[Box Backup] Off topic: Request for server advice

Chris Wilson boxbackup@fluffy.co.uk
Wed, 25 Oct 2006 16:52:04 +0100 (BST)

Hi all,

I hope you don't mind me asking this here. It's for a good cause :-)

My company, Aidworld (www.aidworld.org) is planning to donate four servers 
to Kenyan universities for use as bandwidth management boxes (traffic 
shaping, firewall, proxy servers). We need to buy these very quickly as 
we're leaving for Kenya on the 4th November, and taking them with us.

I know that many of you have a lot of experience with servers running open 
source software, so I'd really appreciate your advice.

We don't need a very fast processor, but I think we need about 1 GB of 
RAM, 2 x 80 GB SATA disks (RAID 1), dual Ethernet. We're planning to run 
either Linux or FreeBSD on these boxes.

I'm currently looking at a few options for the servers:

* Dell PowerEdge SC440 (tower case), GBP 481

* Dell PowerEdge SC1425 SATA (rack mount), GBP 626

* HP ProLiant MI310G3 (tower case), GBP 700 (upgraded to spec)

* HP ProLiant ML110G3 (tower case), GBP 400 (upgraded to spec)

* HP DX5150 Desktop Athlon64 (desktop case), GBP 350 (upgraded to spec)

* Any unbranded desktop box, about GBP 400 at spec

Does anyone have any thoughts about relative merits of rack mount versus 
desktop and tower cases, given that these places may not have racks?

Is it worth paying GBP 140 for potential rack-mountability?

How about hardware support for these boxes in Linux and FreeBSD?

Booting with no keyboard connected?

Booting from a second hard disk if the first one fails?

Working in hot climates with dodgy electricity?

Thanks very much for your help and advice.

Cheers, Chris.
_ ___ __     _
  / __/ / ,__(_)_  | Chris Wilson <0000 at qwirx.com> - Cambs UK |
/ (_/ ,\/ _/ /_ \ | Security/C/C++/Java/Perl/SQL/HTML Developer |
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