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Thread: Semi Debate/Open Chat/Questions - a True Server....

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    DR
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    Semi Debate/Open Chat/Questions - a True Server....

    For the record, this is more so an open debate and suggestions thing. I have experience of building, configuring and working on servers for years before starting HEXUS - infact working for Nildram and also setting up a loads of servers for Jolt. However, NAS/SAN is something which I have not played with.

    My Ultimate setup would be a 1TB+ San/NAS box which if needed could have a server plugged in to.

    However, a box which has a relative good performance, redundant PSUs, and of course RAID/hot swap would kick some serious ass....

    It also HAS to be SCSI - I am not interested in huge PATA or SATA drives which *may* fail.

    Note - WD Raptors are small in size, and very reliable... mm makes you think?

    This is the tales and questions I have had to ask myself... and for once, I am being sensible and setting and sticking to a budget.

    Of course, a box from eBay would be a sensible outlook - which I can then upgrade at a later date.

    Remember - for every hard drive you use, you need a viable way to back it up - so a tape drive could work out well....

    Anyway onwards....


    Anyone can *build* a box and claim it to be a server, I have one here - P4 3.8, 2GB Ram, Dual 120GB hdds - but, thats not a server - thats a PC.

    A server is about uptime and reliability - not always about performance.

    I want to have a system which is a NAS box - so one option is having maybe 4+ SCSI drives in hotswap.

    As we all know, drives are getting bigger - and now you can pickup 18GB drives on ebay cheap - so I need an enclosure.

    I have seen some bargains which would maybe do the job?

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...784012477&rd=1

    As performance doesn't matter - get this and ditch the drives?

    Cost - got to be under 400 ish.

    I want it to have RAID and be SCSI based, it does not have to be hotswap but that would of course be 'fun'

    Noise doesn't matter since It will go in my cellar.

    I don't have req for software.

    If it is a box which plugs in to SCSI card - I have a few cards here and a box which can sit on top of it.

    Too Many people state they have a server at home, which is not used. I want this box to be used to backup data, but if it is a 'server' and has some grunt it should have a purpose - remote desktop, and possibly run my exchange - depending on circumstances of course.

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    Will work for beer... nichomach's Avatar
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    OK, it could be a HONKINGLY good NAS box, although I'd say that'd be a waste of three perfectly good Xeons, but what do you want it to do? Just sit there and provide disk space? Does it need to be rackable (go on, admit it - you've got a 42U 19" cab in the cellar, haven't you?)? I'd get it; it'll be a loud brute, but since noise isn't an issue, you don't really care. Why would you ditch the drives, though? You've got a good RAID controller, 2x18GB for a mirrored boot array and 4x36GB for storage - unless you're thinking of whacking the capacity up from over 100GB (assuming the 4x36GB were in RAID5), then keep 'em.

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    Prize winning member. rajagra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David
    You can pickup 18GB drives on ebay cheap - so I need an enclosure.
    Try mcpricebreakers on eBay. He does just about every kind of SCSI box you can think of.

    Alternatively, consider this or this .
    Think very carefully about what it is you actually need. You could spend a fortune on a white elephant if you aren't careful.
    Last edited by rajagra; 28-06-2005 at 12:44 AM.
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    DR
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    Quote Originally Posted by nichomach
    OK, it could be a HONKINGLY good NAS box, although I'd say that'd be a waste of three perfectly good Xeons, but what do you want it to do? Just sit there and provide disk space? Does it need to be rackable (go on, admit it - you've got a 42U 19" cab in the cellar, haven't you?)? I'd get it; it'll be a loud brute, but since noise isn't an issue, you don't really care. Why would you ditch the drives, though? You've got a good RAID controller, 2x18GB for a mirrored boot array and 4x36GB for storage - unless you're thinking of whacking the capacity up from over 100GB (assuming the 4x36GB were in RAID5), then keep 'em.

    Ironically no I don't have a rack in my cellar Thank god....

    ... It doesn't have to be rackable.

    The box could also have my exchange stuff on it - if it is a proper system.

    I would say it depends, I could say I need several hundred GB of space, but I don't mind if I 'lose' my MP3s and things...

    .. I have some data though which is essential.

    One thing which gets me is finally servers and the like are *very cheap on eBay...

