Server Setup Guide

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Want to set up your owner server but you aren't really sure how to go about doing it? The gang at Overclockers Club have put together a handy Server Setup Guide that should help you get started.

Hardware is one of the most important items in building a server, regardless of its overall purpose. Without enough power or memory to run the necessary applications, the server would subsequently be useless. Depending on its intended usage, however, the hardware may vary slightly. It is often a good idea to sit down and create a plan beforehand.
 

Azhar

Fixing stupid since 1972
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They weren't kidding when they called it a mini-guide.

I was hoping to see something along the lines of corporate servers or email servers or web server or SQL server or presentation server. But I guess I should have expected only game and file server from a site called Overclockers Club.
 
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I also chose this particular motherboard because it features two Ethernet ports on the back panel — when running more than one game server at a time, you will need a dedicated network port for each game.

You do? Weird I been running multiple games on one NIC for years with no problem.
 

skrag

Kyle Sucks! I am taking my toys and going home
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Wow that may have been the most useless "Server Setup Guide" ive ever read. He even recomended windows. LOL. Do you even read these articles Steve?
 

fenixv

Gawd
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I was hoping for a more in depth guide too even for a basic file server (so I dont need to buy a NAS). There was nothing in this "guide" that couldn't have been summed up in a few sentences.
 

Azhar

Fixing stupid since 1972
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Wow that may have been the most useless "Server Setup Guide" ive ever read. He even recomended windows. LOL. Do you even read these articles Steve?


Some games don't have Linux game server installer.
 

evildre

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They weren't kidding when they called it a mini-guide.

I was hoping to see something along the lines of corporate servers or email servers or web server or SQL server or presentation server. But I guess I should have expected only game and file server from a site called Overclockers Club.

Yeah, that's sort of what I was expecting. "No lights-out management? No 15k RPM SAS? No battery-backed RAID? Only two NICs? That case is huge!"

Some points I noticed:
  • The only reason to go with vanilla Windows Server 2008 (e.g. not R2) is if your CPU is 32-bit.
  • Hyper-V does not offer greater compatibility with other software. It is really good at virtualizing Microsoft operating systems, but other systems (read: Linux) have spotty support.
  • If you're going to use XAMPP, might as well use Linux and avoid all of the quirks that come with using software originally written for Linux on Windows.

Also, Windows Home Server is easy enough for the non-enthusiast community to set up and manage without much instruction. Linux, for all its positives, isn't something the average Joe would be able to use on a daily basis, as has been proven over and over again.
 

Azhar

Fixing stupid since 1972
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IIRC, it took KillingFloor at least 6 months to get a Linux installer out, while they had the Windows installer available at launch.

I didn't know about that one, but I was referring to game servers built into games that cannot be installed on Linux (outside of WINE). As in starting up the game, selecting multiplayer, then hosting it from there.

Other than that yeah you can play majority of games off a Linux game server console. It's much easier to use Windows because of TCAdmin.
 

Sacrilego

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Jul 26, 2004
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This was even less than a mini guide should be.
It's more like a tiny server hardware and software list.
For who is this article supposed to be for?
A novice user can't do much with it, and those with experience very likley already knew this stuff.

Summary:
You want game server? Buy this type of hardware.
You want fileserver? Buy this type of hardware and here's some recommended NOS and software.
Don't forget that you can virtualize.
End of article.
 

Dan_D

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They weren't kidding when they called it a mini-guide.

I was hoping to see something along the lines of corporate servers or email servers or web server or SQL server or presentation server. But I guess I should have expected only game and file server from a site called Overclockers Club.

You won't see a lot on the subject because many gamers and overclockers have no knowledge of such things unless they work in the IT world. I can also tell you that guides for doing these items are out there, but I've never seen an all inclusive guide for all of it. If you really want easy, then Server 2008 R2 is your friend. It can walk you through most things well enough for a beginner to get what they need or want out of it. The box may not adhere to all the best practices in the IT world, but half the boxes setup by professionals don't either. If it isn't mission critical and you just want to learn something, why not go for it?

You learn by doing and nothing I've really ever done server wise was all that tough. There are some things when you get into cluster servers, specialized application servers, higher end databases, etc. which can complicate things requiring very specialized knowledge, but even something like setting up and configuring DNS or Microsoft Exchange is easy as hell compared to what we had to go through back in the Windows NT or Windows 2000 days. The system pretty much automates most of the work now leaving very little for you to do unless you need to change the defaults to something specific for some reason.
 

Azhar

Fixing stupid since 1972
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You won't see a lot on the subject because many gamers and overclockers have no knowledge of such things unless they work in the IT world. I can also tell you that guides for doing these items are out there, but I've never seen an all inclusive guide for all of it. If you really want easy, then Server 2008 R2 is your friend. It can walk you through most things well enough for a beginner to get what they need or want out of it. The box may not adhere to all the best practices in the IT world, but half the boxes setup by professionals don't either. If it isn't mission critical and you just want to learn something, why not go for it?

You learn by doing and nothing I've really ever done server wise was all that tough. There are some things when you get into cluster servers, specialized application servers, higher end databases, etc. which can complicate things requiring very specialized knowledge, but even something like setting up and configuring DNS or Microsoft Exchange is easy as hell compared to what we had to go through back in the Windows NT or Windows 2000 days. The system pretty much automates most of the work now leaving very little for you to do unless you need to change the defaults to something specific for some reason.

