New sandbox PC

November 3, 2008 – 12:45 pm

I bought a new PC recently to run virtual machines on.  Virtualisation is all the rage, so I’ve decided to play around with Xen and VMware.  It also gives me an easy way to play with numerous OSes without having to frig around with hardware. As GNS3 is to Cisco routers, this box will be to OS’s.

I’ve got ESXi on it at the moment with a ReadyNAS NFS fileshare set up as a datastore in addition to the internal disk.

Thanks to nice corporate discounts, i was able to get this spec for a good price;

HP Compaq dc5800 SFF

  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300 processor
  • 8GB RAM
  • 160GB SATA-2 10K rpm HDD
  • Intel PRO dual port gig-eth network card

PS: Rational Survivability is a good blog for people interested in Virtualisation and Security

UPDATE: Something to be aware of. Many corporate desktops have the Virtualisation enhancements in the CPU (Intel: VT-x) turned off by default for security reasons.  On this PC i had to upgrade the BIOS and drill down through the security menu to find the option to turn it on.  There was no doco on it that I could find and HP’s support people had no clue.

  1. 3 Responses to “New sandbox PC”

  2. Synchronicity is weird: I was just researching the same thing yesterday. Care to give a range on what it cost?

    By Chris Saunderson on Nov 4, 2008

  3. It was ~AU$1200 plus GST. I got in before the exchange rate changes kicked in. Lucky!

    By admin on Nov 4, 2008

  4. neat “feature” of the corporate desktop. I’m planning on revamping my home network next year, and I’m liking the thought of that system plus my Ultra5 and some form of NAS more and more.

    By Chris Saunderson on Nov 8, 2008

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