    ... The reason I would prefer a turn key server (even if I upgrade all the hard drives and memory and add different CPUs is:

    Well - think about it Getting a decent server chassis with hotswap bays from a retail store and such is not cheap - this way you get one with a mainboard and a qualified solution.

    Quote Originally Posted by rajagra
    Try mcpricebreakers on eBay. He does just about every kind of SCSI box you can think of.

    Alternatively, consider this or this .
    Think very carefully about what it is you actually need. You could spend a fortune on a white elephant if you aren't careful.

    Thanks for the eBay link.

    I was thinking about a LaCie Bigger Disk - 1TB insize, however of course you have one problem - if the thing fails your screwed and your data is gone. Hence why I want a SCSI RAID solution - and of course some way of backing it up.

    What I want is a box which in theory can sit in the Cellar, and do its thing and tell me when something is faulty on it - without just falling over.

    The Supermicro thing - yep I had a Supermicro Desktop Chassis :

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...roductID=81615

    Its that one with the 645W PSU though

    But I ended up putting it, and the 4 74GB 10K Raptors in the datacentre as a spare box for HEXUS....

    Another option is....
    Something like this:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=134146

    Would be sweet if I could get a raid controller which could run it.... but the price is crazy high.

    Fibre Channel? hmmm ££
    See this unit:

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...784398278&rd=1

    That would be good, with 36GB drives, which you can find on eBay for about 25 each....

    ... thing is would it uses FibreChannel - which whilst is not a headache means finding a fibre channel card on eBay and then drivers...

    http://www.scsistuff.com/powervault%20config.htm#650f

    What about a complete server?

    This seems like a steal!

    Dell Poweredge 2500 Dual PIII-1Gig CPU server. 3 x PSU. 2048MB ECC SRAM. 6 x 36GB SCSI HDD. Dell PERC 3/Di and AIC-7899 SCSI controllers. Quantum DLT7000 DLT Drive. Embedded Intel LAN port and 2 x Broadcom 10/100/1000 NIC's. 2 x USB, 2 x Serial and 1 x Parallel ports. CD ROM and Floppy drives. Server has been tested and hard drives cleaned. No software or cables will be supplied. Server is in good condition apart from scratches and marks on case which is to be expected of a second user server.
    Currently at 150 on ebay, I suspect it will go for twice that - and I would be happy to pay that. I am pretty sure I could get this under budget.

    Well - think about it - a dual P3 1GHz server, 2GB ram, Redundant PSUs, SCSI Raid - 6 Reasonable HDDs, DLT Drive - god it looks like it hits the bill.. Also I doubt it is offensively huge.

    Next Unit:

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...784406702&rd=1

    Trouble is - again, this is going to be huge... but maybe a viable option - and 200S is SCSI....so a 29160 or 39160 should link to it nicely?

    But Deep down we all know something like this would own - http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...785147880&rd=1 heh

    Anyway - as you can see I don't want a box to call it a server - I want a box I can use for a purpose

    This seems like a steal!

    Dell Poweredge 2500 Dual PIII-1Gig CPU server. 3 x PSU. 2048MB ECC SRAM. 6 x 36GB SCSI HDD. Dell PERC 3/Di and AIC-7899 SCSI controllers. Quantum DLT7000 DLT Drive. Embedded Intel LAN port and 2 x Broadcom 10/100/1000 NIC's. 2 x USB, 2 x Serial and 1 x Parallel ports. CD ROM and Floppy drives. Server has been tested and hard drives cleaned. No software or cables will be supplied. Server is in good condition apart from scratches and marks on case which is to be expected of a second user server.
    Currently at 150...

    Infact at 150 or even 200 or maybe a little more is very good deal inc the hard drives... mmmm & the DLT... Trouble is I suspect it will go for twice that
    This is currently my favourite option - and on reflection one which I may well get.

    I could always fit a 200GB PATA drive internally (somehow!) and sit a portable drive on top.

    The beauty is the balance of price/performance and of course it has the ability to have the DLT backup used...

    More thoughts

    I am looking at this as a home user but with corporate knowledge. For example, when I started HEXUS we ran off a homebrew box - and we did for 2 more years. Now we have outsourced all of our server configuration and running to www.fluent.ltd.uk - and our servers are built by www.armari.co.uk. There is nothing quite like a TurnKey solution - it just works, and if it doesn't someone else sorts it.

