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SMB Server Comparison

Posted by in Technology

Blast from the past: originally published September 25th 2001. When I originally conceived of this article, I planned for two classes of server; a budget machine of $1500 and something decent for $3000. After researching the manufacturer’s web sites and comparing packages, it became apparent that an entry model in either price range made too many concessions. Hence the focus of a good all around machine for $3000, with a minimum of two drives, decent RAM and whatever features could be crammed in. To research the various models and bundles…read more

SME Servers: RAM

Posted by in Technology

This one will be short and sweet with three options available for RAM: ECC (or parity), buffered (or registered), unbuffered.  First step is to match the RAM to your motherboard, so use SDRAM, DDR, DDR2 or FB-DIMM.  You don’t get a choice on that one.  As well you should match the speed of your memory to the motherboard and processor requirements.  It’s the additional choices listed above that matters to a server: let’s look at each. ECC or error correcting code RAM contains extra chip(s) that check for any memory…read more

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SME Servers: Motherboard

Posted by in Technology

Back in the day it was clear what a server motherboard was: it has two CPU sockets, onboard SCSI, onboard NIC, 64 bit PCI (later PCI-X) slots, extended ATX form factor and lots of fan headers.  You needed a server motherboard to take advantage of those high bandwidth PCI slots, because you couldn’t get them on a regular motherboard.  Same with the second CPU: for serious computing you needed two cores, and that meant two physical processors. That started to change, but very slowly with the concept of a workstation motherboard…read more

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SME Servers: CPU

Posted by in Technology

Lets take a look at CPU choices in the SME server environment. My big reason for getting into server systems was to have two processors in the same system. Today a server can be efficiently handled with one CPU socket and a dual or quad core processor. Backtracking just a little, Intel and AMD create unique server class processors for motherboards with two or more CPU sockets: Intel Xeon 5000 series and AMD Opteron 2000 series. These may share common architecture with desktop chips but they will only fit in…read more

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SME Servers

Posted by in Technology

The term “server” has greatly evolved over the course of computing. When I started this site in 1999 servers were dual processor systems with SCSI hardware, RAID and a very solid build. Since I’m a do it yourself kind of computer user I’ve been building my own servers for more than a decade, but lately I’ve wondered if there is any room left for “white box” or component built servers. Poking around that crazy “interweb” shopping for SME (small to medium enterprise, just in case) servers led me to the…read more

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