A couple people have asked about the specs on our whitebox Intel servers after the various webinars and presentations Ed and I have done. It's been almost a year so I'd forgotten the exact specs myself ... a quick dig through my email and here's the dope...
But first here's the back story on these boxes. Over a year ago we built 2 of these Intel workstations for video editing work running XP 64bit ... I think 1 box had 4GB ram and the other had 2GB and just a single processor. After several months of fighting strange 64bit driver issues I yanked these boxes from production and bought 2 Dell Precision workstations for our guys. This left us with 2 identical Intel boxes with lots of grunt. Oddly enough it's about this time we were maxing out our aged servers with all the VM's we were placing on them. So we loaded up each Intel box with 16GB ram and added a proc so they were both dual dual-core boxes ... the hope was that these would make great VMware Server host servers. To take advantage of all the ram we bought Server 2003 64bit as the host OS.
Here are the specs:
- Intel Server Chassis SC5299WS - Tower - 6U - dual 670 Watt PS - black
- Intel Workstation Board S5000XVN - LGA771 Socket - IDE/Serial ATA-300 (RAID)
- Processor - 2 x Intel Dual-Core Xeon 5150 / 2.66 GHz - LGA771 Socket - L2 4 MB ( 2 x 2 MB )
- Kingston ValueRAM - Memory - 4 x 4 GB ( 16GB total ) - FB-DIMM - DDR II - 667 MHz - CL5 - 1.8 V - fully buffered - ECC
- Western Digital WD2500YS - 2 x 250 GB - 16MB buffer - 7200 rpm - RAID 1
~ $4400 each (with today's RAM prices these would cost significantly less)
One of the boxes had a goofy mobo so we got that replaced and since then these 2 have been solid workhorses for us. Would I purposely build a whitebox server if given the choice? Hmm, that's a tough call ... pros/cons on both sides ... that'll make a good future post. Next time we need new server gear we'll look at Intel, HP and Dell.
These 2 servers drive almost all our production needs ... and all our VM's live on the 2 EqualLogic PS100E's (pictured above the servers). We've been running the free VMware Server offering for over 2 years now and it's it's been a rock. We may someday upgrade to VI3/ESX, but so far the free product has worked so well it's hard to justify paying for anything :-)