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Old Hardware - What to do with it?
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Old Hardware - What to do with it?

randvegetarandvegeta Member, Provider

Hello all.

As we all know, COVID has been ravishing a businesses all over the world, and a good chunk of our clients are no exception.

We have several colocation clients, many of whom have eventually stopped paying their bills without any notice and eventually just say 'You can keep my hardware', as if that were sufficient compensation.... well whatever. I don't want to make hard times worse for them, and I offer to allow them to cancel without forfeiting their hardware. Despite allowing them to take their hardware, they actually don't have the means to come and collect it, so they just leave it with us.

Okay so now we have about 2 dozen or so colocation servers which are all seemingly near worthless.

Just pulled out an IBM X3650 M2, which sports a Dual Intel Xeon 5500 CPU. Launched over 10 years ago. Power hungry and not exactly great performing, any one have any idea what to do with these old machines?

They don't seem to be economical to run for computational work load. The only thing I can think it may be useful for is as a NAS server. It has 8x2.5" hotswap bays and a dual 10G NIC, and a NAS doesn't need all that compute power (nor RAM, which this only has ~16GB).

I haven't checked all the other servers, but most they are IBM or Dell and all of them at probably a decade old running this generation CPU. If I'm lucky I may find an E5 among them, but even so, the gen 1 E5s are already 8 years old.

To me, these machines seem nearly worthless. Anyone have any other opinions or should I just be calling the electronics recycling people to come take this shit away?

Comments

  • dustincdustinc Member, Provider

    You've essentially answered it. Donate it, find a local recycler who will even come pick it up, and provide you with a tax deduction slip.

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  • randvegetarandvegeta Member, Provider

    @dustinc said:
    You've essentially answered it. Donate it, find a local recycler who will even come pick it up, and provide you with a tax deduction slip.

    Recycling is the only feasible option then. Donation? Not realistic in HK. I can generally get recycling people to come to the DC to take it away, but places that accept donations expect you to take it to them, and give you the whole tour if you know what I mean.

    Tax deduction? Not a chance.

  • To me, these machines seem nearly worthless.

    One's trash is another's treasure. Maybe try a week or two on Craigslist/eBay. Who knows someone might be interested taking those off your hands, especially if it is cheap.

    Thanked by 1randvegeta
  • dustincdustinc Member, Provider

    @randvegeta said:

    @dustinc said:
    You've essentially answered it. Donate it, find a local recycler who will even come pick it up, and provide you with a tax deduction slip.

    Recycling is the only feasible option then. Donation? Not realistic in HK. I can generally get recycling people to come to the DC to take it away, but places that accept donations expect you to take it to them, and give you the whole tour if you know what I mean.

    Tax deduction? Not a chance.

    Understood, didn't know you were in HK. Over here in California, or many parts in the US these recyclers will come to you for free, take anything/everything, and provide you with paperwork.

    Thanked by 1randvegeta

    RackNerd LLC - Introducing Infrastructure Stability
    Dedicated Servers, Private Cloud, DRaaS, Colocation, VPS, DDoS Mitigation, Shared & Reseller Hosting

  • FranciscoFrancisco Top Provider

    5500/5600 stuff is worth its weight as scrap.

    There's someone selling 40+ units at WHT for $1000 and not a single offer.

    Francisco

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  • randvegetarandvegeta Member, Provider

    @CyberneticTitan said: One's trash is another's treasure. Maybe try a week or two on Craigslist/eBay. Who knows someone might be interested taking those off your hands, especially if it is cheap.

    It's actually difficult getting rid of new equipment. Because HK is a small market for servers, basically if there's no demand locally, then your only option is to export. And export has the issue of taxes AND shipping costs.

    Most container ships go out to US and Europe FULL, but come back near empty. So shipping out of HK is expensive, but into HK is dirt cheap. No taxes in HK means the local HK market tend to just but what they want, when they want, from anywhere else in the world, because there is virtually no penalty to do so. After all, it's not like the US or EU have short supply of old hardware, given these 2 markets are the biggest consumers of the stuff.

