A New Server!

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Well, folks, my dad decided to really splurge and bought our family a new-to-us Intel Xserve. A “Late 2006” model with four cores of Xeon power, it does hum along. Speaking of hum, this puppy sounds a lot like a jet plane when it’s running full bore. Fortunately, it lives in the well-insulated computer room where finding it just the right spot has been somewhat difficult. It is a big box, after all, about the thickness and width of a pizza box, but about twice as deep. Try finding counter space for two large pizzas and you’ll have some idea of the challenge. I’m a creative kinda’ guy, though, so I’ve found a solution that works nicely and will actually reduce the apparent space taken in the room by the various computers.

So far, the only problem I’ve had is trying to find disks for it. The Apple Drive Modules for this box went out of production a long time ago, and woe to the sysadmin who needs a new one! No worries, though, as the box has two FIreWire 800 ports and two USB 2.0 ports. And if I ever want “faster,” I’ll put in a eSATA RAID controller. But in the meantime, the USB 2.0 will do. (Strangely, most of my drives’ FireWire 400 controllers are toast, causing bus resets at an alarming rate. I’ll stick with USB 2.0, which is plenty fast for serving the files around the house.)

What does this mean for you? Well, the best part of the deal was really the price, since we got this box for $1700 with a copy of Mac OS X Server 10.6. w00t! I’ll be able to continue updating you on whether Apple destroys your custom PHP installs… as soon as I get my own custom PHP install put in.

That’s this morning’s project, and I’ll let you know how it goes.

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