4U/Tower for Co-location - Advice needed

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Zxcs

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I'm building a 4U/tower for co-location on a 1gbps line. Which case I get will depend on what is cheapest and can accommodate my needs.

The server will be sliced up and resold as various hosting services with a lot of bandwidth being used. I'm looking for a minimum of 20 cores but the more the better. As for harddrives I'll need at least 10TB (using 2tb drives).

The last multi-processing system I built was back in 2003 so I'm a little rusty on what the most cost-effective systems today are. Is it worth using 2 of the 12 core AMD CPUs or should I go for a 4x Xeon motherboard? Where can I pick up cheap components?
Do Opterons still require registered RAM? How about Xeons?

Any recommendations on CPUs/motherboards/RAID controllers/cases would be very much appreciated. I don't have a set budget per-se, but I'm looking to get the most bang for my buck.
 

Blue Fox

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Cheap? A 4 socket Intel system is 5 figures. You need either some concrete requirements or a budget you need to stick to. With that much processing power, you'd probably want disks that can keep up with the load as well (ie not 3.5" high capacity ones).
 

Zxcs

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I was looking at SAS hard-drives but they are pretty expensive (more than double the cost of sata 2TB). The storage will mainly just be a dump anyway for FTP/torrents/images.

I think it may be better to go for two 2U units - one with the CPUs/ram and the other as SAN storage. Does scsi make a huge difference here? What sort of hardware would I need if I just want to plug in a load of SATA 2TB drives and use FreeNAS?

As for the CPU system - my absolute max would be around $10-11k but obviously I'll be happy if I can get it cheaper than this. The 16-core opterons look relatively cheap compared to Xeons. What's a decent mobo for them?
 

Blue Fox

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Might want to consider some smaller capacity 2.5" SAS drives for everything that will be accessed frequently. I don't think you'll really need to segregate your storage and run a separate system for that. I think you really need to find out what hardware you really need first. That really determines what you should get. As for the Opterons being cheap, that may be so, but they don't perform anywhere near as well as the Xeons. Essentially price determines performance, which just brings us back to knowing what you need.
 

Zxcs

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Thanks for the help Blue_Fox. After spending time researching and digging around on the internet I decided to go with the new 16-thread Opterons as it makes for a more cost effective solution compared to Xeons of comparable performance. Since I will be virtualising the machine I've created a thread detailing more concise requirements and will close this one.
 
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