Hardware Wish list for a Web Server

im planning to buy a web server for my pa's business (small).

and heres my wish list that im planning to buy :

Processor  - AMD K6-III / Athlon
Memory     - 128 MB SDRAM PC-100 Memory
Hard Drive - 6.4 GB Capacity
OS         - FreeBSD / Redhat / SuSe
CD-ROM     - 40X
Display    - 8MB Video Accelerator Card, 14" Monitor
Sound Card - 16-Bit Sound Card
Modem      - 56kbps Modem (Internal or External)

can u add other hardware i needed here? (necessary only to run the server). and also what kind of motherboard/video accelerator should i buy. i want a minimal and cheap parts but good and stable performance.

what other part(s) do i need to connect it to my old pc (amd k5)? is 128 Ram overkill for a web server? how bout 96 RAM?

btw i added video accelerator just for games (personal hehe). u can ignore that. and pls dont suggest costly hardware parts, i just need the most "bang" for the buck for a web server (not for large ftp / irc / news daemons). one more thing, bout the os:
of course i wouldnt waste much on OS for small business run webserver so ill just use any free unix variant. which one is the most user friendly? suse? caldera? pls advice. (ill not be the one maintaining it, although ill be helping them).

i need lot of opinions for these. thx!
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Gandalf32Commented:
How are you going to connect your server to the Internet? Or is this for an intranet application?
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Somebody_elseCommented:
for an os you can download free-BSD or linux, linux is widely used, the more the merrier when it comes to processor speed and ram. 128mb should be good for a web server and I have heard/seen that athlons are very good to use. if you are not worried about serving multiple hits at a time then EIDE will be fine for your hard drive but if not then go scsi (MORE expensive). I have been very impressed when it comes to the performance and value of the TNT chipset based video boards (you asked for opinions 8-) your cdrom speed won't matter that much and 32 bit PCI sound cards can be got for about 30 bucks.
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trisoCommented:
How about a network card to communicate with the other computers in the office?  RedHat linux is a good deal and lots of people can help you with it.

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Somebody_elseCommented:
I would recommend SOHOware type network products because I have never had a problem with them
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blueforceCommented:
You said you're using this as a web server.  You're probably not going to be using it as a workstation.  Hopefully you will develope the website on a different machine then import it - you don't have to but it's much easier.

If you're only going to use it as a web server and not a workstation then
lose the sound card, get a cheap video card and don't skimp on the modem.

First thing I would do is double the memory.  You can use 128mb ram but it's going to lag.  

I would use Linux for the OS - SAMBA is arguably the best web server you can get.

A web server that we recently built at work has the following specs:

PII 450
512MB RAM
No sound
S3 video
RH Linux running SAMBA
T1 connection (would use USR 56K V.90 if using dial-up)
6.4GB SCSI Hard Drive


As for a motherboard.  I'm sure you'll get a bunch of opinions on this one.  Tyan or Asus make outstanding main boards.  Just about any reputable manufacturer will do the trick.  You're probably not going to be over-clocking the CPU so there's no need to get too fancy with the mainboard.



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RoadWarriorCommented:
Make sure you get a hardware modem, "soft" "win" or "HSP" modems don't cut it on linux, support for those is only beta. I would go for an external modem, then maybe later you can use it (plus others) with an 8 port serial card if you offer local dial in shopping, or if modem is the only option for connection, for multiplexing the connection. You really ought to be thinking of something faster though, a P100 or so with 16mb could keep up with server demands passed through a 56k modem, what about ISDN, dual channel ?

Video: I agree with others, you don't need superb video on a web server, get a cheap supported card, you can pick up an s3 with 4mb on for around 20 bucks or so, you can't seriously be thinking of any video res bigger than 1024x768 with only a 14 inch monitor anyway, you shouldn't need to have it running X often, just if it makes config easier for you.

Sound card: again, I agree with blueforce, no sound card required.

Guess those are for games for you, but this thing is going to crawl whatever you put in it whenever you play a game.

I would trade in cpu Mhz for extra RAM and SCSI i/o, IDE is bad on linux because the many IDE controllers are unsupported in enhanced transfer modes. SCSI gives you premium speed.

I would build with a K2/300, 256 Ram, scsi, cheapest vid.

I see no point in getting Athlon now, because the motherboard speed is only just keeping up with the current processors, so if you buy now, the upgrade later won't seem all that terrific, so invest in higher speed disks that can move with you, you can try and get the fastest memory in the hope that you can use it when you upgrade, maybe, maybe not, get it in the smallest piece count you can though.

Just for connection to your K5 machine, you don't need a hub or switch at the moment, you need 2 network cards, make sure that the one you get in the server is 100Mbps, make sure it is a good reliable brand, read the linux ethernet howto, to save money put anything with 10baseT in your K5 even just 10mbps, then use a "crossover" category 5 network cable between the 2 machines. That is only good for 2 machines, for 3 or more you need a hub or switch (-ing hub), a switch will be better.  

Seriously though, if you are only having a 56k connection, it would make better sense to put more ram in your K5, donate that to the cause, and buy yourself a games machine, it will work better than trying to play games on the server.

regards,

Road Warrior
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RoadWarriorCommented:
Just thought, the upload speed for a 56k modem is only the same as a 33.6 modem! 56k is download speed only! so you may as well save on the modem and get 33.6k, not sure if there also might be problems associated with requests hitting the server faster than it can reply to them.
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JBURGHARDTCommented:
Well you need lots of ram specialy if your website is e-comerce website or you want to use  real player server G2 needs 1 mb of ram per user. Also you can't have only hard disk you need at least two. You can get any cheap video card does not have any impact on webserver
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delwellCommented:
The spec above is mostly fine. Here are my adjustments:

Instead of 128MB RAM, try and get 256MB ECC RAM, and try to get 2 SCSI Hard Disks (you will need a SCSI card).
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delwellCommented:
Also, you will find that 56k will be very slow for a web server, bearing in mind that you will only be able to send pages to clients at 33.6k. I would recommend at least an ISDN 64k link.
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delwellCommented:
PLEASE CONSIDER THIS:

AMD K6-3 500MHz with TMC T15VG+ mainboard

128MB ~ 256MB RAM

2 ~ 3 SCSI HDs (Maybe 8GB each)

64KB ~ 128KB ISDN Link (or 56K V90 if on a tight budget)

S3 4MB Graphics

Cheap 16-bit Soundcard

UPS (Power backup device)

Data Backup Device such as ZIP, JAZ or Tape.

RedHat Linux/FreeBSD OS

40x CDROM
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