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Prof. Dr. Silver October 30, 2009 11:22 AM

Suggestions for a Server build
Hey Guys,

A friend of mine needs to build a server to host a few websites. He has only a few wishes:


A tower... not a rackmount
Dual CPU with quad core processors
At least 8 Gb of RAM
1Tb of FAST storage... hot swappable in RAID 1 on a Hardware RAID controller. Which drives? Don't really know... I am assuming SSD would be the way to go... however regular HDD setup is probably cheaper. The budget is pretty open right now.. but in the end... we want to keep it as budget as possible :)

He'll be running CentOS. And is connected to Bell. The Business Fibre package.

Eeehm... help?

misterd October 30, 2009 11:41 AM

rackmount or a tower? That's a major question to be answered. Redundant power supplies? What kind of a network connection will it be connected to?

ayah October 30, 2009 11:46 AM

Define fast storage. Fast as in a RAID of SSDs or RAID of 15k SAS drives? (lowest mechanical access time)

Prof. Dr. Silver October 30, 2009 12:13 PM

First post edited... :)

misterd October 30, 2009 12:53 PM

What kind of traffic can he be expecting when he's just using a cable modem? From the sounds of it, he'd be fine with any of our old systems from 10 years ago. Our webserver at work is running on a ESXi Virtual Machine running Windows 2000 Advanced Server 900Mhz CPU allocated and 256MB of RAM. The average load on the cpu is 48Mhz. He's going to max out his cable modem before it comes close to the capacity of a 10 year old computer. Way overkill is the word of the day. I have friends in the hosting business all over the world and one of them says "a typical server is dual xeon with 2-4gb of ram and that will do 500-1000 sites depending on usage." and that would be in a data centre with a gigabit link. Other people are running stuff on 100mbit pipes and using an atom / 2gb ram and some sata drives for redundancy. I don't mean to come down on anyone, and if he's gonna use it for something else intensive *cough* folding *cough*at home go for it. But as far as a webserver, WAAAAAAAY more then ever needed.

Nemaster203 October 30, 2009 10:16 PM

I recently made a Home Server running Windows Home Server, and I mainly use it for file storage. I have a Core i5 in it, so I decided to setup folding as a service on it so it's not completely wasted. I'm just starting to modify my webpage, and even on my 500-ish mbps upload speed it loads really quickly for anyone who views it remotely.

If you just want it for web hosting, I suggest a Wii if you have one around somewhere, just install the Homebrew Channel and there's at least 2 web hosting channels you can get for it. You can also run a FTP server on it, connecting drives with the 2 USB ports on it, and maybe able to use the SD card slot, I'm not sure what the FTP server channel(s) support.

ayah October 30, 2009 10:34 PM

RAID-wise, I'd probably go LSI or Areca, probably sitting on a PCI-E x4 or x8. Two 160GB Intel X-25M G2s in a RAID 1. High speed stability.
There's a couple ways to have hot swap: you can load your drives into one of those (n) x 2.5" trays in 5.25" bays, for easy physical access.
Or there's the cheap way, you can just open the side panel up to "hot swap" a drive.

Prof. Dr. Silver October 30, 2009 10:52 PM

Alright... maybe we should go a bit more into detail... he'll be hosting his own website which consists of a fairly complex search engine program and a forum. The search engine is the 'tricky' part. The program basically crawls other websites, downloads information, etc...(and is multi-threaded) and thus requires a bit of power.

I like the idea of two SSD drives in RAID.... however.... that's just 160Gb of storage... :( In order to reach 1Tb of secure storage.... we'll need 14 of those suckers... gets a bit pricey... :)

Ps. Thanks MAC

MarkOne October 31, 2009 06:04 AM

Just one word "Supermicro" you have a lot of choice of dual xeon board , with or without sas or scii on board , you get their case also , they came with a good PSU very strong build, good ventilation, swap drive . I have one runing since 6 years, 24/7 ,

Nemaster203 October 31, 2009 09:22 AM

Or, you could RAID the 2 SSDs for the OS, and run 4+ WD1001FALS in RAID5 or 6 for performance and redundancy, with these for hotswap NCIX.com - Buy Kingwin KF-4000-BK 4 Bay 3.5IN SATA Hard Drive Hot Swap Mobile Rack W/ Cooling Fans - KF-4000-BK In Canada.

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