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My employer is currently in the process of "greening" and upgrading our data center by replacing old standalone servers with Virtual Machines running on some new, very-powerful hardware, the details of which aren't important.

I was offered a dual processor (933Mhz) IBM eServer with hardware RAID (2 18Gb and 4 72Gb 10,000RPM SCSI drives) and 2.5 Gb of RAM. I took it, but how do I get started?

The drives are blank and the RAID is not configured. I won a copy of Win 2k3 at a Microsoft event last year, so an OS isn't a problem.

I plan on using the box for version control (probably SVN), and ASP.NET/MS SQL development on personal projects.

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closed as not constructive by splattne Jan 2 '12 at 7:33

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4 Answers

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I'm going to guess you're a programmer, and so I'm going to say that this question is the sysadmin equivalent to "I want to learn a new language, where do I start?" So, I offer the same advice - pick a project and implement it. It sounds like you already have (that is, you have a goal for the purpose of the server). So, instead of asking a broad question, break it into steps, try to accomplish, and ask questions on that specific implementation problem.

So, instead of this broad question, why not ask one that's just "I have an IBM eServer with hardware RAID (2 18Gb and 4 72Gb 10,000RPM SCSI drives) and 2.5 Gb of RAM. I intend to put Win 2k3 on it. The drives are blank and the RAID is not configured. Does raid initialization happen during OS install, or do I have to prepare the RAID first? What tools do I need to prepare the RAID if Windows doesn't handle it for me?"

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I suppose that's actually a pretty fair analogy! ;-) –  Bob King May 8 '09 at 14:44
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The best thing to do is experiment, make this a learning experience. I have an old server at home that I use for this sort of thing and its always being formatted and upgraded (and broken), to aid my learning. Find out how to configure the RAID, find details about it on the net, find out how to get into the management interface, play about with configurations. When your done with that, get an OS on it, learn how to setup windows server, then look at software.

I feel you get the most enjoyment and satisfaction out of these sort of things when your learning and achieving things, especially things you had no idea how to do a day ago!

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I just got a similar hand-me-down machine (sans the extra processor and most of the memory you got...). I pulled the RAID configuration tool ISO's off of IBM's web site to create my volumes and then went from there. There are different ISO's based on what model RAID controller you have. Burn it to CD and boot from the CD. It'll take you right into the configuration where you can add drives to create your volumes, etc. When that's done you're good to install the OS. That box should be great for what you're planning. If it's anything like mine, though, it sounds like a jet idling on the tarmac. Should be getting my first electric bill in the next few days after setting it up. Can't wait for that...

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A Linux OS, being free as in open to tinkering, might be easier to set up and maintain than that Windows Server CD that was free as in beer.

From within Linux you can then install the windows server CD into a virtual computer running on VMWare or Virtual Box... and the windows server will see standardized hardware instead of the true hardware.

But it all depends on what you want to do with it.

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