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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    Need inputs on future colo project

    Hey guys. Need some inputs, since i am new in the colo business.
    Been ordering servers for different projects for many years.

    But not i am planning on going over to Colo, since i got the money to invest.
    To save money in the long run.

    I am planning with 21" or 42" rackspace, not that want to use all slots at once, but i want to be sure i got space ready for quick expansion.


    What i need to invest in:
    APC - PDU 8port (i just buy more if needed?) 200€
    Network Switch Gigabit (Got offered HP2824) 525€ (Will buy 2, one reserve.)
    KVM/IP Switch 16p (Think it was a Dell, not more info) 1000€

    Network:
    Start with 500Mbit (Uplink is 1Gbit)

    Servers:
    Start with 3x 2U servers They are prices around 3500-4000€ each.
    8x Drives, Raid Controller, Raid10, 8Gb Memory. Will be used for intense IO reading
    Also considering Redundant PSU.

    Specs:
    Chassis: Supermicro 825TQ-560LP 2U
    Motherboard: Supermicro X7SBE mainboard
    Cpu: Intel Xeon E3110
    Memory: 8Gb
    Raid Controller: Areca 1222 8x ( Dont need anything expensive since its raid10? )
    8x 2Gb WD drives
    IPMI Card + KVM
    Price: Around 3500€


    Questions:
    1. Is the HP 2824 good enough for multiple Gigabit Uplinks?

    2. For OS install etc. Is the IPMI Cards on supermicro good enough to do remote installs?, and can those card be used instead of a KVM/IP Switch?

    3. How many of those servers can i have in a 21" or 42" in rack?

    4. Should i have Multi Gigabit links ready incase of bw increase, so downtime is low or none?

    5. Anything other good hints to think about? Equipment recommends?

    6. Reserve material for the server should be Raid controller and disks atleast?

    7. Is the server choice a good one for the price?

    My main goal is to do everything remote, but one hands on hour is one air ticket tour/retour

    Same servers will cost me about 520€ a month, with 200Mbit link each.

    Renting a 21" + 500Mbit link will cost me around 1000€ / Month
    So hopefully this solution will work out in the long run. Any good inputs?

    Might add some more questions as some answers shows up
    Last edited by chrda; 11-11-2009 at 04:02 PM.
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  2. #2
    2. For OS install etc. Is the IPMI Cards on supermicro good enough to do remote installs?, and can those card be used instead of a KVM/IP Switch?
    The motherboard you mentioned has two IPMI cards available for it. Make sure that you get the one that supports KVM Over IP (the SIM1U+), the other IPMI card only supports serial over LAN.

    Since you are going with 2U cases, the slot required for the LAN port on the card wont' interfere with your RAID card slot (a problem on some 1U cases from SuperMicro).

    Remote OS installs via the remote media mounts work pretty well provided you have a NetInstall version of the OS install CD. Anything else will take too long to install on a relatively slow upload link (ie: cable modem, ADSL, etc).

    If you have the ability try and setup a PXE environment to handle your most common installations, as that will greatly improve the install times (if you are constantly wiping and reinstalling servers).

    Other notes:

    I didn't see you mention anything about power to the rack. Keep in mind that some colo providers limit how much power they can supply to a rack. You will probably run out of power before you run out of space in the rack.

    Also if you can afford it, look at the X8 series motherboards from SuperMicro. You get integrated KVM over IP on the F letter models (ie: X8Sti-F) which saves you from having to buy an extra card for each server. The KVM over IP software is very good, and works the same as the stand alone units (maybe a little bit better).
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    New Question: How smart is it to put the IPMI Cards on public ips? or should a local vlan be used? Might consider having a Cisco 5505 with vpn to internal lan? Any other good solutions?

    Netinstall is good, Centos is going to be used on all or most of the servers.

    Power on the 21" Rack package is about 5Amps included, about 30€ for each Amp extra

    I look into the X8 series
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  4. #4
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    Apr 2007
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    Ok just had a quick read and your using 3 servers, with 500Mbps? are you sure you need that much bandwidth?
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  5. #5
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    Jan 2009
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    Adaptec or 3Ware is a better choice IMO.

    How much bandwidth will you actually be using? Why not Commit to X amount of bandwidth (10Mb for example) and be billed on the 95th percentile until you are using loads of bandwidth?

    By 21" and 42" do you mean 21U and 42U? I assume so (1U = 1.75" inches)

    You can get a Layer 3, 48 Port Cisco switch (certified refurb) for $500~

    By "8x 2Gb WD drives" do you mean "8 x 2TB WD Drives" ? I'd stick with 1TB RE3's or WD Blacks of you are using SATA, especially with heavy IO.

    Server price for those spec's I'd say would be better suited in the $2,000 USD price range. If google is right: 4000 € = 5987.2 U.S. dollars so you could get 3 good servers with that price. Heck you could even get them with SAS drives and nehalem xeons for that price you are showing.

    Also grab a Zero U APC PDU for like $600~ USD

    I'd also try for 1U if you can get away with it, rather than the 2U. For the price you are spending per server you should be able to get 8 x 2.5" drives in a 1U chassis.

