DO I really need the expensive server board?

Discussion in 'Asus' started by BG250, Jan 16, 2004.

  1. BG250

    BG250 Guest

    I'm considering building or purchasing a new server. The server's function
    will be a file server (300 GB fault tolerant SCSI RAID), will serve three
    printers and will have the Pervasive SQL engine loaded for some accounting
    software.

    Our current server is a Dell Power Edge 4300 with dual 550Mhz Intel cpus. I
    need to replace the server because it will be 5 years old and the extended
    coverage will cease. The 100bps network strains under the load of the heavy
    file I/O and the drives are filing up. However, the CPUs is with utilization
    near 0 most of the time as the SCSI RAID controller handles the disk I/O.

    I'm considering going with a good workstation mother board with a single,
    but fast CPU and a RAID board, Gigabit Ehternet card and switch and perhaps
    an external driver tower.

    What do you think? bg
     
    BG250, Jan 16, 2004
    #1
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  2. BG250

    Ghislain Guest

    For optimal SCSI Raid performance, a 64-bit PCI slot is required and those
    usually are available on server boards only. If you plan on using a Gigabit
    Ehternet card, it would also perform better in a 64-bit slot.
     
    Ghislain, Jan 16, 2004
    #2
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  3. The problem is PCI performance.
    Remember that the standard PCI bus is 'nominally' 133MB/sec, and will be
    lucky to actually do 100MB/sec. Now a Gigabit ethernet card _on it's own_,
    can fill this. Similarly a fast RAID adapter, will easily surpass this
    figure. Hence the bus will bottleneck the system, unless you have a
    motherboard that supports preferably 66MHz/64bit PCI. Some motherboards also
    implement multiple busses, with some slots on one PCI bus, and others on a
    seperate bus.
    Guess what, it is generally server boards that support these features!...

    Best Wishes
     
    Roger Hamlett, Jan 16, 2004
    #3
  4. You don't necessarily need a server board, but you probably will want one
    with 64-bit PCI (PCI-X) support, and many of those are server boards..
     
    Robert Hancock, Jan 16, 2004
    #4
  5. BG250

    Leythos Guest

    If you want to go cheap, consider the Dell Dimension 650 Dual Xeon
    system with 2GB of ram or more. Bought 5 last month for $6000 each.

    You could also consider building your own using the ASUS PC-DL board,
    dual Xeon chips and mirrored 250GB SATA drives. Bought one last week at
    a local store for $1500.

    I just installed 5 650's today with dual 73GB SCSI drives in a simple
    mirror running Windows 2000 Server and they scream - HT is enabled.

    If you are running a database you really need to consider putting the
    transaction logs on a mirror and the data on a raid 5 array set.
     
    Leythos, Jan 18, 2004
    #5
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