PDA

View Full Version : How to build a server?



cy
01-02-02, 11:12 PM
Questions for you guys

1) How do i build a server?
2) What OS is the best
3) What do most ppl build a server for?
4) Requirements for server?

I m asking cuz I m kinda bored and want to build a server but I donno much about it, so ppl that has some knownledge about server plz give me a hand here. ;)

BaLa
01-02-02, 11:19 PM
I'm certainly no expert..

2.) W2k depends on what you're building it for... I would say..

Ghosthunter
01-02-02, 11:20 PM
Originally posted by cy
Questions for you guys

1) How do i build a server?
2) What OS is the best
3) What do most ppl build a server for?
4) Requirements for server?

I m asking cuz I m kinda bored and want to build a server but I donno much about it, so ppl that has some knownledge about server plz give me a hand here. ;)


1) Tough question to answer depends on answer #2

2) Depends on what you are going to use it for which kind of depends on #3, but some choices can be NT/2k, Linux, Unix, Novell

3) Many different functions, here are a few off the top of my head: web server, file/print server, smtp, email, all databases (mssql, mssql, db2, oracle), client/server apps, sna, active directory, edirectory/nds, data warehouses, gaming, these are just a few off the top of my head.

4) Another tough question depending upon #3

To be honest I wish I can be more descriptive but it is a huge field out there, and basically anything can be done. What do you really want to learn?

cy
01-02-02, 11:21 PM
Originally posted by BaLa
I'm certainly no expert..

2.) W2k depends on what you're building it for... I would say..

Yea I heard that 2k would be the best but also Mandrake 8.0 is good too, so i wanna know which is is actually better. ;)

cy
01-02-02, 11:22 PM
Originally posted by davy19



1) Tough question to answer depends on answer #2

2) Depends on what you are going to use it for which kind of depends on #3, but some choices can be NT/2k, Linux, Unix, Novell

3) Many different functions, here are a few off the top of my head: web server, file/print server, smtp, email, all databases (mssql, mssql, db2, oracle), client/server apps, sna, active directory, edirectory/nds, data warehouses, gaming, these are just a few off the top of my head.

4) Another tough question depending upon #3

To be honest I wish I can be more descriptive but it is a huge field out there, and basically anything can be done. What do you really want to learn?

How about for a web server or data storage? ;)

BaLa
01-02-02, 11:24 PM
btw Mandrake Linx 8.0 and W2k I would say W2k..
b/c it's MUCH easier to use...

unless you want to learn/play with Linux, in which case get Linux of course..

Ghosthunter
01-02-02, 11:26 PM
Originally posted by cy


Yea I heard that 2k would be the best but also Mandrake 8.0 is good too, so i wanna know which is is actually better. ;)


Neither is better in all functions. Each on is better than some. Also it depends who you ask, ask one IT person and they will say Linux over 2k especailly for web server (like me).

Novell is the best in file/printer - too bad their marketing strategies stink and I think it is almsot over for them, I wish not but being in IT I cannot even recommend them anymore without feeling guilty.

Microsoft NT/2k - is great for application servers. Many types here from client/server to mssql database (mssql has come a long way especailly with 2k, a very robust product and not as expesinve as Oracle)

UNix/Linux is great for DB2, another powerhouse database application, and also great for web servers, smtp, ftp, most exploits are against Microsoft as seen in Nimda so for security Linux is the way to go, plus it is free you cant beat that.

Hope that helps.

drdoug99
01-02-02, 11:28 PM
LOL...."Hmm....I'm bored today, I'll think I'll spend some money and build a server":D

A server is just a regular computer that hosts, or "serves" a request or files for other computers, or "workstations".

Like Indys' UT server...he has UT and all the necessary patches and skins and stuff....and his server hosts the files for us to play on....that's pretty much a simple explanation of it.

Like I'm planning on using my old IBM aptiva as a general fileserver....nothing fancy, 333mhz, 256mb RAM, onboard sound/video, etc.

Use a NOS, a network operating system, like windows 2000, or Novell Netware, or Linux/UNIX/ etc, etc. something that is good.

actually, heres' a good link. I'm sure we'll both learn something.
http://www.pcmech.com/byos/index.htm:D

Ghosthunter
01-02-02, 11:30 PM
For Web servers I would go with Linux / Apache Web server.

Very powerful, and you dont need a powerhorse machine like NT/2K. Well it really depends how mcuh you planning on storage and how much bandwidth will be hitting at once but for the most part you need less system requirements on a Linux box then MS, and it is cheaper no need to buy any software it is all free..not like MS.

