[nSLUG] Hardware advice

George N. White III whiteg at mar.dfo-mpo.gc.ca
Fri Jan 16 13:21:48 AST 2004

On Fri, 16 Jan 2004, Donald Teed wrote:

> If there are no plans to make this server do anything public,
> I imagine it is likely to have very light use.  I'm imagining
> you have 2 to 4 users at a Church office.
> In a case like this, a real "Server" as the term is used
> with IBM, et. el. will be overkill and might simply cost too much.
> You can find a lower end server from IBM or Dell starting at
> about $1000, but then memory costs roughly $700 for 1GB
> while consumer level hardware is $300 to $400 for 1 Gig.

A certain times, Dell and IBM have offered huge discounts on their low-end
servers (probably when they are about to change models, especially if the
new model uses different memory).  Good timing can knock $500 off a $2000
system (e.g., EEC memory upgrades for $0).

> Also consider if there are any hardware failures you
> probably won't find server level components available locally.
> Hardware maintenance contract or buying the components
> when they fail, from vendors like IBM is costly in
> server-land marketplace.

How much are you willing to pay to avoid a few days downtime?  One
effective strategy (only for people who really do backups!) is to have two
similar systems capable of handling either client or server workloads, one
used as the server and the other used in a client role with the
understanding that it may be pressed into service when the server fails
(at which time the 2 machines swap roles).

George N. White III  <WhiteG at dfo-mpo.gc.ca> <gnw3 at acm.org>
902-426-8509 | facsimile / télécopieur 902-426-9388
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Bedford Institute of Oceanography/Institut océonographique de Bedford
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