    Give you a good example. There are authorised vendors of SuperMicro hardware here in HK. They have relatively small volumes compared to US and EU vendors. So they end up paying higher price per unit. Not only that, storage is damned expensive in HK, so they normally do not stock much, or anything. So when you buy new gear, there is a several week delay between ordering and receiving, and you pay a higher price because the vendor doesn't have volume discount. And since US/EU vendors don't give a shit who they sell to, you can just ask them and they end up getting you the same thing for roughly the same, or slightly cheaper. So the only reason to go for a local HK vendor is theoretically get get better warranty service.. only my experience is that it's no different to claiming on warranty from the US or EU because the HK vendor doesn't stock jack shit and even if they did, they wouldn't give you a replacement one because they will give you back only your defective/repaired unit.

    Sometimes a company (Yahoo used to have a big operation in HK) would get rid of all their gear in 1 go, and smaller hosts would be able to gorge on cheap hardware. Would happen once or twice a year.

  • randvegetarandvegeta Member, Provider

    @Francisco said: 5500/5600 stuff is worth its weight as scrap.

    There's someone selling 40+ units at WHT for $1000 and not a single offer.

    Francisco

    Sad. What a waste.

  • FranciscoFrancisco Top Provider

    @randvegeta said: Sad. What a waste.

    >

    That gear should've be thrown out AGES ago. There was a sudden revitalization of them a few years ago during the CPU crypto currency mining craze where people would rack anything they could get their hands on to mine.

    For a while there it was hard to source gear at a fair price. Usually fairly high priced or just not available in any quantity.

    Francisco

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  • gksgks Member

    Indian market, either they greedy or cheat, unfair prices for old hardware.

    https://www.olx.in/item/hp-z820-z800-workstation-z240-z230-z220-computer-video-editing-z420-iid-1570613299

    1 Euro = 86 INR approx

    I am believing someone import for cheap scrap and selling off for big price.

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  • If you're looking to offload some computers, we have a program which we rebuild and donate computers for Schools. (LK) Would love to discuss if you're interested.

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  • fkjfkj Member

    Why not post the list here and see if anyone willing to pick up. Saw other US providers posted hardware before, although I doubt there's many LETer physically in HK.

  • thedpthedp Member

    Yeah you should just list them, who knows someone might want them.

    Like it has been mentioned by @CyberneticTitan, one man's trash is/could possibly be another man's treasure :)

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  • Can be used for "cold" backups, or sold for spare parts.

    :D Cyclothymic :disappointed:

  • SGrafSGraf Member, Provider
    edited October 16

    I follow a simple cycle.

    For me it is:

    Real World/Life Clients => MyRoot.PW or Recycle for Fun/Side-Projects => Donate to other projects or ebay.

    I have donated hardware to local initiatives such as c3w.at (Chaos Computer Club Vienna), Funkfeuer.at (an initiative for open/free networks (including one of the largest olsr testing networks in europe), ....

    So i consider myself rather ecological on that front.

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  • pbxpbx Member
    edited October 16

    Recycling could be your best bet if there is not someone like @cociu looking for cheap hardware in the region.

    Thanked by 1randvegeta
  • serv_eeserv_ee Member
    edited October 16

    I'd actually take some off your hands lol

    Thanked by 1randvegeta

    I swear to drunk Im not god

  • SplitIceSplitIce Member, Provider

    Do you have something like gumtree or craigslist? Just chuck it up there for beer money.

    I'd do so without hard drives though, since it sounds like your clients didnt wipe them.

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  • randvegetarandvegeta Member, Provider

    @SplitIce said: I'd do so without hard drives though, since it sounds like your clients didnt wipe them.

    Most of the servers have hotswap drives and I'm checking to see if they are of any value first. I've found a dozen 1TB SSDs, so that's nice. Will keep those.

    Some of them have decent amount of RAM with 16GB DIMMS, so I'll be taking most of those too.

    And some of them have 10GB PCIE NICs, which again I will take.

    As for the HDDs that I don't want... actually for our colocation clients, since I gave them plenty of time to shut down, backup and take away their equipment (remember I don't actually want this shit), they had plenty of time to take backups and wipe their disks. I even stated that they should wipe their disks if they are concerned. As they were given the instruction to wipe, and had the opportunity to wipe, I will probably still sell/donate with the unwanted HDDs. The alternative would be to destroy the drives entirely, which also seems wasteful. Most of these unwanted disks are about 300-500GB. So they are not totally worthless. I hope they can be reused again.

