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The Ultimate Linux Box: Server
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Dutch_Master
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Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 2:49 am
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:15 pm    Post subject: The Ultimate Linux Box: Server Reply with quote

Back in 2007 LXF did a feature on the ULB. I was told it didn't sell too well, making LXF having no intention to repeat the performance. So I thought, let's give it a go, starting with the one market Linux has a very strong presence: servers. Prices in Euro, from a Dutch webshop:

Case: Procase IPC-C3F (6x 5,25" extern, 2x 3,5" extern, 1x 3,5" intern) 309.00
PSU: Procase PIZ1038-EPS (650 Watt) 699.00
mainboard: Asus Z8NR-D12 (Retail, DUAL, RAID, Gb-LAN, VGA, SSI EEB) 389.00
processor: Intel® Xeon® E5520 (Boxed, FC-LGA4, "Bloomfield", x2) 429.00 each
Cooling: Cogage MST-140 (x2) 34.99 each
RAM: Kingston ValueRAM 4 GB ECC Registered DDR3-1333 (Retail, KVR1333D3D4R9S/4G, x12) 149.90 each
system-disk: OCZ OCZSSD2-1ONX32G (SSD) 79.90
storage-disks: Western Digital WD20EARS (2TB, x6) 129.90 each
cardreader: Shuttle 22in1 Cardreader PC23 29.00
misc: standard 2.5"=>3.5"Adapter (2,5" in 3,5" bay) for SSD 4.99

The total would be some 5,020 Euro. Not cheap, but then: servers aren't cheap and this wasn't on a budget Wink

The OCZ 32 GB SSD disk is screamingly fast (125 MB/s read, 70 MB/s write) so the machine will be very responsive. The only thing keeping it from the psychological sub-minute boot is the OS itself Wink The storage disks are 2 TB in a RAID 5 array and give you 10 TB of redundant storage. The 4 GB DDR3 RAM sticks are expensive, especially when you put in 12! Surprised However, servers thrive in the presence of RAM and the board supports 48 GB. If you want to save, use 2 GB sticks instead. That still makes an impressive 24 GB and saves you a massive 816 Euro (Kingston KVR1333D3D8R9S/2G, 81.90 a piece).

The mainboard offers 3 LAN ports, 1 Gbit each, and has a Dual Xeon proc on board. That is some serious computing power. Because of this, it's not an ATX board, but SSI-EEB and the case should reflect that. The housing comes w/o PSU and the 699 Euro PSU has triple redundancy. For extra security you may want to add a UPS to at least one mains input. Enermax do 19" rackmount UPS's, but APC has a reputation to loose here Wink The coolers aren't quiet at 33.5 dB(A), but air displacement is a whooping 160,9 m³/h (or 94,7 cfm) to keep things cool in the hot server room. In comparison, avarage desktop coolers are in the 20-60 m³/h range...

The card-reader is there as there wasn't room for a CD/DVD drive and you'd have to install Linux on it Wink A simple SDHC card serves as installation medium and then functions as a backup for the system-disk.
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Ugly_spud



Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2005 10:37 am
Posts: 69
Location: Peterborough, UK.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice specs Dutch_Master. Smile

I'm not sure how much that would be in real money (GBP) but I think for a server it's not a bad price - I've heard of servers that cost close to £10k.
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2 x Opteron 2354 CPUs
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GeForce GTX285 2048Mb 512bit GDDR3 gfxcard
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Dutch_Master
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Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 2:49 am
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do note this is not a personal build! I did build a few computers in the past, mostly for myself but others as well, but this one is selected by spec's Wink

At the current exchange rates, it'll be some GBP 4100 or USD 6100 or AUD 7325 (see http://www.x-rates.com) I'm sure you can find better bargains locally, as Holland isn't cheap anyway and this webshop hasn't the lowest prices either Wink
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nelz
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Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2005 12:52 pm
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Location: Warrington, UK

PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 4:40 pm    Post subject: Re: The Ultimate Linux Box: Server Reply with quote

Dutch_Master wrote:

storage-disks: Western Digital WD20EARS (2TB, x6) 129.90 each


Accepted wisdom is not to use identical disks, especially if using RAID. The thinking being that if a manufacturer produces a duff batch, which they all do from time to time, you could end up with six unreliable disks that fail within a short time of each other. Mixing manufacturers avoids this possibility.
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Dutch_Master
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

True. But how big is the chance that you'll get 6 disks from exactly the same batch, knowing there are intermediate traders involved?

But if it eases your mind, you're free to source a different manufacturer for a number of disks. Does have impact on the price though, but pretty minor given the overall price tag Wink
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nelz
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're going to the trouble of ordering the 6 disks from different suppliers, you may as well order different ones. If you order from the same supplier, they're likely to be the same batch. Bear i mind that a fault can take 6 months to appear, that's a big batch :-O
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bobthebob1234
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This could be like a competition or something

Who can 'build' the 'best' server, home computer, gaming computer, media server/center/frontend/backend, etc for 'budget', 'normal' and 'extreme' price tags!
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Dutch_Master
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, not at all! This is just a suggestion for hardware for a particular task, not a competition Wink However, you are free to submit your own suggestions Wink

Nelz, I was thinking more along the line of FIFO: traders who first sell old stock before starting at the new shipment just arrived. As well as the faulty batch being broken up amongst many traders. And TBH I think QC at WD is rather better then 100,000+ intervals Wink
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nelz
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Remember the IBM Deathstar? It took a while for the design faults to show up, by which time there were huge numbers out there that failed and had to be replaced. I had one go, which was a pain but not as bad as if 2 or 3 of the RAID had failed.
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Dutch_Master
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No I don't remember that disk, probably because I never had one Wink ATM I have 3 WD disks in my fileserver, probably also from the same batch, and these are fine (so far). I was already contemplating upgrading the lot to 2 TB each, now I'm seriously considering spending the extra money on 2 more 2 TB disks (I have one already)
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nelz
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That particular batch of hard driove failures got more publicity than usual, simply because it was IBM, but all manufacturers go through it at some point. Hence the advice to not put all your eggs in one basket. Hard drives are generally reliable, but faulty designs and manufacturing do still occur, so why undermine one of the main reasons for RAID?
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Rhakios
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I built my first 64-bit box, I bought two identical drives, one failed with a well known problem, the other is still going strong. The serial numbers were very nearly consecutive. There's just no accounting for some things. <insert shrugging smiley>
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nelz
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So if you'd bought two different drives, you may have only got the one that didn't fail Razz
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Rhakios
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nelz wrote:
So if you'd bought two different drives, you may have only got the one that didn't fail Razz


Given the way my luck runs, I would actually have expected exactly the same result. Sad
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pctechie



Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:20 pm
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Location: Manchester,UK

PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My hard drive is a Samsung HD501LJ 500GB SATA 16MB 7200RPM, I bought this of my dad over three years ago for 40 pounds he paid between 120 -160 when he got it brand new as he was getting a 1TB Sata Hard drive.

This is still going strong, granted it has slight degraded and try I lost 30GB Surprised due to the partition table went a bit Mad some time back.

But around 470GB is not that bad considering I use my PC 24/7 and I hardly ever spin down the disk, when its in use.
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