I'm looking to get a server that I can run Ubuntu on, with the primary purpose of running the SPARK Pro toolset. I want lots of cores (≥12) and lots of RAM (≥24 GB), but I don't need much disk space, basically just whatever's required to install bare Ubuntu, the SPARK Pro toolchain, and the source code I want to do my proof/implementation work on. I definitely don't need a monitor, as I'm planning on SSH'ing into the server using VS Code. When I put in my requirements for NewEgg (I also want it to be relatively inexpensive: I limited it to $750), I got nothing but blade servers.

Focusing primarily on this HP Proliant DL360P (though I'm not committed to that particular option), I was wondering if it'd be possible to put this into some other form factor other than a rack. E.g., for not too much more money to get a box I could house it in.

Note (in response to @Wasabi in a now deleted post at the Engineering Stack Exchange): I don't know if I need a case, but I'm assuming I'd want something to reduce dust getting into places it shouldn't. I could be wrong. If someone knowledgable tells me I don't, using the "bare metal casing" counts as "some other form factor" for the purposes of my question. "Have you considered this really small, cheap rack?" also counts. I'm just looking for a reasonable solution to having a machine that suits my needs located in my home office, so frame challenges are welcome.

Edit to add: I'm also willing to do some custom modifications to hardware (e.g., add RAM) after the fact.

  • And what is your question? And how is it "feasible"? – peterh Jul 31 '20 at 0:17
  • @peterh-ReinstateMonica, my question is "if it'd be possible to put this into some other form factor other than a rack". I'm not sure what "it" refers to in your second question, but answering the question is feasible by providing a "no, and here's why" type answer, or a "yes, and here's how" type answer. – Ben Hocking Jul 31 '20 at 8:51
  • Ok, but so is it a "technical support request", which is per definitionem off-topic here. It is on-topic on the serverfault.com or on superuser.com (I would suggest the first, it is a closer match). I did not vote your question for closure a second time, but others could do that. It would be also possible to move your question to the SF, but on sociological limitations of the SE it is unlikely to happen. But re-asking a closed question on another SE site is okay. – peterh Jul 31 '20 at 8:54
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    This site is for questions looking for a hardware fulfilling a specific list of requirements. But I don't take a side about your question next time, I wish you good luck. – peterh Jul 31 '20 at 8:58
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    Thanks @BenHocking - the emphasis on requirements is exactly what this needed. I apologise that the deletion comes off harshly, but we haven't yet found a better solution to the mountain of off-topic stuff that ends up here. – ArtOfCode Jul 31 '20 at 21:54

I want lots of cores (≥12) and lots of RAM (≥24 GB), but I don't need much disk space

I also want it to be relatively inexpensive: I limited it to $750

your < $750 and lots of cores is contradictory, but...

The basic desktop/workstation (traditionally with a monitor) are no more than dual socket- meaning only 2 cpu's. They don't offer that much real estate, not like a rack server and you won't have many DIMM slots but they typically do 128GB of RAM no problem.

Not blade server but rack server is what generally offers the most real estate and would allow for up to 4 cpu sockets. And would have the most DIMM slots available providing for 768GB to 1.5TB of RAM. $750 would only buy you a few DIMMS here. But a rack server is not required to be put in a rack, you can lay them on a desk, they will take up some space obviously, or you can lay them on their side on the floor against the desk. Expect to pay over $10,000 for a 4 socket rack server having whatever N-core cpu's and however much RAM. Try Dell's online build your own for something like 4-socket PowerEdge R840 to get an idea.


Also check out supermicro. For what it sounds like you are wanting, look for a used/refurb rack server.

You can sometimes buy all rack server components and build your own, but expect to pay over $750 just for the main board that is rack server style. Then add in power supply, cpu, ram, fans, and so on.

a blade from a blade server can be tricky depending on what it's from, it implies its a blade of a larger system so don't assume a blade removed from that kind of system can operate on it's own like a standalone computer. So in this context no don't expect to use a blade without the rest of the blade server. If you have the entire blade server, then that implies you then have multiple blades... installed into some chassis. This chassis whether that's installed in a rack isn't a requirement.

  • So if I understand correctly, the HP ProLiant is a blade server that therefore probably cannot operate on its own, right? Or, did I mischaracterize what the HP ProLiant is? – Ben Hocking Aug 9 '20 at 11:19
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    your link takes me to newegg showing a refurbished "HP ProLiant DL360P G8 Server 2.60Ghz 12-Core 32GB 1x 480GB SSD Enterprise". That is not a blade server in my opinion, that is a typical 2 socket rack server, having only 32GB of DDR3 RAM installed which maxes out at 768GB but you'd have to buy that extra RAM. For the advertised $416 providing two 6-core xeon E5-2630v2 cpu's for a total of 12 cores and only 32gb ram that's nothing to really rave about given today's hardware – ron Aug 10 '20 at 19:00
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    it would work on it own, sitting on a desk or floor, it has 4 gigabit ethernet ports, it'll operate just like any regular pc. You probably have to install linux on it as it likely doesn't come with an operating system, but it looks like for $416 you would get a working 12 core 32GB RAM server you just have to plug it in and install a free linux distro on. – ron Aug 10 '20 at 19:04
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    a 12-core 3.5ghz intel cpu for $700 + $100 single socket consumer mobo + 64GB of DDR4 RAM for $200 + $100 PSU + $100 case would blow that refurb'd DL360P away; you could likely still outperform it by building a low end pc today that refurb DL360P isn't doing you any great favors... being a refurb having likely been powered on 24/7 the last 10 years I'd worry about various failures like PSU or RAM which won't be cheap to replace – ron Aug 10 '20 at 19:16

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