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Need help choosing between 2 servers

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September 20, 2010 11:45:46 PM

Having trouble choosing between these two:
http://www.supermicro.com/products/system/1U/5016/SYS-5...
http://www.supermicro.com/products/system/1U/5016/SYS-5...

The MRB is cheaper, but only has one drive bay.
The TB is a bit more expensive, but has 2 drive bays.

I'm building a server with and i7, 2x1TB drives, raid 1, 8GB RAM (might upgrade to 16)

This is where I get confused, the MRB supports 6 SATA PORTS and 1 SWAP. Does this mean that it supports 6 hard drives and one of them is hot-swap? Because I really don't need swap drives, don't really know what benefits they have besides quick access.

For my second question. I have found sources online where it sates that the MRB supports Raid 0,1,5, and 10. According to supermicro is only supports Raid 0. If that's the case then I will go for the TB instead.

Thanks to whoever can help me choose!

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a c 717 V Motherboard
September 21, 2010 12:01:09 AM

Welcome Newcomer! :) 

First {i7 and Server} are two words not often used together.

Hot-swap - BIOS {enable} AHCI of all non-RAID drives, and ALL RAID drives are only RAID(XHD) or hot-swappable.

Next, even though supported RAID 5 off a MOBO is a really bad idea, it will be dog slow. So I'd recommend a RAID Controller; whereas RAID 1, 0, & 10 require no stripping calculations.
RAM - Servers don't require very much RAM for data only, but if you're running an app I won't run too many.

What's your Budget & Purpose of this server?

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September 21, 2010 12:12:23 AM

My budget is low...hence the i7 server.

So let me get this straight...Only hot-swap drive support RAID?

You confused me with the Raid Controller. I thought Raid 1,0,5,and 10 need a Raid controller. I'm a bit confused.

I can get both chassis for under $500, the MRB I can get for about $350
So if the MRB can do what I want it to do, then I will get it. The server is for low end VPSs
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a c 717 V Motherboard
September 21, 2010 12:24:50 AM

^ {Build} I should have looked at the link, right off. You want a 1U. I read your post which didn't make sense so I stopped there.

Any drive configured as RAID is automatically hot-swap. And any drive configured AHCI is also hot-swap. And YES 100% with those servers you indeed need a RAID Controller which may cost as much as the 1U ~ $200+.

The sys {MRB} - http://www.supermicro.com/products/system/1U/5016/SYS-5... will NOT support i7. Supermicro is a good company, an I cannot stress enough to go the Xeon route. "NOTE: Intel Xeon® 3500 Series and Core™ i7 are Not Supported"

RAID 5 - Mission Critical data
RAID 10 - Web/Data
In either case have either NAS or similar backup.
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September 21, 2010 2:35:13 AM

I think the MRB does support the i7, just needs a bios update. The problem now is that I don't have a spare cpu that I could use for the update. I guess I will go with the TB.
The motherboard + chassis is $500
2 x SATA 1.5TB HDD is $160
12GB DDR3 NON-ECC is $130
1 x i7 930 is $280
Total is $1070

A raid controller costs $200?!!! is there a specific one that's reliable, but cost-effective?

Well that's my system. I wanted to go with a dual xeon x3430 but they cost too much, and the chassis aren't cheap either...Do you think there's a cheaper option? for around 1k with same specs. It doesn't have to be an i7, either a u1 or 2u. Thanks for your help! really appreciate it. I've been doing a lot of research and the i7s seem to be the cheaper route. The 5016T-TB is the cheapest chassis that I found for an i7 w/ atleast 12GB support and RAID support.
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a c 717 V Motherboard
September 21, 2010 3:48:52 AM

Earlier - Premier Monday, I was in a hurry.

As I mentioned the Xeon overall is the best bet, and unless you're running Critical Data RAID 10 is perfectly fine, any array requiring stripe calculations should be done with a dedicated controller.

1U box - http://www.supermicro.com/products/system/1U/5016/SYS-5...

