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Server with SATA - PCI wonder card, worth it?

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March 29, 2006 9:28:12 AM

Alright guys, my quick question to you is:

I'm building a server, however right now I dont have the money to buy what I will eventually put in it (ASUS K8N-DL, dual Opty 246's, 4-12 gigs of memory, 2x250 16mb cache drives in RAID 1)

BUT!!!

I do have an older (socket 478) 2.4gb Celeron w/ 1gb of ddr 333, 40gb of drive space. So what I'm going to do is through that into my server case now what I was thinking was I dont mind going out and buying a couple sata drives but the temp. mobo doesnt have sata support, so should I use regular IDE harddrives or should I pick up a PCI to SATA card (not a raid card, too spendy for only using it for a couple months) and a couple SATA drives?

What is the real world benefit of using a PCI SATA card v. standard IDE? Because its going PCI will I lose any bandwidth I'd gain by going SATA?

Thanks a ton guys!
a b B Homebuilt system
March 29, 2006 11:46:12 AM

The modern ATA100/133 drives are barely any slower than typical 7200 rpm SATA drives as measured in sustained throughput, as both typically max out at well below 60 mb/sec throughput in normal useage...

The SATA interface does help in higher burst speeds, and most especially when interfacing with a RAID 5 / 6 array, where multiple drives (3 or more) would easily be bottlenecked by a typical ATA100/133 interface..

If you are using a RAID 1 (mirroring for data security only), I'd say the extra expense for a SATA card would provide only a marginal performance increase...

(You might consider a server mb with integrated RAID 5 using 3 disks minimum over just a RAID1 (which essentially wastes 250 gb on just a mirror image), as RAID 5 gives both performance increases through striping and improved fault tolerance.
March 29, 2006 6:37:02 PM

Yeah, I took a look at actual RAID cards the other day and realized the money (100-150) I would be saving by going with the ASUS board would be eaten up (and then some) if I ever wanted to expand. I will check out other mobos see if one fits alright....

As for the temp. server, I'll probably just go buy some IDE drives today and use it like it is for a couple months.

Thanks mdd!
Related resources
March 29, 2006 10:39:35 PM

Airflow will def not be a problem. I'm using an old "Gateway 2000" P5-75 case (a super old 75mhz pentium pro used to live there) heres the cloest picture to the case I have right now. Not the exact same model, mine has nicer lines... ;-)



I'm custom paiting it piano black (six rattle cans, 3hours of prep wet-sanding to remove the spay on coating, 3 full coats of primer, all wet-sanded, and a few layers of high-gloss black plus some clear coat. Total time about 5 days) and adding 3x80mm fans on the bottem of the side panel, 1x120mm in the front, 1x80 in the rear (no space for a 120) and 1x120 blowhole up top.

I'm going to post some pictures when I'm done...
March 30, 2006 7:19:46 AM

Yeah, I'm in the process fabbing a Mobo tray, I dont know if I'm going to make it out of like plexi, just for the sure fact that its easy to work with, or if I'm going to rip arpart an old case and use the mobo area from that...
March 30, 2006 9:07:58 AM

Quote:
Alright guys, my quick question to you is:

I'm building a server, however right now I dont have the money to buy what I will eventually put in it (ASUS K8N-DL, dual Opty 246's, 4-12 gigs of memory, 2x250 16mb cache drives in RAID 1)

BUT!!!

I do have an older (socket 478) 2.4gb Celeron w/ 1gb of ddr 333, 40gb of drive space. So what I'm going to do is through that into my server case now what I was thinking was I dont mind going out and buying a couple sata drives but the temp. mobo doesnt have sata support, so should I use regular IDE harddrives or should I pick up a PCI to SATA card (not a raid card, too spendy for only using it for a couple months) and a couple SATA drives?

What is the real world benefit of using a PCI SATA card v. standard IDE? Because its going PCI will I lose any bandwidth I'd gain by going SATA?

Thanks a ton guys!




What are you going to use that server for?

If you're going to use windoze your upgrade may not go so smoothly.

Upgrade = [ usually ] stop errors on windoze.

Your dual Opteron will require REG ECC, an EPS12 PSU and very likely a 12x13 EATX case.

Shoot for an nForce Pro chipset -- it is a better choice.

The Tyan S2895A2NRF for example is a very good board.

For speed and upgradability a PCI-Express RAID controller would be your best bet.

Your 2nd best choice would be a 64bit PCI-X controller ( not to be confused with PCI-Express ).

Good luck :-D
March 30, 2006 10:17:15 AM

Hey Linux, thanks for the concern :-) I think I have gotten past most of the major "oopes" but I will def. run my final shopping list by ya, not to mention some fedora 5 Q's 8)

Quote:
What are you going to use that server for?

If you're going to use windoze your upgrade may not go so smoothly.

