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  1. #1

    Building my first 2U server

    Hi!

    I've never built a 2U server before, so I've got a couple of questions for you experts:

    1) Can I put a regular ATX motherboard in SuperMicro 2U chasis or will I have to get one of those expensive TYAN's?
    2) Is registered (ECC) memory really important?

    I'm serving a lot of images, rely heavily on MySQL and PHP for backend processing and expecting cca 5k - 7k visits per day.

    3) Can I get away with an AMD Athlon 64 3500+, 4x 512 DDR pc3200 and 2 mirrored Seagate SATA 200GB 7200rpm?

    I'd really like to serve pages as fast as possible, but currently I have very limited funds since I'm only starting so I can't really afford dual Opterons .

    Thanks,
    C-chan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Helmond
    Posts
    40
    Hi Chiyo,

    Alway's fun building your own server.
    1. Why not buying a barebone from Supermicro or Tyan? Then you have chassis, Power supply and motherboard at a reasonable price!
    2. ECC memory is important ... ECC stands for Error-Correcting Code memory.. your system is not going to perfom faster but more stable.
    3. You can get away with this configuration.

    On a P4 (2GB) server we can serve 15-20K users asp/SQL server with images blobbed from the database and custom resized easily.


    Best Regards,
    Marcel

  3. #3
    Hi,

    well, I checked around and the only barebone I can find is TYAN's (mb+psu+chassis) and they are very nice but also super expensive :\

    So far I'm thinking of getting (supermicro.com/products/chassis/2U/822/SC822i-400RC.cfm) this Supermicro chassis, I guess ATX motherboards should fit in nicely and 4x 80mm fans would take care of the heat.

    Would Gigabyte GA-K8NS Ultra S939 motherboard work out despite being a desktop motherboard? Or will I need more of a 'server motherboard' if I want to use hardware SATA raid and several gigs of ECC RAM?

    Regards,
    C-chan

  4. #4
    Why not buy a real server, i.e.

    * Compaq DL580
    * Compaq DL380
    * Dell PowerEdge 2650

    These are less than 1,000USD on eBay today, and are all far superior to this solution you're describing.

    www.ebay.com <-- It's all there
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  5. #5
    Oh, I just thought I could ask:

    a) What's a low profile ram?
    b) What's the difference between active raiser cards and passive ones?

  6. #6
    Hi afa340a,

    I checked all three options and they do seem nice but is buying a server off eBay really reliable? eBay is not really popular (yet) in my country (Central Europe) and it takes several days (weeks) to get the goods to me.

    I think that the server should be composed of components that are easily replacable at any moment... or am I missing the big picture?

    Regards,
    C-chan

  7. #7
    Well, we are in Europe, and buy dozens of servers every month from ebay.de

    www.ebay.de

    I can give you more information via email if you want.

    It's worth it, believe me. A server should be composed only of components designed to be put into a server. A Seagate 7200.7 200GB SATA is not designed to be in a server.
    EuroVPS VPS Hosting - Virtual Private Servers | Web Hosting | Dedicated Servers
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    59
    Nope.. you are right on the money. You want a machine which you know how to fix. Buying a Compaq or HP off of ebay is not a good idea IMO. You don't know what you will be getting. You might be getting a machine that has been used and abused for the last 2 years. And many of the name-branders will use stupid proprietary parts which aren't easy (to find or on the wallet) to replace.

    Buy new, buy quality, build yourself.

    Then keep the model numbers handy (grab extra fans and hard drives) and you should be ready to go. Having a second machine is always smart.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    70
    I agree with Tekerz with proprietary parts being hard to find and usually a lot more expensive to replace.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    3,352
    I remeber Dell's rail for rack server is not normal off the shelf. you can only buy it from Dell and the samething with their PSU.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    1,315
    Originally posted by afa340a
    A Seagate 7200.7 200GB SATA is not designed to be in a server.
    Interesting... if a Seagate drive isn't designed to be in a server what would you recommend using??

    I've used Seagate 7200RPM IDE drives in over a dozen 2U servers and I've had only 1 or 2 fail (Mind you, each server was running atleast 3 of those drives (2 for RAID + backup))...
    Avi Brender
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
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    Building a 2U server is no brainer. Building a 1U server may need some skills/thinking/planning. You do not need low profile memory on a 2U server.
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  13. #13
    Hi!

    I know its no brainer for you experts, but I really don't want to throw away my money and time by building a slow, unstable and unresponsive machine.

    This is what I came up with so far:

    Chassis: SuperMicro SC822i 400RC
    CPU: ATHLON 64 3000+/512K (1.8GHz) BOX S939
    MB: Msi K8T NEO2 FIR with Gigabit ethernet onboard (supposed to work out of the box in FBSD)
    RAM: 4x 512MB PC3200 DDR DIMM ECC registered
    STORAGE: 2x SEAGATE 200GB 7200 SATA 8MB NCQ

    I could use a hint about this:
    The mobo specs says that it has RAID controller and thus enables RAID 1, 0 or 0+1. Is this a true hardware RAID controller or will CPU do most of the work? I only need raid 1 but really don't want the CPU to deal with RAID.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    1,315
    Regarding the onboard RAID, I onced used a Tyan with onboard Promise RAID - it was horrible - terrible. Since then I've learned that buying a 3ware RAID card is well worth the $100 - it's excellent, reliable and has good monitoring/notification utilities with a simple web interface.
    Avi Brender
    Reliable Web Hosting by Elite Hosts, Inc
    CPANEL Reseller Hosting - Fantastico - Rvskins - ClientExec

  15. #15
    Are you talking about IDE RAID? Becuase I haven't seen any 100$ cards for SATA RAID, especially not from 3Ware

    Could you elaborate please?

    EDIT: The only ~100$ SATA RAID controllers are "PCI SATA RAID Adaptec 1210SA" and "Promise 150 TX2+" ... but I'm not really sure this is the 'real deal' hardware RAID controller and if it works with FreeBSD?
    Last edited by Chiyo-Chan; 06-12-2005 at 09:42 AM.
    In the beginning the Universe was created.
    This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.

  16. #16
    Originally posted by [email protected]
    8006-2LP is THE only player for 2-port SATA true hardware RAID. no adaptec nor ami/lsi nor broadcom RAIDcore makes 2-port version.

    2-port promise/sillicon image/highpoint/adaptec 1210sa are just BIOS routing software RAID.....
    I got lucky and found something

    According to this quote I'm "stuck" with 3Ware if I wan't to run hardware raid... I'm saying "stuck" because I don't think I can get 3Ware in my country
    In the beginning the Universe was created.
    This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    New York, NY
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    4,612
    For SATA RAID, look at the LSI MegaRAID 150-4 or 150-6, or if you want the extra performance, the 300-8X. These work very well with FreeBSD, and there's even a FreeBSD utility to manage the RAID functions.
    Scott Burns, President
    BQ Internet Corporation
    Remote Rsync and FTP backup solutions
    *** http://www.bqbackup.com/ ***

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