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Hardware Thread, Build your own server. in Technical; we used to build servers (and workstations) for schools we support but it became a pain and in cases esp ...
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    we used to build servers (and workstations) for schools we support but it became a pain and in cases esp workstations it was cheaper to buy a hp/fuji/whatever and resell than make our own (granted this was because we had to "charge" for build time) servers we used to do intel boards etc but it as a company wasnt worth it with having to cover waranty so we moved to hp and now to dell (as hp drive waranty is pants and they changed it with no notice and they do seem to die and cost a packet to replace with real drives though ive never had an issue pulling the drive out of the caddy and putting a non hp drive in the caddy)

    As to ssd boot drive on the server why? its not like the server should be rebooted often and once in windows there probably isnt much on the c drive that needs or would benefit from the speed (again thats my opinion and if you have a big sql db on c drive then there may be a benefit but if all you have there is windows and netlogon/print shares seems overkill)

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duke View Post
    What happens when you're running lots of critical services on this server and you run out of component X replacements, only to find out that manufacturer Y no longer makes component X, and the next replacement component uses a different chip which would require rebuilding the server?
    That's why you run virtual machines - the underlying hardware doesn't really matter.

    Depending on where in country you are, people like Maplin now do a same-day delivery service - here in central London I think they advertise a 90 minute delivery time. If a component fails and you need a new one you simply phone and buy one and it turns up.

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    Duke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glennda View Post
    You say that - my experience is completely the other way around in terms of costs and support
    I think I'm in the middle - we've found Dell to be cheaper than HP on the servers we buy and I've had great support from Dell but poor support from HP.

    Something I meant to mention in my first post but forgot - what happens if/when you decide to leave and your replacement has to manage these servers? If you document everything really well then it's not too bad, but how many of us have the time to write proper documentation for our network and what if they're not as comfortable with server hardware as you are? Again, just trying to raise some thoughts.

    Chris

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    Duke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    That's why you run virtual machines - the underlying hardware doesn't really matter.

    Depending on where in country you are, people like Maplin now do a same-day delivery service - here in central London I think they advertise a 90 minute delivery time. If a component fails and you need a new one you simply phone and buy one and it turns up.
    Oh definitely, if you have redundancy at either the OS or Application level then many of the points I raised become less of an issue. I got the impression that this was going to be a physical server, but if it's a VMware/Hyper-V/Xen host then I'm happy to be corrected.

    Re: Maplin - What's their stock like on server components? I've never used them for PC hardware before, but do they sell things like LSI RAID cards? Only concern would be if they're out of stock on something, but I suppose that's why you keep your own spares in-house.

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    Have built the following servers for work

    CCTV Server - AMD Phenom II powered and 4x 2TB HDDs for video - cost about £650 and runs a treat (Inside a new Storage Server | my world of IT)

    Backup Server - Had a Chenbro case and a load of 1TB HDDs donated to us only issue is it had one of the super old Core2Duos that wasn't 64bit - spent about £280 on a new AMD A6, 8GB RAM, mobo and SSD to boot off - it runs like the wind! (Time for a new backup server | my world of IT)

    RDS Server Farm - Serious custom builds here - 2U cases with 2x mobos in each, fantastic design IMO that I would repeat time after time (Series: Custom RemoteFX RDS Farm « my world of IT)

    However........for serious work I am sticking to HP

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post

    Depending on where in country you are, people like Maplin now do a same-day delivery service - here in central London I think they advertise a 90 minute delivery time. If a component fails and you need a new one you simply phone and buy one and it turns up.
    Problem is in 1-2 years it is unlikely you would be able to get the same MB so a failed MB or CPU could lead to buying a new CPU, Mainboard and Ram (should server boards in X years have different RAM as standard). For about £1750-1800 you could have a Dell tower server with 3Y NBD Warranty for the spec you wanted. I think the security of that may be worth the extra IMHO. (That is using a Current Gen Xeon E5 CPU)
    Last edited by ICTLTD; 24th October 2012 at 02:53 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ICTLTD View Post
    Problem is in 1-2 years it is unlikely you would be able to get the same MB so a failed MB or CPU could lead to buying a new CPU, Mainboard and Ram (should server boards in X years have different RAM as standard). For about £1750-1800 you could have a Dell tower server with 3Y NBD Warranty for the spec you wanted. I think the security of that may be worth the extra IMHO. (That is using a Current Gen Xeon E5 CPU)
    I agree from a sheer lack of stuffing around POV but most of those issues can be removed by running the hosts as VM hosts and using that to abstract the hardware and storage. I have wasted enough time pissing about with desktop rubbish when it is messing with just one user though and appreciate reliability. Sure desktop gear may be 1/3 to 1/4 the cost but you need to buy three to four times as much to get the same reliability and burn so much power in the attempt you may as well have just brought decent gear to start with.

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    ICTLTD (24th October 2012)

  9. #23

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    We have 3 custom servers - 1 in use, 2 as spares. Its out phone server, and is an ITX box. These will be retired soon though, and the server virtualised and a gateway device purchased to act as the phone line interface instead.

    With server hardware being so cheap now, putting so much effort into custom building is kind of pointless IMO. Ok, I can't say our latest servers were cheap (I didn't spec or buy them though), but ones that should have been bought would've been about 4k a piece for dual 6 core processors, 100GB RAM and a couple of SAS drives. And they can run everything that we need, retiring 10 old servers in one go.

    Plus you get the advantage of easy warranty replacements - if your motherboard dies under warranty in a custom build, you'll more than likely end up with a different model sent to you instead - the savings are not really there.

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