Our spam-filter test-system cluster is made up of a bunch of ancient commodity PCs, Dell Optiplex’es and HP Vectras. It is a functional mirror of our production cluster, but with much less capacity. Two frontends, a number of backends, mostly single Pentium II 400MHz with 384Mb RAM. Generally not much to write about except it has just celebrated it’s tenth anniversary and replacement is really way over-due.
Performance- and capacity-wise it’s still perfectly adequate, and would likely remain so for another few years. However, it needs a new harddrive every now and then and parallel ATA/IDE drives are getting quite scarce. Second, when compared to e.g. a virtual setup, it’s simply using up way too much electrical power.
Internally, we’ve discussed moving to a virtual setup more than once, usually every time a harddisk needs replacing, but it’s not a priority nor is it critical, at least not at the moment.