Upgrade = [ usually ] stop errors on windoze


Yeah, right now the server is just going to be a small home fileserver, when I do grab all the goodies, I'm throwing on a (legit :-D) copy of server 2k3 web edition. So it will be a fresh install.

Quote:
Your dual Opteron will require REG ECC, an EPS12 PSU and very likely a 12x13 EATX case.


I'd be using up to 6 gigs (2 to start with) of Corsair (its not super highend but this isnt my main build, so one is going to have to suffer, and I'm putting my money on conroe when it comes out) ECC, Registered DIMM's, and for PSU I'd be going with an FSP 700w EPS12v/ATX12v psu.

Quote:
Shoot for an nForce Pro chipset -- it is a better choice.


The mobo is an NForce4 Pro

Quote:
For speed and upgradability a PCI-Express RAID controller would be your best bet.


Depending on how it takes off I'll probably pick one up, I have a buddy who has a fairly young (about 9months old I believe) Promise controller, I gotta see exactly which one... :-/

Oh, and about the case, as long as I can fab something to mount the Mobo on, this case will fit it. 15" deep by 23" tall by 8" wide. Its like godzilla!
March 30, 2006 11:06:55 AM

Quote:
Ya can't use an ATX mobo in an AT case. [/thick Irish accent]


Well. You can if you change the PSU. I have several boxes I've done that with, I just use the reset button as the power on switch.
a b B Homebuilt system
March 30, 2006 11:33:04 AM

"I just use the reset button as the power on switch."

Is that legal????!! :-)
a b B Homebuilt system
March 30, 2006 11:42:06 AM

"Yeah, I took a look at actual RAID cards the other day and realized the money (100-150) I would be saving by going with the ASUS board would be eaten up (and then some) if I ever wanted to expand. I will check out other mobos see if one fits alright....
"

There are several socket 939 (dual core capable) mainboards with integrated RAID 5 capabilities...; many will even span a RAID 5 across a mixture of IDE/SATA drives, although I certainly doubt this will perform nearly as well as an actual RAID 5 card in a PCI-X/133 slot.

Older PCI/PCI-X IDE RAID5 cards are relatively inexpensive; the next time CompUSA runs a $59 sale on their ATA133 250G/7200rpm/16m cache units, one could easily have a 1 TB RAID5 at under $300 after rebates...
March 30, 2006 5:18:56 PM

Quote:
Hey Linux, thanks for the concern :-) I think I have gotten past most of the major "oopes" but I will def. run my final shopping list by ya, not to mention some fedora 5 Q's 8)

What are you going to use that server for?

If you're going to use windoze your upgrade may not go so smoothly.

Upgrade = [ usually ] stop errors on windoze


Yeah, right now the server is just going to be a small home fileserver, when I do grab all the goodies, I'm throwing on a (legit :-D) copy of server 2k3 web edition. So it will be a fresh install.

Quote:
Your dual Opteron will require REG ECC, an EPS12 PSU and very likely a 12x13 EATX case.


I'd be using up to 6 gigs (2 to start with) of Corsair (its not super highend but this isnt my main build, so one is going to have to suffer, and I'm putting my money on conroe when it comes out) ECC, Registered DIMM's, and for PSU I'd be going with an FSP 700w EPS12v/ATX12v psu.

Quote:
Shoot for an nForce Pro chipset -- it is a better choice.


The mobo is an NForce4 Pro

Quote:
For speed and upgradability a PCI-Express RAID controller would be your best bet.


Depending on how it takes off I'll probably pick one up, I have a buddy who has a fairly young (about 9months old I believe) Promise controller, I gotta see exactly which one... :-/

Oh, and about the case, as long as I can fab something to mount the Mobo on, this case will fit it. 15" deep by 23" tall by 8" wide. Its like godzilla!


:-D

Actually Linux makes a lot more sense for a fileserver -- you can't beat the price -- $0.00 vs. $400 - $3,000 for 2003

You get samba, SFTP, rsync, apache, PHP, mysql, postgreSQL and another 2000 packages for free -- ok for $1 if you consider the cost of the DVD-R ;-)

On top of that FC5 x86_64 works better than windoze x86_64.

Let me know what kind of Linux questions you have and I'll set you up :-D
March 30, 2006 9:10:47 PM

Quote:
"Yeah, I took a look at actual RAID cards the other day and realized the money (100-150) I would be saving by going with the ASUS board would be eaten up (and then some) if I ever wanted to expand. I will check out other mobos see if one fits alright....
"

There are several socket 939 (dual core capable) mainboards with integrated RAID 5 capabilities...; many will even span a RAID 5 across a mixture of IDE/SATA drives, although I certainly doubt this will perform nearly as well as an actual RAID 5 card in a PCI-X/133 slot.



