Below are the key specifications of the finished web server. I've put in all into a nice table, so it's easy to digest.
|Processor||2 x Athlon MP 2200+ 1.8GHz|
|Front-side bus||Dual 266MHz (Dual 133MHz DDR)|
|Motherboard||Tyan Thunder K7X Pro S2649UGN|
|North bridge||AMD 762|
|South bridge||AMD 768|
|Memory size||3GB (3 DIMMs)|
|Memory type||Corsair Registered PC2100 DDR SDRAM|
|Graphics||ATI Rage XL (integrated)|
|RAID controller||Intel Server RAID controller U-31 (SRCU31) w/32MB cache|
|Storage||5 x Maxtor Atlas 10K III Ultra320 10,000 rpm SCSI hard drives|
(RAID 10 w/1 hot spare)
|OS||Red Hat Linux 7.3|
They're not mentioned above, but I also installed a floppy drive and a CD-ROM drive, both with black front faces, to make OS installation/recovery easier. Don't recall the brands. Doesn't really matter.
Anyhow, it's not a bad setup. If you're like me, you're thinking "personal workstation—just throw in an AGP card."
The Chenbro 2U case we chose to house all of this hardware in, however, is much too loud to use in a personal workstation. Great cooling, though. The Chenbro originally arrived with a 300W power supply, and everything would run on that unit, but we replaced it with a 460W model, just to be safe. Here's how it all looks together:
You can see that the Chenbro case has six 3.5" hot-swap drive enclosures. Mounted directly behind them is the enclosure's SCSI backplane, which supplies power and connectivity to the drives in the hot-swap bays. DIP switches on the backplane control SCSI IDs for the drives. We only had to run a single cable from the SCSI backplane to the RAID controller card.
Server case manufacturers are churning out more exotic cases than the 2U Chenbro unit we chose. It is possible to cram four hot-swappable drive bays and a dual Athlon sever into a 1U chassis, like this. Also, some enclosures offer better reliability in the form of redundant, hot-swappable power supplies. However, those things cost money, and we were approaching the limits of our "about five dollars" budget quickly. We settled on the Chenbro as the best combination of features and price.
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