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12

Get (and continue to get, daily or more frequently) good backups of the shared file data now. If you lose the machine you probably aren't going to be able to find the necessary diskettes (yep) to restore it. Get a copy of the DOS partition that Netware boots out of, if possible, too. That sounds like an Adaptec AAA-131 RAID card (or something of that era). ...


10

I know, because I've done it (Hi Evan), that VMWare does have decent NetWare support. Even for the really old stuff (what you're running). NetWare of that vintage NOOPs the CPU when idle instead of HALTing it, so whatever CPU it is given in a VM will be pegged. This is what the VMWare Tools are for, they make it not do that. VMWare has been around since the ...


8

Disaster recovery preparedness, move them to an alternative site if possible. Mirror or log ship your sql databases, make another domain controller, print server, etc.


8

Donate your old equipment to WiderNet, "a service program at the University of Iowa that works to improve digital communication in developing countries."


7

Testing deployments. When pushing new features out to batches of servers you'll often want to test it first. Having a spare small cluster of servers would be ideal for this.


6

Why upgrade? are you having problems with the current setup? are there new requirements? 3-5 yr old machines are just fine for web browsing. If the HDD's start going, or you'd like to lower maintenance overheard then switch to a linux live CD distro that's a web kiosk. Firefox kiosk plug-in. Easy to setup LiveKiosk distro. Make sure that the apps work ...


6

I'm more familiar with Dell servers that often stipulate special blank covers must be fitted over other blanks that may be filled by parts not present (esp Hard Drive Bays/PSU's) for thermal issues. It wouldn't surprise me if the people who designed that server did some complicated analysis of airflow, and the results made them decide to supply a whole ...


6

Your support company are dead on right - it's all fine now, but the day that it starts randomly blue screening will be the start of a mass panic, with no one to turn to. Do the upgrade now, while you have time to plan it and implement it properly - not when you've just found out that you can't buy a replacement motherboard. Supportability is important, ...


5

This isn't really helpful in terms of your question (quite frankly you already HAVE spares, and the only useful suggestion I have for sourcing vintage disks would be "Feed the drive model numbers to Google Shopping"), but before you touch anything else you should really MAKE DAMN SURE YOU HAVE A GOOD BACKUP AND CAN SUCCESSFULLY RESTORE IT TO A NEW MACHINE IN ...


5

Old servers are simply a complete waste of energy to run, get rid of them so no ones temped to use them to waste more precious energy and cooling. You may also find virtualisation hypervisor will not support the older hardware as the CPUs and chipsets will not support virtualisation efficiently at all. In my experience, staff are always reluctant to discard ...


4

Normally, you have to turn the key to prevent this. Check for the key position. else: Disabling Sun keyboard abort sequence The default keyboard abort sequence on a Solaris system is sent with the L1-A or STOP-A keys pressed together on an attached Sun keyboard, or the BREAK signal on the serial console. Inserting or unplugging a keyboard on a running Sun ...


4

According to the Damn Small Linux wiki, the minimum requirement for Damn Small Linux with X-Windows is 64 Mb. Also, according to this Pupply Linux Forum, you can run Puppy Linux on a machine with 64Mb of RAM.


4

OpenBSD will run fine on that spec. It was the first sans-GUI operating system that I sank my teeth into many years ago. Indeed I still ran some of those same machines, at much lower specs than you give, until recently. When I got tired of the clutter, noise and power consumption.


3

I suggest to you to install Debian by netinst and setup only what you need (apache, etc). Debian NetInst


3

Keep a couple as "lab" machines, but jettison the rest. If you keep them around they're sure to start to be more production-like and before you know it you've got them back in production. And jettison doesn't mean throw away, find them a good home (school, university, your house)


3

You can use them for scheduling activities like nightly builds or for storing backups.


3

This will vary considerably: ball bearings vs sleeve bearings, made in Japan or China, ambient temperature, number of on/off cycles, etc. But this is kinda like asking if you should be changing out hard drives periodically as they age. You don't do that because there's no reliable way to predict failure. So the proper way to do this is to gracefully ...


2

This is an anecdote, not evidence. I've had (SuperMicro) server fans in service for 7+ years of continuous spinning without a problem. I've also had one utterly catastrophic failure of one after five years. It became discolored and ultimately one of the blades shattered. We believe that it was the root cause of a multiple-drive failure in that machine. ...


2

IMHO, it's impossible to know. However, the best thing you can do for this is to maintain a proper computer room / closet / datacenter. A good clean environment with operating temps and humidity within ASHRAE (a quick blog post here) or manufacture specs is about the best you can do. Also try to keep it as dust free as possible. You can always look up The ...


2

Part of the reason the upgrade is so costly is because you haven't kept up. Exchange 2003 is ten years old, and there's been a lot of changes in the way both Exchange and the Windows platform both work in that time, and addressing all these at once greatly complicates the upgrade process and therefore the cost of upgrading. Upgrading from Exchange 2007 to ...


2

Others have already addressed backups, etc., so I won't repeat any of that. There are a couple of things you can do to improve your chances of the system continuing to function. Start by investing in a really good quality line filter and place that between the UPS and the server. Those old drives will by now be rather touchy about surges, spikes and even ...


2

If you don't have the money to buy proper network disks, slower older machines can often do quite a good job of acting as a file share.


1

Set up a test network and see if you get on with http://www.ltsp.org/. http://www.nomachine.com/ is also a great alternative. Also don't rule out serving many desktops from one piece of hardware. http://linuxgazette.net/124/smith.html it's a little harder to configure, but could be a lot of fun. Saves energy bills too! It allows diskless clients so you ...


1

If the aim is to learn the Linux/UNIX CLI, does he have a relatively recent PC/Laptop that can run VirtualBox and just install Linux/BSD in a VM?


1

On that hardware, I'd really be going for NetBSD, FreeBSD, or OpenBSD. Linux is a bit heavy on 64MB of RAM of late without going to uLibc and other stripped/non-standard/embedded solutions. Debian netinstall or Slackware would work also. Unfortunately, they don't hold a candle to the BSD documentation (and if he wants to learn the CLI, the ...


1

Option 5 is my bet. (Aside - you won't be running an AIX guest under VMware. VMware is x86 virtualization, AIX runs on RS6000 or Power chips - totally different architectures.) I would recommend that the software you're writing should depend on currently-supported hardware, so I'd look into the devices that come from the link @chris posted, or that ...


1

Excellent suggestions up above. Try this also - on spare modern hardware, try doing a recovery of the whole system from your last full backup. Make sure the spare machine isn't on the network. What's that, I fear you might say? You don't have backups and/or a restore procedure? Well, now you know what you're working on for the next week?


1

Answering only to doubly/triply/quadruply recommend making a backup every day until you do figure out a solution. If you can't easily replace the dead drives, your only solution is to migrate to new drives. Whether that means building a new server, or slowly migrating your existing server to use new drives in your existing server, its the only option. We ...



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