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Need specs to build a server

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July 9, 2010 7:56:59 AM

Hi,

We're planning on building a new server. This is basically for a development team of about 15 developers who would be developing on sharepoint 2010 environment (the platform requires lots of resources). we would have about 6 Virtual machines running on this server, so I figure that the more cores on a processor the better with at least 12GB or more. we would like to have RAID for the safety of our data.
what hardware would you recommend for this kind of an environment?, our budget is about $2000 USD.

Thanks,

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July 9, 2010 9:00:44 PM

Go to newegg's website in the motherboards section and select server, then dual LGA 1366. The Tyan S7002G2NR-LE or Asus Z8NA-DC6 should work fine. The tyan has more ram slots, while the asus is smaller so it should fit in any standard atx case. Both can use desktop ram, which is a big plus. For the cpus, a pair of xeon quad core e5504's should work fine. For the heatsinks, I would go with the Intel BXSTS100C if you have the room. For a server chasis, Dynatron makes a copper G129 fanless cooler that may work fine. For the ram, the kingston 1333 ecc ddr3 (3x2gb kit) for $168.99 is a good choice. Two sets of these should be adequate for your requirements.
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July 12, 2010 12:39:22 PM

O1die,

Thank you very much, I shall look into that and get back if I have any questions.

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July 12, 2010 1:45:17 PM

O1die,

your suggestions were great, we are working on the configuration that you had suggested.
we have 1 question on the motherboard from the point of view of the server's easy upgrade in the future

since we realize that there would be a lot of Virtual machines running the RAM upgrade would definitely be necessary, can you suggest a good motherboard with about about 12 DIMM slots? we might need support for processors with more than 4 cores, the asus Z8NA-D6C that you suggested, does have it's specs to support 5600 does that mean we can use the 6 core 5600 processor if we need to upgrade?

Thank you once again.
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July 12, 2010 2:50:29 PM

Upgrading with Intel is tricky at best. They issue more new chipsets than amd. I couldn't even find an amd server board with ddr3 support. I suggest you go to to a server specialty company for more information. Some may be listed on pricewatch. Honestly, you shouldn't expect to be able to upgrade with Intel. The boards I listed are cost effective, and with 2 cpus and 12 gigs of ram, should serve you for many years. I also strongly recommend you purchase 2 identical motherboards for a spare. Motherboards have a relatively short production life. If yours fails suddenly, especially with raid, a spare board could save you countless headaches to restore your system quickly.
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July 12, 2010 3:37:21 PM

O1die,

I'll take your word on the upgrade front :) . and your suggestion on getting 2 identical motherboards makes a lot of sense.

after the discussing again with my team here we get a feeling that 12GB will not be enough. let me explain:
the major requirement is on the SharePoint 2010 front. the minimum requirement for us to develop on this platform is that it requires 8GB RAM and we would have a few more virtual machines with other requirements , hence we might need RAM of at least 16GB to start with. What can you suggest? a different motherboard with more DIMM slots or the same motherboard with say 4GB Memories?

the other question I have is maybe a layman's question. forgive me if it is too basic, from the Data sheet of intel on 5500 series of processors I noticed something about the Compatible Memory: here is a snapshot:



under the DDR3 Memory Column it says 800 for e5504 and since we have selected a 1333 memory do you think that that might cause any problems?

Thanks
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July 12, 2010 4:34:14 PM

Both the tyan and asus board will take up to 8 gb sticks. The tyan can use up to 8 8gb sticks, for a total of 64 gb, but in dual channel instead of tripple channel mode. The boards with 12 ram slots are significantly more expensive, and some don't mention whether you can use regular desktop ram. For pricing, the 6x4gb matching ram desktop kits start at $749.99 at newegg. 24 gb total. But it's cheaper to buy the 4 gb sticks individually. The Geil ripjaws 4gb 1333 sticks are $104.99 each (times 6) is $624. And if you want ecc registered ram for accuracy, they are significantly more. I bought 3 sticks of these by mistake (3x1gb) and they won't run in my desktop board. I'm only asking $10 each, but no takers so far. They are too small for your needs.
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July 13, 2010 5:17:47 AM

Best answer selected by falconhead999.
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July 13, 2010 5:25:16 AM

o1die said:
Both the tyan and asus board will take up to 8 gb sticks. The tyan can use up to 8 8gb sticks, for a total of 64 gb, but in dual channel instead of tripple channel mode. The boards with 12 ram slots are significantly more expensive, and some don't mention whether you can use regular desktop ram. For pricing, the 6x4gb matching ram desktop kits start at $749.99 at newegg. 24 gb total. But it's cheaper to buy the 4 gb sticks individually. The Geil ripjaws 4gb 1333 sticks are $104.99 each (times 6) is $624. And if you want ecc registered ram for accuracy, they are significantly more. I bought 3 sticks of these by mistake (3x1gb) and they won't run in my desktop board. I'm only asking $10 each, but no takers so far. They are too small for your needs.



yes I understand that the 4GB sticks costs a lot more that is the reason I was inquiring about motherboards with more DIMM slots. but considering the price of 4GB Sticks I guess this is a better option, We do have the Asus motherboard on the top of our list as you had suggested, but if you had to go in for a motherboard with more DIMM Slots what would you suggest? just for comparison sake. We could increase the budget a few notches if we have to.

Thanks for taking time to answer my question, the answer was very helpful forming majority of the specs to build our server.
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July 13, 2010 12:06:10 PM

If you want to mount the board in a conventional full size server chasis (I installed dell power supplies in server chasis for a couple of months) then look at the supermicro boards at newegg with 12 ram slots. I can't recommend a specific model, but supermicro seems to have better quality than asus. tyan also specilizes in server boards. If you check the qvl or qualified memory list, you'll see it's very short for supermicro, so you have to be careful to order the correct ram. This alone may put you close or over budget, and will probably prevent you from getting a spare board. Sorry I can't be of more help. Dell makes pretty good server boards, but many still used ddr2 when I worked there last summer. The price of ecc registered ram makes the 4 gb desktop sticks more attractive, but if accuracy is a must, then you may want to spend the extra $$ for ecc registered ram.
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July 13, 2010 3:53:02 PM

O1die,
Thank you very much for your advise. your inputs have been great. we are looking into the supermicro board option, but we have your first suggestion on top of our list.

thank you once again for all your help.

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