Subject: Re: Best Web Server Hardware?
To: Michael Graff <>
From: Michael L. VanLoon -- <>
List: port-i386
Date: 09/16/1996 21:57:18
>"D. Jay Newman" <> writes:
>> I would like to be able put together a server running NetBSD 1386 for
>> around $5,000-$7,000. This doesn't need to be able to have fancy graphics,
>> but it have good i/o throughput, and good computational abilities (heavy
>> CGI & database useage).

>I have a P100 with 64M ram, 4G in SCSI disks, AHA 2940 controller, and a
>PCI ethernet.  This runs a WWW server, and I never notice a delay, but my
>site isn't hit all that hard.

I run a P120 with 64MB of RAM and an AHA 2940 controller for my own
personal workstation.  It works *very* well.  Everything I do is
almost instantaneous.  It's certainly faster than any RISC workstation
I ever used at the University (though to be fair, they tended to buy
the machines on the lower end of the price list, but still...).

>I would think a 64M machine with a P166, and the above setup would do a
>pretty good job as a WWW server.

I would think that would make one helluva web server.

You could probably even do well with a P133.  And, even a P100 is
going to be very usable.

Don't skimp on RAM.  Especially now that it's so cheap.  Start with
64MB minimum.  You may even want to go with 128MB off the bat, if you
plan on getting lots of hits.  The thing to remember is that lots of
the motherboards out there only have four SIMM sockets, and you need
to buy memory in pairs (meaning two banks of memory).  So, if you
think you *will* want 128MB, just buy two 64MB SIMMs right now.  Then
you still have two open sockets.

Buy good SCSI drives.  You'll be better off with eight 1GB drives than
one 9GB drive, performance-wise.  You can stripe them and get a lot
more throughput than you'd get off one drive.  So you'd want to
consider sticking with multiple 1-2GB drives, striped.

Get a good SCSI controller.  NCR (Symbios) 53c8xx-based cards are very
inexpensive.  If you don't go that route, get an Adaptec 2940 or a
BusLogic BT958, in that order.  (Yes, I just said to buy an Adaptec.)

If you're going to stripe a lot of drives, get an Adaptec 3940, which
has two SCSI controllers on one card.  Just be aware that if you buy
the wide version (3940W or 3940UW), and you don't buy wide drives,
you'll need to get a wide-to-narrow converter with it, since its
internal connectors are both wide.

And, make sure you get a quality motherboard.  I, and Graff, know
first hand that Asus is good quality stuff, since we each own one.
I've heard good things about Tyan, too.  Others have recommended
Gigabyte and SuperMicro.  I don't personally have any experience with

You should be able to set up a *very* nice server for $5000-7000.

>> Shows what happens when I make the mistake of writing the initial message
>> while tired.

>Or you get a collection of bored computer geeks (hello mlv :) on the list.

Hey!  I resemble that statement!

  Michael L. VanLoon                 
        --<  Free your mind and your machine -- NetBSD free un*x  >--
    NetBSD working ports: 386+PC, Mac 68k, Amiga, Atari 68k, HP300, Sun3,
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