Advice on building "storage servers" with two DL380 G7 servers



  • @shuey said in Advice on building "storage servers" with two DL380 G7 servers:

    Thanks for all the feedback guys! I got on a live chat this morning with xByte and will be getting a quote later today. Can't hurt to at least see what they have to offer and get a price ;).

    I've always found that Dell beat xByte when its their end of quarter and end of year; you then get all new kit rather than refurbished. Of course you do have to haggle. From memory, Dell operate Feb - April = Q1, May - July = Q2, Aug - Oct = Q3 and Nov - Jan = their end of year... if you can wait until the last week of each you get great sales usually where they hit low prices to nail their targets.



  • @shuey why 2 cpu for a nas?! Wasn't 1 just enough?



  • @matteo-nunziati It wasn't an option of 1 or 2. If you look at their product page, they ONLY sell a 2 CPU configuration (at least for the models I reviewed).



  • @Shuey also how much do you can afford for offline? NBD for backup seems ok to me. But Maybe you would consider prosupport?!



  • @shuey said in Advice on building "storage servers" with two DL380 G7 servers:

    @matteo-nunziati It wasn't an option of 1 or 2. If you look at their product page, they ONLY sell a 2 CPU configuration (at least for the models I reviewed).

    Ok! I Never look at xbyte: customs + shipping are too high from america to europe :-(


  • Service Provider

    @matteo-nunziati said in Advice on building "storage servers" with two DL380 G7 servers:

    @Shuey also how much do you can afford for offline? NBD for backup seems ok to me. But Maybe you would consider prosupport?!

    I agree, consider moving to NBD support. Compare as much apples to apples as you can.


  • Service Provider

    @jimmy9008 said in Advice on building "storage servers" with two DL380 G7 servers:

    @shuey said in Advice on building "storage servers" with two DL380 G7 servers:

    Thanks for all the feedback guys! I got on a live chat this morning with xByte and will be getting a quote later today. Can't hurt to at least see what they have to offer and get a price ;).

    I've always found that Dell beat xByte when its their end of quarter and end of year; you then get all new kit rather than refurbished. Of course you do have to haggle. From memory, Dell operate Feb - April = Q1, May - July = Q2, Aug - Oct = Q3 and Nov - Jan = their end of year... if you can wait until the last week of each you get great sales usually where they hit low prices to nail their targets.

    Only for new, and he should not be considering new here, only refurb.


  • Service Provider

    @shuey said in Advice on building "storage servers" with two DL380 G7 servers:

    Here's what they quoted me:

    • R730XD-2CPU Dell PowerEdge R730xd Server ( 2 CPU Version) (1)
    • Dell PowerEdge R730xd 3.5" Chassis with up to 12 Hard Drives (1)
    • Intel E5-2609v3 1.9GHz/15M/1600MHz 6-Core 85W (2)
    • Dell PE R730 Normal Heat Sink (2)
    • Dell 4GB DDR4 Reg (4)
    • PERC H730P Mini Mono Controller 2GB NV Cache (RAID 0/1/5/6/10/50/60) (1)
    • Dell 4TB 3.5" 7.2K NL SAS 12Gbs HDD (10)
    • Intel Ethernet I350 QP 1Gb Network Daughter Card (1)
    • iDRAC8 Enterprise (1)
    • Dell 2U Sliding Ready Rails (1)
    • Dell 13th Gen 750W Redundant PSU (1)
    • 5 Year Dell NBD Onsite Warranty (1)

    Total: $6,152.00

    So here are my thoughts, and call your rep, don't just go by what the site list.

    1. Why R730xd instead of the R720xd which is still overkill. This isn't the right model for you.
    2. Are you totally sure that the R520 won't do what you need? I think that it likely will, and will cut the cost by a lot.
    3. Two sexacore procs is twelve cores. That's a LOT. One quad core is plenty. Have them check on a single, small proc R520.


  • @scottalanmiller said in Advice on building "storage servers" with two DL380 G7 servers:

    @shuey said in Advice on building "storage servers" with two DL380 G7 servers:

    Here's what they quoted me:

    • R730XD-2CPU Dell PowerEdge R730xd Server ( 2 CPU Version) (1)
    • Dell PowerEdge R730xd 3.5" Chassis with up to 12 Hard Drives (1)
    • Intel E5-2609v3 1.9GHz/15M/1600MHz 6-Core 85W (2)
    • Dell PE R730 Normal Heat Sink (2)
    • Dell 4GB DDR4 Reg (4)
    • PERC H730P Mini Mono Controller 2GB NV Cache (RAID 0/1/5/6/10/50/60) (1)
    • Dell 4TB 3.5" 7.2K NL SAS 12Gbs HDD (10)
    • Intel Ethernet I350 QP 1Gb Network Daughter Card (1)
    • iDRAC8 Enterprise (1)
    • Dell 2U Sliding Ready Rails (1)
    • Dell 13th Gen 750W Redundant PSU (1)
    • 5 Year Dell NBD Onsite Warranty (1)

    Total: $6,152.00

    So here are my thoughts, and call your rep, don't just go by what the site list.

