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What to do...


maximum6

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I have a plan and want your opinions.

 

 

 

Plan:

 

I'm going to lease a few Dell's (dual 3.2 xeons with 2 GB RAM and 146 GB 10K SCSI's) with the $1 buyout plan and colocate them with Steadfast in Chicago. They'll be setup on a VLAN where they'll share all their bandwidth. I'm going to be adding 2mbps for each machine. (If I need more I can have it added very quickly after just a phone call.)

 

 

 

Sound solid? Dell will give me a 3 year next-day on-site support program too. This will be my first time colocating. Any recommendations on how many machines to begin with? So far I'm just renting machines, but I would be able to move my current stuff onto these. I was thinking to start with two or three TOPS and work from there.

 

 

 

Also, is it worth getting anything faster than a dual 3.2? If so, do I want to look into 4 GB of ram instead?

 

 

 

There's about a $1000 difference on a dual 3.2 with 2 GB and a dual 3.6 with 4 GB.

 

 

 

Is 2mbps per machine going to be enough!?! (remember that they're sharing the total bandwidth)

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Sounds like a good idea aaron, however remember you dont order the bandwidth - its billed at 95th percentile

 

 

 

 

 

So you pretty much put your servers on and hope it doesnt go over :smile:

 

 

 

Im not sure exactly about leasing from dell, I would assume it works out on a credit basis, so you have to have strong credit or a well known company to lease from them, I know however I can build whiteboxes from super micro for 1700 a pop with 3.2s

 

 

 

 

 

Also I think 3.2s are the way to go right now, infact id guess we are going to be soon looking at a problem with the amount of game servers being limited not by proc power but instead my system bus

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Sounds like a good idea aaron, however remember you dont order the bandwidth - its billed at 95th percentile

 

 

 

 

 

So you pretty much put your servers on and hope it doesnt go over :smile:

 

 

 

Im not sure exactly about leasing from dell, I would assume it works out on a credit basis, so you have to have strong credit or a well known company to lease from them, I know however I can build whiteboxes from super micro for 1700 a pop with 3.2s

 

 

 

 

 

Also I think 3.2s are the way to go right now, infact id guess we are going to be soon looking at a problem with the amount of game servers being limited not by proc power but instead my system bus

 

 

 

Not entirely true about the bandwidth. Many providers will buy blocks of bandwidth for a set amount per MB/s. Commonly referred to as a "commit". This commit can be capped, so as not to go over the alloted 5 mb/sec.

 

 

 

Many providers will buy say 5 MB comit at $30-40 a meg, and allocate it to all of their machines.

 

 

 

This of course only becomes finacially beneficial, when you have a few machines.

 

 

 

In response to Ace's question in regards to 2 mbps being enough. It depends on what game you are running. To give you an idea, a BF2 (32) slot server can eat up 4.5 mbps on it's own.

 

 

 

But for games like CS and CSS it should be fine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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However, when you buy a 5meg comit, you stil have 100meg bustable - right?

 

 

 

 

 

Also, aaron your going to need in most cases to buy a switch (one more u of space) and have your servers connect to one line though that, though that may only be on unmetered services.

 

 

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Depending on who you host with. Some can lock the connection rate at what you buy, others will allow you to go over and simply pay the overage charges to avoid having your games lag if you happen to push over your alloted bandwidth limit.

 

 

 

In my experience, co-lo starts to become cost beneficial after about 10 servers.

 

 

 

Or if you are planning a large company and have the money to float the server and bandwidth payments for an extended period of time, before they start paying for themselves.

 

 

 

 

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Most any colo house bandwidth is burstable to 100mb unless they specifically tell you otherwise. Getting a backend switch is sometimes a good idea but you won't save anything unless you do alot of transferring back and forth between machines. On a 95th method you would have to transfer several hours per day to have it show anything that would raise your billing. Ask your provider what the policy is. Some don't bill transfer inside the datacenter anyway so it's a moot point.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colo is a personal choice. In some circumstances it can be a good thing but there ae some drawbacks too. For one there is the extra overhead of the server lease and if you only have a few colo costs won't be any different then renting the machine..

 

 

 

The other thing you have to look at is a year from now that machine needs to be upgraded. Have you looked at Dell's upgrade prices? And yes you have to buy upgrades direct from Dell. It voids your warranty otherwise.. Also you might want to check into the policy on opening the case once the machine goes into production. Dell and others have a clause on certain extended warranty groups that voids it if you open the case to replace anything. So if you need anything fixed or upgraded a certified dell rep has to do it. The cost for this depends but is uaually more then the part is worth.. You may also consider after all the money spent your $3000 server will be worth on average .25c on the dollar after 1 year.

 

 

 

The upside is when you are buying a few at a time and have a fair amount of space it gets cheaper. It isn't unusual to pay less then $1000 for a rack with a larger commit. The comparison to renting widens at this point since you would spend $1000 renting 4-5 machines but can now have 20+ machines colo'ed instead and pay the same. There are alot of other factors to consider and additional costs that I haven't added in for simplicity sake but you get the point.

