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post #7 of (permalink) Old 11-28-2013, 01:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Jakewat View Post

Would you know any sites/ pages that I could find some good info on the whole server topic. I have a very faint idea of the whole thing but the specifics are something that I'm keen on studying. You seem to know your way around servers and wanted to ask where you acquired your knowledge.

Also I'll be having a look at this interesting build too.

Servethehome has some nice articles. They don't just look at the latest and greatest hardware, but also
stuff of interest to the home server enthusiast which you can get on eBay for cheaps (similar to the components
for this build). Also, just googling around for specific questions I might have.

Aside from that I have also found browsing the catalogues of server hardware vendors very helpful (Supermicro,
Tyan, Asus, LSI, Intel). It gives you a general idea of what components are available for what platform, and when
you find something that might be of interest to you, you can do more research on that specific part via Google and
see if you can get it on eBay (it can be kind of tricky to find the right stuff on eBay with generic searches such as
'lga 1366 server board' or something like that, lots of stuff gets missed which you only find with specific searches
such as 'Supermicro X8DT3' etc., you get the idea).

TBH though it's not all that complex, it's more about getting yourself acquainted with product lines which aren't
that known to the normal user (so, for example, finding out what kind of Xeons are available for the LGA1366
socket and which ones might be right for your needs), the procedure is pretty much the same as when a new
desktop product line is launched. The primary caveat is of course that info (reviews etc.) is more difficult to find,
sometimes even downright impossible, so you need to rely much more on spec sheets, manuals and the
occasional tidbit to find out whether or not some component (say, a M/B) is right for you. The nice part about
pro-grade hardware is that the documentation is often pretty good (for example, Supermicro's manual for my
motherboard has been very helpful), so you can often get a good idea of a product's capabilities by doing some
careful reading.

As for the software side of things (which could be argued to be the more important aspect): I've been using exclusively
Linux for quite a few years now (not to sound elitist, it's just a statement of fact wink.gif), and for most server-like tasks
there are some pretty decent resources available for Linux (I'm assuming for Win Server as well, but I'm not up-
to-date on that front), so usually I just have a look at the Arch Wiki, and if it's not in there I look around google
and Youtube to see if there are any tutorials available for what I wish to do (for instance, setting up a DHCP
server on my machine, although I'm not yet sure if I'll actually do that). On a side note: That's also pretty cool
about server-grade hardware: Good Linux support. smile.gif

Then there remains the topic of networking and security, for which I have found Eli the Computer Guy's channel
very helpful. Although I've only just started to delve deeper into that side of things, so there's still lots to learn.

For example, I recently did some research on Cisco since, for one thing, we have one of their routers, and secondly,
I was thinking about buying a managed switch from them. Then I found out that they'd done backdoor firmware
updates for a few of their router series and have been involved in quite a few controversies (for example, they
seem to have been helping China build its great firewall). There are also rumours that they've been helping
the NSA with their snooping around (say, sending info about their routers' users browsing and downloading
habits to the man?), although I must say that these are just rumours and I haven't been able to find anything
definite on that topic.

Still, I'm paranoid enough that this has motivated me to avoid prebuilt closed-source networking equipment
and now I want to implement my own solution to make sure my equipment only really does what I actually
tell it to do. However, I'm not yet far along in my research (and finances wink.gif) to implement something proper in
that regard. But yeah, I feel an urge to get rid of my Cisco router/access point and build my own equipment,
for which there remains a significant amount of work to do.

Sorry for the long post, but that's what I do, apparently rolleyes.gif

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