Sunday, November 26, 2006

New Server

I recently bought some computer parts and built a server (with some help from my friends). Here is a quick photo-diary of the build event:

The case (CMStacker)

A 4-in-3 disk-holder

A couple of the disks (320GB, 7200rpm, 16MB cache each)

All the disks loaded (6 in total)

...and inserted into the case (and also an optical drive at the top)

The Motherboard (K8N Master2-FAR)

..with processors (2x AMD265 64bit DualCore Opteron = 4 cores!!) and crossflow fan (at top of motherboard)

...with processor fans

...with initial memory (2x2GB PC2700 ECC/Registered = 4GB)

...with memory(!) fan

Video card and card with manual speed switch to control some of the fans

The power supply (Silentist)

Initial wiring

Tidied wiring (sufficient for me :-) )

Compared to my desktop this machine is a giant!

The finished product!

In total it has 9 fans comprising: 2 case fans, 1 power supply fan, 2 processor fans, 1 memory fan, 1 motherboard fan, and 2 disk fans making. If things still manage to get hot then there is space for another fan on the left-side cover.

It still needs more memory - it will have 12GB in the end!

It will be used as a virtualisation host with each virtual machine running on its own disk. This is in response to having to work with some finicky-to-install and resource-heavy software - we have spent (wasted?) far too much time trying to get the installation just right (only to find other things subsequently installed can affect these) and a shortage of machine powerful enough to run the software (mainly from a memory standpoint). Once we outgrow this then Amazon's EC2 will be utilised - I was going to start out with that, but in the end I needed to get the server setup quite quickly whilst having a million other things to do (plus there are actually some legal considerations with regards to Amazon's datacenter strategy...but that discussion is for another time).

[N.B. No animals were harmed during the building of this server, though nabe and beer was consumed.]


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