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 Post subject: Energy Efficient Business plans
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 2:27 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 2:10 pm
Posts: 1832
Location: Northern New Jersey
Hey all, it's been a while since I've posted here, but I've been up to some interesting projects, and the biggest one belongs right here.

Working at a computer shop has given me a chance to play around with current systems that I put together for consumers, and recently we've started to do work for businesses. We have a new client who has a 10 year old inventory and invoicing system that they're looking to replace. Well, clearly they came to the right shop.

They now have a "starter" server, which sports a 45W Xeon CPU and 8GB of RAM, with two RAID 1 setups, one pair of 250GB Velociraptors for Windows Server 2008 R2, and another pair of 1TB Black drives for their data storage. Because the Xeon we used didn't have integrated graphics, they have a generic low end PCI-Express card. Both RAID arrays are managed by the Supermicro motherboard I chose, amazingly enough to me. I wasn't sure if the integrated controller would manage two arrays, but it works very well. It's topped off by a 450W Antec High Current Gamer power supply so I could maximize the efficiency of the computer. I could get away with putting a passive 300W in it, however this is not kept in a server room, and it's not in a particularly well air conditioned warehouse, with an office built into one corner. The Xeon is cooled by a Scythe Katana 4, managed by the motherboard. There are two internal 120mm 12v case fans which are Silverstone fans, pulled from PS07B cases when I did builds that didn't need so many fans. Each RAID setup uses color coordinated SATA cables so you never pull the wrong drive out, and all cables are routed around the outside of the case, or bundled very close to the power supply for lots of breathability. Everything will be permanently installed in a Startech 12U closed rack, with 4 sided easy access via removeable panels, and foam channels for running cables outside or into the rack unit.

The server pulls 76W idle, and under an average load that they'll see, 112W. Peanuts compared to the $5000 Dell systems they were originally looking at, in both power consumption, and price.

Additionally, they're using a 16 port switch that doesn't power on ethernet ports unless they're in use. Finally, feeding their internet is a Watchguard hardware based firewall, which pulls 10W. Their entire new system pulls the same power as their old server alone, with better functionality, and easier access.

I picked a 4U Rosewill server case, however if I repeated this build, I would opt for a different case. The Rosewill was wonderful to work in, giving me easy access to everything I needed, however I would prefer a smaller build, mATX case or similar, using a Cooler master 4in3 for the hard drives. Even the new Velociraptors are not very warm, so you could easily get away with it.

For home users, current builds are done with mATX and mITX boards, ranging from Atoms to Pentium series computers, with the most intense computers being i3's, or if needed, i5 processors. Some AMD computers are built using integrated CPUs on boards from ECS for very light work, but we seem to prefer Intel at the shop, a 180* flip from building almost exclusively AMD machines a couple years ago (only one came back with a bad case fan earlier this spring).

It's hard to convince customers what hardware they're really going to utilize, and I feel like that's the problem with Green Computing. People want the fastest available, not something that might feel a little slower, use less power, or even be cheaper. Slowly but surely, one build at a time, it could be slowly solved in the world.

Edit: Exact Server Specs

SUPERMICRO MBD-X8SIL-V-O
Intel Xeon L3426
Rosewill RSV-L4000
Antec HCG-400
WD Velociraptor 250GB (HHTZ)
WD 1TB Black (FAEX)
Scythe Katana 4
-Black, Yellow and Orage SATA cables (RAID arrays + ODD)
-Silverstone 120mm fans

_________________
|Dual Intel Xeon E5-2620-Xigmatek SD1283 DK-II|Asus Z9PA-D8-HR-05 IFX|WD 250gb Velociraptor SATA3|16gb DDR3-1600 ECC RDIMM|WD Blue 640GB SATA2 x2|Logitech K750|Logitech Wireless Mouse|nVidia GTX660ti 2GB|Antec HCG-750|NZXT Source 210 Elite|M-Audio ProFire 2626|Art TubeOpto8 with Smooth Plate Tube Swap|Avid Artist Mix x2|
FartingBob wrote:
A 9500GT with 1GB of RAM is the most pointless thing since NASCAR.


