[svlug] Hardware for a new server

Jesse Monroy jesse650 at gmail.com
Wed Feb 6 12:23:26 PST 2013

I have two (2) dangerous propositions.

1) Instead of new hardware, I suggest SVLUG go to a virtual hosting
2) If SVLUG insists on hardware, I suggest SVLUG setup a virtual host,
and host other Linux User Groups (as local as possible)

Dangers in both. Migrating to new hardware continues inherent dangers.


On 2/6/13, Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com> wrote:
> Comments / suggestions welcomed.
> I'm looking at belatedly replacing the 2001-era VA Linux Systems model
> 2230 2U-rackmount server that houses my Internet presence (shell for me
> and a bunch of other people, Web, ftp[1], SMTP, Mailman mailing lists,
> DNS, ntp, rsyncd, pxeboot/kickstart services, etc.).
> Current prospect is a Compulab fit-PC3 palmtop w/internal SSD and a pair
> of eSATA-connected 256GB 2.5" laptop-type hard drives in MD-driver RAID1
> configuration, in external enclosures.  Primary advantage of the new
> hardware, other than accomplishing a long overdue hardware refresh, is
> great reduction in use of AC power, which I figure adds about
> $20-30/month to my household PG&E bill.  And noise output.  And heat
> output.  Heat is always bad, as its buildup stresses hardware, leading
> to early component death.  Normally, you add fans that themselves
> generate more heat, draw more power, and so on.  But why not use
> low-power designs that don't need them to begin with?
> The main general objective is minimum long-term hassle (from parts
> failure, wonky operation, noise, etc.).
>                          Old       New
> Est. total power draw    100W      15W
> CPU                      PIII/650  AMD G-T56N/1.65GHz[2]
> Physical RAM             1.5GB     8.0GB
> Disk space               89GB      430GB
> I'll be going from 3 count of ancient internal 3.5" SCSI drives to 1
> internal SSD boot drive + a RAID1 pair of external 2.5" drives on eSATA,
> and going from three noisy fans to _none_.  So:  tiny, fast, quiet,
> reliable.
> Old: http://ebayimages.rswhost.com/301735/73414D.jpg
> New: http://www.fit-pc.com/web/images/fit-PC3-standard-front.jpg
>      (omits pair of external drives, obviously)
> A bit of money up-front, but OTOH fully featured and enough server
> firepower for another decade, and in fact CPU/RAM left over for VMs.
> Tab so far is looking like this:
> $412 fit-pc3 Pro Barebone
> $170 Intel SSDSC2CT180A3K5 180GB 2.5" SATA3 SSD
> $130 2x Western Digital WD2500BEKT 250GB 2.5" 7200 RPM SATA3 HD
> $ 52 2x Vantec NST-260SU-BK HD enclosure
> $ 20 2x 5V power adapter for enclosure
> $ 55 2x Crucial SODIMM 4GB DDR3-1066 64-bit
> ----
> $839
> The pair of 250GB hard drives cited are from Western Digital's 'Scorpio
> Black' series of notebook hard drives.  Much as I'd be tempted to use,
> say, their 320GB, 500GB, or 750GB drives from the same model series, I
> notice that the 250GB model has a reputation for rock-solid reliability,
> while the denser ones tend to drop like flies.  The 5-year warranty is
> nice, but it's nicer not to need it.
> I'd actually be fine with a RAID1 pair of 'WD Green' drive with variable
> rotation speed up to 5400RPM (thus less heat, etc.), but the specific WD
> unit shown has extremely high user ratings on Newegg for long-term
> reliability.  And the WD Green series's 2-year warranty reflects that.
> [1] http://linuxmafia.com/faq/Network_Other/ftp-justification.html
> [2] AMD G-series ('Geode') approximates Intel Atom, and is x86_64 arch.
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