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#211857 - 01/04/2004 14:21 Network and server advice?
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12021
Loc: Sterling, VA
Free stuff is great. As has happened several times in the past, I've inherited some equipment from my father's office. This time it's an old Dell Poweredge 6300 server. Its current configuration, I believe, is two 400MHz P3's and 512MB of RAM. There's also a RAID totalling 80GB of storage in addition to a 9GB drive.

This is all speculation, though. I'm not quite sure what exactly is in here. That's my first question: is there a program I can get that will give me a good amount of info on a system? I think I've seen sites that do this as well.

So what do I need to know to start using this machine? I plan on using it as a file server, possibly a grunt-work machine for video stuff (would that work okay on a server?), may be interested in upgrading the components, and it runs NT 4.0. Where should I start? What other things should I think about?

Thanks for helping.
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Matt

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#211858 - 01/04/2004 14:28 Re: Network and server advice? [Re: Dignan]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31149
Loc: Seattle, WA
Got to Dell's support site and punch in the service tag number for that computer, you'll get all the details. Very useful, that feature.

If you install new software onto the thing (I suggest Windows 2000 Server), make sure to use that same support site to grab all the driver downloads and such that are specific to that PC's components.

Something reasonably important to download is the management software for that RAID controller. It will let you poke around and look at the RAID configuration.
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Tony Fabris

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#211859 - 01/04/2004 14:39 Re: Network and server advice? [Re: tfabris]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12021
Loc: Sterling, VA
Excellent suggestions. Forgive my ignorance, but what exactly is Win2K Server? What I mean is, what makes it "Server"? And in terms of simply using it, will I notice a difference between normal Windows 2000 which I use on my desktop? These are probably dumb questions but I'm curious
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Matt

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#211860 - 01/04/2004 14:51 Re: Network and server advice? [Re: Dignan]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31149
Loc: Seattle, WA
2K server has got a couple of features that make it useful as a server, for instance, coming with Terminal Services built-in. I think it also supports dual-processor, don't recall if 2k professional does or not. Didn't realize you were planning on using this box as a desktop, I thought you were going to make it some kind of a server.
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Tony Fabris

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#211861 - 01/04/2004 14:57 Re: Network and server advice? [Re: tfabris]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12021
Loc: Sterling, VA
I am, I was just wondering what made it an operating system designed for a server. Those explanations make sense.

But can I use it to do certain tasks and free up my machine? For instance, I've been converting video files to a format suitable for my Archos MP3 player using Virtualdub. I don't really care how long it takes for the task to complete, but if it's running on my desktop I don't have a lot of processor left for anything else. I assume that just because it's a server that doesn't mean it can't do tasks like this. Is that correct?
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Matt

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#211862 - 01/04/2004 15:06 Re: Network and server advice? [Re: Dignan]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31149
Loc: Seattle, WA
Yeah, Server can do anything the regular Windows version can do, it's just got more features built-in.
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Tony Fabris

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#211863 - 01/04/2004 15:11 Re: Network and server advice? [Re: tfabris]
talmou
new poster

Registered: 22/05/2002
Posts: 20
Loc: London
Windows 2000 Professional - 2 CPUs
Windows 2000 Server - 4
Windows 2000 Advanced Server - 8
Windows 2000 Datacenter server - 16-32


There is a comparison here

If the machine already has windows installed you can use Balarc Advisor to list the hardware.
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Jim MK2#090000841 MK2a#120001050

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#211864 - 01/04/2004 18:02 Re: Network and server advice? [Re: Dignan]
trs24
old hand

Registered: 20/03/2002
Posts: 729
Loc: Palo Alto, CA
what makes it "Server"?
Some of the most notible differences are:

- IIS in server allows you to create multiple websites, ftp sites, and virtual smtp servers - whereas w2k pro just lets you create 1 website.

- It comes with the DNS service which lets you run your own dns server.

- Like Tony said, it comes with Terminal Services in remote administration mode that will allow in addition to the console session up to 2 concurrent terminal service connections (or remote desktop connections) by default.

