[K12OSN] It's Good to be Back

Peter Scheie peter at scheie.homedns.org
Wed Dec 3 15:30:34 UTC 2008

Rob Owens wrote:
> 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.
> -Rob
> ********************************************************
I second (or is it third?) the idea of choosing SATA.  Use the savings to buy a 
second drive to mirror (RAID 1).  It will probably still be cheaper than SCSI.


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