So I made a half-step forward, and a step back.
We were cleaning one of our back rooms at work to turn it into an office, and we came across an old Dell Poweredge 1900 that had been the PDC for a client years ago. As in, it was replaced years ago. Well, it was going to get scrapped anyway, so I asked my boss if I could have it, and he was like, "Yeah sure". So I hauled it home (incidentally, this thing weighs somewhere around 40-50 kilos; that was a fun experience).
Well, it sat around for the past week while I went through insanity and fire and flame and death and mayhem. But I found the time today to plug it in and boot it up with a XenServer CD. Alas, it refuses to let me boot in any fashion aside from PXE. Additionally, it has an issue with one of the PCIXe slots. Apparently the card is mis-seated or something, but when I cracked the case, it was seated just fine. All in all, I think I'm just going to have to pull the drives and toss the rest. It would've been a reasonable machine, but the actual specs on it aren't that whippy (theoretical for the motherboard is 16 gigs of ram, this has 4), and since it apparently sounds like a monster when running (I got a mild taste of it when the fans went berserk on start-up, then spun down), I think I'm going to bypass using this particular machine for the cloud. The work to get it up and running is going to be beyond what it'll take for me to just build a custom machine anyway.
On the other hand, I did nab myself a pair of nice SATA drives, though I haven't pulled them to see what their sizes are just yet. Additionally, since I'm discarding this box as a potential host, I've now got the thought of perhaps nabbing a half-rack from somewhere and building some 2U rack-mounted servers. I've also read of one person who actually set up video cards and whatnot as part of his cloud-rack and used them for a gaming VM that replaced an entire desktop. This sounds...appealing. Building a virtualized gaming rig sounds like an utter blast. Quad-card rendering, 64 GB of RAM, a dozen vCPUs, all with commodity hardware? Yes please!