networking & storage

By arzoo400
Sep 29, 2003
  1. when do you need to buy an expensive server and when can you just use a powerful/high-end pc as your server? what are the differences?

    also, how do you set up 2 hard drives to a raid controller if you want to make a raid 1. which controllers are reliable?

  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    If you want something to be your server, then any PC will do, if you don't pose as much of a load, you can use any old rig. On the other hand, having a thousand people rely on some off-the shelf cheap ("cheap" as in "parts targeted to consumers") PC is a bad, bad idea.

    PCs are built from commodity components that are supposed to just make it past the 1 year warranty deadline. Servers are meant to run years and years with no failure. They are made from better components and have lots of extra stuff for redundancy and robustness.
    Such things like failover power supplies, hotswap devices, remote console implemented in hardware, graceful recovery from any piece of silicon decing to go boom! none of these things can be found on PCs that have traditionally been targeted to home users and to be as cheap as possible.

    If you have a RAID controller, you plug the 2 HDs in the controller and set up a RAID 1 array either in the RAID BIOS or, in the better case, some piece of software provided by the manufacturer. The best controllers are those that come with servers. And they are SCSI controllers.
  3. Acidis

    Acidis TS Rookie

    I am confused by one of the aspects of setting up RAID 1. I have a PC-DL Deluxe motherboard from ASUS. It has a built-in Promise controller with 2 SATA and 1 ATA connectors for that controller.

    The manual for the board is not clear on how many drives need to be connected where. Here is the quote:

    "Connect the HDD cables. These connection options are available for creating a RAID 0 or RAID 1 array:

    a) Connect two Parallel ATA HDDs to PRI_RAID connector and one Serial ATA HDD to either one of the two Serial ATA connectors, using separate parallel ATA or serial ATA cables.

    b) Connect one Serial ATA HDD to each Serial ATA connector, using separate serial ATA cables.

    Option a) seems to imply a connection of 3 drives, which does not make any sense.

    Can I connect two hard drives to the ATA (PRI_RAID) connector (master and slave) and set it up as RAID 1?
  4. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    Servers are designed from higher quality components and you pay the premium for this.

    Your average PC is designed to last a few years, made from cheap stuff that's cheap to buy and cheap to manufacturer. Servers are made from components and devices that are designed to last for many years. They are often contain proprietary or speciality parts or parts that are not common in PCs. This raises prices once again.

    Everything from redundant power supplies right down to how the expansion cards snap in is 100% top quality in a good server.

    Is it cost effective? Well, I can't really say. :) Servers and related parts are rediculously expensive in my opinion, but companies are willing to pay the steep prices to make sure nothing happens to their data and services.

    So the reason why you should buy a server? If you are looking for something that is going to last for years without hardware failure.

    SCSI drives and dual CPUs can make them quite fast as well. (And expensive!... And a pain in the neck to deal with!) :)
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