[K12OSN] It's Good to be Back

Rob Owens rob.owens at biochemfluidics.com
Wed Dec 3 13:08:52 UTC 2008

Terrell Prudé Jr. wrote:
> j.w. thomas wrote:

>> Since the pilot is going well so far, I decided to start looking for a
>> permanent ltsp server so we don't have to rely on the AV PC. I found a
>> place to buy some very impressive looking refurbished blade servers
>> for next to nothing, and I'd like a little advice:
>> http://www.geeks.com/products_sc.asp?cat=821
>> The one I have my eye on is an IBM 1U blade with two 2.4GHz Opterons,
>> 4G RAM, and a single 73G Ultra320 SCSI drive:
>> http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=E326-R&cat=SYS
> Actually, I'd be looking at some of those no-names.  Monarch used to
> make a good server before they finally bit the economic dust.  Just
> about all of the no-names are going to use standard
> components--Tyan/Supermicro motherboards, Maxtor/WesternDigital/Seagate
> hard disks, and so on.  The "tier 1" manufacturers roll their own mobos,
> and thus their boxes can be a royal PITA to upgrade down the road. 
> Monarch boxes, for example, use Tyan mobos, as do those from Penguin
> Computing.
Amen!  I just tried to repair a broken Dell 5150 desktop.  The
motherboard went bad.  I was about to replace it when I realized that
the expansion slots are on the opposite side of the board than every
other board I've seen.  So I had to buy a Dell board or nothing.  All
they had was a refurbished unit for $300.  It takes a P4 chip and has 2
SATA ports.  It's obviously not worth $300, so the computer is junk now.

> Don't worry so much about CPU clock speed.  The bigger deal is DRAM. 
> For your projected load, any CPU's that are 1.6GHz or faster are going
> to do a mighty fine job.  I did it with dual 1.47GHz Athlon MP's several
> years ago for 25 seats.  But I did it with 4GB DRAM!
>> I could go with a bigger drive if I went with a no-name blade, and it
>> would be SATA instead of SCSI.  SATA is nice because I can get more
>> capacity cheap, but SCSI just seems so much better.  
> SCSI is definitely better.  But you will pay for that, big time.  I've
> found SATA to be quite a good compromise between bucks/GB and
> performance, so SATA would be my recommendation.  Now, if it were PATA
> vs SCSI, then I'd say SCSI all the way.
Personally I'd go with SATA.  I have a desktop machine acting as an LTSP
server.  It's got a dual core AMD 5000+ with 2x SATA drives in software
RAID 1.  It serves 11 Gnome sessions and 7 RDP sessions.  It did this
with 2GB of RAM until recently, when I upgraded to 4GB just because it
was cheap.  My users run basic office apps.


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