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Spec Me The Ultimate Server - Budget £5,000

Discussion in 'Servers and Enterprise Solutions' started by Saberu, Mar 18, 2010.

  1. Saberu

    Mobster

    Joined: Feb 25, 2003

    Posts: 3,263

    Location: Stafford (uni)

    Hey people!

    OK so I know 5,000 pounds isn't going to allow you to go crazy but my partner is too sensible I would have preffered to have an unlimited budget but I don't think I can push him past 5k.

    Anyway here's the gyst of it, we will be running a server on Windows 2008 r2, running multiple virtualisations (maybe 5-10 if we can) so i'm interested to know what the max number we could run would be while staying stable.

    Our aim is ...24:7 uptime though we can restart as needed every 2-4 weeks.

    Kind of workload involved will be web server KIND of stuff...so think- web pages, cache, obviously multiple Windows instances..a lot of repetitive tasks. So I'm thinking the performance focus here should be hard disk read/write and RAM.

    My amateur opinion for the build is suggesting a couple of SSD's in RAID 0 then an i7, filling all 6 ram slots with 2gb each (but if that's overkill we could try just 1gb each with Registered DIMM's instead). edit: I've discovered proper server solutions like Dell's have much more ram space, and as another user said raid 0 will probably be too unstable. Dell is looking like a good option so far.

    Sorry about my poor level of knowledge it's been a good 6 years since I had the oppurtunity to keep up with the latest components.

    Do your worst :D
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2010
  2. mast3r

    Mobster

    Joined: Jan 28, 2007

    Posts: 2,511

    Location: Wilmslow, Cheshire

    an Ulitimate server - i7...???

    Dell PowerEdge T610?
     
  3. Saberu

    Mobster

    Joined: Feb 25, 2003

    Posts: 3,263

    Location: Stafford (uni)

    No, not an Ultimate as in the name is ultimate... ultimate as in a very very good custom spec server :p

    Definitely not a prebuild like a Dell :o
     
  4. axer

    Mobster

    Joined: Mar 25, 2004

    Posts: 2,880

    Location: Iwade, Kent

    I think you're mixing up servers and desktops here:

    SSD's in RAID0 - A server in RAID0 that you expect to give you great uptime, are you mad?
    6GB RAM 'but if its overkilll' - Its becoming more and more common for people to have 8GB of RAM in a workstation so the 'ultimate' server would have considerably more RAM than 6GB I would hope.

    I really think you need to heavily consult the drawing board before you ***** away £5k. Furthermore, why you think a home build server will be better than, say a Dell (especially considering their deals at the moment), is beyond me!
     
  5. Saberu

    Mobster

    Joined: Feb 25, 2003

    Posts: 3,263

    Location: Stafford (uni)

    Well I've come here to seek your superior knowledge as opposed to my 6 year old knowledge which was desktop based I've never specced a proper server.

    Thanks for pointing out my mistakes, I'm hoping you can also suggest a possible custom spec? Though I will look into Dell too if they have deals as you say.

    re-edit: Noticed I was looking at the wrong section, Dell's 'rack' servers have great spec and features, like immense amounts of ram and proper server boards with multiple cpu slots etc- I will definitely consider one thanks for the tip
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2010
  6. Kill_Phil

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Feb 11, 2010

    Posts: 1,443

    Location: England

    yeah i would definately go down the dell route, as you have said so yourself most youre knowledge is deskptop based. so with dell you will get a fully working server and will have the supoort behind you
     
  7. Saberu

    Mobster

    Joined: Feb 25, 2003

    Posts: 3,263

    Location: Stafford (uni)

  8. Frozennova

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Nov 13, 2009

    Posts: 11,240

    Location: Northampton

    If your looking to custom build still you want to move away from the intel route and go for a pair of the six core amd opteron chips in a tyan or supermicro motherboard this would definatly give the power to run 5-10 visualisations.

    I guess you intend on running VPS from this otherwise i can't see a need for visualisation
     
  9. King Arthur

    Hitman

    Joined: May 19, 2005

    Posts: 849

    Moved to Servers and Enterprise Solutions where you will get much better responses.

    Phil
     
  10. Saberu

    Mobster

    Joined: Feb 25, 2003

    Posts: 3,263

    Location: Stafford (uni)

    Thanks for the great reply. In terms of virtualisation, I'd like each VPS to have it's own WAN connection (so I have multiple connections coming into the server)..I think that's possible as it is on Linux. then each VPS I want to be able to be logged in on 10-15 users simeltaniously all sharing the WAN connection of that VPS- Windows definitely doesn't allow me to do this on the desktop but I'm guessing on server versions it allows the WAN connection to be shared between the simeltanious logged in users?

