Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (1786 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] Recommendations for a server?
On 11/20/2011 3:10 PM, John Andersen wrote:
On 11/20/2011 1:00 AM, Andreas wrote:
I need some basic recommendations for a server.
It won't be cutting edge. As of now I run a postgresql and a wee bit of
internal web-serving for 30 people on an average PC. Mainly it hosts
the database.

I'm aiming a bit higher now like more than 4GB and a quadcore cpu or something
like that. WOW ;)

Is there anything to avoid with the new Suse?
Any issue with certain mainboards, chipsets or CPUs like i7 or the newer AMDs?
The performance of the graphics chip is not really important. An onboard
solution would do. Which makes the least problems right now, AMD or

Are there recommendable harddisks?
Currently I've got two 250GB pieces as softraid1 and thats plenty of capacity.
I'd like to get the fastest for an affordable price, though.

Is there an UPS that works smoothly with Suse so it can shutdown the server
when it needs to?

For servers just get good nics and good hard drives and good cooling.
One or two hot spares for your raid won't hurt. Consider bigger drives.
Even if you don't currently need them.

Dual independent power supplies are nice, because they do fail sometimes.
Any of the mainstream UPS seem to have solutions that work on Linux.

Any onboard video solution will do because you probably won't use it much,
it doesn't need to do anything other than run text mode in reality.
Once you get the OS installed and ssh up there is really little reason to touch
the server physically.

Enough memory is probably less than you might expect unless that postgresgl is
or you decide to run virtual machines on the server. Then, 6 might not be
just don't let them populate all slots in case your workload changes.

As for CPUs and cores, I suspect 4 cores is overkill but hard to avoid in these
and dirt cheap. No reason to go with any cutting edge chipsets here.

I never spec servers as high end machines in terms of processing power.
The do almost no work.

I always make sure the bios supports serial console redirection also.

Most motherboards that advertize themselves as "server" motherboards or found in "server" systems, will have this even if you can't find it explicitly mentioned anywhere in the sales literature.

For as little as $300 you can get a combined serial console and remote reboot appliance that can handle two servers. That's not much better than putting a drac card into a server that only supports that one server, but for only $100 more you can go up to a box that can support 8 servers, then you're down to $50/server. Cheaper if you find used stuff on ebay. I get 16 port serial console servers for $50 to $150 and 10 port pdu's for $100 to $200 routinely.

Or you may be able to do full remote management via net only with ipmi built in to many server boards, and might be able to get away without needing a special appliance by using other neighboring computers.
And you can add a $20 card to get remote reboot if the built-in remote management doesn't provide a bullet proof power control.

Being able to do full remote management (as in, you can do even a complete fresh bare metal install and access the bios, access the console when the network is broken or swamped with virus traffic, power-cycle the machine when all else fails, all remotely) is just one of the things that distinguishes "server" from "desktop" but is not usually talked about all that much.

Along with dual or quad nics, and 6 or even 12 sata ports. (Though with ssd's coming down in price and being so much faster than disks, you no longer need a lot of channels/spindles to get good disk i/o.) And component layout for front-to-back air flow in a rackmount case, which a desktop board is completely wrong for. And ecc ram. And redundant, hot-swappable power supplies as you mentioned, and hot swappable drive bays.

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