  6. #6
    Many of the security guys will tell you, the less you expose to the general public, the better.

    Things to keep in mind... the X8 boards with the integrated KVM over IP/IPMI ports don't require a separate physical connection to the network as long as the IPs on one of the two main interfaces are also in the same subnet. (ie: eth0 is internet facing with 1.2.3.4/29 and eth1 is internal with 10.0.1.2/29, you can assign the IPMI/KVMoIP interface in 10.0.1.3/29 and eth1 will handle traffic for the interface automatically without having the third port actually connected).

    The standalone cards (AOC-SIM1U+) require a completely separate connection to the switch. This could factor into your costs if you use the X7 boards with the IPMI cards you will end up burning an extra port on the switch versus the X8 boards. Again this is assuming that you are using a connections to each NIC on the motherboard (one external and one internal).
    Last edited by ExpressColo-TomW; 11-11-2009 at 05:23 PM. Reason: spelling errors
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeTrike View Post
    You can get a Layer 3, 48 Port Cisco switch (certified refurb) for $500~
    With 48 gigabit ports?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeTrike View Post
    Server price for those spec's I'd say would be better suited in the $2,000 USD price range.
    If you can point me to a place where i can get a Supermicro server with those specs and 8 xWD Enterprise Class RAID edition 2TB disks (cannot have desktops because of the error correction timeout) for 2000$ i would be extremely gratefull
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by swiftnoc View Post
    With 48 gigabit ports?
    No, with 48 x 100Mb ports, I guess I misunderstood what he was doing.

    Quote Originally Posted by swiftnoc View Post
    If you can point me to a place where i can get a Supermicro server with those specs and 8 xWD Enterprise Class RAID edition 2TB disks (cannot have desktops because of the error correction timeout) for 2000$ i would be extremely gratefull
    Read it again.

  9. #9
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    500Mbps, you are using multiple uplinks, need layer 3 or layer 2?

  10. #10
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    I am currently using 1x server with 250Mbit output right now
    Sorry about some of the typing errors, its ofcause 21U and 42U and not Gb but TB
    The drives will be Enterprise SATA, no question there.
    I will consider a PXE boot box, just need to set my self into the solution.

    I do work with security alot and i might go for a external / internal solution.

    Looks like ill go for the X8 Motherboards.
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  11. #11
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    Also, 1000 EUR for rack plus 500Mbps? Is this shared, or dedicated?

    You could expect, on the lower rates in the USA, about US$3/Mbps, which sums to 1500 USD (1000 EUR) for the bandwidth only.

  12. #12
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    Managed would be nice, incase i will rent out space for later, can set port to 100Mbit etc.

    I pay around 1.5€ / Mbps and the server on this network has been very good.

    Ill be corrected its about 1050€

    The new deal it self is not finished, since i am doing research to be sure that i do the right thing. Also doing it the right way.
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  13. #13
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    I'm just curious as to alot of folks in the forum uses Supermicro as their MB of choice.

    How would one go abut getting H/W support when the components fail? I know the bigger companies like HP/Dell have service plans. Do Supermicro offer support plans? How does it all work?

    I'm planning to get into the colo scene as well, and would like some input.

    My specs are


    2U Twin server (initially deployed with 2 node provision, future upgrade to 4 node)
    2U DB server 2.5" drives(initially deployed with 8 drives, upgradabe to 24 SAS/SATA drives)
    1U VPN router/firewall
    1U 1Gbps managed ethernet switch.

    I'm looking for Toronto,Canada Colo on 151 front st. and would like to know if which provider would suites me best at the most reasonable prices.
    We expect our company to potentially grow in web traffic in the future, so we're looking for expandability as well.

    What is a reasonable price range for 5-10mbit dedicated or 95%?

  14. #14
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    Talk to a hardware partner/reseller/system builder such as http://www.rackmountsetc.com/ or http://www.visionman.com/ (If you go through a bigger company like PCMall you are likely to get better deals with Visionman servers)

    They build/test/warranty the systems they build. It's naturally not the same as HP/Dell, but it keeps you covered.
    Last edited by MikeTrike; 11-12-2009 at 04:09 PM.

  15. #15
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    web2dot0: Supermicro VARs will (or not) offer separate warranty. Some offer the usual 24x7x4 warranty through a third party company (like www.siliconmechanics.com does), or 8x5xNBD, or ship-back warranty. Depends on the vendor and on the price you pay.

  16. #16
    If you run the numbers of the hardware + service contract for the providers (Dell/HP) you will generally find that the costs are not that much more than purchasing additional cold spares for the equipment you are purchasing. Additionally as you scale upwards, you don't have to keep as many on hand if you are standardizing on a specific subset of hardware and cases. Having a few sets of DDR2 and DDR3 ram on hand; we don't stock a bunch of CPUs since they generally don't fail, hard drives we tend to keep a few on hand because they do. Just adjust to what you expect.

    I approach this from the stand point of a colo provider, so our focus is providing the customers with fast turn around time on repairs. Yours might be different in that you aren't sitting there next to the server and it might just be easier to call somebody else and have them swap the hardware rather than doing it yourself.
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