I have new hardware available – should I upgrade or not?

I brought home three Dell R730 after saving them from ewaste. Two of them have 8x 3.5″ drive bays. One has 8x 2.5″ drive bays, with with for another 8. This is the one I’m considering for use. I have a fourth R730 in the basement, but I don’t know those specifications, and it already has 16 drive bays.

I was thinking of replacing my Dell R720 with one of them, but just now I had a thought: I could also replace my other host.

Then I thought: Could I replace both hosts with a Dell R730?

This would remove 6 HDD from my basement. That would reduce heat, electricity consumption, and noise.

Please follow along with me as I go through the details. Please feel free to add ideas, point out stuff I missed, etc. Thanks.


I won’t reproduce the full details on slocum, but here is an overview. I won’t list the zroot zpool because that’s pretty much the same on each host.

  1. CPU: 2x E5-2620v2 – Intel Six Core 2.10Ghz Xeon 15MB cache 7.2 GT/s QPI (80W)
  2. RAM: 128GB
  3. tank_fast zpool: 398G used of 398G – 2x 400GB SSD
  4. system zpool: 4.14T used of 27.2T – 6x 5TB HDD
  5. nvd zpool: 259G used of 930G – 2x 1TB nvme

Total space used here: 4,797GB ~ 4.36TB

From top, right now:

last pid: 38655;  load averages:  1.47,  1.39,  1.35  up 13+02:45:10  22:01:35
485 processes: 1 running, 484 sleeping
CPU:  0.3% user,  0.0% nice,  1.3% system,  0.0% interrupt, 98.3% idle
Mem: 3047M Active, 16G Inact, 37G Wired, 69G Free
ARC: 27G Total, 15G MFU, 7322M MRU, 12M Anon, 465M Header, 3930M Other
     19G Compressed, 43G Uncompressed, 2.23:1 Ratio
Swap: 20G Total, 20G Free

This host is lightly used. This is the CPU load over the past month. It runs 36 jails.

slocum - cpu
slocum – cpu

This is the diskio, not all drives are shown in the legend at the bottom.

slocum - diskio
slocum – diskio


The Dell R720, named r720-01, has full details in another blog post, and the summary is:

  1. CPU: Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2690 v2 – 10 cores each (130W)
  2. RAM: 393GB
  3. data01 zpool: 573G used of 1.45T – 8x 400GB SSD
  4. tank_fast zpool: 330G used of 928G – 4x 500GB SSD

Total space used here: 903GB

From top, right now:

last pid: 24612;  load averages:  0.13,  0.41,  0.43  up 70+06:14:32  22:14:16
147 processes: 1 running, 146 sleeping
CPU:  0.2% user,  0.0% nice,  0.2% system,  0.0% interrupt, 99.6% idle
Mem: 248M Active, 13G Inact, 52M Laundry, 232G Wired, 66G Free
ARC: 203G Total, 174G MFU, 11G MRU, 11M Anon, 8659M Header, 9373M Other
     172G Compressed, 363G Uncompressed, 2.11:1 Ratio
Swap: 50G Total, 16M Used, 50G Free

This host is both my database server for [dev,test,stage].freshports.org and my poudriere build server. It runs 7 jails. It gets some peaks.

r720-01 - cpu
r720-01 – cpu

This is the disk IO, not heavily used.

r720-01 - diskio
r720-01 – diskio


This is the proposed new host, which might be able to take over for both of the above hosts:

  1. CPU: 2x Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2667 v3 – 8 cores each (135W)
  2. RAM: 256GB DDR4 RAM
  3. zpool to be decided, but there are 8 x 2.5″ drive bays, with room for another 8. This would be an all-SSD host. The zroot would be on two SSDs or NVMEs mounted in PCIe slots, leaving 16 slots for data.


The r730-01 host which has 16 drive bays.

  1. CPU: 2x Intel Xeon E5-2650L v3 1.8GHz – 12 cores each (65W)
  2. RAM: 448GB DDR4 RAM in 24 sticks (4x 32GB and 20x 16GB)
  3. zpool would be the same as the R730-04 shown above

Comparing the two R730 CPUs

This Intel ARK link compares the two CPU. Offhand, I think the server listed right above (r730-01) is the beefier CPU, more cores, and less heat. Apart from that, and the frequency (2.50 GHz vs 3.60 GHz), the two CPUs are pretty much the same.

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