Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    74

    Question UK: Building my first server

    Hi all,

    I'm going into the specific e-commerce side of web hosting with my own software solution.

    Although I'm an experienced programmer, and I've also built my own desktop/tower PCs in the past, building a rackmount server is a completely new challenge for me.

    I'm going to colocate with *a* company (haven't decided for sure which company yet) with a view to getting into Redbus III (Sovereign House). I think this is a sound choice.

    I can get a Chenbro RM214 case from X-Case.co.uk as they're local to me, so I think I'm going to do that. I'm told a 2U server is a better buy for a dual CPU configuration, better cooling etc.

    What kind of hardware should I be looking at to fill it? And does anyone have experience with this case? I considered the Supermicro angle, via Broadberry, but they are VERY expensive and I'm convinced I can build this myself.

    I think I would like:

    Xeon 3.2 Ghz * 2
    SCSI-enabled motherboard (Ultra320 or something?)
    SCSI Hard Disk, 10k speed should be okay, not sure about the size?
    2GB RAM, I guess I can expand this later
    + some kind of backup device - internal IDE?

    If some experienced people could give me a hand with this, I would be monumentally grateful. I know roughly what I need, but I don't, for example, know which motherboard to go for or where to get it in the UK (I'm used to dealing with companies selling desktop components). Ideally I'd like to find a place around London or the Home Counties.

    Thanks in advance for any help you guys can offer - perhaps this will be a help to other people in my position in the future!

  2. #2
    I would check out Newegg.com although they are a US distributor, but they are the best IMO.

    I would recommend the following:

    Tyan Dual Opteron Board (Search for Dual Socket 940 boardsw/SCSI) or
    Tyan S2882G3NR-D ( if you can deal with SATA/IDE)
    2 x Opteron 246's
    2G Ram (using 512M Sticks the Tyan's have support for 16 slots I believe)
    Dual Ethernet (included on board)
    Integrated SCSI controller (if you require it)
    SCSI Backup Utilizing LTO-2 Certance if you can find it

    I would recommend utilizing the backup services of your provider especially if you will be doing database backup on a live database. You want a backup solution that offers an agent for live database so that the database is only minorly disrupted from a performance standpoint.

    Sean
    crisper

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    London
    Posts
    390
    Mitsurugi,

    If you are intending on building a dual Xeon system take a quick look at Dell's current pricing on 1850/2850 systems to check whether it's worth your while going home-made. We've got plenty of 1850s and haven't had a pick of bother with any yet.

    If you do go home-made, you generally won't go too far wrong with Chenbro cases - www.tmc-uk.com do a very nice range. You would be able to squeeze that into 1u but I'd advise a 2u system simply for cooling reasons. 10krpm SCSI drives have been fast enough for everything we've needed so far. Most of our systems use 73gb or 146gb drives. For reliability/backup, I'd actually just get two of the same HD's and run them in a RAID1 configuration. Actual backups should then be nightly to your own home/office computer or to some off-network backup space provided by your host or someone else.

    As an aside, if you are intending to colo with someone in the Redbus, Sovereign House is definitely the one to go for. It's a pretty good facility with the best cooling and power of all 3 buildings. We've been pretty pleased with it so far

    Kind regards,
    Kris
    Kris - nitrohosting.net
    Premium Dell Windows/Linux dedicated servers in London
    Great value shared hosting & ADSL.
    PM/Email for no-obligation quotes.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    70
    You can always go with a Serial ATA 10K drive for considerably less.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    4,612
    Depending on the configuration, in many cases a 2U chassis provides no better cooling than a 1U chassis. In a properly configured 1U chassis with high power blowers, you'll have higher air pressure (i.e. faster moving air), and it can actually keep the whole system cooler than a 2U with less powerful fans. This isn't always the case, but it is something to keep in mind.
    Scott Burns, President
    BQ Internet Corporation
    Remote Rsync and FTP backup solutions
    *** http://www.bqbackup.com/ ***

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    74
    Thanks for all the advice - particularly regarding the Opteron side of things. I came across a company called Armari who operate in the UK, and have put together the following spec:

    Custom Armari Tyan Transport TA26:

    System: Tyan Transport TA26 Opteron DP SCSI BB 2U Base
    CPU: Dual AMD Opteron 246 - 2.0GHz CPU (940pin)
    Memory: 2GB 400MHz DDR SDRAM (4 x 512MB (PC3200) ECC REG.s)
    Hard drive: Maxtor Atlas 15K II 73.5GB U320/SCA - 8E073J0
    CD/DVD Drive: Tyan Server 24x Slimline CDROM
    O/S: SuSE Linux 9.2 Professional Retail Box (32/64-bit)


    What do you think? This looks pretty decent to me, and the advantage is that it's all built to fit perfectly inside the case.

