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  1. #1

    Question Need Help, which one would you pick?

    hi guys, I need your advice to choose one of these two setups. this box is gonna be used to host a very resource intensive php/mysql site + vBulletin forum.
    the peak number of users online could reach 500-600 but usually around 200-300. I need rock solid networks as the site needs to be up as close to 100% as it gets and I need fast response time from the DC 24x7 and I don't want to worry about server management/security hardening, etc....
    my budget is around 400-500 all inclusive.

    the first setup is from iweb.ca:

    Intel Processor Type: Dual Xeon
    Processor Speed: 2.4Ghz
    Hard Drive Type: SCSI
    Hard Drive Capacity: 2 x 73GB (probably 10K RPM)
    RAID: HW 1/5
    Memory: 2GB
    Monthly traffic: 2000GB
    Remote Reboot Port: Yes
    Software management: Level 3 (90 mins/month)
    SpamShield Filters: Yes
    IPs [Justification required]: 7
    Uplink Port Speeds: 10 Mbps Public Network
    Operating System: CentOS 4 (32 bit)
    NAS: 20 GB
    Insurance: « Bad surprise » insurance
    Monitoring: Host Ping and TCP Service Monitoring (5 services)
    Notification: Email and Ticket
    Response: Remote Reboot port (Manual)
    Total Price: $500

    and the second is from Softlayer:

    Intel Processor Type: Opteron 170
    Processor Speed: 2.0GHz (2 x 1MB cache)
    Hard Drive Type: SCSI
    Hard Drive Capacity: 2 x 73GB SA-SCSI 15K RPM
    RAID: HW 1
    Memory: 2 GB DDRI 400
    Monthly traffic 2000GB
    Remote Reboot Port Yes
    Software management: PSM ($30/month - unlimited tickets)
    SpamShield Filters Yes
    IPs : 5
    Uplink Port Speeds: 100 Mbps Public & Private Networks
    Operating System: CentOS 4 (32 bit)
    NAS: 20 GB
    Insurance: Business Continuance Insurance
    Monitoring: Host Ping and TCP Service Monitoring (up to 16)
    Notification: Email and Ticket
    Response: Automated Reboot from Monitoring
    Total Price: $409

    thanks a million.
    Last edited by drepac; 09-24-2006 at 06:40 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    251
    The Opteron is the superior choice. If you want maximum performance, add another drive and run RAID 5 (this spreads the I/O over multiple drives). Also, since SoftLayer offers RHEL, get the 64-bit version to get the most out of your database.
    Kevin, The Walrus

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Montréal
    Posts
    953
    If you choose to go with iWeb but you prefer Opteron, ask your account manager to switch the Xeon processors for Opteron, you can switch procs for the same price.
    :: Martin Leclair
    :: Linkedin Profile

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    251
    Also, 15K SAS drives are more expensive than 10K SAS drives, but for your needs, the 10K drives will be fine. If anything sink any extra money you have for this server into more RAM than top of the line hard drives.
    Kevin, The Walrus

  5. #5
    so a raid5 with 15k sas, 4G RAM and RHEL 64 would be the best in my case assuming the AMD setup?
    I am not sure though if all apps will be compatible with RHEL 64, cpanel (required by PSM!!), php4, mysql 4.1, phpmyadmin, apache 1.3.37 etc.... anyone would mind clearing this up please?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Goleta, CA
    Posts
    5,550
    You might as well build and colocate the machine for how much you'll be paying to lease it.
    Patron: I'd like my free lunch please.
    Cafe Manager: Free lunch? Did you read the fine print stating it was an April Fool's joke.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    251
    Quote Originally Posted by drepac
    so a raid5 with 15k sas, 4G RAM and RHEL 64 would be the best in my case assuming the AMD setup?
    People tend to buy too much of a server when they would be better off (money wise) starting smaller and adding capacity/upgrading as the need arises.

    I still say the 15k drives are an overkill. And 2G RAM will be fine to start out with. As your needs grow, optimize your installed applications, then add more RAM if needed and then maybe upgrade the drives (although by then, you might be at a point where you should just get a new server with faster/more processors).

    The 15k drives are really only needed for the most demanding applications like a huge database server. If you end up having this huge a database, you should just get a separate server for that (and use RAID 10 on it).

    The move to using dual core chips in servers means that they are going to get cheaper and cheaper with every passing month. Soon, quad core chips will be the high end and even the cheapest servers will have dual core chips in them. So, buy what you need, but you don't have to go too far overboard.
    Kevin, The Walrus

  8. #8

    Question is the opteron the best?

    I never considered buying actually simply because I don't think it's worth the trouble and when it's to to change companies then what to do? as you said, h/w gets outdated pretty fast so whatever is good today wont be in 6 months from now, so instead of byuing that new faster scsi or that new ram...., i prefer calling the DC and say get me 1GB more knowing that it's $25/month, .... and not having to worry about h/w failures. when it breaks, the DC fixes it.
    Actually, I never quite understood why pple would buy monster box(es) knowing that they gonna have to keep upgrading stuff all the time, maybe the math works out in the long run.

    Anyways, back to the server specs, do all of you guys think the opteron will outperform the xenon under heavy web/db usage? as a means of comparaison, a friend of mine has a site similar to mine and he is using a dual xenon 2.4ghz, 2GB ram, raid 1 73 scsis 10k rpm. his site can handle 600-650 users, so my question is with similar specs but using the opeterons 170, is there any way to predict how many users such a setup could handle?

    one more question, assuming the setup were identical, which provider would you go with regardless of server specs, but rather for the quality of the network, the uptime, the h/w quality, the quality and promptness of support team.

    thanks a million.

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