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Real WEBSERVER equipment vs Standard Home Desktop-> Real big difference?

sprockettsprockett New
edited February 2006 in Vanilla 1.0 Help
Ok guys, im planning to get some hardware for an upcoming project of mine. Quick question, why is real WEBSERVER equipment SOOOOOOOO much more expensive than a normal desktop? I can get a dual proc p4, 2gb ram, 2x 200 gb SATA raid for like 500+. A dell power edge costs like 1grand at LEAST. Its not like as if desktops can't run 24/7. They can. My PC at home has been on for 2 years, running non stop p2p, webserver, web radio etc.


  • I think blade servers are so expensive because they are designed and built for that job. Cheap desktops are built from parts that are cheap at the time. There are desktop servers too, and they aren't that different from desktop workstations, and they are built to be servers.
  • It's custom built for serving, hot-swapping, high-availability everything.
  • Not to mention that the word "rackmount" automatically quadruples the price.
  • True dat.

    Oh, and some entertain quite advanced diagnostics... which are quite fun to play with :D
  • lechlech Chicagoland
    It really all depends on what you'll be using it for, you don't necessarily NEED the most expensive hardware to qualify for "server" level. Your average desktop or even a nice laptop can do as of a fine job and sometimes better providing the network card and (if applicable) the router it's behind can live up to the task of getting slashdotted. Most of the high end gear not only supports some slick cases and diagnostic tools, but in most cases, allows for a crapload of drives and other devices to hook up to it with oodles of ram slots and other goodies. If you're just running a personal web server for a personal or small community project, anything you can swipe cheaply off the shelves should suffice.
  • Incidentally, if i were to run my PC as a testing server (for php etc) how would i do that? Link to a tutorial?
  • lechlech Chicagoland
    edited February 2006
    That really depends what OS you're running under your pc. If it's *nix based, expect a slightly long and hard road ahead if you're new to setting it up. And normally, each distro usually has it's own way of deploying apache or webserver of your choosing. Not to mention the other components and libraries required. And editing configs can be a nightmare but it has to all get done somehow.

    BUT... If it's running a recent flavor of windows, it's probably as easy as installing XAMP or any other WAMP (windows apache mysql php) installation distros. The learning curve is much smaller here and you'll have a running environment in about as much time as it takes to brew a pot of coffee.

    I toyed around with xamp last year when I wanted to run perl and a few other things locally on my laptop before switching it to gentoo. It's a little shakey at start, but not too bad if you just want to poke around.
  • lechlech Chicagoland
    edited February 2006
    Just being me, I wouldn't expose any of my windows machines 1 port past my router or firewall for any reason, so if it is windows, keep it locked down :)
  • A webserver can and will run 24/7. A home desktop can, but it isn't made for that and nothing is guaranteed. Difference: everything is redundant and hot swappable. From the two separate sources of electricity and 100/1k Mbit networks to hard disks, the motherboard being able to understand all that. And there is an external access to switch off, reboot or do some operations I don't know without having any physical access to the server. Like master puppets if I translate this well from my mother tongue. There are businesses where 99,9xxx% reliability (less than 8 minutes per year is common I think but I may be wrong) is too much and "just come later, dude, I'm changing the alimentation" is a disaster. The customer will see the following: "I'm an unreliable website and my company is alike". Another reason is the size of the market: a few hundred vs millions. Does it apply to your needs and budget? Not sure, but there is a reason for such prices
  • Hmm thanks guys for a very detailed response... I think i understand now.. The thing is im ready to move my project to real servers (been testing it locally for awhile now) and was debating between some dedicated managed servers, or a colocation option. The colo option seemed cheaper, so i started thinking about hardware, and realized REAL server equipment was much more expensive...
  • Well, if you want your own server to be lord of, you should turn your interests towards Hotel services, our company has been oogling for one for a while but haven't come up with a descision. But they are basically this, you buy a suitable hardware (usually you get great help from the hotel service provider) and you load the server to the service providers digs and they keep the server running and all that, administrate over it and bill you when needed. But I don't think that you need anything like that, since if you needed you would know alot about it already and wouldn't be asking anyone about it :D
  • Hi kosmo, if im not wrong thats what colocation is... basically u just rent a cubic unit, + pay for bandwidth, and u can put whatever server u want in there... but its expensive too.. renting a full cabinet of space costs like 800 bucks.. That'd be useful only if i had like 10 rackomount servers.. whcih i dont. I've got a beatup p42.66 rightnow lol
  • ithcyithcy New
    edited February 2006
    lech, exposing the standard server ports (80,22,110,etc) on windows is not a security problem unless you run insecure software on those ports. there are no vulnerabilities on those ports.

    i've run multiple servers on many windows machines at home and in several IT organizations, and never had an intrusion. netBIOS port, on the other hand...
  • lechlech Chicagoland
    ithcy, you just know what I mean :) I wouldn't trust a windows server over a *nix/bsd box if i had to choose between the two. As for colocation, there are some cheap places out there and they'll take whatever you throw at them usually. Basically you'll be paying for the space/bandwidth/electricity that your box uses and depending if you need it, they'll even have someone on hand 24/7 to wander around and reset the boxes as needed.
  • Just out of interest, does this project you're launching actually need its own server[s]? There is an absolute fuckton of different web hosting packages out there to suit nearly everyones needs. You only really need dedicated if this is gonna be an extremely busy project. Colo *usually* works out cheaper *in the long run*. If you're not down with the up front payments then there is a LOT of reasonable dedicated hosting out there where the host will provide a box which is all yours for the period of rent. Also has the benefit that any repairs aint your problem (aside from the downtime, naturally. guarantees of which vary)
  • well, im abt to launch a private testing phase, then a public beta... the problem with it is that its possible it could get SUDDENLY get a lot of hits should it be featured on techcrunch or something... i dont want to be caught in that situation... i'll preview it to u guys first!! :P
  • (Noob alert)
    i just installed xammp, and OMG!!! I HAVE A PHP.INI!!!!

    the amount of times i've been told to edit that....
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