Ready for a real server

Ok so I switched back to my EdgeRouter Lite for the time being due to not knowing how to fix my Mac mini’s randomly not being able to route traffic while acting as a pfSense router. I’ve been told that it could be the NICs, external interface, bad Apple Karma…just about anything. I do feel like the EdgeRouter has to work A LOT harder to handle my full internet connection, but then again it isn’t as powerful.

For now the Mac mini has been regulated to acting as a VM server (via Proxmox) and is currently running a Pi-Hole VM, CentOS VM serving up a TeamSpeak Server, and Unifi/UNMS VM.

I’m shopping for a used server to setup a system that I can then virtualize pfSense (yes I am a glutton for punishment) along with the other VM’s I’m currently running on the Mac mini. I would probably goto XCP-NG instead of Proxmox. In fact the only reason I’m not using it now is I can’t seem to get it to install on the Mini. The end plan would be to migrate everything to the server (pfSense, Pi-Hole VM, Unifi/UNMS VM, PMS) and consolidate it to one box. I kinda have an idea of what I need for hardware but suggestions are welcome and appreciated.

I just haven’t found anything used servers that I am willing to pull the trigger on. I hear about these great deals, but I haven’t been able to find one yet. I guess I keep looking. Anyone want to offer any tips about how to find these deals would be very much appreciated.

Sometimes they pop up on Craigslist other times you just have to hope for a good deal on eBay. I have bought from both Servermonkey & UnixSurplus for some of my used servers.

I would search for IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) companies in you area. A lot of these companies specialize in servers. My ITAD company specializes in business class laptops and desktops, but I still quote out a bunch of server stuff or see it coming in the lots I get in. I am not specifically hunting for servers, but it is quite common.

Most of the companies see the commodity value of RAM and CPU values in these, so be prepared to spend a over value of that. Depending on specs you are looking for, a lot of older E5, E5 V1, and E5 V2 are starting to be upgraded from server rooms, so that will prob be your most common find.

Luckily (for the consumer) the price of used RAM (Especially DDR3) has literally fallen roughly 50% or so over the last couple of months. So if you are looking for a server, that will soften the blow of cost.

I bought from Server Monkey and I have no regrets! Check out their website and their prices. Contact their sales rep and get a quote. If you need advice on a config for your server, i can help out.

I have a similar set up. I’m using an old (2012ish) SFF Optiplex 9010 with an added NIC. I’m currently troubleshooting some issues with pfSense. If I figure that out I’d have no issue recommending it as I’ve got plenty of horsepower to run the services that I need.

Though…bare metal may end up being what i need to do.

eBay has a lot of good deals on the R series from Dell, R610/710/720, etc… I’ve bought from Server Monkey twice (on eBay), had an issue with 1 server, was replaced within a week.

You can always buy barebones and build over time, I’d recommend an Rx20 series, due to the newerish E5 Xeons, all though the Rx10 series are still very capable.

FWIW, I’m running a pfSense VM on my R610 as my main firewall, it’s over built, but I have zero issues.