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BUILD: Spartan, the main server of FurrTrax.com

Xander Venterus

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This is more of a post build, as its already built and in production, but i thought some might find it interesting.

To start off with i went to a Datacenter office of which i know one of the infrastructure managers well, and picked up a Dell PowerEDGE R710 barebone that had been pulled out of their datacenter along with about 50 of its siblings as they had just upgraded all their hosting servers to quad socket systems.

I got the Dell PowerEDGE R710 Rack Style - the revision with 8 2.5 inch sas/sata front bays.
A PERC H700 Controller, to which they gave me 2 spare batteries
and i also got 2 Intel Xeon 2.4 Ghz Quad Cores of the I7 age.  i dont recall the exact modem but they are 5000 series.
I ordered 96 GB of Fully Buffered and Registered ECC type DDR3 RAM 12x8gb, the board has 18 slots.
I ordered two ASmedia PCI-E SSD Adapters so i could mount my 2 biggest SSDs right on the bus, bypassing the H700
3 x 146 GB Dell 15k RPM SAS drives (1 as spare)
2 x 120 GB Patriot Blaze SSDs
2 x 60 GB Patriot Blaze SSDs
1 x Patriot Blast 480 GB SSD
1 x Patriot Ignite 240 GB SSD
1 x PNY SandForce 120 GB SSD
1 x SanDisk Ultra III 60GB SSD

The 480 GB and 240 GB SSDs were mounted to the PCI-E adapters and installed into PCI-E slots in the rear of the server

All the rest of the SSDs went into bays 0-5 on the front SAS bays, thus connected to the PERC H700 SAS Controller

2 of the 146 GB 15k SAS drives were setup in bays 6-7 as a RAID 1, to store logs, and other high I/O operations off the SSDs to lower the write counts.  The Linux VMs all have their /var/logs folders mounted to 20gb volumes in the SAS drives so logs dont chew the SSDs up.

The Server was installed with VMware VSphere 5.x with the ASMedia PCI-E adapter drivers slipstreamed into the installer.

I then migrated my existing Virtual Machines from the old server into this one using VMware Console.


My next planned upgrade is going to be getting a set of the M.2 SSD to PCI-E adapter boards, and 2 larger sized M.2 SSDs and mounting those into the last 2 PCI-E slots so i can get some storage with speed of over 1000MB/s going for another project i want to run off the same box.  Current CPU utilization is 300-500 mhz out of 19,000 mhz according to VMware Monitoring Graphs with 4 VMs running and all websites live.

I also configured the Virtual Machines to all fully reserve their allocated RAM, to prevent VMware from swapping memory to disk needlessly.


As for the networking aspects, the Server has 4 gigabit NICs, and it now sits behind a Cisco 7507 Mini-Fridge sized firewall, and a PFsense Firewall as well, and all the websites are behind cloudflare as well.  The Linux Web hosting VM also has a custom build Intrusion Defense System to which i have been developing myself for years now.

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