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Hardware Thread, Nano/Pico ITX in Technical; Recently started my N+ and MCSE course and currently looking for a small form factor server for home. I have ...
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    ahuxham's Avatar
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    Nano/Pico ITX

    Recently started my N+ and MCSE course and currently looking for a small form factor server for home. I have access to unlimited time and resources on Microsoft's Virtual environments, however the slowness and latency between servers is rather frustrating.

    I ideally don't want large cases, large motherboards, fans that drive you insane and the likes. So was thinking about Pico, Nano ITX boards.

    I know Intel and Via have a 1.6 Atom processor, but unsure how a server would cope being run on the specific hardware.

    Anyone tried this, or have any suggestions to processor or *-itx board?

    Currently have a Pico-ITX board, VIA C7 processor and 1GB CIF card setup to run m0n0wall at home, this is all purely for development needs to be able to run through exercises with the comfort of speed and the likes.

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    tonyd's Avatar
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    I've not tried running a server OS on them, but these look pretty good value - mini-itx.com - store - Zotac ION Atom Mini-ITX Motherboards - and if the performance of Win7 on my netbook (Atom 1.6Ghz) is anything to go by, then performance on a dual core atom should be no problem...

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    EduTech's Avatar
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    Speak to Simon@CPLTD or Dan@Wstore i know they have some good deals on some Kit at the moment, that would be ideal for a Test Server Some of the HP kit springs to mind.

    James.

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    Spend £100-200 on a cheap ML115 or similar. The case is mini-tower and (if you replace the back fan with an equivalent Nexus or Scythe Fan) it's silent even with 4 disks running. I picked on up for £99 when they were on offer and I get 3yrs onsite NBD warranty, which HP must lose money on.

    Mine provides test Xen guests for me to break.

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    I have a Ubuntu Video server running on an Atom 1.6Ghz with 2GB RAM.
    It's job is to run a webserver so staff can schedule TV recordings. It can do 2 simultaneous TV recordings and XViD compression. It will also stream the movies without problem (as long as it isn't recording at the same time).
    I don't know how a windows server will run - but if MS's code is nearly as good as the freebee stuff then it will run great.

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    Personally I wouldn't both with an Atom based system for a server. Something like the following Mini-ITX system would run rings around it, while still being small and would also allow you to use virtualization software like Microsoft's Hyper-V to run more than one operating system.

    Processor: Intel Pentium Dual Core E6300 - £59 (Specs)
    RAM: 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2-800 DIMMs - £34
    HDD: Western Digital 640GB Caviar Black (WD6401AALS)- £52
    Case: Silverstone SST-SG05B Mini-ITX case with 300W 80+ PSU - £80
    Motherboard: Zotac GeForce 9300-ITX WiFi - £114 (Review)
    Support for Intel LGA755 CPUs including 65m, and 45m Core 2 Extreme, Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, Pentium Dual-Core, Celeron Dual-Core and Celeron with 800-1,333MHz front side bus.
    Support for up to 95W TDP CPUs
    Nvidia MCP7A MCP (GeForce 9300 MCP)
    Two DDR2 DIMM slots for up to 8GB 667/800MHz RAM
    Twelve USB 2.0 ports
    Two SATA 3Gbps ports
    One eSATA 3Gbps port
    One Realtek RTL8211CL Gigabit Ethernet
    Realtek ALC662 5.1 channel High-Definition audio codec
    Onboard VGA, DVI-D and HDMI with HDCP 1.3 content encryption support (two simultaneous display outputs supported)
    One PCI-Express 2.0 x16 slot (full x16 bandwidth)
    As mentioned above, the HP ML115 G5 might be a cheaper option however, especially if it's on offer.
    Last edited by Arthur; 31st July 2009 at 01:29 AM.

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    ahuxham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pete View Post
    Spend £100-200 on a cheap ML115 or similar. The case is mini-tower and (if you replace the back fan with an equivalent Nexus or Scythe Fan) it's silent even with 4 disks running. I picked on up for £99 when they were on offer and I get 3yrs onsite NBD warranty, which HP must lose money on.

    Mine provides test Xen guests for me to break.
    How many guests are you running, what guests? and what resources assigned to the guests?

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    ahuxham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur View Post
    Personally I wouldn't both with an Atom based system for a server. Something like the following Mini-ITX system would run rings around it, while still being small and would also allow you to use virtualization software like Microsoft's Hyper-V to run more than one operating system.

    Processor: Intel Pentium Dual Core E6300 - £59 (Specs)
    RAM: 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2-800 DIMMs - £34
    HDD: Western Digital 640GB Caviar Black (WD6401AALS)- £52
    Case: Silverstone SST-SG05B Mini-ITX case with 300W 80+ PSU - £80
    Motherboard: Zotac GeForce 9300-ITX WiFi - £114 (Review)


    As mentioned above, the HP ML115 G5 might be a cheaper option however, especially if it's on offer.
    Thanks for that, the Zotac board is very nice indeed. All links are nice, thanks for looking into it.

    Would rather be using XenServer for running multiple OS. Any ideas how a Pentium DC would cope running say 2 x Windows Server 2003 and 1 x m0n0wall install?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur View Post
    Personally I wouldn't both with an Atom based system for a server. Something like the following Mini-ITX system would run rings around it, while still being small and would also allow you to use virtualization software like Microsoft's Hyper-V to run more than one operating system.

    Processor: Intel Pentium Dual Core E6300 - £59 (Specs)
    RAM: 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2-800 DIMMs - £34
    HDD: Western Digital 640GB Caviar Black (WD6401AALS)- £52
    Case: Silverstone SST-SG05B Mini-ITX case with 300W 80+ PSU - £80
    Motherboard: Zotac GeForce 9300-ITX WiFi - £114 (Review)

    you could get two dual core D945GCLF2's for that price.
    we use them as thin clients, thats the same system in the server I run.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ahuxham View Post
    Would rather be using XenServer for running multiple OS. Any ideas how a Pentium DC would cope running say 2 x Windows Server 2003 and 1 x m0n0wall install?
    I reckon it will be fine, particularly since m0n0wall has really low system requirements. I would probably put the Server 2003 VMs on separate disks however, especially since HDDs are pretty cheap these days.

    By the way, you might find the benchmarks linked below interesting. It compares a Pentium Dual Core E6300 to an Atom 330 (as used in the Intel D945GCLF2 mentioned by CyberNerd). You can also compare other processors too.

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/default.aspx?p=94&p2=91

    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    you could get two dual core D945GCLF2's for that price.
    we use them as thin clients, thats the same system in the server I run.
    I suppose it really depends on what you need to do. The Atom processors look great for thin clients and netbooks. Although it is more expensive, a single Pentium Dual Core will still be many times faster than two dual core Atom 330s.
    Last edited by Arthur; 5th August 2009 at 05:41 AM.

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