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Rack mounted in home environment


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With the server you have in mind, that is a real server from a hardware standpoint.  Most anything you can build will most likely be from desktop components, except for CPU and RAM.  I oculd do alsmot the same thing with a tower, but I would need a new MOBO that would hold the RAM needed so the cost of buying used was the overall deciding factor.


Now for about $1500 US I can get down to a small form factor such as the SuperMicroServer that would hold 128 gigs RAM in a foot print of a Gen8

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What are the advantages of a tower case except noise? I have the impression that a rack mount will allow for a much denser packing as together with one or two servers you can mount everything else as well - like network equipment, UPS, etc.

Tower servers will have a much smaller physical footprint. Rackmounted servers are the standard 19" wide but they'll be somewhere close to 30-40" in depth. They usually have more expansion slots. They're not as loud. They don't require a rack enclosure. They're the equivalent hardware of a rackmounted server but inside a tower case. They're not regular desktop PCs.


You say that you're looking for much denser packing of servers + other equipment but you're also looking for a fairly large rack enclosure and you're only going to put a maximum of 4 servers into it? Your requirements are conflicting there.

Edited by GotNoTime
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Your requirements are conflicting there.

Not quite. 4 Rack servers will take less surface than 4 towers of similar capabilities.

While a tower is great as a single server - the more server you add - the better racks become. Then count at least a switch, a PDU, UPS, cable management, etc - and a rack cabinet becomes much more compact.


Anyway, we drifted from the main topic :)



Now for about $1500 US I can get down to a small form factor such as the SuperMicroServer that would hold 128 gigs RAM in a foot print of a Gen8

Can you give a few examples, please? This sounds interesting... because if I count everything like harware/racks/energy/etc - I get close to such sums... so maybe just build something custom?

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I have a 24U open-frame rack in a spare room in my basement (it's basically a small storage room).  Currently it has a 2U and 3U server running and while I can sort of hear the fans upstairs when they reboot - they spike to full speed for a second or two - it's otherwise unheard.  The servers have Supermicro cases and boards that I bought separately, one runs an i3 while the other is a Xeon E3.  There's also a shelf for a monitor and KVM, a network switch, an inactive 2U box and a 2U UPS in the rack.  I had a 1U Atom server in there running pfSense, but it's since been moved to a small wall-mounted rack in an effort to clean up some of the cable routing between the wall panel and server rack.  Even if I'm in the basement, as long as the door to that room is closed it's pretty quiet.


Location-wise, I'm around the 42nd parallel, yesterday was around 0F and today is around 25F.  We get up to 80-90F and sometimes higher in the summer along with 90% humidity.  I agree, the attic is a bad place, too much dust and whatever else with the insulation up there.  I've been doing some renovation/repair work in my basement and while I do notice that I should wipe dust off the servers periodically, they don't seem to mind too much.  I do have a pair of dehumidifiers down there in different ends of the main area that fill up quite fast in the summer but that hasn't caused too much trouble either.  I did learn not to put a dehumidifier on the same circuit as the UPS - it went into battery mode every time the dehumidifier started back up.

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Wow, that Xeon D-1540 is really tasty :)

While the performance is somewhat lower than of two L5640, it is much smaller. Really nice device...

Paul has done a nice job with that unit.  If you have a case, then you could price the board, RAM, and CPU separately to see how much of a cost savings there is.  IIRC, his power consumption was around 65 Watts.

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Well, looks like it has unmatched performance per watt - but the components aren't available separately in UK and the price from the link above is ~1200GBP


@Andne, thank you for information - nice to hear a confirmation that it is fine to have an open-frame rack :)


What are the experiences using a custom-built rack server over branded ones? Is it worth to pay for the brand in a home lab?

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