    Also what's max number of uses that can be logged in simeltaniously on each VPS? And is there a licensed maximum I have to abide by overall on the server?
     
  11. Yamahahahahaha

    Mobster

    Joined: Oct 11, 2008

    Posts: 3,835

    Location: London

    T610 / T710 is what you want.

    Dual CPUs, lots of RAM, sufficient HD space.

    You'll be able to run lots of instances of Win2k8 R2.
     
  12. bigredshark

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Jun 30, 2005

    Posts: 9,516

    Location: London Town!

    Your best bet for uptime is two decent £2500 boxes, each probably with a decent 4 or 6 core chip and 12GB of RAM, then 4x 300GB SAS drives in RAID10. That lets you split the VMs so the backup of the service runs on a different physical server to the primary, a single server will break one day, no matter how high end it is. You should get something like that out of Dell or HP for £5k if you have a reasonable discount level.
     
  13. mast3r

    Mobster

    Joined: Jan 28, 2007

    Posts: 2,511

    Location: Wilmslow, Cheshire

    I know... a SEMI Ultimate server = £30k....

    and pairing an i7 with an Ultimate server...

    Opteron or Xeon
     
  14. Stelly

    Don

    Joined: Oct 5, 2005

    Posts: 11,008

    Location: Liverpool

    totally agree, maybe run DFS have some high availability :)

    Stelly
     
  15. kefkef

    Mobster

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 3,947

    Location: Somewhere on the Rainbow

    Firstly, is this going to be delivering/hosting a service you are hoping to sell? i.e. web hosting? If so, what are you planning to put in your service levels about availability (99.9% means you would get about 5hrs per month downtime for 'fixing' on the physical box, 99.8% would get you 10hrs downtime etc). That should then give you an idea about how to build any resiliency into the server(s) and the storage architecture.

    We've specced machines for virtualisation at my place with pretty much dual everything and lots of ram (40gb) and are looking to host around 10-15 vm's per box, though that is to allow for capacity for vmotion incase of hardware failure etc as our boxes should be able to host about 20 vm's quite easily
     
  16. mast3r

    Mobster

    Joined: Jan 28, 2007

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    Location: Wilmslow, Cheshire

    PS, a Dell Poweredge T610 is where you want to be looking mate, Given you have little background on the server side of things... you pay and you get a VERY good and VERY Competitive Server.

    IF your only going to be hosting VM's why not go down the ESXi route?

    an i7 VS Opty or Xeon for VM is a no brainer.
    4gb of ram for a Server 08 and ONE VM, add 2gb for each other VM (IMHO)
     
  17. mast3r

    Mobster

    Joined: Jan 28, 2007

    Posts: 2,511

    Location: Wilmslow, Cheshire

    Oh, also. If your on a bit of a Budget and a Partner with a lock on the budget, i think a fail over option will be a bad idea, having to explain that you have two boxes of which one is a Standby for the possibility that one may go down.


    EDIT - SORRY MODS. i meant to hit EDIT. NOT Quote.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2010
  18. Ev0

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 13,693

    As said do not use RAID 0 in a server, madness!

    The machines that our vm stuff is hosted on have stupid amounts of ram and 4 6 core Xeons in, slightly overspecced lol. The first lot we bought were about 20k a blade, then when we got another later on the price was down to about 12k I think.
     
  19. Saberu

    Mobster

    Joined: Feb 25, 2003

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    Location: Stafford (uni)

    I'm thinking later down the line I can eventually add 3 more Xeons to our server (assuming we get the Dell PowerEdge R905) and a bunch more RAM once my partner sees the profit coming in from the business as we expand in future. Would this be more expensive than buying a server with 4 processors already in...as in would that give a big discount?

    Also I noticed you mention a blade server, but these are built to be efficient use of space- space isn't a big problem for us so we can go with a rack instead- am i right?

    Is there a point at which adding more RAM isn't really neccesary? It said the R905 can fit 256gb in total, but surely once I hit 64gb that's more than enough for the kind of tasks I'm doing? Or is it a case of more the better?
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2010
  20. Ev0

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 13,693

    Yeah you won't be wanting a blade setup, normal tower/rack server for you.

    As for RAM, well you need however much depending on how many vms you'll be running.

    I don't know a huge amount about it all as I'm not the VM person at my place, but think that's right :p
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2010