^Intel Xeon E5504 Nehalem 2.0GHz $246 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The http://www.supermicro.com/products/motherboard/Xeon3000... MOBO supports on-board RAID 10

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September 21, 2010 11:11:20 PM

Sorry for the late reply but I had to do some more research.
Here's what I have so far:
1u box = ~$140
http://www.supermicro.com/products/chassis/1U/512/SC512...

motherboard = ~$270
http://www.supermicro.com/products/motherboard/Xeon3000...

12GB RAM = $190x2=$380
http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-TR3X6G1600C8D-Dominator-P...

i7 930 = $285
http://www.amazon.com/Intel-Processor-2-80GHz-LGA1366-B...

2x 1.5TB HDD = $85x2=$170
http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digital-Intellipower-Desk...

I still need help picking a RAID card, heat sink, thermal paste?, cables, power supply, and other peripherals.

For the RAID controller I was reading wikipedia and RAID 1 seems to be my choice since I want my data to be mirrored incase a HDD fails. Don't know how RAID 10 is, but if the price isn't much I think I can do RAID 10. The total for the server is about ~$1,250 w/o the RAID controller. That's above my budget.
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a c 717 V Motherboard
September 21, 2010 11:23:08 PM

Before I spend a lot of time - please answer the following:

1. What is the purpose of this server {very specific}?
2. What OS will it be running?
3. Do you have NAS on the rack?
4. What Apps will be running?
5. How many WS/PC is it serving?
6. I the data mission-critical?
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a c 717 V Motherboard
September 22, 2010 12:28:03 AM

@Goro - its a 1U Server. One that I'm trying to get him on the "best path" Xeon. Suggestion, if you're going to be recommending DDR: 1. Certified {per MOBO} or 2. Tested {per RAM Mfg}. In a server it is foolish not to use fully spec'd/Certified DDR. Otherwise, misguided RAM choices screw-up your rig and those folks post back in bewilderment (90%+) trying to figure out what happen?!
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September 22, 2010 1:01:15 AM

Yea, I saw that U1 but I'm still noT sure what it is that this server is going to do?
If he could go Xeon and registered RAM that would be nice but I was just giving him options on the things he found.

Plus on the RAID I would not recommend RAID 5........ imho useless

RAID 10 is such a better option write/read speed higher better redundancy
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a c 717 V Motherboard
September 22, 2010 1:39:23 AM

^ RAID 5 requires, as I mentioned. a purchase of a Dedicated RAID Controller {otherwise the stripe calcs make it really s-l-o-w} Web Servers RAID 10, File Servers RAID 5; read what I've asked + said. The OP "should" use ECC vs a "PC" like non-ECC.
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September 22, 2010 1:50:35 AM

Yes, you correct on the Controller and I did not see a need to repeat it again. Not using RAID 5 is just my opinion from experience. And I as well suggested ECC and I only said that I'm not sure what he wants to use it for......so I'm not really sure what you are trying to say my friend.

either way here is an interesting article if you are interested.

blogs.zdnet.com/storage/?p=162&tag=nl.e539


good luck
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September 22, 2010 6:05:49 AM

The server is for a VPS node.

The problem with RAID 10 is the cost, I have to upgrade the chassis which adds about $50 more, then I have to buy 2 additional drives witch adds $200, so the cost of RAID 10 comes out to be about $500 extra including the controller.

@goro, tnx for the link, but the CPUs are in-store only. The ram is a good price, but I've never heard of that brand before. If I'm going to go with non-ecc ram, I might as well go for the good kind ;) 

@jaquith, the reason I went for the i7 is because of the the price. If there's a better option for CPU + Chassis + Mobo for under $700 let me know. I find the performance for the i7 930 really well worth the $285
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a c 717 V Motherboard
September 22, 2010 6:30:59 AM

Okay one step away from vague; Like an Easter egg hunt at midnight. The Intel Xeon E5504 Nehalem 2.0GHz $246 is cheaper! 4.8GT/sec vs 4.8GT/s. +$14 i7-950.

