Jump to content

Advice on Emergency Upgrade


Kunin
 Share

Recommended Posts

My main server died last night, about a month before my planned replacement of it, so I need a quick replacement that I can later upgrade as I get the rest of the funding for it.

Budget: ~1000 USD (less is better of course)

I'm a programmer, this is to be a server (headless) that my app demos will run off of, nothing major.

Upgrade path: My intention was to remove the old computer and replace with two energy efficient machines. One for freeNAS (media storage and backups), and one for VMWare ESXi. Due to above mentioned complete death, I need something for inbetween. In about a month I should have enough to complete the original plan, so I'll just wipe and rebuild this as a VM.

This build will (probably) become the ESXi machine.

Parts required: Energy efficient anything. On board graphics is fine, or cheap graphics card (for current and future use will be headless). Only major requirement is largest HD possible, was thinking about the 2TB WD Caviar Green (think that was the one), HD will move to the freeNAS box (along with other drives) later.

I can reuse the case from the old machine for now, other than that it's all crap.

No need for a monitor, already have one and after install it will go headless. Minimal graphics required obviously, on board is more than enough.

I live in South Korea, about 20 minutes from one of the largest electronics markets so I can normally find just about anything. Finding extremely specific parts can end with me spending far more than they are worth, so if you can suggest an alternate or two that would be appreciated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I actually can use Newegg (US Military), but in this case I need to go out and buy everything this morning as I'm unable to do work (programming is my second job) without the replacement. That and, anything from Newegg has a REALLY high chance of just disappearing before it gets here...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You don't want to use an Atom board for ESX, its like using a child's toy truck to clear garden waste. Just go out and get a AMD Quad core, a motherboard that supports VT and has 4 DIMM slots + onboard graphics, 2x4GB DIMMS, and a 2TB HDD. It probably won't run ESXi (you needs specific stuff on a HCL, right now that's not feasible), but it will run Linux/Windows Server + VMWare Server 2 which will do the job. AMD quad cores are dirt cheap and tbh, for a quick fix you need cores not speed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you are just using FreeNAS as a storage/backup appliance, you'd do fine with just a dual core (whatever).

I'm not running FreeNAS on my file server, just Ubuntu 9.10, but it's running a crappy Dual core Pentium running at 2.5GHz and barely uses any of it. If you are using Software RAID/Fake RAID, you might need to get a beefier CPU.

It's a server I use at home, running a 4TB RAID-5 with a tiny main hard drive, so take it with a grain of salt.

Also, is this the ESXi that you were talking about?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you are just using FreeNAS as a storage/backup appliance, you'd do fine with just a dual core (whatever).

I'm not running FreeNAS on my file server, just Ubuntu 9.10, but it's running a crappy Dual core Pentium running at 2.5GHz and barely uses any of it. If you are using Software RAID/Fake RAID, you might need to get a beefier CPU.

It's a server I use at home, running a 4TB RAID-5 with a tiny main hard drive, so take it with a grain of salt.

Also, is this the ESXi that you were talking about?

Yup, that's what I'm talking about. Hak5 did a few shows on it a while ago, been planning to build one for a while now but this computer dieing kind of through off my plan.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

http://vm-help.com/esx40i/esx40_whitebox_HCL.php

If you want to run ESXi on a whitebox then you *will* need kit off of that list. There is no other way about it. It was designed to run on Proliants and Poweredges, not whatever kit you cobbled together yourself.

With VM's, I would say that more cores is always better than more speed if you intend to run lots of little lab machines and use them 1 or 2 at a time, and they will not be doing anything that CPU intensive. In addition, give it as much RAM as you can afford, and if that isn't maxing the system out, plan your purchase to allow you to do this as&when you can.

Also, you do not need a quad core to run freeNAS, you can run it on a Via C3 from compact flash with no problem (most commercial home NAS systems use ARM or similar). I would have to recommend that you buy a Quad core with 8-16GB of RAM for the VM/ESXi server and get a Atom 330 ION for the FreeNAS box (the Intel chipsets only have 2 sata channels, the ION's can be bought with 4 onboard and a x16 PCI-E slot which will allow you to add a nice SATA RAID card at a later date. A cheaper, but less efficient option would be a Micro-ATX with a celeron or sempron CPU (more powerful than an Atom).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

http://vm-help.com/esx40i/esx40_whitebox_HCL.php

If you want to run ESXi on a whitebox then you *will* need kit off of that list. There is no other way about it. It was designed to run on Proliants and Poweredges, not whatever kit you cobbled together yourself.

With VM's, I would say that more cores is always better than more speed if you intend to run lots of little lab machines and use them 1 or 2 at a time, and they will not be doing anything that CPU intensive. In addition, give it as much RAM as you can afford, and if that isn't maxing the system out, plan your purchase to allow you to do this as&when you can.

Also, you do not need a quad core to run freeNAS, you can run it on a Via C3 from compact flash with no problem (most commercial home NAS systems use ARM or similar). I would have to recommend that you buy a Quad core with 8-16GB of RAM for the VM/ESXi server and get a Atom 330 ION for the FreeNAS box (the Intel chipsets only have 2 sata channels, the ION's can be bought with 4 onboard and a x16 PCI-E slot which will allow you to add a nice SATA RAID card at a later date. A cheaper, but less efficient option would be a Micro-ATX with a celeron or sempron CPU (more powerful than an Atom).

Great information. I'm thinking the best way, given my situation, would be to go for either the ION board or celeron/sempron if I can't find one and use that as my temporary replacement. Since, from what you're saying, the freeNAS set up would be the less picky of the two, and I need something as an immediate temporary solution, getting those pieces now and then just add in a SATA controller and a few extra drives later when I reconfigure it as a freeNAS box. That leaves the more specific, and probably more expensive due to the difficulties in getting very specific gear here, later when I have the rest of the funds for the project.

Thanks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, my home server died back in September and I had a budget similar to yours. I wanted to run XenServer and lucikly I found this blog http://www.xenappblog.com/2009/build-a-che...-your-home-lab/

* ASUS M4A78-EM

* AMD Phenom X4

* Corsair 8GB (4×2GB)

* MiniATX chase PSU 500W

* 250GB SATA Disk

It took the headache of buying something that may not be compatible with XenServer away. I upgraded the disk size and also went with a Corsair Power supply (little things I wanted that bumped the price up)

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...