Web Server

Hi All,

I'm looking to build an IIS web server which will have users uploading & downloading files via an website. I will be having anywhere from 10-50 people uploading & downloading at a time. I'm unsure of what the specs for such a server should be. The key thing is storage and reliability(raid config) and being able to upgrade the storage without having to take down the server.

Any advice on what specs or equipment would be greatly appreciated!
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  1. 1. Budget?

    2. VM or just plain out OS install? Meaning will IIS run on a VM?

    3. What's your ISP like? Most ISPs will cut out traffic to your server if you have this many people connected all the time.
  2. does it have to be IIS?

    Apache on Linux is a less expensive and far more common web hosting solution.
  3. ^ I'm guessing there is a reason OP wanted Win Server..... else, yeah Linux is MUCH cheaper and imo, better over all esp. when it comes to configuration (you can do massive amounts of customization on Linux).
  4. Thanks for the reply's!

    1.) Budget: ~$1000 (+/- 300)
    2.) OS Install
    3.) ISP not an issue, business class. Fiber

    One day, I'll dabble in Linux. I'm much more familiar with windows and IIS. Small business we started recently has been doubling in growth the past couple months. When I have time to learn a new OS, I'll look into is ScrewySqrl.

  5. ok, fair enough.

    I'd say you could go for a relatively inexpensive AMD 6-core or I7 quad core system as your server probly a dedicated gigabit ethernet card, rather than relying on the onbaord card.

    Without going too deep into your server setup: is this a casual (flash) gaming site? a site where work is getting done via virtual machines? or are you just handling purchase orders? or is it a site with forums/news and lots of text and advertising?

    if its the first two, a dual-processor solution (Magny-Cours or Xeon for 8 or 12 total cores) might be in order, if the latter, a single multi-core cpu might be in order.
  6. It'll be an website which has our users uploading files, ranging from 1 gigabyte of files up to even 40gigs. It will have no other use than that.

  7. hmm. Ok. Do you need a copy of Windows 2008 Server for this? The cheapest I see is the web version for $389, a big chunk of your $1000 budget
  8. Ack, Sorry, forgot to mention, please don't include OS in cost.

    Thanks ScrewySqrl for your help.
  9. Best answer
    here's a build that comes in at $1090.91. $1123.61 shipped.

    Its NOT really a 'server' build, except the chassis, which has 4 hot-swap slots for the hard drives. I have 4 2 TB hard drives, which you can do as RAID 10 for 4 TB with redundancy, or as RAID 5 for 2 TB. I also included a 60 GB SSD as a boot drive. The CPU is a 1055t with 6 real cores and the motherboard is an 880G with a built-in 4250 video, enough for what you are doing easily, as it just needs to connect to a console screen.

    The motherboard has 6 SATA ports, enough for your 4 data HDDs in RAID 5 or RAID 10, the 60 GB SSD, and the DVD burner. You'll end up using the on-board gigabit Ethernet with this build, but see after my parts list for optional expansions. I'm using a standard 80+ Bronze PSU as well, but again, see below.

    the first item is a very nice full combo of 1055t CPU, 4GB RAM, 880 Motherboard, and 60 GB SSD:

    Next, an entry level server chassis with 4 hot-swappable bays for HDDs

    Xigmatek 400W 80+ bronze PSU. well reviewed on this website

    4x Samsung Spinpoint F4 2 TB HDDs. FAST, as it uses 667 MB platters

    22x DVD burner
    Cheap, reliable, gets the job done.

    now, this had some compromises to get to the $1000 price point.

    You might consider an 80+ Gold or a Server-class redundant power supply for $100-120 more. a Sea Sonic 400W and 650W Gold-quality PSU were both $139.99. A Dynatech redundant 300W PSU was $189.99. I don't know much about them however.

    Se Sonic 400W:
    Sea Sonic 650w:
    Dynapower redundant 300W:

    An External hot-swappable drive bay connected to the external SATA port might make swapping the drives easier in the event of a failure. Least expensive one I saw able to hold 4 HDDs was about $64.

    a gigabit ethernet card from D-Link is $19.99 and the easiest addition to the build:
  10. Best answer selected by dustinb.
  11. Good build ss, but I would HIGHLY recommend ECC RAM and a true workstation board. I also wouldn't use that Daynapower,etc. I'd get a XFX 650 or a Corsair 550 (both SeaSonic built). The real issue here would be the HDDs, I HIGHLY recommend you get a quality RAID card and do RAID 10 or RAID5.
  12. Thank You ScrewySqrl

    The build is in the budget range. along with the raid cage for easy hot-swaps. The Dynapower redundant 300W looks like it would be a good choice as well.

    I appreciate your help and will be ordering the parts shortly!
  13. Shadow,

    You say to get a true workstation board, do you have any recommendations? I'll be doing Raid 10, however, for a true RAID card, it would eat up most of the budget.
  14. ^ Yup. Some thing like that. Usually, when I build a server, I get a 2P server board, but since OP is on a budget, a single socket will have to do. However, I would spend the extra $32 and grab this Quad Core CPU:

    Note: None of the Xeon CPUs comes with a heatsink, you will need to get one yourself.

    I'll be doing Raid 10, however, for a true RAID card, it would eat up most of the budget.

    You have no argument from me there. Quality RAID cards are damn expensive.

    The Dynapower redundant 300W looks like it would be a good choice as well.

    I do not know the quality of Daynapower units are, but you may want to look deeper in to this. One of the most common problems/hardware damage on PCs are caused by cr@ppy PSUs.
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