Brent
01-02-02, 11:30 PM
Originally posted by cy
Questions for you guys

1) How do i build a server?
2) What OS is the best
3) What do most ppl build a server for?
4) Requirements for server?

I m asking cuz I m kinda bored and want to build a server but I donno much about it, so ppl that has some knownledge about server plz give me a hand here. ;)

1.) With your Hands :p seriously though, you build it just like any pc lol

2.) Depends on your needs and the function of the Server. For a file server Win2k will do just fine. For a WebServer Linux with Apache really is the best. However you can also get Apache on Win2k. So for you prolly the easiest thing is going to be Windows 2000 Server or Windows XP Server. You can then use Apache, or IIS if you want to as a webserver.

3.) Lots of things, too many to name. File Server, Web Server, Game Server, Gateway, whatever people need one for.

4.) Same as a regular computer, hardware and software lol

a server can simply be any computer you designate as a server, for instance point to a pc in your house and call it the "Server" Boom! it's a server! now do with it what you want

cy
01-02-02, 11:41 PM
Originally posted by drdoug99
LOL...."Hmm....I'm bored today, I'll think I'll spend some money and build a server":D


I think i didn't make myself clear, i mean "make my computer a server"...geez...you ppl, lol. I m planning to dual boot XP and 2k and play around with it. Thanks all. ;)

terrancelam
01-03-02, 12:51 AM
there's actually a specific version of Win2k, that Microsoft released, not sure if you can get your hands on it, but Windows 2000 Advanced Server is supposedly as stable as they come.

Anyways, what kind of server do you have in mind? Game server? Personal Private Network? File sharing? Data sharing? Internet Sharing?

cy
01-03-02, 01:31 AM
Originally posted by terrancelam

Anyways, what kind of server do you have in mind? Game server? Personal Private Network? File sharing? Data sharing? Internet Sharing?

Well, I m thinking Privite or file. ;)

Faust
01-03-02, 03:26 AM
well, here's my $.02.

when it comes to operating systems, i just go with what i know best (win9x & 2k). they may not be the best for the desired application, but i know how to work with them. i think there is better advice on this in the posts above.

now, when it comes to hardware, the most important thing is to determine how many simultanious streams you will have (read: number of clients connected and accessing at the same time) and how many processes you will be running.

if you realistically expect maybe 1-4 simultanious connections, i would say you could just use a basic desktop system. ~500MHz (you could get away with less if its only 1 at a time), 256MB to 512MB RAM and a big 'ol HDD (as fast as you can get. especially for a fileserver or webserver). NAT or Proxy dont really require too much speed on the HDD end for basic services unless you have a lot of web caching and fitering and logging going on. you would also need a decent quality NIC. Linksys or a Netgear with a good chipset would suffice, though a good Intel or 3Com would be choice.

if you expect more simultanious connections than 1-4, then you would need to build up one or more of the aspects of the server (depending on what you will actually be running and how many clients are actually connecting). CPU, memory, disk I/O, and communications are your only real main concerns with a server (well, that and a good, solid mainboard/chipset tying it all together). video, sound, and all other front-end user goodies are not important.

saying "i want a server" is like going to a hardware store and saying "i want some tools". having really expensive tools is all well and good. but having the right tools for the job it what gets things done.

YeOldeStonecat
01-03-02, 06:42 AM
Servers should be built "application driven"....meaning they are customized for what job they will serve. Do you need incredible I/O for file storage/retrieval, or running an app which runs data off a mapped drive, in which case a fast RAID array for fast hard drive, you don't care about the CPU or memory. Or are you running some huge SQL database, in which case you want lots of RAM, and if you need to process data often, multiple CPU's. Listen to all the Linux fans telling you to get a Linux server...so you get one, then spend all the time/money on it configuring it, only to find out that the application you wish to run in your home or business won't run on Linux, that it needs a Microsoft system, well, heh...surprise....most of the world runs on Microsoft, like it or not. And the box you bought for the Linux server is most likely minimal in it's horsepower, not enough nut to run Microsoft, so now you have a nice paperweight, and have to start all over again.

Faust hit the nail on the head pretty well. In looking at what your needs are, do you need a server, or just a desktop to "act" as a mini-server. When you mention "server", it's usually referring to a computer with a server operating system, such as NT 4 Server, or Windows 2000 Server, NOT Win2K Pro, Windows NT 4 Workstation, Windows XP Pro, or 9X, those are all Desktop Operating Systems. Desktop OS's are designed for up to 10 concurrent connections. So for home users, which may have maybe a half dozen or so clients connect to a game they are hosting, in which case a desktop OS will be OK for their "server". But take that box to a LAN party and have 50 peeps connect...don't go wondering why half of them are getting horrid pings.