- It comes with the routing and remote access service for setting up VPNs, etc.

- It comes with a telnet server, snmp service, and other things that make it more server like.

- It's required if you want to run SQL server 2000 Standard or Enterprise.

Those are just off the top of my head - so that list is by no means all-inclusive. Just most of the biggies.

- trs
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- trs

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#211865 - 01/04/2004 18:09 Re: Network and server advice? [Re: trs24]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31149
Loc: Seattle, WA
Oo, I remember one. It can be configured as a domain controller in a Windows-centric network. I don't think you can do that with Win2k pro.
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Tony Fabris

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#211866 - 01/04/2004 19:03 Re: Network and server advice? [Re: trs24]
Ezekiel
pooh-bah

Registered: 25/08/2000
Posts: 2413
Loc: NH USA
One other thing (not really applicable since you've got a RAID controller): you can use W2k Server with RAID via software. It'll do RAID 0 (striping/spanning - makes two disks look like one), 1 (mirroring - redundant drives with 2 disks), and 5 (strip set with parity - redundant drives with 3 or more disks).

Your RAID controller will do this for you, and faster too, but I thought I'd chime in.

-Zeke
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WWFSMD?

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#211867 - 01/04/2004 19:11 Re: Network and server advice? [Re: Ezekiel]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31149
Loc: Seattle, WA
We've discussed this before on the BBS.... If you're going to do RAID, whatever you do, it needs to be with a hardware controller. Windows software-based RAID is bad news, sewiouswy.

But you have a good point that this is another feature that is 2k-server-specific.
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Tony Fabris

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#211868 - 01/04/2004 20:22 Re: Network and server advice? [Re: tfabris]
Ezekiel
pooh-bah

Registered: 25/08/2000
Posts: 2413
Loc: NH USA
I agree, but I thought I'd bring it up. It has its place.

-Zeke
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WWFSMD?

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#211869 - 01/04/2004 20:35 Re: Network and server advice? [Re: tfabris]
trs24
old hand

Registered: 20/03/2002
Posts: 729
Loc: Palo Alto, CA
Oo, I remember one. It can be configured as a domain controller
Ah yes, of course - the domain controller. A second W2k server can act as a backup domain controller as well. There's also Active Directory... I'm not positive, though that server is required to deploy Active Directory, but I would think it is.

- trs
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- trs

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#211870 - 01/04/2004 21:37 Re: Network and server advice? [Re: talmou]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12021
Loc: Sterling, VA
Windows 2000 Professional - 2 CPUs
Windows 2000 Server - 4
Windows 2000 Advanced Server - 8
Windows 2000 Datacenter server - 16-32
Thanks for the rundown! And thanks to everyone else for the info. I'll have to study up.

I haven't hooked the thing up yet, but I thought I'd offer the specs based on what I found after opening it up and looking at some jumper settings. It currently has two of the 4 processor slots occupied with 500MHz P3 Xeons. If I wanted to max this out I don't suppose it would be much of a problem, though it's tough to find these processors anymore. By the time I have the money, this guy might not have his stock available anymore.

Anyway, I'm still trying to figure out how much RAM is in it. 4 of the 16 slots are occupied, but I don't know how much each stick is. So it's safe to say that there's either 512MB or 1GB.

The other unfortunate thing is that nobody seems to know where the key is, and without it I can't unlock the drive bays to even see what's in there, let alone add or replace anything.

Well, I can't wait to get started setting this thing up.
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Matt

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#211871 - 02/04/2004 09:25 Re: Network and server advice? [Re: Dignan]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12021
Loc: Sterling, VA
Sorry to bring this up again, but I'd really appreciate it if someone could find a reliable source for these processors (and/or memory). I've exhausted all the usual sources I use (Pricegrabber, Pricewatch, Newegg, Froogle, ebay, etc.) and can't really find anything. I found one site but it had a terrible listing with no information, and only a black and white drawing that didn't look like the processors I have.

