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Old 12-12-2013, 03:23 PM   #1
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Server Build Questions


I am interested in purchasing some used server components off of Ebay in order to build a Media Server / file server. My current "server" is having difficulties with transcoding media effectivly when its underload. This is not a commercial endevor at all but I need my server to support multiple streams as well as perform other tasks such as bittorret, fileserving and possibly apache.

I do not have much experiance with server grade hardware but it would interest me to get my hands on some to play with because I am a CIS student studying my CCNA currently. I understand that servers take up extra power and can be quite noisy but this is something I am willing to live with for the sake of geeking out over this stuff.

I welcome any imput or criticisms and I am open to suggetions. So far I have been seeing good deals on the following items.

Intel Xeon E5410 SLANW 2.33GHz 12M 1333 quad core CPU processor LGA771 x2

Super Micro Computer X7DWN+ LGA 771/Socket J Intel Motherboard


I also plan on purchasing a 4u case with 500watt psu

2-4TB 7200RPM HDD - not sure on brand

I would like to run in RAID 1 but im not sure the what the performance hit would be on the CPUs without a Hardware RAID controller.

If you read this post thank you! Please let me know if these specs would be able to handle what I am running.
Old 12-13-2013, 12:25 PM   #2
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Xeon E5410s are over 6 years old now.

Its might appear to be a good deal...I wouldnt be buying a 5 year old 'server' just because it comes with ECC RAM. A lot of those sorts of systems I've seen end up costing more than a newer system built with 'normal' (i.e. 'non-sexy non-server') parts that could well be faster.

The newer systems would also save money on power.

I wouldnt bother with RAID1 myself either. Its in some ways safer and eiaser to use the 2nd drive as an external backup.
Old 12-13-2013, 12:40 PM   #3
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Thank you for your reply!

These are actually all seperate componets so the ECC ram isn't a must (it just happened to be inexpensive). A big part of the reason I would like to work with this hardware is for the experiance. I have built countless desktop systems with desktop grade componets but I am trying to pursue a career in the IT field. I also understand the drawbacks of RAID but again RAID is very common place in many IT infustructures so I would like the opurtunity to dabble with some configurations. I am correct in assuming from your post that these particular xeon processors would be lacking the performance needed for transcoding video?

Old 12-14-2013, 05:04 AM   #4
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No, they will transcode video....almost any x86 system will, its just a question of speed. 2 x Xeon E5410s could well be slower than a modern i7, or even a FX-8XXX.

FB RAM is a must with that board. You shouldnt need ECC, but its still an older, slower RAM system than current DDR3.

You can only use RAID 0, 1 or 10 with linux and that board. As far as I know most RAID used in professional level systems is RAID 5 or RAID 6, and they arent even an option with that board and linux.

If you really want to use 'professional' level RAID, buy a decent hardware RAID card.

If you just want to play with RAID, you can do that with mdadm. You dont need an an obsolete server.

Dual CPUs, FB RAM, redundant power supplies, etc. are pretty much invisible to the user, so there is no benefit in using this over a current system IMO.
Old 12-15-2013, 07:41 AM   #5
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I have been in your shoes, and there really isn't much value in building your own server to learn for an IT career. As mentioned the OS will be the same if run on a regular desktop.

If it is really the hardware side of things you want to get into then you would be better off getting a true server from one of the big manufacturers (Dell, HP, IBM) and learn some of the vendor specific hardware subsystems. All have a slightly different out of band management system, RAID controller setup, BIOS, etc.


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