Setting Up a Web Server - Hardware & Software Requirements

We wish to setup our own web server from scratch. We have to purchase and assemble every single component down to the last nut/bolt. What recommendations do you guys make for the software & hardware?


Have a look around at webhosts ‘technical information’ pages, I reckon a good Intel Dual processor machine with a couple gigs of RAM would do nicely for the hardware. In fact, I’ve just found this handy article; have a look at it.


Thanks for the article link Poncho!

You would need alot of RAM about 2-3 Gbs, and buy new hdd about 180 - 200 Gb would do, then you would need linux if you would want a linux server (reccomended) and buy cpanel, and install mysql phpmyadmin apache etc. but the link that the guiy above posted is good so id follow that aswell

  • Sy

Personally, I’d stay away from Intel and go with AMD - Use less power, less power = less heat = less expensive to colo in the long run, oh yeah, they’re faster for most tasks too, and cheaper :slight_smile: If you’ve never built a server before, I’d recommend either a 1U barebones from Tyan or Supermicro, or if you really do want to build it all, then build it in to a 2U case. If you really want to go for 1U then don’t look for the cheapest case around, you’ll pay in the long run - The cases we use for our 1U servers cost around £200 each.

I’d also recommend hardware RAID, 3ware make a very affordable 2 port SATA RAID1 controller, the 8006-2, it’s always worth having RAID unless you don’t value your data.

Thanks for the input guys. About the Intel v/s AMD debate, we will have to go with Intel because we have tested both and for the conditions here (gets extremely dusty in the summer months in New Delhi) AMD tends to just crank out while Intel has performed better.

  • What will be the primary purpose of the server?

  • What is your budget?

  • Are you looking for a rack or blade server?

  1. To host about 20-25 medium sized websites

  2. Enough. Me quoting an absolute price would be meaningless as I would be buying in the cheaper Indian market rather than international market.

  • Are you looking for a rack or blade server?

Not sure what either means. :frowning:

Dust makes no different to AMD/Intel debate, it’s the quality of the cooling components - and in a 1U server you’d not be using an active heatisnk anyway, so it’s all down to the cooling the case supplies - Which would be the same with either AMD/Intel, as you’d no doubt pick the same case in either respect.

Karl, We’ve tried both Intel and AMD in the same heat, dust & cooling parameters. AMD fails to be stable in the north Indian dusty summer. We have to go for Intel, which has performed much better.

I would strongly recommend you find a different solution. Server rooms are always isolated because dust can cause a lot of problems.

It’s a good idea that you have done some preliminary tests, but you need to think of it in the long run.
Will your hardware be able to sustain the circumstances for more than 1 year? how about 2 years?

To answer your previous question, here are some links to different types of servers:

This is a server rack:

This is a blade server:

Standard ATX server:

The trick to configuring the right server is to understand how much traffic you will handle, and what kind of traffic it will be.
Will you be serving very large files or making thousands of connections to the database?

If you check current benchmarks and price comparisons, AMD Opterons are at the top of the line. And as someone recommended earlier, go for a Tyan or Supermicro board.

If you choose to go Intel, then Xeons are the only obvious alternative. Personally I have never built a Xeon-based server, so I cannot make any recommendations for it.

Regardless of the processor platform, if you will be serving smaller files or many database requests (ex: transactions) then pick up a RAID card alongside a SCSI 15k RPM drive.
If you plan to serve large files, then running SCSI 15k drives will be too expensive for large capacities.