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Hamid Shojaee

Random Thoughts about Axosoft and technology

We have ordered the hardware!

We have ordered the hardware for our crazy project to help people transfer big files on the Internet.  We decided to go with 1 main server for web and SQL and a separate, external 1.2 TB Network Attached Storage (NAS).  This hardware layout will allow us to grow our disk capacity easily by just adding more NAS units as needed.  With each web server and each 1.2 TB NAS unit taking up only 1U of rack space, we'll be in good shape for scaling the system if we need to add more capacity.

It was important to us to get rack-mounted hardware as we will be placing these servers in our Limelight Networks data center and we have 1 cabinet of space to house all of our server equipment, so space is somewhat limited.  In our case, we should only need 2 or maybe 3 “U”s of rackspace (we would need 3Us if we get a separate firewall and switch for splitting up our bandwidth usage from Axosoft's servers).

So in case anybody is interested, here is what we bought, the reason behind our choice and the pricing of each equipment:

  • Dell PowerEdge SC1425 Server
    • The specs:
      • 2 x 2.8Ghz Intel Xeon processors
      • 1GB of DDR2, 400Mhz, 2 x 512 DIMMs
      • Rapid Rails for Dell Rack
      • 24X CD-ROM
      • 1 SATA 160GB Hard Drive
    • The Price: $1097 (+ $61.43 tax, Free Shipping)
    • Reason for Choice:
      • We were going to go with PowerEdge 750, but the price difference was
  • Dell PowerVault 745N NAS W/HW RAID
    • The specs:
      • P4 2.8Ghz Intel processor
      • 512MB of Memory (2x256MB DIMMs)
      • Rapid Rails for Dell Rack
      • 4 x 40GB 7200 RPM SATA Drives (net of only 120GB with RAID 5)
    • The Price: $1,566 (+ $87.71 tax, Free Shipping)
    • Reason for Choice:
      • We chose 4 x 40GB drives because Dell charges $500 per drive for upgrading to 250GB drives.  We found Hitachi 400GB drives on the net for $261 each, so upgrading to 400GB drives afterwards will actually save us money.
      • We considered going with a Linux-based NAS to save on the OS costs, but we later decided sticking with the Microsoft platform and all Dell equipment was important to our project.
  • 4 x Hitachi 400GB Hard Drives
    • The Specs:
      • SATA 7200RPM
      • 8MB Buffer
    • The Price: $261 each x 4 = $1044 (Including shipping!)
    • Vendor:  (Seem to have the best price on these drives plus free 2nd day shipping - we couldn't find a better deal!)

Total hardware cost so far: $3,856.53

This cost is unbelievably low considering what we are getting.  I personally had estimated our server costs to be more than $5,000 (not counting switch and firewall needs).  Additionally, I didn't think we would get 1.2 terabytes of usable NAS-based storage space (including RAID 5) for this cheap.  Incredible.

So now we wait for the arrival of the equipment...

Published Wednesday, May 04, 2005 4:59 PM by Hamid
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