Need servers for project, should I build them myself?

Discussion in 'Business & Enterprise Computing' started by Alqemist, Jun 16, 2016.

  1. Alqemist

    Alqemist Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2002
    Messages:
    1,285
    Location:
    Victoria
    Hey guys I want to setup a server to do processor intensive work and a SQL server to save the results on. Want to avoid cloud solutions in this case. The setup has to be rock solid and fairly beefy (maybe 8 cores). Price is not the biggest issue although we don't want to waste money needlessly. Our rack is also full so towers are the go.

    Do you think I should build it myself from parts purchased through a vendor or get some pre built towers from Dell/HP?

    I have never built a server before but have built a million desktops.

    Thanks
     
  2. hosh0

    hosh0 Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2007
    Messages:
    8,971
    Location:
    Sydney N.S.W
    What's the use of the server?? Are you just doing this for fun? Is it going to be doing critical work related stuff on it? Etc etc
     
  3. g00nster

    g00nster Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2004
    Messages:
    352
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Unless you're a hardware geek or have very specific requirements, buy and don't build.

    Also, don't forget to check the HCL of whatever software you'll be running.

    For kit - Jump on HP or Dell's website if you're after new
    Or, check out the dell outlet for refurbished stuff or systemmax (http://stores.ebay.com.au/Systemax-Online) if you want some ex enterprise gear.
     
  4. PabloEscobar

    PabloEscobar Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Messages:
    14,359
    I'm also on the "Buy don't build" bandwagon.

    But before all that, I'm on the "Spec your shit properly" bandwagon.

    "processor intensive work" isn't a spec and "beefy" isn't listed on any product sheets.

    What sort of workloads will the work be? Is it something that will split over multiple CPU's? Where/how does it get data, how much does it need to read/write back to disk.

    How big is the dataset that it will be working from?
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Alqemist

    Alqemist Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2002
    Messages:
    1,285
    Location:
    Victoria
    Multi threaded machine learning, currently running 6 algos but could be upto 20 in the future.

    Gets data from the internet, about 500mb per day, historical database is 300gb .

    I was thinking stand alone SQL server with 5TB of raid 10 and and something like this for downloading data and processing it
     
  6. Dre_

    Dre_ Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2014
    Messages:
    841
    My first question is, why do you want to avoid the cloud?
    Second question is, would bare metal by the month from someone like Softlayer suit?
     
  7. TehCamel

    TehCamel Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2006
    Messages:
    4,183
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Offer a Tender to Luke212
    :)

    (Yea, this kind of comment is pretty much all I have to offer to BE&C any more:p)
     
  8. KriiV

    KriiV Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2011
    Messages:
    1,395
    Location:
    The 3-thousand
    Still needs to be established whether this is mission critical stuff...
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Alqemist

    Alqemist Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2002
    Messages:
    1,285
    Location:
    Victoria
    Not mission critical
     
  10. cvidler

    cvidler Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Messages:
    14,390
    Location:
    Canberra
    Why not cloud, seems like ideal solution (from what you've said thus far).

    - you have no rack space
    - pulls data from internet (incoming data is usually free, how much outgoing data you need?)
    - non-critical (you don't have to pay for extra availability zones if you don't need them).
    - price conscious (get a big server and only run it for the hours per day you need to pull down the data and process it - then put them to sleep to save $. Depending on the actual sizing options, you can get a bigger server cheaper per say running 8x7 hours than a smaller one running 24x7.
    - want stability (they run enterprise grade hardware, networks, internet etc.)

    And yeah, NO to BYO server. If you want rock solid, name brand hardware with support contract.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    Alqemist

    Alqemist Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2002
    Messages:
    1,285
    Location:
    Victoria
    thanks for that
     
  12. kjparker

    kjparker Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2001
    Messages:
    1,450
    Location:
    Sydney
    I was wondering why it took 7 posts to get to that. That was my first thought as well!
     
  13. Luke212

    Luke212 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    Messages:
    9,996
    Location:
    Sydney
    if youve never managed a server before, go managed cloud. Too many risks otherwise
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2016
  14. TehCamel

    TehCamel Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2006
    Messages:
    4,183
    Location:
    Melbourne
    "Rack is full"
    I suppose it could be full of network kit.
    But otherwise, I'd sggest someone with a full rack has managed serversbefore.
     
  15. Foliage

    Foliage Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2002
    Messages:
    32,088
    Location:
    Sleepwithyourdadelaide
    Depending on where the data is coming from if it is a central location then putting it at the same site would save on bandwidth costs.
     
  16. millsy

    millsy Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Messages:
    13,346
    Location:
    Brisbane
    There's a difference between wasting money and investing money, especially if this is a system that may grow.

    It's not clear to me if you want windows or linux, so I am assuming windows.

    You have a few questions to answer, some you already have:
    Is it mission critical? - No
    How long can you sustain it offline?
    Will spare parts be kept onsite?
    Is it easy to rebuild on different hardware?
    Are the requirements expected to grow?
    Why can you not use the cloud?
    You say you're using 300gb now for historical, and growing at 500mb/day. How do you get 5tb?

    Practically, if it's a test environment you can run it up on a whitebox, but too often the business has a habit of pushing those into production or assuming various SLA's and that's where issues arise.

    Also if it's cloudable and doesn't require 24/7 computation you could find some nice savings. E.g. you can do something like the following after a quick fiddle on the calculator at amazon:

    4hrs/day on Windows C4 2xlarge (8vcpu, 15gb ram) - 115.34/mth
    5hrs/day on Windows M3 large with SQL Server (2xvcpu, 7.5gib ram, 32gb SSD)
    - 220.80
    32gb SSD for Windows C4 Instance
    400gb SSD for the Historical DB cache or other DB caching (if needed)
    1tb 'throughput optimised storage'
    - 105.84 storage
    - 110 for snapshots at 10%

    Which is 439/month including software and a small amount of outbound transfers (<1gb/day). Obviously I'm no AWS expert, but if you don't need 24/7 there's some interesting value propositions here.

    If it's FOSS software you're at 210/mth. That's not even accounting for prebuying capacity.

    If you drop it to only a 32gb ssd + 600gb storage it's 140/mth, and you can add storage at ~6 for 100gb. Easy peasy capacity planning.

    If you need 24/7 operation that argument changes a bit, but I find it pretty rare stuff is actually needed 24/7.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2016
  17. fR33z3

    fR33z3 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2001
    Messages:
    2,164
    Location:
    Perth
    This isn't necessarily the way to go, but to answer one of your questions, if you're effectively looking for server performance in a tower, the tier1 vendors generally have 'high performance workstations'. The HP z800 is the rough equivalent of a DL380 in a desktop tower. Dell do the Precision. They are typically used by heavy number crunching geo/petro analysts.
     

Share This Page

Advertisement: