New to SSD's, looking for one for a decent little web server

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New to SSD's, looking for one for a decent little web server

Postposted on Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:03 pm

GENTLEMEN, fellow gerbils, to all in attendance... please, sit down.

A matter of great importance has presented itself to me, recently. You see, it turns out that my internet service provider (Optimum, a subsidiary of Cablevision) allows individuals to host HTTP and e-mail servers from their own connection, provided that they subscribe to the SpeedBoost plan, for 30 mbps downstream and 5 mbps up. I intend to take advantage of this, produce a website for my own small business, and host and serve it on my own connection.

Now, I've played around with hosting servers before, but this'll be the first time that I'll be doing anything serious with it. Plus, it'll be the online face of my business, so I want it to run well. My plan, thus far, is to purchase one of these Foxconn NanoPC barebone kits with the AMD E-350 in it (I figure it's fast enough for the kind of site I want to host and the amount of traffic I'm expecting to encounter), slap in the maximum 4 GB of RAM permitted, and connect an inexpensive, "large enough" SSD to store the data. I figure that ought to be a pretty good, low power webserver... but maybe I'm totally off-base.

Anyways, I came here for advice on the SSD, since I'm totally new to SSD's. I was looking at the OCZ Vertex Plus R2 60GB, but there seemed to be some trepidation on the internet as to its level of reliability. Is there any free SSD-testing software, like memtest86, that I can run when I get an SSD? Do most SSD manufacturers provide firmware updates and utilities on their websites?
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Re: New to SSD's, looking for one for a decent little web se

Postposted on Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:21 pm

You want a reliable SSD, you buy Intel.

Not sure why you'd want an SSD though, as I doubt it'd make a notable impact in client-side performance, but it'll be limiting the server's utility due to smaller capacity. Power usage between an SSD and a 2.5" HDD is negligible outside of netbooks/ultrabooks.
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Re: New to SSD's, looking for one for a decent little web se

Postposted on Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:51 pm

Yea, it's kind of strange to see the need for a single SSD for web server... For such small project you probably don't need the SSD speed - the regular HDD will be just as good, most likely with longer lifespan and I doubt wasting extra $$$ for SSD will be worth it in terms of saving few $0.01's on electricity consumption.
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Re: New to SSD's, looking for one for a decent little web se

Postposted on Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:07 pm

That's a good point. I do have a 320 GB 2.5" SATA HDD lying around here, I suppose I could just use that with a 4 GB DDR3-1066 RAM DIMM...
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Re: New to SSD's, looking for one for a decent little web se

Postposted on Fri Aug 03, 2012 12:16 am

I doubt you'll ever actually *need* an SSD for a webserver on a 5mpbs connection. But if you do a lot of DB writes for some reason, or need to serve a lot of small files (more than your RAM can contain), then I guess it could make the server more responsive. Maybe you should just throw something together and start using it, maybe load it up with a webserver benchmark client to see how it responds.
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Re: New to SSD's, looking for one for a decent little web se

Postposted on Fri Aug 03, 2012 7:05 am

What they said. Tell us exactly what you intend to host and how, and we'll tell you how you likely don't need an SSD for that :)
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Re: New to SSD's, looking for one for a decent little web se

Postposted on Fri Aug 03, 2012 12:40 pm

Well, I'd be hosting an Apache HTTP/HTTPS server for my website. I'd like the website to include a community forum, so it'd also be hosting a MySQL database. This is a small business, pretty much just local clientele for now. I doubt I'd be getting more than 50 hits a day, including bots.
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Re: New to SSD's, looking for one for a decent little web se

Postposted on Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:34 pm

I would recommend stepping up to something with 2 drive bays (can still be 2.5" bays if you want to keep things small), and using a pair of mechanical HDDs set up as RAID-1.

4GB of RAM is massive overkill for a low-traffic web server, but RAM is cheap so whatever.
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Re: New to SSD's, looking for one for a decent little web se

Postposted on Fri Aug 03, 2012 7:15 pm

Why do you suggest that, jbi? As a matter of redundancy, such that if my main drive goes down -- i'll have one to slap in place for no loss of service?
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Re: New to SSD's, looking for one for a decent little web se

Postposted on Fri Aug 03, 2012 7:32 pm

Yes, it is an availability thing. You said this site would be "the online face of my business". To me, that says the site needs to be reliable and available as close to 24x7 as practical.

If you don't care that a drive failure could take the site down until you procure and install a replacement drive, and restore the OS and all content from the most recent backup, then the RAID-1 isn't needed.
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Re: New to SSD's, looking for one for a decent little web se

Postposted on Sat Aug 04, 2012 4:23 pm

I have used a 30 GB Vertex (yes, the original!) for a small web page and for game serving. The main point that nobody would be waiting on the server to change levels (Source games), but their desktop would be trying to keep up! Even that was total overkill for its intended purpose; server startup (there were 9) took over five minutes on mechanical, and could be done in about a minute on the ssd, and only that long because the cpu was only a dual core.

So speed is not really a concern at all. Reliability is where it's at, and if I were buying today for mission-critical, I'd definitely be going for Intel, even though I love my vertex, crucial c300 and Vertex 3.

What are you guys' thoughts on ECC memory for this server?
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Re: New to SSD's, looking for one for a decent little web se

Postposted on Sat Aug 04, 2012 5:37 pm

A_Pickle wrote:Well, I'd be hosting an Apache HTTP/HTTPS server for my website. I'd like the website to include a community forum, so it'd also be hosting a MySQL database. This is a small business, pretty much just local clientele for now. I doubt I'd be getting more than 50 hits a day, including bots.

Well, it's going to look bad if your website is down just because the power is out at your house, or for some reason or another your home connection is out. And as just a consumer, fixing your internet just does not have the priority that it would have if it was a connection to a datacenter with racks full of webservers.

I would just get webhosting. Get a virtual dedicated server if you want to have a greater degree of control. That stuff is not expensive (you'd get a years' service for the cost of a small SSD), and far, FAR more reliable than whatever you'd cook up at home. No ECC RAM, SSDs or mirrored drives are going to help if the power is out for half a day. Sure your VDS or shared hosting server will probably be down sometime sooner or later, but at least you'll be informed of it and people will actively be fixing it.
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