I just built a server last night to replace our clans current server that is getting long in the tooth. It's a gaming server which we co-locate at my ISP's data center, sitting on some seriously fat bandwidth (4x OC-3 lines are switched to that room). It's a server which currently runs 3x UT games, Q3, it will now run RTCW, a very graphic and sound driven website, FTP, the clans forum and mIRC server, PcAnywhere, VNC, and several other websites. The server up there now is single CPU PIII 700 with 384 megs, NT 4 Server. I'm built a dual PIII rig with 512 megs to replace it Now running 4x game servers on the same box, the CPU or the RAM really isn't the bottneck. The above current server never really passed 320 megs or RAM usage running all that stuff, and only when we added Q3 to the existing 3 UT servers did the CPU utilization start to max out often, which is why I've had to hold off on RTCW until we got the new dual CPU box built. Another key item is the NIC...you cannot slap in some cheap 20 dollar linksys/dlink/kingston/realtek/whatever NIC in a box with this many connections and expect good performance. Streaming all this data to many concurrent connections requires a NIC with nut. You've to to spend a hundge and get a server class NIC.

I have my choice of which OS to install, and from my experience with building gaming servers, NT 4 Server still runs the best for serving up games. Now I work for a computer VAR, I build/install/support servers and networks for a living, and I have my choice of which OS to install. I actually removed my install of Win2K Server because even with two service packs out, it still has some issues, plus it uses far more resources, NT 4 can be leaned out much more and perform better for games.

Win2K Advanced Server is a little much for a stand alone, it's designed for running in clustered server environments for load balancing with other servers.

So your questions, such as:
1) How do you build a server? Well, that answer depends on the other three...since there are sooo many different approaches. But the starting point is "What am I building a server for? What do I wish it to do for me?"....get the answer to that, and you can move forward.
2) What OS is the best?
3) What do most people build a server for?
Again, depends on what you are doing.
***For websites, Microsofts IIS is proven to be quite hacked, and Linux/Apache are the kings here.
***For a game server? Depends on which game, Linux does well for games that will run server mode under Linux. It's lean and it's fast. I use NT 4 Server because I run a lot of other things also, and it works great for me.
***Mail server? Depends, Microsoft Exchange, iMail, Lotus, they run on NT Server, I think Lotus also on Novell, other mail servers will run on Linux.
***Database server? Microsoft has taken the lead here.
***File storage/print sharing server? You have Microsoft and Novell, Novell used to be the king. Also a "has been" called Artisoft LANtastic.
***Domain Controller (to manage the domain and policies), DHCP(to manage TCP/IP on the network), WINS (to manage name resolution across larger networks), anti-virus domain (to hand out updates, monitor the network), RAS/VPN (to allow remote access to the network), Proxy server ( one method of allowing internet access), Terminal Server/Citrix Server (to allow thin clients on the network to share an application that runs on the server). This list can go on and on, but those are some examples of purposes you build individual servers for on larger networks.

4) Requirements for a server? Comes back to the good old question "What am I going to use this server for?" While it's nice to say "My server has 4X CPU's and 4.0 gigs of RAM"...will you even fully utilize a server that has an old PII 450 and 256 megs of RAM? Most people couldn't.

So...to better answer your question...what do you want a server for?

cy
01-03-02, 12:26 PM
Originally posted by Faust
well, here's my $.02.

when it comes to operating systems, i just go with what i know best (win9x & 2k). they may not be the best for the desired application, but i know how to work with them. i think there is better advice on this in the posts above.

now, when it comes to hardware, the most important thing is to determine how many simultanious streams you will have (read: number of clients connected and accessing at the same time) and how many processes you will be running.

if you realistically expect maybe 1-4 simultanious connections, i would say you could just use a basic desktop system. ~500MHz (you could get away with less if its only 1 at a time), 256MB to 512MB RAM and a big 'ol HDD (as fast as you can get. especially for a fileserver or webserver). NAT or Proxy dont really require too much speed on the HDD end for basic services unless you have a lot of web caching and fitering and logging going on. you would also need a decent quality NIC. Linksys or a Netgear with a good chipset would suffice, though a good Intel or 3Com would be choice.



