Building the New Server
Server Upgrade 2020
This server upgrade has been planned for a few weeks now. Started with an ambitious goal to create a super server that could do it all, but then was reduced to an upgrade, but a significant one at that. The primary goal was to consolidate the two servers into one to make management easier and reduce power consumption. To make this happen I needed high-capacity hard drives for the media server component, an insane amount of RAM (I still wish I had more), and a super fast 1TB boot drive.
The current setup is rather janky, see the image below. It consists of two computers, one rocking a 3rd gen i7 from 2014, and the other rocking an Athlon from that same time period. The smaller Dell server handles the media serving as well as all the game servers, while the larger box with the Athlon is the bulk storage. These are being consolidated with a complete rebuild and upgrade in the be quiet! Pure Base 600 with 3 6TB WD Red drives, a Ryzen 7 3700X and a 1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe SSD. This should provided enough power to host game servers and host a media server all at the same time.
If you are interested in the specs see this post where I announce the upgrade and discuss the parts.
The first step was to dismantle the computer in the case I needed. Thankfully I could do this with minimal impact to the Dell server so only the services that relied on the storage would be down. It was extremely dusty. I needed it to be out of the case to build the new server in it, but I also needed it to run to get the data off. The result is what I like to call the jank bench.
Like I mentioned, the case was extremely dusty, as well as all the parts. I did not care so much about the parts but the case needed a good cleaning. I got to work with compressed air, a vacuum and a microfibre cloth.
First step was to assemble the new server outside the case to ensure everything worked.
I got everything else in an assembled and it was time to POST (Power On Self Test). Will I get it on the first try?
Needed to adjust a bew of the BIOS options for my RAM and CPU but everything was recognized as expected. The server is alive!
Now I wanted to make sure that everything was working properly so I ran a RAM test to ensure that all 64GB were behaving correctly. This took about 10 hours.
Animal Crossing Break
On Christmas Eve I took a small Animal Crossing break to enjoy the Toy Day event while the test ran. Plus I needed a small break.
Can’t forget to ensure that the server receives clean and consistent power, especially in the event of a power failure. Got a new to me Eaton UPS. This should be able to power the server for between 30-60 minutes depending on the load.
Next up is to get all the hard drives in their caddies and then get everything into the case. It is getting exciting as we get closer to completion.
I hope you enjoyed reading my little write up about the server upgrade. It was certainly a lot of fun for me. I am very excited for the upgrade and to test the limits of the new hardware. Obviously everything will be run within a virtual machine or container so there will be minor overhead but it isn’t that much of an issue with modern hardware. If you have any questions or want more info let me know and I am happy to talk about it and answer questions. Now I have to pay my dog tax.
These fluff balls kept me company while I worked on the server and took breaks and whatnot. They are going to miss me when I go back home.