  • randvegetarandvegeta Member, Provider

    I will be making a list of available servers.

    Details will include size (in U), manufacturer (IBM/HP/DELL etc.) and Model Number.

    I will not bother going into how much disk, RAM or the CPU models are included because that will take too much time.

    Alll will include CPUs, mostly dual socket. All will include RAM, but not all will include disks. But any disks that re included will be spinning disks, probably less than 1TB and of significant age (most likely approaching or exceeding 10 years,

    These servers will be made available for free for anyone who actually wants them. Arrange collection and you can have them.

    I don't expect many takers, but I've had a few PMs about it, so I will make the public offer. There's a good 2 dozen or so servers I need to get rid of. If no one takes them, I'm calling the metal scrap guys.

  • SplitIceSplitIce Member, Provider

    @randvegeta said: unwanted disks are about 300-500GB. So they are not totally worthles

    300-500gb spinning rust IS worthless. At-least in the AU market it is. It's hard enough to move second hand 2TB+ and make anything that covers your time and shipping (from experience).

    The main reason I'm suggesting you don't sell hard drives is to not be a dick and because wiping them would be a PITA. Regadless of warning given to clients there is no guaruntee your clients only had their own data on them, they may be for example VPS providers with customers down the line.

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  • rcxbrcxb Member

    @randvegeta said:
    dual 10G NIC, and a NAS doesn't need all that compute power (nor RAM, which this only has ~16GB).

    DDR3 registered RAM is quite cheap. If you could max out those servers with 512GB of RAM or similar, would you be able to find a better use for them then?

    Or go the other way... List the individual parts for sale. There's always a few companies stuck with legacy system they can't upgrade, and occasionally need to replace parts, or decides a hardware upgrade is cheap enough to try, now.

  • serv_eeserv_ee Member
    edited October 17

    OP - Ping me when you've made the list. I'm actually interested.

    Just got a new electricity deal from my provider and at 3.5 cents per kWh...eh, just what I'd need for a homelab.

    I swear to drunk Im not god

  • randvegetarandvegeta Member, Provider

    @SplitIce said:

    @randvegeta said: unwanted disks are about 300-500GB. So they are not totally worthles

    300-500gb spinning rust IS worthless. At-least in the AU market it is. It's hard enough to move second hand 2TB+ and make anything that covers your time and shipping (from experience).

    The main reason I'm suggesting you don't sell hard drives is to not be a dick and because wiping them would be a PITA. Regadless of warning given to clients there is no guaruntee your clients only had their own data on them, they may be for example VPS providers with customers down the line.

    These were not VPS providers. These were corporates with what should be competent IT departments. Im not being a dick. Im taking care of their junk for free, while writing off the last few months of their invoices that they didnt pay, AFTER I gave them ample opportunity to do everything they need to to secure their own data. Not my responsibility. They are aware of this.

    @rcxb said:

    @randvegeta said:
    dual 10G NIC, and a NAS doesn't need all that compute power (nor RAM, which this only has ~16GB).

    DDR3 registered RAM is quite cheap. If you could max out those servers with 512GB of RAM or similar, would you be able to find a better use for them then?

    Or go the other way... List the individual parts for sale. There's always a few companies stuck with legacy system they can't upgrade, and occasionally need to replace parts, or decides a hardware upgrade is cheap enough to try, now.

    I dont know. Xeon 5500 series seems pretty useless even with 512GB RAM. No?

  • rcxbrcxb Member
    edited October 17

    @randvegeta said:
    Xeon 5500 series seems pretty useless even with 512GB RAM. No?

    Not entirely, if you've got cheap electricity and plenty of space, but YMMV. I've got a backup server with a similar CPU, still working fine. Idle power is nice and low, only occasionally using much CPU power. But what I might do with the equipment doesn't really matter if you still can't come up with a task for it.