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 Post subject: Re: Energy Efficient Business plans
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:20 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 19, 2005 12:48 pm
Posts: 192
Location: Shi-Khan: Vulcan or MosEisley Tattonnie
I'll Nit Pick and kick you for some really questionable choices:

1) Drop the Low Power Intel Crap - it's over priced. You could have gone with a 1225 (no hyperthreading) and gotten the same performance with onboard graphics.

2) More RAM (2-4 times) 16-32GB would be better and where's the ECC Memory? It's a server so should have it.

3) Switch the PSU with a Seasonic S12-300 (80+) 300w

4) Drop the velociraptors - overpriced toys. If you're going for a low power footprint, go with a 4200 laptop drive. Large enough to boot while being cheaper. Otherwise go with a any 5400 standard drive - cheaper and easier to field replace when it does fail.

5) You were correct in the RAID 1 for the 1TB drives but unless the server is hammered badly, a 5400 RPM drive would work just as well. That's what the raid card is for.

My 0.03 cents worth.

_________________
AsRock Q87M vPro - Intel E3-1230V3 Xeon - 4x Kingston KVR13N98S/4 (4GB)
Silverstone SST RL01B-USB 3.0 - Coolermaster Hyper T4 - Asus DVD Burner
Crucial M500 120GB SSD (boot) Samsung 1TB Spinpoint - WD 2TB Green
Seagate Barracuda 3TB - EVGA GT640 w/2GB Video Card (dual Slot)
Locked Multiplier @ 10x


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 Post subject: Re: Energy Efficient Business plans
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:22 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 11:23 am
Posts: 684
Location: Germany
If your company issues a 24/7 warranty with on site support next business day, covering at least 3 years, then you're server could be viewed as acceptable.

If your boss doesn't give such a warranty, then you do not sell "business" products.

And finally, if i was the boss of the company with the old IT system, i'd give you a trip to the door without any "business-like" warranty and on site support. Would not want to go broke because my new, energy efficient crap takes 10 days for a spare part delivery.


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 Post subject: Re: Energy Efficient Business plans
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:30 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 11:23 am
Posts: 684
Location: Germany
fastturtle wrote:
I'll Nit Pick and kick you for some really questionable choices:

1) Drop the Low Power Intel Crap - it's over priced. You could have gone with a 1225 (no hyperthreading) and gotten the same performance with onboard graphics.

2) More RAM (2-4 times) 16-32GB would be better and where's the ECC Memory? It's a server so should have it.

3) Switch the PSU with a Seasonic S12-300 (80+) 300w

4) Drop the velociraptors - overpriced toys. If you're going for a low power footprint, go with a 4200 laptop drive. Large enough to boot while being cheaper. Otherwise go with a any 5400 standard drive - cheaper and easier to field replace when it does fail.

5) You were correct in the RAID 1 for the 1TB drives but unless the server is hammered badly, a 5400 RPM drive would work just as well. That's what the raid card is for.

My 0.03 cents worth.


to 1) Low power -> low performance, but no HT means less performance in Server2008
to 2) completly right
to 3) redundant PSUs if used 24/7
to 4 and 5) Ever tried running Server2008 on slow HDDs? There is definitly a reason for "Servercompanies" to offer 10k and 15k SAS drives + a powerful controller able to handle Raid duties AND heavy I/O from severeal raid sets. What kind of raid controller will be used? One with ECC-Memory or onboard? Inventory and invoice sounds like needing some kind of database and then I/O from all used drives does matter.


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 Post subject: Re: Energy Efficient Business plans
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 8:48 am 
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Joined: Thu May 19, 2005 12:48 pm
Posts: 192
Location: Shi-Khan: Vulcan or MosEisley Tattonnie
First off, the board you listed isn't even a server board. In fact it's not even a workstation board. It's just an overpriced MATX that supports ECC memory as it supports a celeron. As to a dedicated video card, a bit of a red hearing there as it has IGP (Matrox G200eW).

Next is your comment about Redundent PSU's. It doesn't support them. Red Hearing again.

1) If HT support for Server 2008 was so critical, then AMD would have died long ago seeing as how none of their chips have it.