    1. Why R730xd instead of the R720xd which is still overkill. This isn't the right model for you.
    2. Are you totally sure that the R520 won't do what you need? I think that it likely will, and will cut the cost by a lot.
    3. Two sexacore procs is twelve cores. That's a LOT. One quad core is plenty. Have them check on a single, small proc R520.

    Yeah that's a lot of computing power just for storage. You didn't list any other uses so all that just to store backups is overkill.



  • @matteo-nunziati I don't follow what you mean for "do you can afford for offline?" and I don't know what "NBD for backup" means.

    @scottalanmiller I contacted xByte directly and the guy I spoke with (Ernesto) said he wouldn't recommend refurb (an R510) because "the hardware is 6-9 years old" (I guess I shouldn't be surprised by his comment...).

    I'll definitely look into the R520 - thanks for the tip Scott!

    The default onboard NIC on the R520 is a "Broadcom 5720 Quad Port Gigabit Ethernet". Should I just roll with that, or should I consider upgrading that? The options to choose from are "PCIe Riser Full Height" and "PCIe Riser Half Height". I'm not sure which one I would choose :-x... (other than the "full height" and go with the "Intel Ethernet I350 QP 1Gb Server Adapter").



  • @shuey I mean that uptime is important but for a backup NBD SLA should be enough, anyway move to a "prosupport" level could be considered.
    Prosupport is a marketing term from dell.



  • @shuey the broadcom chip is enough to me.


  • Service Provider

    @shuey said in Advice on building "storage servers" with two DL380 G7 servers:

    The default onboard NIC on the R520 is a "Broadcom 5720 Quad Port Gigabit Ethernet". Should I just roll with that, or should I consider upgrading that? The options to choose from are "PCIe Riser Full Height" and "PCIe Riser Half Height". I'm not sure which one I would choose :-x... (other than the "full height" and go with the "Intel Ethernet I350 QP 1Gb Server Adapter").

    I'd stick with the stock one. No reason to change it.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Advice on building "storage servers" with two DL380 G7 servers:

    @jimmy9008 said in Advice on building "storage servers" with two DL380 G7 servers:

    @shuey said in Advice on building "storage servers" with two DL380 G7 servers:

    Thanks for all the feedback guys! I got on a live chat this morning with xByte and will be getting a quote later today. Can't hurt to at least see what they have to offer and get a price ;).

    I've always found that Dell beat xByte when its their end of quarter and end of year; you then get all new kit rather than refurbished. Of course you do have to haggle. From memory, Dell operate Feb - April = Q1, May - July = Q2, Aug - Oct = Q3 and Nov - Jan = their end of year... if you can wait until the last week of each you get great sales usually where they hit low prices to nail their targets.

    Only for new, and he should not be considering new here, only refurb.

    At these times of year, if you haggle well, you can get new for the same price as refurbished... why only consider refurbished here if you can get new?


  • Service Provider

    @jimmy9008 said in Advice on building "storage servers" with two DL380 G7 servers:

    @scottalanmiller said in Advice on building "storage servers" with two DL380 G7 servers:

    @jimmy9008 said in Advice on building "storage servers" with two DL380 G7 servers:

    @shuey said in Advice on building "storage servers" with two DL380 G7 servers:

    Thanks for all the feedback guys! I got on a live chat this morning with xByte and will be getting a quote later today. Can't hurt to at least see what they have to offer and get a price ;).

    I've always found that Dell beat xByte when its their end of quarter and end of year; you then get all new kit rather than refurbished. Of course you do have to haggle. From memory, Dell operate Feb - April = Q1, May - July = Q2, Aug - Oct = Q3 and Nov - Jan = their end of year... if you can wait until the last week of each you get great sales usually where they hit low prices to nail their targets.

    Only for new, and he should not be considering new here, only refurb.

    At these times of year, if you haggle well, you can get new for the same price as refurbished... why only consider refurbished here if you can get new?

