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We want to build a cheap Solaris 10 farm. Unfortunately, Solaris 10 has limited hardware support. We want to standardize on Solaris 10 and we're going to run MySql, Apache, Samba, Lucene, Solr, etc., as well as a few commercial packages.

Has anyone built a cheap farm either from cheap HP's, Dells, or actually built machines from scratch buying the cases, motherboards, drives, and video cards?

Let me direct people to another question that I posted as an example of hardware that doesn't reliably work.
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What hardware do you want to use that isn't supported? I've run Solaris on several cheaply built boxes with no issues. – Amok Sep 14 '09 at 21:18
Don't do this, Solaris on x86 will just make you cry. Seriously. – theotherreceive Sep 15 '09 at 0:38

What do you consider is cheap? You can get a full spec Solaris X4100 M2 server for around $8,000. I think it's actually a good price considering the hardware you get.

If you don't need stuff like error correcting memory, dual power supplies, etc.. you can get an 160GB Apple TV for $229. You can install OpenSolaris on an Apple TV, but I'm not so sure about Solaris 10.

Joyent runs the largest Open Solaris installation in the world, but they are pretty mum about the exact hardware which they run on. I know the run some Sun hardware, but I can't find anything on exactly what their app servers run on.

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$8k sure doesn't sound like commodity hardware, and probably isn't the way Google did it, for example. – anon Sep 15 '09 at 17:54
@melling - Google buys their servers by shipping container. The economies of scale that they can access rarely apply to "regular" companies. Additionally all of their applications are coded specifically to work across huge farms of commodity hardware that can fail at anytime. It's a brilliant way to do things, but to get to that point requires enormous hardware and engineering investments. – Luke Sep 15 '09 at 18:46
Cheap is relative. Backblaze builds 4U storage pods for $8k each, and has a data center full of them.… – brianegge Sep 15 '09 at 23:19
Joyent uses Dell after having some problems with Sun delivering servers to them. The spec is a 2 socket Intel machine with a good memory/price RAM. – setatakahashi Sep 22 '09 at 13:12

We just de-commissioned a few (under 10) Sun Netra X1 boxes, running Solaris 9. I was able to get Solaris 10 to install on them without incident.

Granted, they are low powered machines (cpu-wise), and they have reached End Of Life, but they had official support for Solaris 10.

You should be able to pick up a lot of them very inexpensively from ebay or your favorite hardware reseller.

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Solaris 10 x86 is pretty widely supported actually. I have run it on a number of low end Dells, HP's and even Apple hardware.

Have you ever considered FreeBSD or OpenBSD vs Solaris. You dont say why you are choosing Solaris but the services you want to run are pretty standard across BSD/Linux as well.

If you have specifics, please let me know.

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I have a commercial application that is only supported under Solaris 10. We're a small shop and we already have Linux/Solaris. – anon Sep 14 '09 at 22:58
I find it tough to find an application that will only run on solaris and not windows – Jim B Sep 15 '09 at 3:20
@melling - Well, like I said, a lot of dell hardware runs Solaris 10 just fine. I have an HP Media Centre with Solaris 10 on it (obviously none of the media stuff works) but for a server it is rock solid. – user14946 Sep 15 '09 at 15:12

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