3) The board doesn't support them (Red Hearing)

4) SAS Drives? Why didn't you specify them to begin with? They only cost 2x what those Velociraptors do (just for the drives? You'd also need the right cards and cables then. Red Hearing - For a low power build, you would have been better off with either the 4200 RPM Laptop drive or a standard 250GB drive (5400 would be fine for the Boot drive). How many times do you expect a server to boot? Every morning? Not likely and that's why I included a UPS for it.

5)If I/O was so important, why not use those vaunted SAS drives for the Raid? Good place for them or is this another red hearing?

Reading your OP again, it certainly doesn't look like even a budget server build. Instead it looks like the build from someone who doesn't have a clue what a real server needs. You want a budget server, then get a Dell as it's damn near impossible to beat them on price.

Try this on for size
Option A:
1a) AsRock Z77E ITX board - socket 1155 - supports 16GB - (1) PCIe x16 v3 slot
2a) Xeon E3 1220-1280 cpu (take your pick)
Option B:
1b) AsRock A75M FM1 board
2b) AMD A6-3650 Llano (Benches the same as the 1225)
Cost Difference $210 savings for the AMD

3) Kingston kvr 1333 RAM (tested/supported by Asrock)
4) Coolermaster RC-120A ITX Case
5) WD Blue 250GB for Boot (Retail pkg as I don't buy bare drives anymore)
6) Segate 2TB Barracuda (2x) Raid 1 (Retail)
7)Corsair CX430 PSU - I'm currently using one

That's what I'm looking at for my next build - haven't decided on AMD or Intel but the Chips bench in the 6xxx range (comparable) only difference is the CPU and Motherboards.

Even though the AMD runs rings around the Intel in gaming, I'm leaning towards the Intel due to driver support in Linux as I DON"T DO WINDOWS.

Right now, 3-5 comes in right about $520 for the common hardware while the Mobo/CPU adds $160 for the AMD and $375 for the Intel.

Means the Max cost is $900 for a budget server or desktop.

_________________
AsRock Q87M vPro - Intel E3-1230V3 Xeon - 4x Kingston KVR13N98S/4 (4GB)
Silverstone SST RL01B-USB 3.0 - Coolermaster Hyper T4 - Asus DVD Burner
Crucial M500 120GB SSD (boot) Samsung 1TB Spinpoint - WD 2TB Green
Seagate Barracuda 3TB - EVGA GT640 w/2GB Video Card (dual Slot)
Locked Multiplier @ 10x


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 Post subject: Re: Energy Efficient Business plans
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:46 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 11:23 am
Posts: 684
Location: Germany
fastturtle, i am not the OP. You probably got something messed up.

And still, having no HT is inferior to having HT, especially when talking about nearly the same buying price. Regardless of OS.

But baseline of my post was: If you need a server, then buy a server and don't try to be smarter than thousands of server engineers at Dell/Lenovo/HP.


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 Post subject: Re: Energy Efficient Business plans
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:42 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 2:10 pm
Posts: 1832
Location: Northern New Jersey
Well, the only thing that I'm going to say is that nearly a year later, that server has not gone down once. There is an on-site and off-site backup of the whole server.

We offer next day support, not next business day. I'm not about to get into the details of the contract because that's not for me to divulge in.

The system has not had a single hiccup so far. I have never had a call from this company requiring support. I chose the hardware because I'm confident and it's proven to be reliable.

I'm about to install a second, similar spec server, slightly different hardware however, running Server 2012, idles at 80W for another company this week.

_________________
|Dual Intel Xeon E5-2620-Xigmatek SD1283 DK-II|Asus Z9PA-D8-HR-05 IFX|WD 250gb Velociraptor SATA3|16gb DDR3-1600 ECC RDIMM|WD Blue 640GB SATA2 x2|Logitech K750|Logitech Wireless Mouse|nVidia GTX660ti 2GB|Antec HCG-750|NZXT Source 210 Elite|M-Audio ProFire 2626|Art TubeOpto8 with Smooth Plate Tube Swap|Avid Artist Mix x2|
FartingBob wrote:
A 9500GT with 1GB of RAM is the most pointless thing since NASCAR.


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