Jump to content

Need Parts or Barebones for Server testing


tabor
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hey everyone. I'm looking to purchase equipment to build a server at home with Win 2003, 2008, maybe ESXi, WAMP, all for testing purposes. I have looked into Dell servers, but the low end models don't seem to have much expandability (ie. No RAID). I have also looked into barebone servers from Newegg, which seem pretty decent. I'm looking to spend around $400 on a server that will have most of the essentials. I have thought about building a regular PC from newegg parts, but will the typical motherboards work well for a 24/7 server?

And what other specs would you recommend?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For $400 your not going to get anything other than consumer kit, and in practice as long as the ventilation is good and you can keep it free of fluff it will be fine. I would look at one of those NV ION Atom 330 boards, you can get at least one with 2x sodimm slots, 4 built in SATA ports and a PCI-E slot for a decent RAID card. Then add something like a HighPoint Rocket RAID card and a RackMax SATA Backplane. Get a good quality energy efficient PSU to power it all. Add your choice of case, cooling, filters and 1TB hard drives in RAID1 pairs or RAID5.

Edit : Just realized I miss read you post. For $400, just spend you money on an AMD cpu with hardware vt, memory etc. I built a system for £200 with 2x 2.5" 160GB HDDs, and Intel Pentium Dual Core E6300, Mini-ITX, 4GB RAM. Runs fine 24/7, and cheap enough to replace if it doesn't. Most of the budget Intel CPU's don't have hardware VT, this CPU was an exception. All AMD's have virtualization hardware.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just to add, I would be weary of the low end servers on newegg.. They have some pretty negative reviews most of the time, and are build really crappy.

I will also have to agree with VaKo about the AMD proc's. You can get a not too shabby setup going AMD for low dough. Truthfully, I would look into the new Athlon X4's if you can spare a tiny bit of extra dough. 4 cores @ decent speed, it is a little more expensive but you would get greater performance, especially if you were using multiple VM's.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm really glad I found this topic ;) I was going to post a similar question.

At the moment I have a HP DL140 (G1 I think) sat in my attic, I've been away on holiday recently and I just can't get use to the "humm" it is making. It's something I can probably get used to again, but I also starting to wonder just how much juice that puppy is sucking. It's quite a decent server 2 x 2.4Ghz Xeon (I'm hopping someone will be able to tell me what generation Xeon's they are [as to whether they will support hardware virtualisation], 2 x 160GB drives and 3.5GB RAM. It Run's my home SBS server very nicely but I’ve come to the decision that I really want to give Xen Server a go (due to a large migration project my company has recently undertaken) so if the DL140 will support Xen Server I may use that.

EDIT: With the use of VaKo's link I belive it has "Prestonia" processors, I am unsure if these are G3000 or G5000, or if this even matters given that Hardware virtualisation IS supported?

That said I’ve put together a new rig for around £450

newserver.jpg

I can mirror the two drives in Raid 1 configuration using the raid manager provided by the motherboard (do you have any suggestions as to whether this is good, or is it better looking at other Sata raid controllers?) Is there anything you would upgrade? I’m looking at hosting a DC, Exchange & possibly one or two other VM’s (maybe some Linux distribution for Apache and/or a Windows Web Server)

I've gone with the WD Black drives, does any one have an opinion on Black vs. Green in terms of performance vs. power efficiency , and how you think this will effect a virtualised environment? Another thing to consider is the black comes with a 5 year warranty where as green is only 3 years; which for me personally swings hugely in favor of the black.

I’ve gone for 8GB of Memory, I appreciate 16GB would be better but the only place I’ve seen 4GB modules is Crucial and they come in at around £115 each.

The current specification is from Overclockers.co.uk, I can get it for £420 from eBuyer.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

great post man!

WDGreen - Low power/good performance

WDBlack - High Power/Awesome performance

as far as performance or efficiency, I have never seen a comparison, but a good google should go pretty far there.