 

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think I get the point...you mean that with these Dell leases I have to figure out what I'll do if I need upgrades or whatnot.. Also, colocation doesn't become so profitable until I'm dealing with a greater number of machines.

 

 

 

I use to do Dell Tech support, and we had people opening their boxes all the time, because that's the only way we could diag certain problems. When we had to RMA a box, we had them "return it to original config". And with our few dell servers we currently run (for internal business stuff), Ive cracked them open with gold tech support on the line to figure out problems/replace parts.

 

 

 

As for the colo fees, we had to float about 4 months, and we have 5 boxes. Right now those 5 boxes are paying for more than our cabinet + tcadmin + teamspeak fees (but not paying for salaries).

 

 

 

We are about to expand ourselves, and I am trying to figure out if I want to go dual opteron (dual sockets) or dual core opteron (single socket) for our new boxes.

 

 

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<table border="0" align="center" width="90%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td class="SmallText">maximum6 wrote on Sun, 12 February 2006 16:11</td></tr><tr><td class="quote">

I think I get the point...you mean that with these Dell leases I have to figure out what I'll do if I need upgrades or whatnot.. Also, colocation doesn't become so profitable until I'm dealing with a greater number of machines.

 

 

 

I use to do Dell Tech support, and we had people opening their boxes all the time, because that's the only way we could diag certain problems. When we had to RMA a box, we had them "return it to original config". And with our few dell servers we currently run (for internal business stuff), Ive cracked them open with gold tech support on the line to figure out problems/replace parts.

 

 

 

As for the colo fees, we had to float about 4 months, and we have 5 boxes. Right now those 5 boxes are paying for more than our cabinet + tcadmin + teamspeak fees (but not paying for salaries).

 

 

 

We are about to expand ourselves, and I am trying to figure out if I want to go dual opteron (dual sockets) or dual core opteron (single socket) for our new boxes.

 

 

</td></tr></table>

 

 

 

thanks for the insight.

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<table border="0" align="center" width="90%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td class="SmallText">maximum6 wrote on Sun, 12 February 2006 16:11</td></tr><tr><td class="quote">

I think I get the point...you mean that with these Dell leases I have to figure out what I'll do if I need upgrades or whatnot.. Also, colocation doesn't become so profitable until I'm dealing with a greater number of machines.

 

 

 

I use to do Dell Tech support, and we had people opening their boxes all the time,

 

 

</td></tr></table>

 

 

 

Opening a desktop or even a server isn't usually a problem. The grey area is when you pay for the onsite support from Dell. They tend to get antsy when you start mucking around under the hood.. ;)

 

 

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I did a memory upgrade on my Dell laptop not too long ago. The crucial chip blew out the memory slot. Dell sent out a tech to replace the motherboard the next day, and didn't care that I used crucial memory instead of buying direct from them (at half the cost).

 

 

 

Back when I worked for the Federal prisons (I ran their network for the Inmate phone system), we use to take Dell Poweredge servers (totally taken apart) as carry on's for flights so we could meet a Dell tech at site and make sure we had extra spare parts.

 

 

 

Have you actually had a Dell Tech slap your wrist for messing with a machine or is that second hand knowledge from someone else claiming it?

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the genuine parts, I can see. But the sales rep... blah.

 

 

 

I replaced my keyboard on my laptop last year because my dog jumped in my lap when I was working...

 

 

 

They even sent me a refurb screwdriver in the package.

 

 

 

Im about to call dell to see if I can get my miniPCI wifi replaced, Ive been running linux on my lappy a few months, and the wifi died last night, and driver wont even load now, BOOOOOOOOOO

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Of course you are correct if you are meaning the simple warranty you get with any hardware purchase. That's all standard stuff.. I was more referring to a proper service contract. The kind that you pay a small ransom for and have a dell lapdog at your heels day and night.. But no, never had a run in with Dell thank god, HP gave us grief not long ago for adding "non-spec" ram to a new machine that was returned for service.. They wanted badly to blame the memory we added for the problems which turned out to be a failing motherboard..

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We have the service contracts for our dell servers, but why have them come out when all you have to do is yank a drive and put the new one in?

 

 

 

Im not scared to do simple things, but when I had them change out my motherboard in my laptop (which had NBD contract, not 4hr), I had them send out a tech, as I hate dealing with 30138139138 screws. They didn't have a problem with that change out either, as I put a 1gig Crucial stick into it to replace a 256, and they said nothing about it when i pointed it out to them on the phone.

 

 

 

HP might be more anal about stuff... But there's no way I'd pay their prices for memory.

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Dell support is provided by third parties. Basically Dell contracts with numerous local support companies throughout the US to provide the onsite support for their hardware.

 

 

 

I can tell you from experience, they could care less what type of non-standard parts you put into your machines. There are there simply to replace whatever part or parts that Dell tells them to.

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