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Re: [K12OSN] It's Good to be Back





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.

Peter


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