If you have a chance and you are a geek and you want to run a proper server at home.. there are ways. In our case we found a nice minimum specced HP Proliant DL 380 G6. On paper, the machine is still quite a beast, even if its EOL (End of Life). Bear in mind that this is an enterprise class server and as such has really nice features:
- Dual Power supplies
- 18!!! Memory slots!!
- 2 x QuadCore Intel Xeon Support
- 4!! Gigabit Network cards
- iLO 2
- 8x 2.5″ SAS (serial Attached SCSI) drive places
- Hardware RAID controller
Now, at first we were a bit sceptical as SAS drives are quite expensive. HP support also states that the maximum drive size is 500GB. That gives us, in a world where we take a Raid 1 mirrored drive for system and a Raid 5 for data, a maximum of about 3TB storage.
However, we found out quickly that you can mix and match SATA and SAS drives as long as you have the drive trays. Well, drive trays are 5 bucks a piece and 1TB SATA drives are cheap on Amazon. So off we went and bought 6 Hitachi 1TB drives and left the 2x 146GB SAS drives as a mirrored system.
Drives arrived speedily, were installed quickly, server booted and all drives recognized…. AWESOME.. except one minor detail.. as soon as the server went into boot.. it started to sound like a Airbus 380 during take off… in our basement!
Fans were running at full speed and no matter what we tried… they wouldn’t calm down.
So after a very sleepless night and a very long time on HP support.. it turns out that HP Proliant DL 380 G6 (7 and 8 as well) have built in sensors that work with the sensors on the Enterprise class drives.
That seemed to be the end of it, until we disassembled one of the system drives and noticed it was a Seagate drive. Since we had a couple of spare Seagate 1TB Laptop drives we decided to pop those in, instead of the Hitachi ones.
Lo and behold, no Jet engine.
Off we went to Amazon and ordered the cheapest Seagate drives we could find, popped them all in, configured the RAID, rebooted and voilá : no noise!
So if you want to expand on the cheap on a server that still has more than enough whomp left, go get Seagate laptop drives, the cheapest will apparently do.
They work fantastic, now we have 6TB storage, 8 Cores and 72GB of Ram. The cost of this server was far, far, far less than building it ourselves or buying a new one.
Hopefully this helps someone else as well: use Seagate DRIVES!!! Oh and 500 GB limit.. don’t think so we had 2 drives on loan 2TB each and they worked perfectly fine, no noise.