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Topic # 146828 30-May-2014 10:36
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I'm going to be building a new server soon.  The only reasons I really want to build it myself is that it needs to be super quiet and most of the ones you grab off the shelf are REALLY LOUD.  I need lots of storage with redundancy, not just a few terabytes.  It's fun to build them too.  The current server is dangerously below spec for application and needs to be replaced with a decent machine very shortly.

Currently on the list:

Motherboard:  Need suggestions! Considering a 2011 socket for the extra memory capabilities.  Have not considered AMD based boards.
Processor: Intel Xeon based processor/1150/2011 socket (for ECC capabilities)
Memory: 32GB of ECC memory that is known to be compatible specifically with board of choice.
Storage: Six 4TB Western Digital RED drives in RAIDZ2 (roughly 15TB of usable storage)  / Considered green drives and tweaking the firmware, but I think I'll play it safe and fork the extra cash
Cooling: Noctua fans and heatsink with rack mounted fans to move the hot air to the 4 extractors at the top of the rack.  I want to keep all the disks within 30 - 35 degrees under load.
Chassis: Yet to be decided.  Need a 4U unit that will facilitate a 170mm tall CPU heatsink/fan assembly.  Might be over-kill, but I wasn't kidding when I said it needed to be quiet.  Rack mounting abilities are a bonus.  I was looking at this.  EDIT:  On second thought, it's not really big enough.  Need a suggestion for this too.

The server will be running FreeNAS (small business deployment) serving largish files utilized by design applications and printers.  It will also store images for workstations and various other files.

- Not sure if I want to go down the redundant power supply track plus UPS or just a UPS and deal with a downed power supply if/when it pops.
- I've been told Supermicro boards are the way to go, but have only found them on fishpond.co.nz and have heard they are not the best to deal with
- ECC is an absolute MUST HAVE.  I've been told Supermicro HCL memory is the way to go with Supermicro boards, but doubt I'll be able to find it.
- Apart from Supermicro and ASUS, I can't seem to find any other boards within the $800.00 range.
- Is it worth going for a 2011 socket board?

Any suggestions welcome.  I want to do this properly.  I'm open to packages that are readily assembled so long as they are known to be quiet,  have a two or more disk tolerance with more than 8TB of usable storage.

Cheers!





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  Reply # 1056425 30-May-2014 11:06
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I wouldn't build a machine myself any more. HP make pretty quiet proliants, though anything with decent cooling will have fans.

What is your budget?



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  Reply # 1056434 30-May-2014 11:18
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networkn: I wouldn't build a machine myself any more. HP make pretty quiet proliants, though anything with decent cooling will have fans.

What is your budget?


There is quiet by data-centre standards and quiet as in people are pretty much sleeping on top of it.  I don't want to go second hand this time either.

Roughly $3,500 to $4,000





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  Reply # 1056457 30-May-2014 11:45
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If this is a production server for a business, I would recommend buying a server via Dell or HP or another OEM. You really want same day or NBD hardware warranty support.




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  Reply # 1056462 30-May-2014 11:55
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billgates: If this is a production server for a business, I would recommend buying a server via Dell or HP or another OEM. You really want same day or NBD hardware warranty support.


This is about all I can afford.  As far as I can see, this is without disks.  So I'd need to fork another $1600 dollars on metal.
http://www8.hp.com/us/en/products/proliant-servers/product-detail.html?oid=4194641#!tab=specs





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  Reply # 1056463 30-May-2014 11:57
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You might want to consider talking to an HP Reseller, as sometimes they have certified refurbished which might meet your needs. In my experience the rack gear is noisier, would a tower suit?




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  Reply # 1056465 30-May-2014 12:05
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networkn: You might want to consider talking to an HP Reseller, as sometimes they have certified refurbished which might meet your needs. In my experience the rack gear is noisier, would a tower suit?


Tower would suit.  It's a 42U half rack which is almost empty apart from another mid tower and a 2U Intel server at the moment.





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  Reply # 1056470 30-May-2014 12:19
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www.supermicro.co.nz
L
ist Compucon in Albany as the owner/supplier of supermicro in NZ.
Try and talk directly to them. Will probably get a better deal than HP. Going to struggle with budget if going HP though.

Can't comment on quietness as have no experience with Supermicro.
We use HP at work and except for the initial tornado on startup, a rack full of them in a small room is very quiet. With the door closed, it is silent from outside.





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  Reply # 1056550 30-May-2014 14:19
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DravidDavid: I'm going to be building a new server soon. The only reasons I really want to build it myself is that it needs to be super quiet and most of the ones you grab off the shelf are REALLY LOUD.

...

Any suggestions welcome. I want to do this properly.


billgates: If this is a production server for a business, I would recommend buying a server via Dell or HP or another OEM. You really want same day or NBD hardware warranty support.


Any 1U or 2U rack servers use larger numbers of tiny fans for airflow which makes them noisy. Goinng for a 4U or larger rack or tower server will result in normal noise levels as they normally use standard size larger quieter fans.

What is the business impact of a motherboard failure taking the self-built server down to 24/48 hours or more? If you build yourself there is zero guarantee that warranty parts are available, or of a motherboard warranty is claimed that you will get an identical motherboard back. If they supply a 'similar' board, a system rebuild may be required. If you are waiting for parts, that could be expensive. What happens in Year 3 when the Motherboard is very end-of-life and it fails? This is where an HP Server's on site warranty really pays off, and you can upgrade to 5 years.

