New Server

I am looking to for a new dedicated hosting server.
The server is for a database-heavy application.
I am between 2 servers.
At first I was going to order a

HP DL180 G6
2 x E5620 Xeon.
4 x 1TB in RAID 10

The cost of the server came to a little less than 300 EUR a month.

Then I notice the same hosting company was offering a

DL120 G7
1 x E3-1230
2 x 500GB

The DL120 has no RAID controller so if I want RAID it will be software RAID.
The cost of this server is a little over 100 EUR a month.

For what I have read the E3-1230 can much the performance of the 2 x E5260.

So the question is, does the E3-1230 match the 2 x E5250 in performance and also how does the lack of a RAID controller will affect the performance of the server.

Thanks for all your help.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Bottom line is, it depends.  There are 100 requests per second... are they cache-able?  If so, then disk utilization may be low.  A software RAID will be slower than a hardware RAID... but how much is debatable.  You really should have some benchmarks to know these things... otherwise, you're just guessing.  And if the host doesn't permit upgrades (switching servers), then the best thing to do is be safe and pay more in my opinion.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
What does your current server do/utilize?  How fast is the current server?  Before you can determine which is better, you need to determine what you will need.  MANY servers are extremely under utilized... you MIGHT get the cheaper one and find that your CPU use is VERY low... RAID controller is important, but depending on what the server does, maybe not that important... you clearly want to use RAID on a server... but you can do a software mirror (RAID 1).  Can you switch servers?  Can you start with the low end one in and 3 months, if that's not working appropriately, upgrade?  (Most companies don't mind upgrades... some don't even mind downgrades, so long as you stay with them for the term of the contract).  175 EUR (or so) is a pretty hefty savings if your on a tight budget.
steelseth12Author Commented:
This is a new project, but in similar projects I used 2 x E5504 and found that the CPU usage was low. Most of my past server setups involved a RAID 10 setup with 15K SAS drives,  the application performs a lot of reads/writes, would a software RAID 1 be fast enough? The server will ran on CentOS 6 64 bit.
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steelseth12Author Commented:
I expect the server to handle ~100 requests per second.
steelseth12Author Commented:
You are right a benchmark is the way to go.
I think I will purchase the smaller server and run some test on it to see how it handles the traffic. If its no good I only lost 100 EUR, and I gained some knowledge.

Assuming from your 100 requests per second statement, you mean 100 individual requests to your DB per second then you should consider a seperate DB server.

If you are using MySQL then you would probably need more max_connections than a server handling Apache, MySQL and PHP could comfortably handle.

A decent DB server needs RAM and lots of it - and obviously fast HDD write speeds. Better not to use RAID at all on DB servers, but instead either use mirroring (if mission critical) or daily backups to seperate server. A typical DB server has minimum 16GB RAM, 64bit OS and single 15K drive.

Apache/PHP uses very little resource, except if you use mod_deflate in which case CPU and RAM are more important.

So, for your budget, you would be better to take 2 by Dell and then use one as DB and one as Apache/PHP
steelseth12Author Commented:
I have found that if configured properly  I can get the server to handle 100 request per second with the cpu usage to be minimal and RAM usage at ~4gb.
That was using a 2 x E5504 with 16GB RAM and 4 x 250GB SAS 15k drives in RAID 10.
Obviously the E3-1230 performs better than the 2 x E5504, 16GB of RAM were never needed as I never got over 4GB usage in the past the only question that needs to be answered is whether 2 x 500GB in software RAID 1 can handle the database read/write.
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