    Even if the price is identical, I'll take refurb no-haggle over haggle and go through all that crap any day. Dealing with Dell directly is a huge negative and unless it's actively cheaper, it's not a good deal. Refurb and new are the same gear. I've never seen or heard of new actually being cheaper. So unless it is actually cheaper and takes very little friction to make it so and doesn't deteriorate my existing relationships (playing the low price game over a few dollars is a good way to get bad deals from everyone long term) I wouldn't even consider it.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Advice on building "storage servers" with two DL380 G7 servers:

    @jimmy9008 said in Advice on building "storage servers" with two DL380 G7 servers:

    @scottalanmiller said in Advice on building "storage servers" with two DL380 G7 servers:

    @jimmy9008 said in Advice on building "storage servers" with two DL380 G7 servers:

    @shuey said in Advice on building "storage servers" with two DL380 G7 servers:

    Thanks for all the feedback guys! I got on a live chat this morning with xByte and will be getting a quote later today. Can't hurt to at least see what they have to offer and get a price ;).

    I've always found that Dell beat xByte when its their end of quarter and end of year; you then get all new kit rather than refurbished. Of course you do have to haggle. From memory, Dell operate Feb - April = Q1, May - July = Q2, Aug - Oct = Q3 and Nov - Jan = their end of year... if you can wait until the last week of each you get great sales usually where they hit low prices to nail their targets.

    Only for new, and he should not be considering new here, only refurb.

    At these times of year, if you haggle well, you can get new for the same price as refurbished... why only consider refurbished here if you can get new?

    Even if the price is identical, I'll take refurb no-haggle over haggle and go through all that crap any day. Dealing with Dell directly is a huge negative and unless it's actively cheaper, it's not a good deal. Refurb and new are the same gear. I've never seen or heard of new actually being cheaper. So unless it is actually cheaper and takes very little friction to make it so and doesn't deteriorate my existing relationships (playing the low price game over a few dollars is a good way to get bad deals from everyone long term) I wouldn't even consider it.

    I disagree. This wouldn't necessarily be over a few dollars, and dealing with Dell directly is not difficult at all. Quite simple actually. Right time of year can save a lot of cash...

    Why are you sabotaging business profits to keep those 'existing relationships' who are really actually ripping you off... Just so you don't have to 'haggle' - imo, sounds lazy.

    You 'wouldn't even consider it' - what exactly? You won't consider getting the best deal for your company for a call with Dell. Sounds like a little bit of corruption in IT to me, where you are sacrifice profits to keep 'your relationships' happy. Didn't you post about that and similar in another thread lately... Hmmmm.

    Get the best price you can, within reasonable effort - it's a fair expectation from most companies.

    What board do you know that would be happy to pay potentially far more to keep your existing people happy... You'll probably say lots.



  • @jimmy9008 said in Advice on building "storage servers" with two DL380 G7 servers:

    Get the best price you can, within reasonable effort - it's a fair expectation from most companies.

    Scott bills out at $250+/hr. If it takes him 2 hours to get a quote from Dell they are already $500 in the whole compared to xByte (where he can get a quote from their website in mins).

    But it's really hard to believe that you could get an equal price, let alone superior price directly from Dell than you could from xByte, but in the interest of fairness, please post your quote so we can see them side by side.

    I have seen HP for example, crush vendor pricing on single laptop/desktop purchases with their sales, but we aren't talking about sales, we're talking about a server purchase.



  • @dashrender said in Advice on building "storage servers" with two DL380 G7 servers:

    @jimmy9008 said in Advice on building "storage servers" with two DL380 G7 servers:

    Get the best price you can, within reasonable effort - it's a fair expectation from most companies.

    Scott bills out at $250+/hr. If it takes him 2 hours to get a quote from Dell they are already $500 in the whole compared to xByte (where he can get a quote from their website in mins).

    But it's really hard to believe that you could get an equal price, let alone superior price directly from Dell than you could from xByte, but in the interest of fairness, please post your quote so we can see them side by side.

    I have seen HP for example, crush vendor pricing on single laptop/desktop purchases with their sales, but we aren't talking about sales, we're talking about a server purchase.

    The purchase was waaaayyyy back. I will try to dig up the details tomorrow.

    Yes, Scott would clearly cost far more than myself or others... Probably would be sensible to hand the quote/haggling to more economical employees once the spec an needs are detailed.


  • Service Provider

    @jimmy9008 said in Advice on building "storage servers" with two DL380 G7 servers:

    I disagree. This wouldn't necessarily be over a few dollars, and dealing with Dell directly is not difficult at all. Quite simple actually. Right time of year can save a lot of cash...

    Why are you sabotaging business profits to keep those 'existing relationships' who are really actually ripping you off... Just so you don't have to 'haggle' - imo, sounds lazy.