I suggest an HP ML350e, add an H220 or similar SAS card to it (possibly 2 of these, or a more expensive Smart Array card with up to 2Gb of flash-backed write cache), add a second drive cage. HP drives are expensive so you would probably stick to 3rd party (WD) drives and I suggest Kingston RAM to fill up the 6 slots usable if only one CPU is fitted (2 CPU sockets total) and keep the little HP memory it ships with stored for future troubleshooting.




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  Reply # 1056639 30-May-2014 16:37
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We use heaps of Supermicro and its good quality. The trick with sound is to not get small fans so perhaps 2u chassis will be quiter as the fans are bigger and spin slower.





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  Reply # 1056640 30-May-2014 16:38
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Dynamic:
DravidDavid: I'm going to be building a new server soon. The only reasons I really want to build it myself is that it needs to be super quiet and most of the ones you grab off the shelf are REALLY LOUD.

...

Any suggestions welcome. I want to do this properly.


billgates: If this is a production server for a business, I would recommend buying a server via Dell or HP or another OEM. You really want same day or NBD hardware warranty support.


Any 1U or 2U rack servers use larger numbers of tiny fans for airflow which makes them noisy. Goinng for a 4U or larger rack or tower server will result in normal noise levels as they normally use standard size larger quieter fans.

What is the business impact of a motherboard failure taking the self-built server down to 24/48 hours or more? If you build yourself there is zero guarantee that warranty parts are available, or of a motherboard warranty is claimed that you will get an identical motherboard back. If they supply a 'similar' board, a system rebuild may be required. If you are waiting for parts, that could be expensive. What happens in Year 3 when the Motherboard is very end-of-life and it fails? This is where an HP Server's on site warranty really pays off, and you can upgrade to 5 years.

I suggest an HP ML350e, add an H220 or similar SAS card to it (possibly 2 of these, or a more expensive Smart Array card with up to 2Gb of flash-backed write cache), add a second drive cage. HP drives are expensive so you would probably stick to 3rd party (WD) drives and I suggest Kingston RAM to fill up the 6 slots usable if only one CPU is fitted (2 CPU sockets total) and keep the little HP memory it ships with stored for future troubleshooting.


So our SM servers cost less than half the price, we literally have a spare of every component and its still heaps cheaper.







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  Reply # 1056646 30-May-2014 16:52
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Zeon:
Dynamic:
DravidDavid: I'm going to be building a new server soon. The only reasons I really want to build it myself is that it needs to be super quiet and most of the ones you grab off the shelf are REALLY LOUD.

...

Any suggestions welcome. I want to do this properly.


billgates: If this is a production server for a business, I would recommend buying a server via Dell or HP or another OEM. You really want same day or NBD hardware warranty support.


Any 1U or 2U rack servers use larger numbers of tiny fans for airflow which makes them noisy. Goinng for a 4U or larger rack or tower server will result in normal noise levels as they normally use standard size larger quieter fans.

What is the business impact of a motherboard failure taking the self-built server down to 24/48 hours or more? If you build yourself there is zero guarantee that warranty parts are available, or of a motherboard warranty is claimed that you will get an identical motherboard back. If they supply a 'similar' board, a system rebuild may be required. If you are waiting for parts, that could be expensive. What happens in Year 3 when the Motherboard is very end-of-life and it fails? This is where an HP Server's on site warranty really pays off, and you can upgrade to 5 years.

I suggest an HP ML350e, add an H220 or similar SAS card to it (possibly 2 of these, or a more expensive Smart Array card with up to 2Gb of flash-backed write cache), add a second drive cage. HP drives are expensive so you would probably stick to 3rd party (WD) drives and I suggest Kingston RAM to fill up the 6 slots usable if only one CPU is fitted (2 CPU sockets total) and keep the little HP memory it ships with stored for future troubleshooting.


So our SM servers cost less than half the price, we literally have a spare of every component and its still heaps cheaper.


When you say half the price, what kind of hardware do you get for it?
3 to 5 years warranty would be nice, only because I wouldn't have to deal with it, but at this stage the other options on the table we can't really afford.





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  Reply # 1056682 30-May-2014 17:59
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I also wouldn't be building a machine myself, would go HP or Dell and get the NBD warranty at not much extra cost.
Having said that, if this machines sole purpose is going to be a file server, I'd be leaning towards getting a mid-range NAS.
For the price of your above build you could probably even buy two and mirror them for one form of backup.

Synology have their DS1813+ with 8 drive bays available for around $1700, unless you have some ridiculous workloads I don't think the NAS would be any bottleneck
I'm sure Qnap have some great options too, was reading something about how they even can do SSD acceleration now too



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  Reply # 1058359 3-Jun-2014 09:03
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I've contacted Compucon about a server solution.  It only makes sense that there is a proper warranty service available for various reasons.  Will see what they come back with and go from there.





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  Reply # 1068256 18-Jun-2014 10:46
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Just wanted to add a recommendation for an entry level HP server like the ML310e gen8, its a very nicely built server with cleverly designed airflow and ergonomics. Its sitting quietly in the corner of our office not disturbing anyone, fan noise is very quiet and unobtrusive. Performance has been excellent so far and I've filled it with 4x 4Tb HDDs and some extra RAM. Runs our filesharing, DNS and Azure backups very nicely. 

The Intelligent Provisioning is great, you just hit F10 at boot and choose the OS you want to install, shove in the install media and off it goes deploying your chose version of Windows with all the correct HP drivers and updates. Makes installation a breeze, especially if you have a few servers to build at once. 

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