[svlug] Hardware for a new server

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Sun Feb 10 08:03:03 PST 2013

Quoting JC Lawrence (claw at kanga.nu):

> Maybe when I upgrade it in a handful of years I'll move to all-silicon
> and something more exotic, but I kinda like being a bit behind the
> curve and forget-about-it dependable.

JC, thanks for your words of wisdom, and ditto Karen Shaeffer, Aaron
Porter, and Brian Street (offlist).  At last night's CABAL meeting, I
also took the opportunity to consult a friend who's a storage expert and
who has very up-to-date product knowledge, Chrstian Huebner, who made a
couple of points:

1.  Recent SSDs have become much, much more reliable with improvements
in the media and in wear-leveling technology.  Christian especially
praised some of Samsung's, such as these:

2.  The other SSD manufacturers source their multi-level cell (MLC)
flash memory _from_ Samsung.  In his view, Samsung's own SSD units end
up being more reliable, faster, and generally better.  

3.  In my intended usage model with 16GB RAM and my modest needs for
main storage (currently getting by with only 89GB of storage on 2001-era
scarily decrepit SCSI drives), a single pair of Samsung SSDs in RAID1 
configuration as my _sole_ storage -- say, the Samsung 840 Pro Series
MZ-7PD128BW 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC SSD -- would more than meet my
storage needs, would typically draw only a couple of watts of power
(given caching), and would of course be utterly silent.

So, I think that's the direction I'm going to go:

$441 Intense PC Value Barebones (Celeron 847E 1.1GHz dual core)
  80 2x 8G DDR3-1333 SODIMMs (e.g. Mushkin Enhanced Essentials or Crucial)
 280 2x Samsung 840 Pro Series MZ-7PD128BW 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC SSD
  52 2x Vantec NST-280SU3-BK USB3.0 & eSATA NexStar 3 enclosure
  20 2x 5V power adapter for enclosure

This revised design omits the internal drive in the base unit entirely,
which of course means it runs even cooler.  Total power draw might be 
as low as 10W most of the time, depending on PSU efficiency.

All of the Intense PC units are currently backordered, but should be
back in a week or two.

Christian advises that I might want to keep my eye open for frequent
sales prices on the Samsung SSDs.  And, of course, in a few years, there
will probably be even better and even cheaper things -- but, for now,
the above strikes me as being stupid fast, even if it weren't
bottlenecked by my aSDL line, and also meeting all my other design

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