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refurb server

Posted on 2013-01-27
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Last Modified: 2013-01-31
I am currently running sql server on a hyper v machine.  I was thinking of buying a refurb server to increase the speed.  I was thinking I could get something cheap that would work pretty well.  Can someone please give me advice on what I could get?  I really am not a hardware guy, just a dev.  I want to be able to throw in a lot of memory, large hard drives (that I already have) and that is pretty much it.

Also, can you get a blade server without a rack?  Would a cheap rack be worth it?  It is basically for development and testing.  I am writing  a program to analyze stock trades, so there is a ton of data to churn through.
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Question by:jackjohnson44
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by:andyalder
andyalder earned 166 total points
ID: 38824877
You can probably get a second hand Xeon 5500/5600 server fairly cheaply as they are just coming out of 3 year warranty now so they'll be getting replaced just through server refresh program rather than due to being no good. I wouldn't go for an earlier CPU though since 5400 for example takes DDR2 RAM and that old stuff is pretty expensive.

Sounds like you are data mining which is one of the few cases where reliability and redundancy don't matter that much, if a disk fails or a PSU blows then you just run the job again after replacing it. You probably want redundancy for the OS disks and the results but the data you're crunching doesn't matter much if the source is still available later. Perhaps it's small enough data set to fit in RAM, or at least on a small SSD.

For blade server I take it you mean rackmount server, there's no real difference between these and tower models as far as function goes. There will be more rackmount servers on the 2nd hand market simply because they make more, but you can turn a rackmount server into a tower simply by making it a wooden stand. Bear in mind though that the smaller the fans are the louder they are, so 1U and 2U aren't generally suited to a small office.

Workstations aren't that different to tower servers by the way, they may have less redundancy but often run a bit faster for the same price. Generally though you pay a bit more because of the posh graphics.
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by:jackjohnson44
ID: 38825038
Thanks for that response.

My main program I am writing in visual studio and is tiny.  I have a very large amount of data, which I just backup to TB drives.  I am not really worried about anything dying on me.  The data is around 800TB split into a lot of smaller databases.  My main concern is reading and writing to SQL server via a C# winform app.  It's pretty standard read and writes

Do you have any specific recommendations?  I am not looking for the absolute best thing out there, but if I can get something for around $600-$700.
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by:pgm554
pgm554 earned 167 total points
ID: 38825599
Look at Craigslist in SanFrancisco
Tons of servers dirt cheap (Dell .HP)
150 200 bucks

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/sys/3575697348.html
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D_Vante earned 167 total points
ID: 38827620
you can check geeks.com as well for servers
check http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_list.php for processor speeds
Ent. SAS drives will be the best
More drives the more heads = More IOPs

Something like an HP DL380 with 2 drives for the OS and the rest of the drives for SQL.
15k drives
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