Dell PowerEdge C6100: A Cost-Effective Home Lab – Part 1

May 24, 2016 - - 0 Comment

For a long time I was looking to build a new cost-effective home lab. Since I acquired my Lenovo Thinkpad W530 with 32GB RAM and 2 x SSD drives in 2013, it was okay for 2 years until the virtual appliances started to consume more and more resources (vRealize Automation 7 virtual appliance 4 x vCPU and 18GB RAM).

1st approach

My first thoughts were to buy a new tower server with dual processor motherboard (just one 10-cores CPU at the beginning) with at least 128GB RAM, 1 x 256 NVMe and 1 x 1TB SSD, and run everything nested. These thoughts had a starting cost of at least $2,000 and I wasn’t sure how good would be the performance. I looked vendors like Supermicro, Dell or HP but like I said the initial cost was high.

2nd approach

During an annual team meeting a co-worker told me someone in our team bought an used server really cheap, and he was happy with its performance. I talked with this colleague (@rynardtspies) and he provided me an eBay shop where they sell used components (servers, memories, hard drives, etc.)

When I visited their website for first time, they were advertising the Dell PowerEdge C6100 on different bundles. When I saw the picture, the first flash that came into my mind was, HCI (Hyper-Converged Infrastructure). I thought it was the hardware model from Dell for Nutanix, but I was wrong. The Dell C-Series is for HPC (High-Performance Computing) and after a bit more researching, seemed like this kind of servers were decommissioned at a famous cloud provider after finish their leasing.

Click to enlarge the picture of C6100

Rear – Dell PowerEdge C6100

Click to enlarge the picture of C6100

Front – Dell PowerEdge C6100


After research around few websites of sellers and also the largest C6100 community, I decided to buy a block with 3-nodes like you could see above. The price was £585 (taxes incl.) and to be honest, I think for the kind of hardware you are getting, it’s really worthy. You can find the BoM (Bill of Materials) at the end of the post.

This blog post was just an introduction about the home lab I bought a month ago. In future publications I will show the additional components I bought to increase the specifications and get the minimum requirements and performance to run Software-Defined Storage solutions like VMware VSAN, EMC ScaleIO, or Nutanix Community Edition.

BoM Dell PE C6100

Welcome to my New Project

May 23, 2016 - - 4 Comments

A very long time ago I bought the domain “” with the idea of a new Project and get more visibility around the IT community and the readers could link the blog with my name. Since I acquired this around mid of June 2013, I’ve not had the chance to spend much time writing blog posts, just prepare the structure and look and feel of this. Another reason is I wanted to start writing in English to make the blog available to everyone and not just for Spanish speakers. Now that I feel more confident with English after spend the last two years living in UK, I believe it’s the time to start  and even more now that I bought a home lab a month ago (Dell PowerEdge C6100) and want to write lot of stuff around that.

The blog is going to be focused on Automation and Software-Defined solutions, since those are the buzzwords we can hear every day in the community and meetings with customers. Also, I expect to publish product reviews but always trying to be impartial.

Like many of you already know, I have a Spanish IT blog called ““. In the future I expect to merge its content within this blog and just keep one. Don’t worry, this blog will have the blog posts in both languages, so I’ll keep my Spanish speaker followers engaged like before. I cannot assure you I’ll write every week, but I’ll try my best.

Thanks so much to those friends whom pushed me to write in English. Also, apologies in advance for my grammar mistakes and mix UK and US English. I hope this new approach helps me to improve grammatically as well.