three (count them) different heat sink/fan designs for one socket.
  6. I needed backplates for two CPUs, the ones that arrived had no spring clips
  7. My replacement heatsink came with one spring clip
  8. Only one retailer had spring clips

So I started by ordering a new copper heatsink because at the time I thought I could use the CPUs out of the Google boards.  The heatsink arrived with one spring clip, I needed two. After I realized that I couldn't use the CPUs from the Google boards I then ordered a new CPU.  Armed with a new CPU and heatsink I installed them only to find out that I needed a spring clip to keep the heat sink ON the CPU. Only one retailer even carried it so I ordered one.  Now if only I had a power supply strong enough to run the board. Back to the garage again. 

In the garage I found a brand new computer case which surprisingly also had a brand new Pentium D motherboard in it. More booty from contracts. I wasn't concerned with the Pentium D but it had a Sparkle Power 600 watt power supply... Score!! 

As of today I now have a dual Xeon server in a 4u case to match it's duplicate. I need to score some ddr2 ecc registered ram as it only has 2 GB in it. That crap is expensive so I went to Ebay and I have bids on a couple batches of 8GB. We'll see if I get them.

The board was too big for the case too. I had to get out the hacksaw and cut away at the drive cage so it would fit. and drill new holes in the side of the case to mount a fan for more direct airflow.


This board is a little interesting.  It has...

  1. Two Ultra-SCSI 320 channels
  2. A zero channel raid slot
  3. 64 bit, 133 mhz PCI-X slots
  4. 8x PCI Express slot
  5. 133 MB/sec IDE
  6. SATA2
  7. 8 Dimm slots
  8. 2 CPU sockets

The Xeons don't have VT in them so I'll only be able to paravirtualize but that's all I ever do anyway. However Xeon 7030s have VT and will fit the board if anyone has any they want to get rid of cheap.