    I've opted for the 15K drive, the MySQL capability of the server is probably the most important factor for me.

    Anyone here running similar servers?


  7. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    74
    Hmm, after reading around, it doesn't look like SUSE 9.2 Pro is a suitable OS for a web server.

    I'm thinking that maybe I should take the server with no OS and install CENTOS myself. Would that be a good move?

    I'll download the x86_64 version for my Opterons. Having never installed Linux before, am I likely to have any trouble with the OS detecting hardware?

  8. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    London
    Posts
    390
    CentOS is a pretty good system and the install is straightforward. We've only used it on Dell PowerEdge systems and haven't had any problems detecting hardware.

    FreeBSD is also a pretty good choice.

    Kind regards,
    Kris
    Kris - nitrohosting.net
    Premium Dell Windows/Linux dedicated servers in London
    Great value shared hosting & ADSL.
    PM/Email for no-obligation quotes.

  9. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    London, United Kingdom
    Posts
    4,362

    Re: UK: Building my first server

    I can get a Chenbro RM214 case from X-Case.co.uk as they're local to me, so I think I'm going to do that. I'm told a 2U server is a better buy for a dual CPU configuration, better cooling etc.
    It depends entirely on the case and the contents. 2u is not necessarily better than 1u, we'e had dell 2850's overheat in 2u and have 1u supermicros running considerably cooler
    Rob Golding Astutium Ltd - UK based ICANN Accredited Domain Registrar - proud to accept BitCoins
    Buying Web Hosts and Domain Registrars Today @ hostacquisitions.co.uk
    UK Web Hosting | UK VPS | UK Dedicated Servers | ADSL/FTTC | Backup/DR | Cloud
    UK Colocation | Reseller Accounts | IPv6 Transit | Secondary MX | DNS | WHMCS Modules

  10. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    4,612

    Re: Re: UK: Building my first server

    Originally posted by othellotech
    It depends entirely on the case and the contents. 2u is not necessarily better than 1u, we'e had dell 2850's overheat in 2u and have 1u supermicros running considerably cooler
    We have several 1U Supermicro servers, and the cooling is excellent. The supermicro cases are very well engineered.
    Scott Burns, President
    BQ Internet Corporation
    Remote Rsync and FTP backup solutions
    *** http://www.bqbackup.com/ ***

  11. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    London
    Posts
    390
    Rob, what spec were those 2850s? We run some fairly loaded 1850s and haven't had any problems yet.

    These wouldn't be the ones which warped a rack door would they?

    Kris
    Kris - nitrohosting.net
    Premium Dell Windows/Linux dedicated servers in London
    Great value shared hosting & ADSL.
    PM/Email for no-obligation quotes.

  12. #13
    We used to build our own servers but now use Supermicro they are very well designed and built. Pricing is quite reasonable you can get a 1U dual XEON with U320 SCSI 1GB Ram and 2 x 73GB Maxtors for around 1300 ex vat.

    Building a rackmount yourself can be quite a headache compared to a tower.

    Cheers,

    P

    We get our Supermicro kit mainly from Scan.co.uk and also from Hamiltone and Ebuyer

  13. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    London, United Kingdom
    Posts
    4,362
    [B]Rob, what spec were those 2850s? We run some fairly loaded 1850s and haven't had any problems yet.
    These wouldn't be the ones which warped a rack door would they?
    No that was a clients client overstuffing their rack with about 8 dell 1650 dualp3's in the centre with no space between any of them and with a solid shelf above and below, giving nowhere for the heat to go except onto the door

    The recent 2850 that died was a dual xeon 2.4(or 2.6) 4gb ram, 4*73gb scsi - and heavily used - it just went into meltdown - dell swapped it for a brand new one - did the same, they then exchanged it for one with 2*300gb drives and no problems with that yet.

    Still draws 1.4a @ bootup though
    Rob Golding Astutium Ltd - UK based ICANN Accredited Domain Registrar - proud to accept BitCoins
    Buying Web Hosts and Domain Registrars Today @ hostacquisitions.co.uk
    UK Web Hosting | UK VPS | UK Dedicated Servers | ADSL/FTTC | Backup/DR | Cloud
    UK Colocation | Reseller Accounts | IPv6 Transit | Secondary MX | DNS | WHMCS Modules

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •