[nSLUG] Hardware advice

George N. White III aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca
Fri Jan 16 10:34:46 AST 2004

On Thu, 15 Jan 2004, Rick Wightman wrote:

> In a couple of months I will have about $2500 to construct a small
> office server for my church which could be given a lifespan of 5+ yrs.
> I'm looking at 1 boot + 2 mirrored drives + DVD burner (+/-R I don't
> know yet) as archivable backup. It will, of course, be running some
> flavour of Linux. What services? The current server, a Sparc10 in an
> identical configuration (8mm tape instead of DVD), supplies DHCP, BIND,
> NTP, SMB, Apache, mySQL, SSH and likely a few others I've forgotten.

What problems do you have with the current server?  Do you need more
capacity or just want to get onto modern disks and removable media?
Current systems tend to end up with CPU's that need lots of cooling
and will die if a fan fails, so if you don't need the capacity you
might consider used machines.

> I'm looking for the groups suggestions/experiences around motherboard
> and CPU combinations and hard drive manufacturers/series for this
> application. Thoughts on price/performance/reliability for SCSI, ATA
> and series ATA are also appreciated, recalling that there was some
> discussion about some of this a while back, and you may consider it
> off-topic.

thats "serial ATA", or SATA, which is a nice idea, but needs some care
with cable routing to avoid noise problems, so at present you have to buy
SATA systems from vendors with the engineering resources to do things
properly.  Desktop ATA drives are not suitable for servers -- many are
rated for only 10 poweron-hours a day.

George N. White III  <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
  Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada

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