  • ShazanShazan Provider

    @randvegeta said:
    I dont know. Xeon 5500 series seems pretty useless even with 512GB RAM. No?

    I wouldn't say they are useless. They could still be very good for storage/backup servers.

    Noamweb - Managed hosting in Italy

  • @serv_ee said:
    OP - Ping me when you've made the list. I'm actually interested.

    Just got a new electricity deal from my provider and at 3.5 cents per kWh...eh, just what I'd need for a homelab.

    You really should be asking how loud they are. You won't appreciate sleeping next to the equivalent of a jet.

  • @TimboJones said:

    @serv_ee said:
    OP - Ping me when you've made the list. I'm actually interested.

    Just got a new electricity deal from my provider and at 3.5 cents per kWh...eh, just what I'd need for a homelab.

    You really should be asking how loud they are. You won't appreciate sleeping next to the equivalent of a jet.

    I know how loud they are. I wouldn't use them in the same room. Not even on the same floor

    I swear to drunk Im not god

  • randvegetarandvegeta Member, Provider

    The following servers are available, free with pickup.

    Dell PowerEdge 2950 x4 (2U Servers)
    Dell PowerEdge 1950 x4 (1U Servers)
    Dell PowerEdge 860 x 4 (1U Servers)
    Dell PowerEdge 850 x 1 (1U Servers)
    IBM X3650 M2 (2U Server)

    They all use too much power to be economical to run. Maybe the IBM can still be economical as it has 8 hot-swap drive bays and can support multiple 10G NICs (or any PCI card for that matter.

    That's 14 servers anyone can have, for free if they arrange or pay for collection.

  • rahulksrahulks Member
    edited October 25

    @gks said:
    Indian market, either they greedy or cheat, unfair prices for old hardware.

    https://www.olx.in/item/hp-z820-z800-workstation-z240-z230-z220-computer-video-editing-z420-iid-1570613299

    1 Euro = 86 INR approx

    I am believing someone import for cheap scrap and selling off for big price.

    What's the Indian Customs Import Duty right now for server's ?

  • gksgks Member

    As per my understanding, it is 28% + 10%. Not worth until illegal.
    also custom don't accept used goods aka e-waste.

    LET === User Enlightened Territory

  • randvegetarandvegeta Member, Provider

    A recycling company will come and collect it all. Apparently they will pay me $100!

    Thats $100HKD... $13 usd basically... thats like 1 drink at a bar in HK. Or a cup of coffees and a sandwich at Starbucks.

    Good deal!

  • Just put it on a auction on ebay, buyer pays for shipping. Someone can probably use it for many more years. I have used old hardware for a very long time, and a few of my servers are still super old, but slowly moving to newer hardware and virtual servers instead.

  • @randvegeta said:
    The following servers are available, free with pickup.

    Dell PowerEdge 2950 x4 (2U Servers)
    Dell PowerEdge 1950 x4 (1U Servers)
    Dell PowerEdge 860 x 4 (1U Servers)
    Dell PowerEdge 850 x 1 (1U Servers)
    IBM X3650 M2 (2U Server)

    They all use too much power to be economical to run. Maybe the IBM can still be economical as it has 8 hot-swap drive bays and can support multiple 10G NICs (or any PCI card for that matter.

    That's 14 servers anyone can have, for free if they arrange or pay for collection.

    I couldn't give that shit away 4 years ago. Though, more noise than electrical cost, though that was still poor efficiency 4 years ago.

  • randvegetarandvegeta Member, Provider

    @Barnesanger said:
    Just put it on a auction on ebay, buyer pays for shipping. Someone can probably use it for many more years. I have used old hardware for a very long time, and a few of my servers are still super old, but slowly moving to newer hardware and virtual servers instead.

    Too much effort.

  • rahulksrahulks Member
    edited October 25

    @randvegeta said:
    A recycling company will come and collect it all. Apparently they will pay me $100!

    Thats $100HKD... $13 usd basically... thats like 1 drink at a bar in HK. Or a cup of coffees and a sandwich at Starbucks.

    Good deal!

    You meant at Sunbucks, right ?

  • @rahulks said: You meant at Sunbucks, right ?

    SPR Coffee :grin:

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