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[Wg-test-framework] Possible pair of large old machines for Xen Project test lab

(I've mentioned this informally to Lars and a few others, and Lars
suggested I should write it up properly.)

The Xen Project upstream lacks good testing of very large machines (by
which I mean, machines with very many cpus and a lot of ram).  We have
some theoretical size limits but they lack proper CI testing, at least
in the upstream project, and there is some doubt about how well
thingsw work.

It would be nice to improve this.  The obvious problem is that large
machines are very expensive.  But: for this purpose, we don't need
_new_ or _fast_ large machines.  We could use some old machine that
everyone else has retired because of its power consumption.

Maybe someone here on this list, or one of the Xen Project's member
organisations, has something suitable they could pass on to us ?
Or we could buy something secondhand.

The preconditions for this to be sensible:

 * We want two identical machines.  This is essential to be able
   to distinguish hardware faults from software bugs.

 * They should have as many CPUs and as much RAM as possible,
   ideally approaching (or perhaps even exceeding[1]) the published
   Xen hypervisor limits.[0]  (In practice I expect old machines with
   large numbers of cpus to be fairly plentiful and large amounts of
   RAM to be less so.)

 * Provided they seem to work when we install them, there is no need
   for any kind of continuing hardware maintenance or support.  The
   plan would be that if they break, we'll replace them.  They may
   well last years.

 * They must be cheap (or free).  Given we can't expect have any kind
   of longevity guarantee, and this is not a critical feature for us,
   this ouht to be on a best-effort basis and ought not to take much
   of our budget.

 * The physically smaller the better.  Any more than 4U each is out of
   the question.

 * There is no need for them to have lots of disk or lots of network
   ports.  Even one reasonable sized rotating disk each would be

 * Ideally these wouldn't be too hard to find.  If not we probably
   shouldn't spend too much political capital or effort on hunting for


[0] https://wiki.xenproject.org/wiki/Xen_Project_Release_Features#Limits

[1] I believe the hypervisor can run on a bigger machine, leaving the
extra parts unused until support becomes available.

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