On most of these sites the problem was that they don't list processors this slow anymore
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Matt

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#211872 - 02/04/2004 09:29 Re: Network and server advice? [Re: Dignan]
tman
carpal tunnel

Registered: 24/12/2001
Posts: 5528
I'm afraid it's actually worse than that. You're supposed to only use certain CPU steppings with each other. There is/was a table on the Intel site which told you which ones were compatible with each other. If you start mixing CPU speeds or steppings then interesting things may start to happen as things go out of sync.

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#211873 - 02/04/2004 09:33 Re: Network and server advice? [Re: tman]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12021
Loc: Sterling, VA
Well, I was looking at ones with the same speed (and came out of other Poweredge 6300 servers), but I don't know about the steppings. I don't think there was much variation among the ones I was looking at. However I don't know what the description in the auction I linked above means. All it says is:
This is multiple items auction. You can buy one or all. All Processors are working pull from Dell Poweredge 6300. It will work with PE 6350 also. The picture is one of them.


It is 500/100/1MB SL3DA.
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Matt

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#211874 - 02/04/2004 10:03 Re: Network and server advice? [Re: Dignan]
andy
carpal tunnel

Registered: 10/06/1999
Posts: 5746
Loc: Wivenhoe, Essex, UK
If you look at this Intel page:

http://processorfinder.intel.com

You will see the list of 500Mhz Xeons. The processors he is selling have a spec number of SL3DA, which tells us they are C0 stepping with 1024K caches.

You need to find out what the ones in your box are. The best way is to open the box and read the details off of the processors. Alternatively you can download the Intel processor ID tool from their website.

Somewhere on the Intel site there will be a document detailing whether you can combine stepping C0 and B0, but I can't find it at the moment. I'm pretty sure you have to match the cache sizes.


Edited by Drakino (09/04/2004 13:14)
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Remind me to change my signature to something more interesting someday

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#211875 - 02/04/2004 10:12 Re: Network and server advice? [Re: andy]
andy
carpal tunnel

Registered: 10/06/1999
Posts: 5746
Loc: Wivenhoe, Essex, UK
Found the document that details stepping combinations:

http://developer.intel.com/design/pentiumiii/xeon/specupdt/24446038.pdf
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#211876 - 03/04/2004 11:55 Re: Network and server advice? [Re: tman]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7868
Loc: Seattle, WA
Dell doesn't support mixed steppings in their servers beyond the recommendations of Intel? Ouch...

Proliant servers have specific portions of their firmware that can deal with mixed processor steppings, and on the Xeon lines, mixed speeds too. I figured that was a standard feature of server class boxes out there, guess not...
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Tom

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#211877 - 03/04/2004 15:36 Re: Network and server advice? [Re: drakino]
andy
carpal tunnel

Registered: 10/06/1999
Posts: 5746
Loc: Wivenhoe, Essex, UK
Dell doesn't support mixed steppings in their servers beyond the recommendations of Intel?

Where did you see that ? Not that it would surprise me, as I understand it Dell's motherboards are supplied by Intel anyway.

Must get round to climbing to the top of the garage and installing the second processor in my Dell PE2200 one day...
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#211878 - 04/04/2004 09:34 Re: Network and server advice? [Re: andy]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12021
Loc: Sterling, VA
Thanks a bunch for those links, Andy. I'm out of town at the moment, but when I get back home this evening I'll check the markings on my CPUs and see what I have. I'm less scared now, though, because searching for the exact ID yields a whole lot more options. There are several auctions on ebay for 2 of those CPUs for $55. Not too bad IMO.

I have another problem that I don't know how to deal with, though. There's a locking mechanism on the front of the machine to prevent the removal of the hard drives. The problem is that my office seems to have lost the key with the lock in the locked position. The machine is at least 4 years old, so they have no idea where the key would have shifted to. What should I do?
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Matt

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#211879 - 04/04/2004 10:10 Re: Network and server advice? [Re: Dignan]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7868
Loc: Seattle, WA
There's a locking mechanism on the front of the machine to prevent the removal of the hard drives. The problem is that my office seems to have lost the key with the lock in the locked position.