Using built in controllers are ok, but the performance wont be as good as a raid card. Usually I have heard the onboard raid controllers are just junk parts thrown in for the spec anyways. I would go with a pci raid card.

Unknown about the VT support on Xeons but I figure they probably will... I really don't think with you just having those two drives, that there will be that huge of a difference between the power consumption so I would personally go with the WD blacks because I have heard great things and you cant knock a 5 yr warranty.

BTW just to let you know, I have a WD 1TB green drive, and it get's great performance as far as I can tell, and have never had a hickup outside what happened 2 weeks ago, but then, I think it was just a hickup.

Look here for your power consumption and performance charts :P

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/hitach...yte,2017-3.html

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The major thing for me has always been the 2 years of extra warranty. I’ve only had to use WD warranty twice in some 10 years of system building and one of those times I think it was “our” fault due to the environment the drive was operating in. It really is AWESOME, what I really like is their “advance replacement” system, you have to give them a credit card up front but they’ll ship you a brand new drive straight away, then simply ship your drive back within their timeframe and subject to them testing it they won’t charge your credit card (not for a 120GB drive they where going to charge in the region of $140 :P ) they also offer the standard “send it back we’ll test it, then send you a new one” it’s just nice to have the quicker option, more so in a home environment than work I find.

I'll take another look at the 1TB drives, however compared to 500GB they where quite a lot more expensive.

Do you have any recommendations for PCI Sata raid controllers, there seems to be a lot of them available and that actually worries me as I know 90% of them will be made in China, have little to no support (hardware or after sales) and will likely die within 6 months

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Adaptec or LSI. Won't be cheap for a decent hardware RAID card though.

Also I'm pretty sure that Prestonia didn't have hardware VT as it was released back in 2002, hardware vt was introduced on the Dempsey line in 2005. Use a little app called cpu-z to see what it actually is and what it supports.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That is what I though – I guess you’re talking anywhere upwards from £100-£200+ for something decent; second question – is it justified; my VM server is hardly going to be constantly under strain?

I’ve run CPU-Z and confirmed that the CPU is “Prestonia” I can’t seem to find anything that says it isn’t VT compatible though I’m thinking given its original release date it won’t be. What is annoy is the article you provide earlier VaKo mentions that the Xeon 3000 series does support VT and if you then look at the Xeon article it suggests (at least to me, that the Prestonia chip is part of the 3000 series) perhaps I am just being dumb?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nah, Intel brought the xx00 series names in at the very end of the Netburst line, a few models before they switched to the Core architecture. The 3x00 series started off as a Conroe based design, which was pretty much a re-badged original core 2 duo chip.

I'm very sure your chip won't support hardware VT, but try this Intel Processor ID tool here, it will report what your CPU can and can't do. Also, it was made 7 years ago, which won't be a great deal of help for virtualization I'm afraid.

As for RAID, adaptec and highpoint make cheaper RAID cards, around the £100 mark for 4x SATA on a PCI-E x4 or x1 bus. As for speed, if its just a bunch of lab machines, I've run ESXi and Hyper-V on a D630 laptop without issue. Data security is nice though, so built in RAID1 won't be a problem. Basically, unless you want to spend a lot of money, and have need for a high performance machine, just get something cheap that works with your chosen hypervisors HCL. I don't use RAID on my lab machine personally.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yah, I mean if it's not going to be under much strain at all, I wouldnt even worry about it and just use the built in controller. If it's under no strain at all, and your worried about the stability of the built in Raid controller, just use software raid, as performance is not going to be a stressed issue here

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank's the info guy's. I've fun the Intel tool you suggest VaKo and you are indeed correct about my processor not supporting VT.

Just incase anyone digs this topic up http://support.amd.com/us/Pages/dynamicDet...&ItemID=176 this is the AMD Cpu information tool, I belive it should tell you what is supported on your AMD processor.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...