Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I know its always better to buy new hardware, but i've got what I think is a deal on a dell poweredge 1950 and am considering it for hosting a single website and database. Please excuse my lack of "lingo" as I am new to this whole server thing. My needs are as follows:

  1. Host a single website with max 5000 concurrent users at any given time.
  2. Both the web server and database will be on the same server.
  3. Website is not very graphical or video oriented, it is a web application that mostly deals with queries on a database.
  4. Would like to run ubuntu server.

The specs of the poweredge are:

  1. 2X 2.5 ghz quad core processors
  2. 16 gb of ram
  3. 2X 450 GB 15k hdd's
  4. Broadcom NetXtreme II 5708 Gigabit Ethernet NIC x2

Does this server seem sufficient for my needs or should I spend an extra couple thousand and go with something brand new? Price I would be paying for this server would be $650, but I don't want the money to be the only factor. If this server is plenty sufficient for my needs than it is something I will go for, i'm just a little confused as to what and how much I actually need.

share|improve this question
I would say go for it, but as I am not very familiar with setups with that many concurrent users, i'll leave it to the real pros to decide. – Frederik Nielsen Jul 26 '12 at 17:19
With older hardware (and no next business day replacements) make sure that you have backups. Also, test if the backups work. – Hennes Jul 26 '12 at 17:42
Understood. What about the ability of the hardware? Would most people in my situation be looking for a more powerful system? – ryandlf Jul 26 '12 at 17:43
That depends a lot on the website. For mostly static pages: Yes, probably overkill. For completely dynamic pages with lots of very complex database queries: no. In your case: not enough information. – Hennes Jul 26 '12 at 17:46
There's a big difference between 5000 people uploading HD video on and watching it played back after realtime converstion to a streaming movie format and 5000 people viewing "hello world, I made a webpage.html". The nearer the server is to the former type of site the less well the hardware will cope. – RobM Jul 26 '12 at 18:27
up vote 2 down vote accepted

If you're looking to colocate it in a datacentre, this could be the problem:

A PowerEdge 1950 is more than capable, but in comparison to modern kit, it's likely to draw significantly more current. A datacentre will charge you for this. I found it was a lot cheaper to lease hardware, and as a consequence, I have an unplugged PowerEdge 1850 sitting in my spare room!

Having said that, what you've outlined is pretty-pimped out, and leasing such a spec server could easily offset the current drain costs.

If you're planning on hosting from home; 1u PowerEdges are loud.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


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.