I'm in IT myself. I run all sorts of Windows Server. I always welcome fun articles and write ups about servers because there's always something new to learn or something you've forgotten about and want to deploy.

I agree about Windows Server 2008 R2. It practically installs, configures and runs itself. Our server admin just might be numbered! ;-)
 

Dan_D

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I'm in IT myself. I run all sorts of Windows Server. I always welcome fun articles and write ups about servers because there's always something new to learn or something you've forgotten about and want to deploy.

I agree about Windows Server 2008 R2. It practically installs, configures and runs itself. Our server admin just might be numbered! ;-)

I took Exchange server 2003 classes from Microsoft a few years ago. I was amazed at how simple Exchange is to operate. It really is. If you've got their course book and you paid attention in the class, it becomes exceptionally easy to work with. Even now I've retained a lot of that training even though my exposure to Exchange has been relatively limited since then. I've been needing to install my Exchange 2010 software at home, but I haven't gotten around to it. I'm betting it will be fairly easy to use.
 

JimmiG

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I also chose this particular motherboard because it features two Ethernet ports on the back panel — when running more than one game server at a time, you will need a dedicated network port for each game.

You do? Weird I been running multiple games on one NIC for years with no problem.

Also, simply having two NICs in the same subnet won't automatically load-balance between them or magically combine their bandwidth. This require additional configuration and probably hardware support for link aggregation. I guess you could set up multiple virtual machines and bind their network adapters to different physical NICs.. Don't really see the point of doing that in a home network, though.

They weren't kidding when they called it a mini-guide.

I was hoping to see something along the lines of corporate servers or email servers or web server or SQL server or presentation server. But I guess I should have expected only game and file server from a site called Overclockers Club.

If you want to learn how to set up corporate email servers, SQL servers etc., you need to do more than read a simple online guide. There are official courses and certifications for that. For example, the MCTS Training Kit for SQL Server 2008 is 623 pages, the Forefront TMG Administrators Companion book is 1010 pages.
 

Uncle

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They weren't kidding when they called it a mini-guide.

I was hoping to see something along the lines of corporate servers or email servers or web server or SQL server or presentation server. But I guess I should have expected only game and file server from a site called Overclockers Club.

Yes, this was advertisement at its best, for them anyways with a few click through, if I wrote that right.
 

Dan_D

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Also, simply having two NICs in the same subnet won't automatically load-balance between them or magically combine their bandwidth. This require additional configuration and probably hardware support for link aggregation. I guess you could set up multiple virtual machines and bind their network adapters to different physical NICs.. Don't really see the point of doing that in a home network, though.



If you want to learn how to set up corporate email servers, SQL servers etc., you need to do more than read a simple online guide. There are official courses and certifications for that. For example, the MCTS Training Kit for SQL Server 2008 is 623 pages, the Forefront TMG Administrators Companion book is 1010 pages.

Generally for adapter teaming, the hardware and drivers have to support it. Software like Intel's Proset tools will allow you to set that up. Broadcom and others have it as well, but I've found it problematic on Broadcoms in the past. And you are right. The subject matter is simply too complex for a simple online guide to give you the foundation of understanding you need to competently handle those tasks.
 

ir0nw0lf

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I believe it's a felony in all 50 States to have called that a "guide." :eek:
 

Wirth'sLaw

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I took Exchange server 2003 classes from Microsoft a few years ago. I was amazed at how simple Exchange is to operate. It really is. If you've got their course book and you paid attention in the class, it becomes exceptionally easy to work with. Even now I've retained a lot of that training even though my exposure to Exchange has been relatively limited since then. I've been needing to install my Exchange 2010 software at home, but I haven't gotten around to it. I'm betting it will be fairly easy to use.

Exchange 2010 - a sweet piece of software
 

BrkDncr

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While ambitious, i don't think this article should have been shared on hardocp. It's not the lack of detail, it's the lack of mentioning that there is a lot more than just "pick a board, put together hardware, windows or linux, here's a cool app, and you can use ESX"

The first thing that bothers me is that there wasn't very little thought of what the purpose of the server was going to be used for. Assuming it was a gaming server, then the next thing would be to find out what the required and recommended specs of the application is.

For instance, if you wanted to run a gaming server for a source game, and you wanted to use Windows, you would want to find out what the average memory and network usage is per person, and multiply that by the number of people you want on the server. That will tell you what you need for memory and if your internet connection is fast enough for it.

Another issue was hard drive usage. You don't just throw a raid1 and a non-raid on there and call it a day, you determine how each application is going to be using the hard drives, and most importantly, how many people are going to be accessing it at once. For a 1 or 2 person server, a raid1 drive on any hardware is probably fine. For a 32 person source game running custom maps, you should have a dedicated array controller hooked up to a few enterprise grade hard drives that are capable of handing that much data output at once. An item that wasn't addressed at all is the use of a hot spare (or RAID6) and backups. The author put all the apps on a single drive. If that drive went down, then the machine is completely down when the drive fails.

The NIC wasn't really addressed correctly. What should have been mentioned is NIC teaming, and the use of a "real" nic such as intel's.

There's more, but overall the article appears to be from someone that has little experience with designing servers.
 
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