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Re: Server Recommendations

Dan Hunt said:
> I am ready to set up my own Web Server rather than paying my friends each
> month.
> Your IT guidance would be appreciated. I have a dusty Pentium 90 with 32
> MB Ram, and a 1 GB Drive. The new unit will be equipped with Debian Woody,
> on a static DSL IP address without any firewall. Will this meager
> equipment serve as a village (community)  static page web server and mail
> server for about 1 dozen people? Would I need something more to run zope
> or drupal?

I'm sure people will disagree but I strongly do not reccomend running
a system, even a minimal one with less then 64MB of ram. If your using
zope you probably want something more powerful. My experience with
zope is limited to Zwiki, but I have noticed that it takes 100 to 200
or more times more processing power to serve a page then apache does.
That is, a zope page on my local network can take up to 2 seconds to
load, while the apache page with the same (static) content takes a
fraction of 1 second(loads so fast I can't count). Perhaps normal
zope without zwiki, or other zope apps are different.

I run a system which is a P200 64MB ram which has a 6GB and a 8GB
drive(uptime of 625 days, wee), it runs mail and web and ftp for
about 20 users, it works fine, though it does swap, it also runs
an X server and xawtv along with a TV card, its my livingroom
tv(hooked to a 15" monitor). It's been 18 days since apache
was restarted(log rotation I guess), and it's transferred ~120MB
of data through apache, and 1.9gigs of data sent out of the
ethernet interface(includes all services and all data) since the
start of the month. It runs great as the uptime shows.. 32MB
is just not enough I think. Technically it's possible, add some
swap(I prefer to run machines that do not swap, and only keep
swap as a emergency incase something gets out of control), but
it will run slower.

as for non x86 cheap stuff, not sure there, unless you can find something
local ..shipping will probably outweigh the cost of the unit itself.
I will be getting about 12 more computers soon from my former employer,
much of them low end non x86 stuff(mostly sun), and would be happy
to sell something, but since you seem to be looking for real cheap
I don't think the cost + shipping would be worth it for you. While I
haven't done any exact calculations I would guesstimate that I could
sell an 167Mhz Ultra 1 with 128MB ram and 2-4GB hd for $60, and I would
expect 3 day shipping to run at least $50-60, depending on your location
and packing another $10. and thats just for a pizzabox system, no
keyboard, no mouse, no monitor. and that, IMO would be the absolute
minimum price. I'd much prefer to sell such a system for 100. or just
keep it for myself, use it in the future when DRM has completely
infected x86. perhaps a cluster of ultra 1s to heat the local community.
I am not in the crowd that finds 486s, low end 586s, supersparcs or
other similar equipment of value, ultra 1s and P2s is about as low as
I'd go these days.

with all kinds of companies collapsing perhaps you could hit a local
auction. a couple years ago when my former employer went outta biz,
I went to an auction they had about 300 servers for sale, I scored
a dual proc P3-650 with 256MB ram and a 9.1GB HD(Intel ISP2150 2U),
for $300, and another single proc P3-600 256MB with 9.1GB(2150 again)
for $300. I got a Cisco 2900XL 24-port switch for $500, and a box
of about 8 rackmount power strips for $75. some poor suckers were
paying higher then retail for the laptops it was funny. By the time
I started bidding they had sold so much nobody else was interested :)
Of course this was for my company, I didn't have the cash to buy
anything myself ..I'm sure you could find lower end stuff, desktops,
and such for $100 or less at auctions. These $300 systems are probably
beyond what your lookin to pay but they were outstanding deals at
the time, I think they had a retail value of around $2000 each, real
nice servers onboard ultra 2 scsi, onboard ethernet, 4 bay hotswap
SCA interfaces, floppy, 2U  ..dual proc capable, 2GB ram max..real nice


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