I went with that board just because I wanted to have dual chips (2 246's) not just dual cores, and the 939 doesnt support 2-way as far as I know....
March 30, 2006 9:26:26 PM

Quote:
"Yeah, I took a look at actual RAID cards the other day and realized the money (100-150) I would be saving by going with the ASUS board would be eaten up (and then some) if I ever wanted to expand. I will check out other mobos see if one fits alright....
"

There are several socket 939 (dual core capable) mainboards with integrated RAID 5 capabilities...; many will even span a RAID 5 across a mixture of IDE/SATA drives, although I certainly doubt this will perform nearly as well as an actual RAID 5 card in a PCI-X/133 slot.



I went with that board just because I wanted to have dual chips (2 246's) not just dual cores, and the 939 doesnt support 2-way as far as I know....


You are correct S939 only supports 1 PHY CPU.

S940 supports:

2 way SMP Opteron 2xx

4 way SMP Opteron 8xx

8 way SMP Opteron 8xx



16 way SMP under development

32 way SMP under development

:-D
a b B Homebuilt system
March 30, 2006 10:02:02 PM

if your going for uber hardware dont skimp out on things like case (and cooling) psus ram etc


may we ask what are you using it for?
March 30, 2006 11:24:43 PM

The case is actually what I'm working on right now.

I've always heard good things about FSP (forton) PSU's and being that its 700w and EPS12v, seemed like a nice unit to me?

Right now its just going to be a local file server, but once I get all the hardware (about 1200 worth) I'm going to do some FTP and Maybe DNS along with using it locally...
March 31, 2006 12:28:21 AM

You may be interested in getting an SATA RAID card, and SATA drives. There are hot-swap bays you can get for 2x 5.25" bays which give 3x 3.5" hard drives. In the back, the one I saw had an 80mm fan blowing on the hard drive trays.

Stuff like this:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=8786266606&category=167

I've seen others, and this seems like a real nice idea.

Anyway, hope this helps,

John
March 31, 2006 7:50:29 AM

Those are faily nice. I dont quite understand how the array is controlled? Either way I wouldnt be picking that or a card up till I actually go get my other hardware...

On another note, I'm going into my buddies body shop tomorrow and I'm going to bondo the entire front bezel, move my power switch (I'm thinking of making it a toggle switch and putting it in the rear of the case so no one can mess with it much not to mention look cooler) and front LED's, cut my mobo tray. Probably add some rack ears on the top of the case (purely for looks) and cut the 120mm fan holes. I screwed up on the 3 80mm holes (the bit jumped on the hole saw so one isnt level with the others. If it looks terrible, I cut out the entire section and add a lexan window and redo the holes above that... Should look good either way.

Hey Linux, what exactly would I need to start doing file sharing/FTP/DNS in Fedora 5?

One more thing, eventually when I do grab my dual opty's (probably have everything by the end of the year) and I do start porting my two domains I have now over to it what will I need bandwidth wise? I currently have a 6mbit down/1mbit up, having that split between 3 average internet users and about 50-100 hits combined on both sites would I need to get a dedicated line or would 6-8mbits down suffice?

Thanks a ton guys!
March 31, 2006 12:49:28 PM

I'm not sure what you mean about your bandwidth question.

However, sounds like you have plenty for your usage.

I used to host a site which got about 10k hits/day on a 768k connection, and the guy who's site it was said it was faster than his shared hosting provider he had before.

Basically regarding arrays, you have an array controller, which basically makes many hard drives look like one drive to the system. Then you connect those drives to the array controller.

If you got a nice raid controller, you should be able to do a lot of different configurations, but with 2 of those hotswap sets, you could hotswap 6 drives, and basically do any raid config on the market, and/or have hot spares which jump in and rebuild the raid if you are doing any other raid than JBOD (a bunch of drives appended together), or RAID 0 (which is like JBOD, but alternates the storage).

Enjoy,

John
March 31, 2006 3:51:53 PM

Quote:
Those are faily nice. I dont quite understand how the array is controlled? Either way I wouldnt be picking that or a card up till I actually go get my other hardware...

On another note, I'm going into my buddies body shop tomorrow and I'm going to bondo the entire front bezel, move my power switch (I'm thinking of making it a toggle switch and putting it in the rear of the case so no one can mess with it much not to mention look cooler) and front LED's, cut my mobo tray. Probably add some rack ears on the top of the case (purely for looks) and cut the 120mm fan holes. I screwed up on the 3 80mm holes (the bit jumped on the hole saw so one isnt level with the others. If it looks terrible, I cut out the entire section and add a lexan window and redo the holes above that... Should look good either way.

Hey Linux, what exactly would I need to start doing file sharing/FTP/DNS in Fedora 5?

