[CentOS] Best Motherboard

Thu May 15 20:50:36 UTC 2008
John R Pierce <pierce at hogranch.com>

Simon Jolle sjolle wrote:
> On 05/15/2008 04:24 PM, Sam Drinkard wrote:
>>    About 2 years ago, I build a server 
> [...]
> What are the advantages of building your own server comparing with
> products from HP, Dell and IBM? Is it cheaper?
> I never heard of DIY server hardware market.

Well, there is always the category of home servers...  in my case, these 
are usually handmedown PCs, old, too slow to be a modern desktop, but 
perfectly usefull as firewalls, DNS/mail/web servers, etc.   My current 
home server is a 10 year old P2 450Mhz rock solid board.     But, I'd 
never use something like this in a business where its mission critical.

I, for one (an opinionated one at that:D) do NOT recommend homebrewing 
proper rackmount servers from raw parts...  storage integration issues 
alone can break a project like that.

there's a middle ground... folks like Intel and Tyan make 'server 
bases', or kit servers, which comes with the rack chassis, hotswap 
backplanes, disk drive trays, mainboard and power supply, you just 
supply the CPUs, RAM, disk drives, and any extra cards you need.

6 or so years ago I built up and deployed a pair of Intel SE7501WV2 2U 
kits in my development lab at work, with dual xeon 2.8ghz and 3GB ram.   
these machines have run flawlessly running RHEL/CentOS.   My department 
had no capital budget, and we could get these kit servers on 'expense' 
money, then populate them with our 'misc' budget.    fully configured 
these were way under 1/2 what we'd have paid for a comparable HP or 
Dell.   This would be the equivalent system with today's chipset and 
(the SR2500AL).  The SKU SR2500ALLXR (2U, mobo, 1 of 2 PSUs, and 5 x 
SATA/SAS 3.5" hotswap backplane)  goes for $1300-1600 street prices 
(wow, just about what I paid for the SE7501WV2 6 years ago! hmmm, when I 
bought mine, the slimline CD was standard, now its optional, oh well)

these Intel server kits are even setup so you can 'brand' them for VAR 
applications, they have downloads that let you put your own name on the 
BIOS startup and so forth.   In fact, the SE7501 2U servers I have were 
branded by Sun when they initially reentered the x86 server market, as 
the SunFire V65x

What you get with a brand name server (HP, Dell, etc) is a warranty and 
onsite support.    This is critical to some deployments and sites, and 
fairly superfluous to others.