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  1. #1

    Question I'm a beginner looking into buying my own hardware, any advice?

    Hello WHT,

    I am a beginner in the industry and was looking into colocation as I would generally prefer to own the hardware physically rather than renting it. I have decided the data centre, but don't really know where to begin! Basically, I am looking for a decent server that I can use to set up my shared hosting company on. I feel I would like to start with a basic server that is pretty cheap and has a reasonable amount of disk space and RAM, I would mainly like to use it to be able to learn more about servers in general before advancing on to more complex hardware. I'm not too clued up yet, but am on a budget and assuming that 1U would be good enough to begin with? All help and advice is much appreciated.


    -OH

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    640
    Unfortunately, all you've basically said is "I need a server". Nobody can tell you anything.

    What are your current server specs? List all components.

    Note that if you go to colo, you're responsible for replacing all components and doing hardware troubleshooting, etc. So what might be 30mins of downtime on a rented server, might turn into hours for you getting to the dc - figuring out whats wrong - replacing the component (if you have it) etc etc etc.
    Justin Yancey | justin @ jaguarpc.com | https://www.linkedin.com/in/justinyancey
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  3. #3
    Hello Justin,

    That's what I'm basically saying, yes. I am thinking of buying/building a server to start up with, but need advice? Like I say, I'm a beginner and feel that I would learn more also taking this route rather than just leasing.

    -OH

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    12,936
    Moved > Colocation and Data Centers.
    .
    JoneSolutions.Com is on the net providing web hosting services and support 24/7 since 2001.
    .

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    676
    You haven't
    a) stated your plans, or how many websites you expect to hold
    b) your budget
    c) your location
    You say a good amount of RAM and diskspace? How much is a good amount?
    A good amount of RAM could range between 4 - 24GB for a shared server
    A good amount of diskspace well first do you want SSD? RAID? We really need more information...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    791
    It kind of depends on your budget. This is a decent combination if it fits your budget (probably ~ $1K).

    SuperMicro 1U barebone
    (or 1U case + a board that you like like X9SCL-F w/IPMI)
    Intel E3-1270 (v1 or v2) w/passive heat sink
    2 or 4 x 8 GB DDR3/ECC RAM
    2 or 4 x 1 TB or 2 TB drives

    This assumes that you can put it together and install it. And that you will know what to do when it fails to boot or misbehave. The colo facility will normally not give you any help since your hardware is your responsibility.

    Some people will tell you to use a RAID card, others will tell you to go with Linux md softRAID. We had good luck with the former, and I like it because it's hardware independent -- you can always find another box to put in the 2 or 4 disks and voila, back in business.
    Pings <1 ms, Unlimited Transfer, Lowest Price: http://localhost/

  7. #7
    Thanks Luki! I shall look into this more

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    669
    I would second using SuperMicro bare bones servers, we have replaced all our Sun and HP Proliant machines with them.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    162
    If you have never administered a server before you really do not want to start with Colo. You can host a lot of clients in a VPS, get good experience while focusing on growing your business.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    776
    Quote Originally Posted by luki View Post
    It kind of depends on your budget. This is a decent combination if it fits your budget (probably ~ $1K).

    SuperMicro 1U barebone
    (or 1U case + a board that you like like X9SCL-F w/IPMI)
    Intel E3-1270 (v1 or v2) w/passive heat sink
    2 or 4 x 8 GB DDR3/ECC RAM
    2 or 4 x 1 TB or 2 TB drives

    This assumes that you can put it together and install it. And that you will know what to do when it fails to boot or misbehave. The colo facility will normally not give you any help since your hardware is your responsibility.

    Some people will tell you to use a RAID card, others will tell you to go with Linux md softRAID. We had good luck with the former, and I like it because it's hardware independent -- you can always find another box to put in the 2 or 4 disks and voila, back in business.
    That's a decent setup.

    Quote Originally Posted by jroc View Post
    If you have never administered a server before you really do not want to start with Colo. You can host a lot of clients in a VPS, get good experience while focusing on growing your business.
    And that's very good advice - you can learn almost everything you need on a VPS (or even a rented dedi, if you really want your own hardware) before getting caught up in hardware fix/replacement hassles with colo.
    Advania Thor Data Centre Iceland - www.thordc.com
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    brian.rae@thordc.com

  11. #11
    Supermicro servers are pretty stable and there are many different chassis and models, but you definitely do not get the same level of support that Dell would provide for example. What do you want to start with - just Shared Hosting or you need VPS systems as well?
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    London, United Kingdom
    Posts
    13
    Supermicro, you can't really go wrong, then find yourself some good cost-effective co/location.

