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TechWareLabs Builds a Server

Author:  Jason Jacobs
Date:  2007.01.22
Topic:  Hardware
Provider:  Tyan
Manufacturer:  Tyan

TechWareLabs Builds a New Server

We recently built a new server for our hosting needs at TechWareLabs and decided to record the build for our readers. It only took us 1 Minute 35 Seconds to create this powerhouse for you guys. A Video in Quicktime or in MP4 is available for you. If you are subject to motion sickness, or are feint of heart I suggest you check out whats on the Disney channel instead. Those with Rock hard stomachs and wills of steel feel free to click on the links after you strap yourself and your computer to something stable. If our passengers are ready for take off then we are ready to begin. No smoking please.

As will often happen when hosting a site you will find that over time you have the need to upgrade, rebuild, redesign, and change hosts. We had the need for a new server with both more space and more processing power. Building a server is not the same as building a desktop. There are many considerations and variables that come into play when selecting and building a server. For example:

  1. Form Factor (Rack Mountable or Standard Desktop Tower)
  2. Single, Dual, or Quad sockets for processing power
  3. Platform choice (motherboard) and operating system
  4. Onboard options such as Raid, SAS, SATA, and more
  5. Power requirements
  6. Storage Requirements (SATA, SCSI, SAS, IDE)

Having answered the questions above and more we selected the following components:

  1. 2U Rack Mountable ANTEC case.
  2. Tyan S5370 Motherboard
  3. 2GB Kingston FB-DIMM Memory
  4. (2) Intel Xeon 5110 Processors
  5. (2) Western Digital 160 GB SATA Hard Drives
  6. (2) CoolJag 2U Heatsinks

As we have stated in previous reviews the single most important component in your system is the motherboard. We selected Tyan for its long history in the server market and the reputation of their motherboard for stability and performance. The S5370 supports the Xeon Dual Core 5110 processors running at 1.6Ghz per core. The S5370 also has the following features:

• Dual LGA771 sockets
• Support up to two Intel® Xeon® processors
5000/5100 series; dual-Core
• 1333/1066/667MHz FSB; VRD 11.0

• Intel® 5000V chipset
• Intel® 6321ESB I/O Controller Hub
• SMSC SCH5017 Super I/O chip

• Four (4) 240-pin DDR2 FBDIMM sockets
• Dual memory channels
• Supports ECC memory
• Supports DDR2 FBDIMM 667/533MHz

Expansion Slots
• Two (2) PCI-E x8 slots (with x4 signal)
• One (1) PCI-X slot 133/100MHz slot
• Two (2) PCI 32-bit 33MHz slots
• Total of five (5) expansion slots (from ESB2)

Integrated I/O
• One 9-pin 16550 UART serial port
• One 15-pin VGA port
• Eight USB 2.0 ports (two at rear,
three front headers support six ports)
• PS/2 mouse and keyboard connectors
• One FDD connector
• One IDE connector supports ATA 100
• Six standard/integrated SATA ports
• Two RJ-45 10/100/1000 LAN ports side by side

• Phoenix BIOS® on 8Mbit Flash ROM
• Serial Console Redirect
• PXE via Ethernet, USB device boot
• PnP, DMI 2.0, WfM 2.0 Power Management
• Auto-configuration of hard disk types
• Multiple boot options
• 48-bit LBA support


System Management
• Winbond W83793G Hardware Monitor ASIC
• CPU thermal and voltage monitoring support
• 2-pin chassis intrusion header
• 4-pin fan monitoring header
• Five (5) fan headers with tachometer and
auto fan control (4-pin configuration)

Integrated Video Controller
• XGI Volari™ Z7 (XG20); PCI interface
• 16MB DDR frame buffer of video memory

Integrated LAN Controllers
• Intel Gigabit from ESB2 (w/ "Gilgal"); ASF 2.0 opt.
• Two front panel LED headers (Link/Act)
• Two RJ-45 port with LEDs

Integrated SATA Controller (ESB2)
• Six (6) SATA 2.0 ports from Intel ESB2
• RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 supported
(RAID 10 only supported under windows)

Intelligent Platform Management Interface (optional)
• Baseboard Management Controller (BMC)
• BMC from daughter card M3291
(Hitachi BMC Renesas H8S2167)
• Tailored for IPMI 2.0 specification
• Supports remote Power on/off and reset support
• Server Management Daughter card via built-in
2x25 header

Form Factor
• SSI CEB v1.01 footprint (12" x 10.5")

• EPS12V / SSI (24 + 8 pin) power connectors

As you can see the S5370 is a capable motherboard with features that allow for growth and scalability. The selection of the Xeon 5110 processors gives TechWareLabs enough power to drive not only our site but also allows for future enhancements.

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