One more thing, eventually when I do grab my dual opty's (probably have everything by the end of the year) and I do start porting my two domains I have now over to it what will I need bandwidth wise? I currently have a 6mbit down/1mbit up, having that split between 3 average internet users and about 50-100 hits combined on both sites would I need to get a dedicated line or would 6-8mbits down suffice?

Thanks a ton guys!



:-D

FC4, FC5 and virtually every other Linux distro comes with SAMBA ( file and printer sharing ), SSH/SFTP ( secure shell / secure FTP ), DNS/BIND name server, apache ( web server ), Perl, PHP, etc OUT OF THE BOX.

You don't have to do anything special just install everything and it will install all the servers for you.

Then you just edit a few config files and you're good to go :-D

If you're planning to serve from your location the upstream bandwidth will be the most important factor.

1mbps = about 100KB/sec which should be ok for most things

You might need more if you have a lot of traffic tho.

Let me know if you have any questions or if you need help configuring Linux :-D
April 1, 2006 6:47:26 AM

John, I just wasnt sure on the specifics if there was an actual controller in the unit. It just seems to me that its cheap, considering most cards that will pull a RAID 5 array will cost you 50 bucks more then that atleast minus the actual functionality of the drive bays themselves.

Besides that, I picked up my three fan grills, a 4-way fan controller and some other junk. I did bondo the entire front bezel, got it almost all the way sanded down (have to bondo one more time) I cut out a small window in the side of the case (to correct the mis-aligned fan holes) and the fans will sit directly above the window. I'm going to spend another couple hours on monday hopefully get it almost done...

This question is to anyone: How exactly would I go about hosting sites? I mean say my physical ip address is 67.12.123.12 how would I make mytempdomain.com refer to that? And once thats done, how would I go about making sure any quries for the site actually get to the server instead of any of the other computers on the network?

I've decided to go with linux as the OS of choice because I really need to learn more about its specifics as it is. So does anyone have any good books on linux netowrking (fedora core) they suggest?

Thanks everyone! :D 
April 1, 2006 7:00:56 AM

Quote:
John, I just wasnt sure on the specifics of the actual controller in the unit. It just seems to me that its cheap, considering most cards that will pull a RAID 5 array will cost you 50 bucks more then that atleast minus the actual functionality of the drive bays themselves.

Besides that, I picked up my three fan grills, a 4-way fan controller and some other junk. I did bondo the entire front bezel, got it almost all the way sanded down (have to bondo one more time) I cut out a small window in the side of the case (to correct the mis-aligned fan holes) and the fans will sit directly above the window. I'm going to spend another couple hours on monday hopefully get it almost done...

This question is to anyone: How exactly would I go about hosting sites? I mean say my physical ip address is 67.12.123.12 how would I make mytempdomain.com refer to that? And once thats done, how would I go about making sure any quries for the site actually get to the server instead of any of the other computers on the network?

I've decided to go with linux as the OS of choice because I really need to learn more about its specifics as it is. So does anyone have any good books on linux netowrking (fedora core) they suggest?

Thanks everyone! :D 




It's really easy you setup your DNS on the Linux box, you point your domain's DNS to it and you're good to go. It's simple -- I could do it for ya in no time.

You don't really need a book.

Check out the following sites:

http://tldp.org/

http://fedora.redhat.com/docs/fedora-install-guide-en/f...

http://freshmeat.net/

http://sf.net

http://qemu.com/

http://www.vmware.com/products/server/

http://winehq.org/

http://mirrors.kernel.org/

If you still want to get a book check out http://oreilly.com/ they publish some of the best computer books.


If you have a static IP you're all set. If you do not have a static IP then you could use dyndns.org or something like it.

Does your current ISP allow you to host sites on your connection? Some ISPs are not very user friendly and block certain ports.
April 1, 2006 7:34:36 AM

Well its a standard Comcast cable connection, its dynamic. I've never personally tried to do DNS but they seem fairly flexible...
April 1, 2006 7:45:06 AM

Quote:
Well its a standard Comcast cable connection, its dynamic. I've never personally tried to do DNS but they seem fairly flexible...



You may need to use a dynamic DNS service.

Or you can use the IP address.

Either way it's not a major problem - just a minor headache.

If your ISP blocks the popular ports you can use alternate ones.
April 1, 2006 4:13:44 PM

SATA speeds are not really much faster than IDE. I just think setup of SATA is simpler.
April 1, 2006 6:30:43 PM

WOAH, I hope I didn't make myself *THAT* unclear.

I hope you don't think the 3 bay device I showed is *ALSO* a raid controller. A decent SATA raid controller for 8-12 ports will be at least about $400-$600

John
April 1, 2006 7:32:59 PM

John, no worries!,
I knew that. I didnt take a good look at it at first and didnt see anywhere for the unit to plug into a RAID card, so I was slightly lost, but upon further inspection the ports are the same color as the unit and on the side. :oops: 
!