Yeah, what you posted seems great! :wahoo: 
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September 22, 2010 6:53:37 AM

I go by this:
http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html
Since the server will do a lot of multitasking the i7 seems ideal. I might go for the i7 950 though.

Anyways, I decided to use RAID :( 
it's going to cost me and arm and a leg, but hopefully it's worth it. Any RAID controller in particular I should look for? I'm doing 4 x 1TB instead of 2 x 1TB. Yes, I know that I will only have 1TB of storage even though I have 4TB is my system, I'm not that stupid :) 
I'm looking at the SASUC8I by intel, is this card compatible with my mobo? is there any cheaper ones? maybe get one off ebay? truth be told I have never used RAID before.

Thanks for helping me! really appreciate it. Now get some sleep!
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a c 717 V Motherboard
September 22, 2010 2:20:45 PM

^You are misinformed, and should do more research about Xeon; begin with Virtualization. This is a bizarre thread that will do nothing but confuse people - like saying the sky is porker-dots.
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September 22, 2010 3:54:51 PM

@berkguy so I'm guessing you decided to go R1+0?

I have to agree with jaquit, Xeon are work horses and in the long run it will pay of better.

Yea you can use that controller, I was going to suggest LSI or 3ware but for that price range not to much available.
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September 22, 2010 6:36:12 PM

Yeah I will be doing RAID 10.

Guys I have nothing against Xeons, it's just that what I have seen is that the i7s seems to have the best performance for the price. If I can get a xeon that can match the i7 930, for the same price I would go for it.

I'm not misinform, in fact I actually did quite a bit of research. At webhostingtalk.com many companies are switching to the i7 because of the performance/price ratio. Yeah, xeons support ECC, but bit errors are rare these days. I was also reading around and the reason xeons will always be more expensive than i7, is because they support ECC RAM not because they outperform the i7. I'm not trying to bash the xeons or anything, but the price the i7s seems like a good alternative.
You can check out wiredtree.com they are one of the biggest dedicated server company and they sell i7s.

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September 22, 2010 7:17:17 PM

Go for it. :) 
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a c 717 V Motherboard
September 22, 2010 8:41:25 PM

VPS node | Virtualization - http://www.hostnexus.com/solutions/vps-nodemachine.php Do some Goog'ing.

I own an enterprise REO/IDX enterprise data company; entire room filled with all sorts of servers for all different uses. All of which are certified builds, and not a one with an "I7" CPU.

I did link to an equivalent Xeon and the same $.

If you don't want to believe me:
"A VPS node needs to support multiple VPS containers hosting thousands of domains. Each VPS needs enough power to run its services and that requires alot of power. That is why we build our nodes with Dual Quad Core Xeon Processors. That is EIGHT cores of CPU and with our super low container-to-node ratio each VPS always has CPU juice to draw from."
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September 22, 2010 11:29:30 PM

I think the reason you don't see many i7s on servers is because they're new. The only reason why I chose the i7 is because I'm seeing a lot of companies using them as servers. The performance/cost ratio is hard to resist. Though I will probably upgrade to the i7 950 since the recent price cuts has made it very appealing.

I see where your coming from though. Enterprise companies use server-grade hardware, but I don't have the money they do and the i7s have been proven reliable.
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September 23, 2010 12:37:34 AM

Just a quick question, what kind of work load do you think you are going to have on a daily bases?
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September 23, 2010 8:22:44 AM

Not exactly sure, as this is going to be my first server and going to use it to get my feet wet. Once I know the amount of cpu load I will make proper adjustments on my next server. But I'm confident that the i7 950 will work just fine for a small vps node.
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September 23, 2010 8:23:59 AM

Quick question myself. Will I need a riser card for the SASUC8I controller?
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a c 717 V Motherboard
September 23, 2010 2:57:16 PM

^ On a 1U yes you'll need a raiser. If you're building to play then play on your PC, and unless you have a rack a 1U is crazy to get.
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September 24, 2010 6:09:42 PM

Best answer selected by berkguy.
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