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  1. #1

    First time colo attempt

    Hi All,

    Am planning on building a rackmount for colocation and would be grateful for some pointers peeps :-)

    Firstly let me explain my goals, and my ideas. And you experts can correct me when I get things wrong!

    I am looking for a rackmount no more than 4U.
    I am hoping to put in 12 x 500gb Maxtor SATA II drives.
    I have selected this chassis as suitable

    Motherboard/Cpu are yet to be decided, and this poses some of my questions!

    Based on having a mid-range mobo/cpu and 12x hard drives, what sort of power supply unit would you recommend? Im thinking 550 watt?

    Although this case has 'hotswaps', I have no use for them. If a drive dies ill simply bring the server offline and replace it. This isnt a mission critical server and uptime isnt important. But having hotswaps, what does this mean, anything different from regular drives?

  2. #2
    Hotswap means you can pull the drive and stick in a new one, without turning the server off. I'll leave the more difficult questions to the experts
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Maidenhead, UK
    it might be an idea to look into going for dual powersupply considering 12 hds, + mobo + cpu etc are going to be running of it, or talk to some one like sentral about a server of your specification

  4. #4
    i'd get much larger then 550Watts, considering you want to put in a server class board which already takes much more power then standard desktop boards.

    get at least a 650 Watt with PFC.

    some ideas you can check out are at on chassis types, boards, cpus etc..
    Tim M./ a division of VPLS,Inc.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    San Jose, CA.
    My main comment is this... with the amount of drives you will have in the system... switching to a better $/GB ratio drive might be more suitable especialy depending on your usage.

    Knowing how much value you are placing on disk performance vs sheer massive GB storage will be important.

    I believe, the best price per Gig is still @ the 320GB drive size. With 500GB drives you're paying about $0.40/GB, with 320GB drives you're paying about $0.30/GB.

    16drives * 320GB = 5120GB = $1504
    12drives * 500GB = 6000GB = $2448

    So with 500GB drives you're paying $800 more for an extra 944GB.

    If drive performance is more important then sheer GB availablility... you'll do better with the 16 * 320GB drives. (You'll get better performance with more drives.)

    If you take into account that you'll probably be using this in some form of RAID5/6 array... it becomes even more worthwhile to go with a larger chassis, and smaller drives.

    16drives * 320GB in RAID5 = 4800GB= $1504
    12drives * 500GB in RAID5 = 5500GB = $2448

    At that point it becomes only an 800GB difference for only $800 more...

    16drives * 320GB in RAID6 = 4480GB= $1504
    12drives * 500GB in RAID6 = 5000GB = $2448
    (RAID6 or RAID5 with a hot-spare)

    At that point it becomes only a 520GB difference for $800 more.

    (This does not take into account formatted drive sizes, and shipping & taxes...
    I suck at math so this could be completely wrong.)

    In any case... my recommendation is to review your choice of going with 12 500GB drives in a 3U case, and instead possibly consider using a 4U case, and 16 320GB drives. You'll get better performance @ a lower price... I guess it will depend if 800 - 944GB more will really be that big of a difference for you.

    This is based on a price/GB comparison of:

    Western Digital Caviar RE2 WD5000YS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

    vs a

    Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3320620AS (Perpendicular Recording Technology) 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

    Which I realize isn't exactly the same drive as you mentioned...


    Along with all that... I strongly agree with everyone elses comments that your power supply selection is underpowered.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    San Jose, CA.
    Oops.. my math is off :p

    16drives * 320GB = 5120GB = $1504
    12drives * 500GB = 6000GB = $2448

    At that point it becomes only an 880GB difference for $944 more...

    RAID5 = 800GB difference for $944 more.
    RAID6/RAID5+HotSpare = 520GB difference for $944 more.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Might want to go with another brand then Maxtor, they tend die alot with heat. There will be alot of heat with all those drives.. Samsung/Seagate might be better for you.
    Last edited by camers; 08-31-2006 at 05:16 PM.
    It's Scott!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    San Jose, CA.
    Hopefully that wont be a problem too much longer (not that i've experienced it)... seeing Seagate owns Maxtor now...

  9. #9
    320 gb/ seems to be the best value in gb/$ at this point in time. Chenbro makes a pretty good product. And 550 watt sounds undersized to me with all those hard drives.

    One peice of advice would be, know exactly every major peice of hardware you will be using and verify before any of it is ordered that they will fit together AND works with the OS you plan to use.

    Chenbro's "recommendation list" is a good start to finding what will fit in that chassis. If Chenbro say's it wont fit in their chassis, it really won't. If the mobo mfg has a minimum recommended power supply - use that and add about 15 watts per drive. + round up.

    And alot (if not most) of the colocation providers charge "per u". If you don't need all those hard drives it's kind of a waste of $25-$50 a month for a 3u instead of a 2u with 6 or 8 drive bays. 1u's use much higher rpm fans (usually 15,000 rpm x 5) and actually use more electricy than a 2u that has more drives in it. Most places charge "per amp" per month as well as per u.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    You also probably want to colocate it near you to avoid all the additional charges in keeping your monster server alive.

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