Call a locksmith to unlock it. It's likely that if you don't have a single key, or a tag that came with the keys, Dell can't get you a replacement key that would work. That is how it is with HP anyhow, loose a key, and the ID tag the key came with, and we can't order a spare key. We always recommend a true locksmith over do it yourself, since many of our locks go into metal and would bend the case if forced too much.
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Tom

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#211880 - 04/04/2004 15:13 Re: Network and server advice? [Re: drakino]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12021
Loc: Sterling, VA
Thanks, if they don't find the key this week I'll see about that.

Here's the info from one of my CPUs:
500/100/512 S2
Y9130289-0173 IRELAND
SL2XU

I'm disappointed. I thought I'd have the 1024K cache. Oh well. I've bid on two more of these and we'll see how it works out. When I get the machine connected to the internet I'll download Belarc Advisor. Can that tell me what type of RAM I have so I can get more or the same kind?
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Matt

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#211881 - 07/04/2004 08:57 Re: Network and server advice? [Re: tfabris]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12021
Loc: Sterling, VA
I know I'm going to regret asking, but could someone suggest a Linux server OS? I'd like to know if there's a free server version of one of the distros. I was able to find the trial version of Win2003 Server, but no "trial" versions of it or Win2K server.

But if someone knows how to turn the trial version into a "trial" version, I'd appreciate a PM. I'd also like to know how to eliminate some of the highly annoying security "features." Getting a warning window for every single task I seem to try to do is very obnoxious.
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Matt

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#211882 - 07/04/2004 09:29 Re: Network and server advice? [Re: Dignan]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
There's no difference between a Linux server and a Linux workstation other than what software you're running on it. There are a few companies that sell Linux server distros, but that's basically just Linux plus some number of commercial applications, which you probably don't need.

Basically any Linux distro will have enough software to be a server. It's all about configuration. As for what ones might have some sort of server configuration built in, I don't know.
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Bitt Faulk

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#211883 - 07/04/2004 09:31 Re: Network and server advice? [Re: wfaulk]
robricc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/10/2000
Posts: 4909
Loc: Orange County, NY USA
As for what ones might have some sort of server configuration built in, I don't know.
I'm pretty sure Mandrake does.
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-Rob Riccardelli
80GB 16MB MK2 090000736

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#211884 - 07/04/2004 09:49 Re: Network and server advice? [Re: robricc]
frog51
pooh-bah

Registered: 09/08/2000
Posts: 2089
Loc: Edinburgh, Scotland
Yup - RedHat, Mandrake, Suse and others give you the option. The major differences are that the server install usually installs the server components of various apps and the workstation has a more limited set, but in reality both install far too much by default.

You'd be better off deciding what you need and doing a custom install, picking each specific app you need.
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Rory
MkIIa, blue lit buttons, memory upgrade, 1Tb in Subaru Forester STi
MkII, 240Gb in Mark Lord dock
MkII, 80Gb SSD in dock

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#211885 - 07/04/2004 10:02 Re: Network and server advice? [Re: frog51]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12021
Loc: Sterling, VA
Yeah, I had checked out Suse because I'd heard it was a good one for folks visiting from Windows land, and saw that they had some server releases for hundreds of dollars so I assumed there was a lot more to it.

Basically the one concern I had was whether or not a certain distro would support my hardware. From the 4 processors (I won two more on ebay) to the Dell SCSI controller (I'm pretty sure it's Dell branded), to all the other weird server hardware.
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Matt

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#211886 - 07/04/2004 10:19 Re: Network and server advice? [Re: Dignan]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
It's possible that one distribution might handle the setup better than another, but, basically, if it works in Linux at all, it'll work with any distribution. The only difference between the distributions is how stuff is configured and where it's located, really. All the software is the same. (There might also be version differences, but any recent ones will be close enough to each other.)
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Bitt Faulk

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