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Arguments for using Desktop computers as Servers

I recently bought two dell vostro dual core 2.66GHZ with 2GB RAM and 320GB disks for about GBP300 / $600 each. I put windows server 2003 on these machines and shut out all the services I didnt need. These machines are just so unbelieveably fast, running my .net 2.0/sql 2005 web application. And seem to cope as well as a server under high usage stress testing. So far so good.

Now as I roll out my app for hosted Software as a Service, I am left wondering if a leased line with machines like these would be a better bet than renting servers from rackspace. A 10mbps leased line from a good uk provider will cost me GBP 7500 / $15000 a year, and I can have as many boxes on it as I like for GBP300 each + windows licence + a cisco 506 firewall + a few bits.

One single Dell Poweredge blade server of a similar spec would cost me about GBP7000 per year from rackspace.

The workload for running the boxes day to day is the same on rackspace or hosted here, so what am I losing out on ? Why choose poweredge over vostro, and why choose a hosting center over hosting yourself.

Any discussion or views welcome. thanks

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plq
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plq
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lnkevinCommented:
Why choose poweredge over vostro, and why choose a hosting center over hosting yourself.

Mostly, people choosing host center because of the following:
- Spacing
- Cooling
- Maintaining labor
- Electric UPS
.....

K
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SysExpertCommented:
In addition there are issues with SATA drives not being rated for 100 % duty cycle vs. SCSI or SAS

Desktop machines are in general not designed for 24/7 usage, so you are taking chances with the hardware dying.

If you do clustering and monitoring of everything, then it might end up being worthwhile, but you need to consider also, how much your time is worth ?

I hope this helps !
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plqAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your input so far.

My time is definitely worth a lot to the business... but 10 servers at $150,000 per year, vs 10 servers at $20,000 per year, leaves a bit of space for an employee or two to look after it. TBH Most of the labor we will have to do whether on rackspace or self hosted

Spacing is not an issue, we have loads of space, and its cool enough winter and summer.

UPS is an issue. I would need a battery backup + some kind of autostart generator ! Power outages are rare in the uk tho.

SCSI / SAS can be fitted into these boxes if the disks are a concern.
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lnkevinCommented:
If you think it's worth the money and time to host it yourself then go for it. We just brought stuffs on the table for your analysis (answer your questions) and you are still the final decision maker. Do you have any other question or concern?

K
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