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Hardware Thread, Quiet tower server? in Technical; Looking for something that we might be able to house in our office to do disk-based backups, already having to ...
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    gshaw's Avatar
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    Quiet tower server?

    Looking for something that we might be able to house in our office to do disk-based backups, already having to send one HP back due to their awful fan management (just run them at 100% regardless of temperature!) so curently looking around for a replacement.

    The main thing is the noise level, can't be much more than a standard PC which was why I was looking at the ML110 series but not convinced they'll be much better than what we've just sent back. The lower end HP kit seems to be fine until the moment you put a RAID card in then they decide to make a tornado with the system fan

    Needs to be able to hold 4-5 SATA HDDs in a RAID array, something like a dual or quad CPU and 4/8GB RAM (will be running Veeam)

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    IME nearly all servers are alot noisier than normal PCs. Can you not build your own? Otherwise the Dell T1## series aren't too bad.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gshaw View Post
    Looking for something that we might be able to house in our office to do disk-based backups, already having to send one HP back due to their awful fan management (just run them at 100% regardless of temperature!)
    Did you install it with smartstart or install the PSP afterwards?

    If not then this is fairly usual - installing the right drivers/software sorts them out

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    gshaw's Avatar
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    Was the same after all drivers installed, firmware updates the works

    Did a search and it seems a common issue on the DL180 series caused by installing a RAID controller card. HP support says the high fan speed is by design (seems a pretty poor design tbh)

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    Quote Originally Posted by j17sparky View Post
    Otherwise the Dell T1## series aren't too bad.
    I agree - Dell's entry-level tower servers are actually very quiet. They will take four harddrives if you remove the DVD drive and use a couple of 5.25" - 3.5" adaptor kits, plus they have space inside for an SSD and an internal USB port if you want to use a USB stick to boot the OS from.

    For the ultimate in quiet servers with decent sized disk arrays, my own home machine uses external harddrives connected via eSATA. You could use a small, passivly-cooled Atom or similar motherboard and connect all the harddrives by eSATA or USB. You'd probably need to add some SATA-to-eSATA adaptor brackets if you wanted four harddrives.

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    I'd say build your own - get a large enough case with 120mm exuhast fan and then hook it up to a fan speed controler and boom your away.
    Something like one of the new AMD Fusion E-350 processors or a Intel Atom should be quiet enough and then just use a RAID card of your choosing. Should end up much cheaper than anything HP or Dell can offer you.

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    gshaw's Avatar
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    Only thing that bothers me about doing that is having the main backups on a bit of a "homebrew" system, is it going to be reliable enough in the long run?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gshaw View Post
    Only thing that bothers me about doing that is having the main backups on a bit of a "homebrew" system, is it going to be reliable enough in the long run?
    I'd say yes, easily - it's just a case with a motherboard and a few other bits in, there's nothing to really go wrong. And even if it did, if you have a machine built from generic parts you can replace any faulty parts easily - you can simply pop down to Maplins or similar, buy a new power supply and have it fitted in under an hour with no needto worry about voiding any warrenties.

    For a backup server I would think that software RAID would do fine, you shouldn't need a dedicated RAID card and it's easy enough to find motherboards with 4 SATA ports.
    Last edited by dhicks; 14th July 2011 at 10:23 AM. Reason: Wireless keyboard

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    Quote Originally Posted by gshaw View Post
    Only thing that bothers me about doing that is having the main backups on a bit of a "homebrew" system, is it going to be reliable enough in the long run?
    If you did want something more reliable, not to mention significantly faster than your average Atom/Zacate system, you could get a socket 1155 mATX motherboard which uses Intel's new C202/C204 server chipset. e.g. SuperMicro X9SCM-F (~£139). One of the advantages to this chipset is that you can combine it with a cheap Core i3 or Pentium Gxxx processor and still use ECC RAM if you wanted too. You also get 4 x PCI Express 2.0 slots (two 8x and two 4x), 6 x SATA ports, 2 x Intel Gigabit NICs, integrated IPMI and support for upto 32GB RAM.

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