I need a server

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virtualgeorg

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Sep 9, 2003
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I need a server with the following specs:
Pentium 4 @ 2.4 GHz
Server Class Motherboard (ASUS)
1 GB Ram
4 x 80 GB 6B IDE MD w/ 8MB CACHE
CD - Burner
ADAPTEC 2400 A IDE RAID - 5 Controller Card
Floppy / Mouse
Hot Swappable Back Plane

Can anyone suggest a place where I can buy one online? I looked through pricewatch but it is hard to find one with the exact specs needed. Guess I should email a couple of the vendors who sell on pricewatch.

I have never built a server but have built tons of pc's over the years. Is it a lot more difficult to set up the raid card and HD's if I just bought all the components seperately? I know now I can find complete desktop pcs assembled cheaper than buying the parts and assembling myself.

Thanks,
GB
 
Joined
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4,504
If you use SATA drives SuperMicro makes a case with the SATA drive racks and a backplane. Build your own, it's no big deal.
 

Squashman

Trusted Advisor
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Apr 4, 2003
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Why not just price one out at some of the major manufacturers websites. Dell has some pretty cheap ones these days. My latest TigerDirect magazine also showed some pretty decent server class machines.
 

virtualgeorg

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I can't find one with those specs at any major websites or am looking in the wrong place. Seems to be hard to even find barebone systems with asus boards.

I would like to build one myself just because I never did one. I will see how much I can save first.

Can you tell me what kind of case I should use? I am not familiar with the backplane and raid setup and see tower, 2U, 3U, rackmount etc. etc. and I am not sure what to get?

Thanks,
George
 
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
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I have about 8 in my office that I've built over the past year - the newest nearly match your specs. None of them have ever given me even a hint of trouble

The last couple I built were:

Antec Plus 1000 SOHO Server case with Tru430Watt PS
Intel P4 2.4Ghz CPU
Intel D865PERL mainboard
2 x Kingston 512mb DDR3200 memory
Adaptec 2400A RAID controller
2 x 120GB Western Digital Special Edition HD
some cheap TNT2 video card
Intel LAN is on board...

Runs quiet and reliably! I've run Windows 2000/2003 server, Netware, Linux on these and they work fine.
 

virtualgeorg

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Sep 9, 2003
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Thanks for all the replys! Sorry but I am not familiar with servers but the specs I posted mention a backplane, is this where the drives are installed and it makes them "hot-swappable"?
Is it usually on the back hence the name?

The supermicro case looks like it has the removable drive bays on the front but that gives me the 4 hot swapable drives that I need. Is that a backplane that goes on the front?

So I will get the supermicro case recommended, and asus server board, then a an adaptec 2400 raid controller and that should all work together?

After I install, cpu/fan, mem, cd-burner, 4 - 80 gig drives & 2 nic cards that should do it?

What about cooling fans? Is there something I should get for the hard drives or case?

After shopping around it looks like I will save quite a few bucks building it myself.

Thanks for all the help!

-George
 
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I don't think the 2400 is the correct card it will not work with a backplane, the 2410 would be the correct model for SATA drives and a backplane. The "back"plane is just that, a circuit board in "back" of the drives, it allows them to be hot plugged in this case among other things. The drive racks in the SuperMicro case plug into a backplane that is just behind the drives or in "back" of them. The terminology can be confusing. The drive racks have their own cooling, the case should come with a fan as well but you should be able to tell from the specifications what exactly is included.
 

virtualgeorg

Thread Starter
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Sep 9, 2003
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I want to use a single P4 processor and preferrably an asus board. The only single board I could find was an asus nrl-ls http://www.asus.com/prog/spec.asp?m=NRL-LS

but it doesn't have sata. Anyone know another asus board that supports sata and uses a single P4?

Or can I just use ide drives in the supermicro case listed above or do they have to be sata.

Or if I want to use that asus board that does not support sata do I need a different case and is there one that has 4 hot swap ide bays?

Thanks,
George
 

virtualgeorg

Thread Starter
Joined
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Messages
320
Sorry I get so confused but if I use the 2410 adaptec controller then the sata drives plug into it so it does not matter that the motherboard does not have sata, right?

Thanks,

GB
 

virtualgeorg

Thread Starter
Joined
Sep 9, 2003
Messages
320
The supermicro case has a lead for led light for drive activity on the sata backplane. Each drive has led lights on the front. However the adaptec 2410 raid card does not have a drive activity connector. I looked it up on thier website and made sure. There are two led lights on each drive and I wonder if the lights will indicate a drive failure?

Since the asus board does not have a sata drive activity either will this cause me any grief down the road in case of drive failure?

If a drive fails I can go into the raid configuration utility and it appears that it shows all drives in order and it will tell me which drive is bad or it will be greyed out. It looks like drive 00 is the top, 01 the second etc. so I should be able to tell which drive is faulty and I hope I don't need the drive activity lights for anything???
 
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Even if you had activity lights you would still have to physically watch the system for potetial problems and even a failing drive can make a light flicker. The monitor is a much better method of keeping track, you could always make note of which drive is which as you install them or pull one out later to see which one is missing from the array.
 
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