[svlug] Hardware for a new server

jim jim at systemateka.com
Wed Feb 6 16:47:22 PST 2013

(taking a chance...) 
    I, like a lot of others on this list, have 
some old tower and 1U machines that I'd be glad 
to let you have. They're of 2004 to 2008 vintage, 
250W to 500W power supplies, attendant heat and 
fan noise, but fairly nice for their time (RAM, 
CPU speed). And I have about a dozen IDE 80GB 
hard disk drives.
    You want 'em? I'll be glad to drive them 
to you. 

On Wed, 2013-02-06 at 11:23 -0800, Rick Moen 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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