[nSLUG] Built new server

Jim Haliburton jim at on-site.ns.ca
Wed Sep 8 10:06:51 ADT 2010


Recently I had a need to build  a small low power consuming server. I had 
previously built a test server using the Intel D945GCLF2 Mini-ITX motherboard.  
The downside to this was it had a fan which is prone to an early failure, and 
the board was limited to 2 Gb of RAM.

Intel has upgraded the board to the D510MO board.  It has a large heatsink and 
2 memory slots to allow up to 4 Gb of RAM.  There is NO fan on the motherboard 
and none is required.  A downside is there are only 2 SATA ports and there is 
no PATA port which the older board had.

Both of these boards support PS2 keyboards and mice, whick my KVM switch uses.

So yesterday I built a new server with a single 500 Gb SATA drive, a DVD 
burner, and 2 Gb of RAM.  I added an Intel 100 mb NIC to join the built in 
Realtek NIC.   I am pleased to report that Centos 5.5 found all the hardware 
correctly.  I used the 32 bit version and SMP was detected and used by default.

The amazing thing about this board is the dual core hyperthreaded CPU is seen 
as a 4 core unit by Linux.  The BogoMips report in dmesg shows over 13,300 
which I thought was pretty amazing.  

How does this compare to other servers that users have?

As I intend to bump this motherboard to 4 Gb of RAM in the future, I setup 6 Gb 
of swap.  Top shows that swap has never been used after 16 hours of up time.  I 
expect this to change as web content increases and e-mail starts to flow.

Generally it was a successful build.  It was low cost.  ( less than $250.00 
with all new components )  It is low power consuming.  It is fast.

In the future I will likely try virtualization and terrabyte drives.

In the future I will remove the DVD and put a 2nd 500Gb drive to allow 
mirroring.

Jim H






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