Yes, I m thinking of using my current desktop with Tbird 1.0Ghz, 320MB RAM but only a little 30GB HD, Linksys NIC. Remember my purpose of this is just to learn about server. Thanks for your info. ;)


Originally posted by YeOldStoneCat
Servers should be built "application driven"....meaning they are customized for what job they will serve. Do you need incredible I/O for file storage/retrieval, or running an app which runs data off a mapped drive, in which case a fast RAID array for fast hard drive, you don't care about the CPU or memory. Or are you running some huge SQL database, in which case you want lots of RAM, and if you need to process data often, multiple CPU's. Listen to all the Linux fans telling you to get a Linux server...so you get one, then spend all the time/money on it configuring it, only to find out that the application you wish to run in your home or business won't run on Linux, that it needs a Microsoft system, well, heh...surprise....most of the world runs on Microsoft, like it or not. And the box you bought for the Linux server is most likely minimal in it's horsepower, not enough nut to run Microsoft, so now you have a nice paperweight, and have to start all over again.

Faust hit the nail on the head pretty well. In looking at what your needs are, do you need a server, or just a desktop to "act" as a mini-server. When you mention "server", it's usually referring to a computer with a server operating system, such as NT 4 Server, or Windows 2000 Server, NOT Win2K Pro, Windows NT 4 Workstation, Windows XP Pro, or 9X, those are all Desktop Operating Systems. Desktop OS's are designed for up to 10 concurrent connections. So for home users, which may have maybe a half dozen or so clients connect to a game they are hosting, in which case a desktop OS will be OK for their "server". But take that box to a LAN party and have 50 peeps connect...don't go wondering why half of them are getting horrid pings.

I have my choice of which OS to install, and from my experience with building gaming servers, NT 4 Server still runs the best for serving up games. Now I work for a computer VAR, I build/install/support servers and networks for a living, and I have my choice of which OS to install. I actually removed my install of Win2K Server because even with two service packs out, it still has some issues, plus it uses far more resources, NT 4 can be leaned out much more and perform better for games.

Win2K Advanced Server is a little much for a stand alone, it's designed for running in clustered server environments for load balancing with other servers.

So...to better answer your question...what do you want a server for?


So in concludsion, as a "Server newbie", I should just install Win 2K Server to use it for now? My main purpose should be no more than website and file storage. Now i think I gotta get my hand on a Win2K Server first. Thanks a lot for this "long" information.http://www.3dpcgame.com/cwm/s/contrib/sally/lol.gif

cy
01-03-02, 12:57 PM
Just another question. I m currently in a home network, as a client, using a crossover cable to the host. Will I be able to configure my computer as a server? :rolleyes:

Faust
01-03-02, 03:08 PM
yes. unless it is supposed to act as NAT or Proxy or something where there is an incoming data stream (read: internet feed). in that case you would probably want to set up the computer with the incoming 'net feed as the server. if it's a private/isolated LAN, then either system could be designated as a "server".

at home, i have 3 systems on a LAN (my main system, my server, and the system other people are allowed to touch). i do have a "server" which i use to serve files, host small games, and more importantly (for my application) run all superfluous processes i don't want hogging up CPU cycles on my main system such as CD burning, AV software, local sniffer (to suppliment firewall logs) and other such things. i don't run NAT or Proxy as each terminal has it's own public IP addy. what i am getting at is you can also set up the "server" box to run much like an unattended workstation..... to run extra processes/functions.

(*oh, and you quoted me as saying the second quote in your last post when it was in fact YeOldStoneCat. though flattered, i just want the "props" to go to the right place :) *)

cy
01-03-02, 04:38 PM
Originally posted by Faust

(*oh, and you quoted me as saying the second quote in your last post when it was in fact YeOldStoneCat. though flattered, i just want the "props" to go to the right place :) *)

Opps, edited ;)

Anyways, I'll m getting Windows 2000 Server from a friend now, and i'll install it later on then I'll ask more question about it :)
btw, is 2.1 GB HD enough to fit Win 2K in?

Ghosthunter
01-03-02, 08:47 PM
"Anyways, I'll m getting Windows 2000 Server from a friend now, and i'll install it later on then I'll ask more question about it
btw, is 2.1 GB HD enough to fit Win 2K in?"

Barely, minimum requirements is 2 GB hard drive with at least 1 GB free space. So as long as you have the 1 GB free you should be ok.

cy
01-03-02, 09:34 PM
Originally posted by davy19
"Anyways, I'll m getting Windows 2000 Server from a friend now, and i'll install it later on then I'll ask more question about it
btw, is 2.1 GB HD enough to fit Win 2K in?"

Barely, minimum requirements is 2 GB hard drive with at least 1 GB free space. So as long as you have the 1 GB free you should be ok.

1GB spare on the same HD? Cuz i have plenty on my other 2 HD. BTW i m having some installation problem, I posted it software forum (http://forums.speedguide.net/showthread.php?s=&threadid=62785), anyone can help? :)