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I'm looking for suggestions for a cheap system (ATOM maybe?) that will Xen so that I can buy several of them and build a private cloud for trial purposes. The software will be Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud.

I'm not interested in performance since these systems are just to build a trial cloud that can be used to demonstrate cloud features, as well as for education. Once we decide to use a private cloud for real work, we will build it on workhorse servers and these cheap boxes will either remain for education or be repurposed, perhaps as DNS servers.

I'm open to build your own solutions as well as prebuilt boxes, but they absolutely MUST support Xen virtualisation, at least hypervirtualization, and also be cheap.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

The kicker will be VT support on the CPU, so all but the newest Atom is off the table. Xen needs that for full virtualization (or did last time I checked). However, you can get VT-enabled Core2 systems for pretty cheap these days. Heck, you can get a Dell Inspiron 580s with an i3-540 in it for $500 (less than some iPads) and it'll support Xen. And their Minis use a VT-enabled Atom chip and run between $300-$500 depending on what you add. The Inspiron should enough enough space to have meaningful memory in a cloud situation, even a technology-demo one.

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In pricing out a build your own ATOM using the new D510 which supports VT, it doesn't come out much cheaper than a plain Core2 or AMD X3 box so I think that buying a cheap consumer box is the way to go. – Michael Dillon Aug 3 '10 at 12:31

Fast shoot: HP ml110

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This is NOT a cheap server. Next time read the question and shoot more slowly and accurately. – Michael Dillon Aug 3 '10 at 12:28

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