Take the 2-minute tour ×
Server Fault is a question and answer site for professional system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Today i have purchased some second hand Dell Poweredge servers, which i can't wait to get:

  • Dell Poweredge 1850 server Xeon 3Ghz / 1GB RAM
  • Dell PowerEdge 2650 Server Xeon 2.4GHz / 1GB RAM

They use SCSI drives which is not a very cheap option for a file server when i had the idea of putting 5 2TB drives in the 2650. Are the bays the same size as normal 3.5 SATA HDD, could i add a PCI SATA card and just re wire some of the bays?

Do all servers use SCSI, do i really have a storage limit of 750GB? How to companies like Twitter manage to buy SCSI drives, i understand why they are used but there small and expensive :)

My second question is about rack mounted routers. What equipment is there that is like my home router that takes a Internet connection and shares it to my switch? Do you call it a WAN switch rather than a router?

Thanks, Dave :)

share|improve this question
    
Hey Dave - you're new here, so you probably don't know this, but it's highly encouraged that you go back and mark answers to your previous questions as "accepted". Thanks! –  EEAA Nov 6 '10 at 0:42
add comment

2 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Dave,

Your questions are a bit all over the place, but I'll do my best:

Are the bays the same size as normal 3.5 SATA HDD, could i add a PCI SATA card and just re wire some of the bays?: The drives themselves are definitely 3.5, but go in a carrier meant to interface with a proprietary connector, you'd have to ask Dell if they sold SATA drives for this vintage server.

Do all servers use SCSI, do i really have a storage limit of 750GB? SCSI drives were standard for years for reliability and performance, they come in all sizes, as big as 300GB or so I've seen.

How to companies like Twitter manage to buy SCSI drives? In an enterprise environment that powers something like Twitter the servers themselves probably only have two or maybe three drives, the actual storage is provided by a SAN Storage device that aggregates disk across many many drives

What equipment is there that is like my home router that takes a Internet connection and shares it to my switch? Do you call it a WAN switch rather than a router?Your home "router" is a router with a built-in 4 port switch. You can connect one of the non WAN ports from your router to your switch and expand the number of ports you have

If you tell us more what your intentions are to do with these servers, we can probably better direct you. The SCSI drives for these servers are mean to be reliable in a demanding environment. If your intent is to use these to say, host home movies or something like that you're better off getting some large USB drives and connecting them to the server for high capacity storage.

Best of luck, Tom

share|improve this answer
    
Hey thanks, i know its all over the place but thats how i work. I currently host 18 websites on 6 VPS's in the UK. I have good knowledge of Ubuntu Server and want just to build a small 10U rack of servers, just old, cheap, eBay DELL's so i can test web, email, mysql. But i also would want to use them as a backup server for my home computers and media, photography etc... I will be getting a second Internet connection that i want to go strait into the server rack -> switch -> web server1 / web server2 / backup. But i don't know what hardware between Internet and the switch. Thanks Dave. –  David Maitland Nov 6 '10 at 0:41
add comment

Tom's answer is largely correct, but I wanted to offer one clarification in regards to your question about SCSI.

The short answer is: No, not all servers use (this type of) SCSI.

The servers you purchased have what I would call "legacy" SCSI controllers. In the case of the 2650, it's a U160 controller and for the 1850, it's a U320 controller. Yes, drives that these controllers support are expensive and limited in capacity. Fortunately, things have progressed in the storage arena since these were manufactured.

The vast majority of servers that are manufactured now are shipped with controllers that will support both SAS or SATA drives. Both types of drives are available in large capacities (up to 2TB as of November 2010), and both are fortunately much cheaper than the old U160/U320 drives were.

In the very high-end market, you'll see Fibre Channel drives. These are rarely seen implemented as direct-attached storage any more, but rather used in SAN systems. Fibre Channel drives are, like legacy SCSI drives, limited in capacity and are extremely expensive. The flip side is that they're quite fast and extremely reliable.

These few paragraphs just barely scratch the surface of what's currently going on in the storage industry. Hopefully it helps give you an idea of what's out there, though.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.