    I think this is something I am trying to achieve at home - meaning I have no plans to buy a Dell brand new - I just don't have the desire. However, buying one off eBay for a cheap price, and if a drive fails swapping it out is something which is easy.

    I have lost the urge to spend all my time under the bonnet, and I will write a piece later today to describe my vision of all of this.

    I want something which just works... I didn't when I started thinking about this want a 'server' style solution - I wanted a collection of drives which linked via SCSI.

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    Administrator Moby-Dick's Avatar
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    1Tb of SCSI drives is going to cost you more than 400 notes

    Hardware RAID with sufficient reliability should mean that you could keep your MP3's on a S-ATA array , but with a decent quality RAID controller (like a 3ware) and hotswap enclosure, you needn't discount S-ATA Stick it in a RAID5+hot spare config and you'll only need to replace drives as they fail and no loose data.

    If you want to back up 1Tb of info then a simple DLT wont do it - DLT tapes dont come cheap and you'd bee changing tapes for a week to fit them all on.

    Your best bet would be to try and get hold of an LTO drive , but again that comes with a very heavy price tag.

    My home server is a Compaq Proliant 6500 running quad pII Xeon 450's , 2.5 Gb of Ram and 5 18Gb drives. If I wanted to expend storage , then I could buy a few disk shelves and fill them with 18's ( not forgetting the storage controllers )

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...213427381&rd=1

    for example ( but with 18's )
    using smaller dirves means that your RAID overhead is less - with RAID 5 you get n-1 * disk size space on the array , with a large ammount of small drive you "loose" less

    you could also fit USB2/Firewire cards to a legacy server and use Multiple external drives for backups.
    my Virtualisation Blog http://jfvi.co.uk Virtualisation Podcast http://vsoup.net

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    Will work for beer... nichomach's Avatar
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    • nichomach's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte GA-870A-UD3
      • CPU:
      • AMD Phenom II X6 1055T 95W
      • Memory:
      • 16GB DR3
      • Storage:
      • 1x250GB Maxtor SATAII, 1x 400GB Hitachi SATAII
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      • Zotac GTX 1060 3GB
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      • Coolermaster 500W
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      • Internet:
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    David, I would say that I would be reluctant to advise someone to get a Lacie drive; I attempted to incorporate a 500GB d2 as part opf our disk-disk-tape backup, and the damn thing never worked right. That wouldn't have been so bad, but attempting to get support out of Lacie UK is like squeezing blood from a rock. Firstly, they say that you have to go through your reseller; well, great, but the warranty is from Lacie, not the reseller and if the kit waits for 30 days before it dies, then your average reseller's not going to be too hasty to get involved (as it happens I finally got some action through our account manager at Dabs - nice one, Darren!). Secondly, they have a web-based "email support page". Don't bother. They ignore it. They don't provide phone support for end users, and if you try leaving them a message, hey, guess what? They ignore that too. I got the drive sent back for repair through Dabs, it came back and failed again. I now have a 500GB out-of-warranty paperweight. So much for Lacie.

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    DR
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    Oh I know that 1TB will cost way more than 400 - don't get me wrong.

    I really want SCSI over SATA and would sacrafice space for it

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    Administrator Moby-Dick's Avatar
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    ebay server + disk shelves is probably the cheapest then
    my Virtualisation Blog http://jfvi.co.uk Virtualisation Podcast http://vsoup.net

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    DR
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    Quote Originally Posted by nichomach
    David, I would say that I would be reluctant to advise someone to get a Lacie drive; I attempted to incorporate a 500GB d2 as part opf our disk-disk-tape backup, and the damn thing never worked right. That wouldn't have been so bad, but attempting to get support out of Lacie UK is like squeezing blood from a rock. Firstly, they say that you have to go through your reseller; well, great, but the warranty is from Lacie, not the reseller and if the kit waits for 30 days before it dies, then your average reseller's not going to be too hasty to get involved (as it happens I finally got some action through our account manager at Dabs - nice one, Darren!). Secondly, they have a web-based "email support page". Don't bother. They ignore it. They don't provide phone support for end users, and if you try leaving them a message, hey, guess what? They ignore that too. I got the drive sent back for repair through Dabs, it came back and failed again. I now have a 500GB out-of-warranty paperweight. So much for Lacie.

    No no - I agree this is what put me off.

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