I work as the IT guy and Engineer for a small tech company in Arlington, TX. We decided we wanted VPN capability into our office, but we didn't have anything to VPN into. My boss was thinking we'd need to buy 4 desktops to use for full functionality (we do VB.NET which can't compile code remotely, meaning the computer has to be reasonably powerful for doing programming work on) while we were out of the office - I suggested we just build one computer to run multiple VMs on, and then we could also use it to sandbox software on before we deploy it on our real server (which is kind-of a POS).
Specs:SuperMicro dual-1366 bare boneXeon E5645
(only one to start with)24 GB of RAMFour 1TB HDDs in RAID 0+1The cheapest video card I could find with a good warrantyIntel's new dedicated RAID card w/ battery backup
Server '08 R2 Enterprise
All the parts arrived and it was time for a little fun. I worked from home where I had all my tools and could take the build nice and easy and still get paid normally - because this is still a LOT cheaper than buying a pre-built server from somebody and I'm between projects at work.
Got the bare bone system opened, tidied up the cable management just a little bit and was ready to start.
Removed the fans and the old SATA cables
A very simple looking 24GB of RAM
The new RAID card w/ battery backup mounted and the cables ready to go in
CPU, GPU, RAM and RAID card installed; the hot-swap panel wired.
DVD drive, fans and HSF (I flipped the fan in it, so ignore the little arrow) installed, and the minor cable management I had to do to keep this looking clean
I got the RAID all configured and fully initialized. Then I started PC Check to verify all the hardware worked correctly out of the box and took a nap while it ran. The dog joined me.
PC Check (like most diagnostics that run outside the OS) can't test most RAID arrays. So I installed Server '08 R2 Enterprise and fired up Western Digital Data Lifeguard which in my opinion is the most effective way to test a complete RAID array for perfect functionality.
Possibly the best day and a half of work ever in IT