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My New Server!


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I guess I'll start off with the link: http://picasaweb.google.com/rlsteelman/QuadrabyteServer?feat=directlink


After saving as much money as possible, my roommate and myself bought all the parts to our new server.  This is the start of a new business venture to provide web hosting to the greater community.  We are hoping to reach out to area business, orginizations and individuals in our community as well as providing web hosting to our clients at the design firm I work at (where I normally sign them up for a 3rd party web host, I'll now be able to sign them up with my company).  It is a very exciting prospect.


The server sports 4 1 TB harddrives (WD Black Cavier).  The first two are on a Raid 1 and the second two are on a Raid 1, providing perfect mirrors for maximum data retention.  Those two sets are bonded on a Raid 0 to improve speed. The Raid 10 was a little difficult to set up, as I was using Linux and there are very little places of information on Raid 10 with LInux, but it was a huge success.  From there I installed CentOS 5.0 on the system and, to provide our clients with the best possible service, installed WHM+CPanel.


The motherboard is an Asus P7P55D-E Deluxe running an Intel i7 Quad Core chip and an amazing Black Widow SpinQ Thermal CPU Fan. The power supply is a ToughPower Cable Management 1200 Watt power supply.  Since graphics wasn't a huge issue we went with a basic GeForce 8400 graphics card and an HP DVD Writer.  The memory is DDR3 dual channel 4GB.  All of this nestles nicely in a Corsair 800D Obsidian Series tower box, sporting a nice Hot Swap for up to 4 3.5" SATA drives.  Perfect for drive failure and quick replacement.  From there we have 6 fans keeping the system nice and cool to prevent overheating.  All of this, of course, has been over clocked by the Asus motherboard providing a blazing fast system (had some trouble getting the OC on the fly remote to work with linux).


The system itself has 6.5 Mbps internet connection running through a secure firewall (with iptables as a failsafe), sits on an APC Battery Backup with a time span of 2 hours, and sports a backup generator. 


All in all, we spent a nice chunk of money on this system.  The next step is to get the site launched and start pulling in clients (we'll be launching at quadrabyte.net, so keep us bookmarked).  I'm really impressed with the way the system turned out.  Though I wish I could build another somewhere off site for some off site mirroring, I did sign up for the Amazon S3 cloud and nighly backups go offsite to Amazon via a secure connection.  For now I guess I'll just have to suffer :-P


Anyways, tell me what you think of the server! Would love input.  We'll be building another, hopefully very soon, and any comments or suggestions for improvement would be greatly appreciated!

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Interesting choice to go for enthusiast hardware over conventional server focused components - I guess you get more raw performance per dollar, but compromising on stability, reliability and server based features such as registered / ECC RAM, hot-swap drive interface (are you sure the P55 chipset supports SATA hot swap?), faster drives and interfaces (SCSI / SAS), redundant PSUs, hardware RAID (debatable, I personally prefer software RAID), remote management interfaces, etc.


I think you have a lot of resources to consume before you think about building a second, similarly spec'd server, you could easily run a couple of hundred small 'mom-and-pop' websites from something like that, if that is your target audience.


I probably wouldn't recommend overclocking a system that is to be used as a 24/7 server - You're increasing the risk of component failure and shortening the components lifespan. You probably went a bit overboard on the PSU too, surely a decent 600W would power that set-up!


I think the net connection is a bit of a concern, assuming that 6.5Mb/s is downstream, upstream figures are more what you should be looking at for this kind of application (slightly less if this is SDSL) - It doesn't quite match up with the server spec. You have hardware that could potentially serve hundreds of small websites, but a connection that couldn't handle the required bandwidth for them all.


If this were me, I would have invested in a rackmount server and paid for co-location at a proper data centre.

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We have unlimited bandwidth.

Well, no. You're limited to 6.5 Mbps... Depending on your traffic, that may or may not be an insignificant limitation though.

Also, that is downstream... If this is residential (A)DSL, I'm assuming the upstream is less than 1Mb/s. That's where the issue is, as you're serving pages, not being served them.

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Oh.  I meant unlimited bandwidth usage per month.  down is 6.5 and up is either 6 or 5.5.  I don't remember which one we purchased.  i think we changed the package slightly, but can't remember 100%.

Yeah, sounds like a business line used for web hosting etc. Obviously the best option is a dedicated incoming fibre line but not sure on your budget, can be expensive.

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Heheh. If I had your setup, I'd do a couple things first...


Set up a remote Utorrent on the server and having it running 24/7

With some anime on a premium Megaupload

And then run a certain PHP script on it that I've been curious about. I tried on the server I host my website on but I got blocked for CPU hogage v.v

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