    Good luck with your project.
    123Cloud Ltd
    Dedicated Servers, VPS and Colocation for Startups and Entrepreneurs
    made with ♥ in the United Kingdom

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Sittingbourne, Kent, UK
    Posts
    194
    Personally, I'm a fan of either supermicro or dell.

    Try to stick to a low power consumption to keep running costs down, if possible budget for replacement parts mainly psu / hdds.
    RackSRV Communications Limited
    UK specialists in Dedicated Servers & Server Colocation
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  14. #14
    Whatever hardware you choose don't forget the "out-of-band management". That's my 2 cents (and will probably save you $$).
    WEB.COM.PH Inc.
    Domain Registration | Shared Hosting | Dedicated Servers | Colocation | Server Management
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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Ashburn, VA
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    1,312
    Quote Originally Posted by luki View Post
    SuperMicro 1U barebone
    (or 1U case + a board that you like like X9SCL-F w/IPMI)
    Probably should go with the +-F version to avoid the reversed NIC issue.
    Preetam Jinka

    Isomerous - High performance web services for business and individuals.
    Bitcable Colocation, KVMs, cPanel hosting, Oracle expertise, and more.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Berkshire, England
    Posts
    32
    I would say if you want to go really cheap as its more for messing around to start with, what about something old like a SC1425/35 or R200 with a 3ware RAID card, they are stable enough in my opinion and you can pick them up fairly cheap second hand.

  17. #17
    Hi Guys,

    Firstly thanks to all of the positive replies and constructive crtisisims, they have helped my quite a bit. I have taken on board the comments about me not having much experience with administering a server. Today I found an old PC which I formatted and changed the OS from windows to Ubuntu LAMP server. I am planning to use this as a test server, and am going to try and create a mock hosting company from scratch, so then I will have enough experience to do this should I choose to.

    Regards,

    OH

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Original Hosting View Post
    Hi Guys,

    Firstly thanks to all of the positive replies and constructive crtisisims, they have helped my quite a bit. I have taken on board the comments about me not having much experience with administering a server. Today I found an old PC which I formatted and changed the OS from windows to Ubuntu LAMP server. I am planning to use this as a test server, and am going to try and create a mock hosting company from scratch, so then I will have enough experience to do this should I choose to.

    Regards,

    OH
    As long you don't become a "summer host" I don't think you'll have a problem. Make sure you do your due diligence and are ready to take upon this already saturated market.

  19. #19
    Supermicro Server is better. I recommand you to get it. try to buy from amazon

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Harrisburg, PA
    Posts
    777
    Quote Originally Posted by Original Hosting View Post
    Firstly thanks to all of the positive replies and constructive crtisisims, they have helped my quite a bit. I have taken on board the comments about me not having much experience with administering a server. Today I found an old PC which I formatted and changed the OS from windows to Ubuntu LAMP server. I am planning to use this as a test server, and am going to try and create a mock hosting company from scratch, so then I will have enough experience to do this should I choose to.
    Good luck! It's never a bad idea to start slow. Customer demand will still be high whether you start today, next week, or next month. Get a really good understanding of the back end of things, and you'll be better equipped to handle incidents that come up. You also might want to consider a reseller account with a reputable provider -- that will let you focus more on marketing your company, which is probably the single most overlooked aspect among new hosting startups.

    If you do choose to colocate, how close are you to the datacenter? Remember that you'll occasionally have hardware failures, and you'll need to factor your drive time into your downtime.

    For cheap servers, I'm still a fan of do-it-yourself work. I've had fantastic experience with Intel's mid- and high-end server boards, both in performance and stability. Stick with enterprise-class gear like a Xeon / Opteron, ECC memory, good SAS drives, and a solid power supply, and you'll be set. The huge advantage to building using commodity gear is that it's less expensive to keep spares on hand. Remember, you'll need to buy at least two of just about everything -- how much does it cost to double or triple up on Supermicro components?

    There's nothing wrong with going the Supermicro / Dell / HP / IBM route, it's just that commodity builds can save you a fortune early on.
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