    I've never seen Dell come close to refurb prices in real life. Existing relationships are worth a lot of money and you have no way to know how much it impacts you long term. Price shopping is a dangerous and costly game to play. Even if you have low cost purchasing staff that manage this, the cost adds up insanely quickly.


  • Service Provider

    @jimmy9008 said in Advice on building "storage servers" with two DL380 G7 servers:

    You 'wouldn't even consider it' - what exactly? You won't consider getting the best deal for your company for a call with Dell. Sounds like a little bit of corruption in IT to me, where you are sacrifice profits to keep 'your relationships' happy. Didn't you post about that and similar in another thread lately... Hmmmm.

    Dell doesn't give good deals directly. It's a lengthy process of undercutting their partners and sabotaging relationship. Playing your vendors off of each other is fundamentally bad and puts you on a black list. If you do this, rarely is your company even able to have good conversations for low prices. Both companies know that they are dealing with someone driving to the bottom and will stop giving you the best prices.


  • Service Provider

    @jimmy9008 said in Advice on building "storage servers" with two DL380 G7 servers:

    What board do you know that would be happy to pay potentially far more to keep your existing people happy... You'll probably say lots.

    Yes, lots. Especially when that helps to contribute to long term lower prices. Lowering the overhead of purchasing is a sure way to more reliably lower pricing. It's like investment accounts. You have to compare BOTH the management fee of the account and the return rate. Lower management fees generally outperform higher return rates.

    Remember you are talking about a VAR, not a vendor. Cost is not the only factor.


  • Service Provider

    @jimmy9008 said in Advice on building "storage servers" with two DL380 G7 servers:

    @dashrender said in Advice on building "storage servers" with two DL380 G7 servers:

    @jimmy9008 said in Advice on building "storage servers" with two DL380 G7 servers:

    Get the best price you can, within reasonable effort - it's a fair expectation from most companies.

    Scott bills out at $250+/hr. If it takes him 2 hours to get a quote from Dell they are already $500 in the whole compared to xByte (where he can get a quote from their website in mins).

    But it's really hard to believe that you could get an equal price, let alone superior price directly from Dell than you could from xByte, but in the interest of fairness, please post your quote so we can see them side by side.

    I have seen HP for example, crush vendor pricing on single laptop/desktop purchases with their sales, but we aren't talking about sales, we're talking about a server purchase.

    The purchase was waaaayyyy back. I will try to dig up the details tomorrow.

    Yes, Scott would clearly cost far more than myself or others... Probably would be sensible to hand the quote/haggling to more economical employees once the spec an needs are detailed.

    Of course, purchasing departments are for this stuff. But only if they understand the end to end service and not just pricing or they sabotage relationships. Have to be careful. It's about ROI, not up front pricing. Dell will drop pricing one time to get you to sabotage your relationships, and then gouge you when you aren't paying attention or can't get the preferred pricing any longer. Good, loyal customers get discounts that "shop around" customers can't get.

    But even a purchasing agent isn't free. Let's say you hire someone in a purchasing role. After taxes they will be $50/hr minimum. They won't be as fast as an IT manager, either. So figure three hours minimum to do a deal like this. That's $150 that you are adding to the cost of any solution, always. So take the lowest cost deal and add $150. Now, considering that Dell is only the lowest some tiny percentage of the time, you are adding $150 every time, even when Dell isn't the lowest. This adds up quickly. You can end up accidentally paying a lot more overall because your purchasing process got expensive. Suddenly you are paying intermediary staff to do purchasing and not getting the best deals from your vendors due to either a lack of overall volume or the "shop around" penalty getting applied. I can't buy enough servers to overcome that overhead in the SMB market.



  • I'm uncertain about which RAID controller to go with. These are the three to choose from:

    1. PERC H310 Mini Mono Controller
    2. PERC H710 Controller with 512MB NV Cache
    3. PERC H710P Controller with 1GB NV Cache

    I'm not sure there would actually be any significant benefit in getting the 1GB NV card vs the Mini Mono...

    Here's the build I'm considering now:
    Dell PowerEdge R520 8x3.5 2U Rack Server (1 CPU Version) w/xByte Warranty
    Intel Xeon E5-2407v2 2.4GHz/10M/1333MHz 4-Core 80W
    Dell PE R520/R320 Heat Sink
    Dell 4GB DDR3 ECC Reg (3)
    PERC H310 Mini Mono Controller (RAID 0/1/5/10/50)
    RAID 10
    6TB 7.2K 3.5" 12Gbps NL SAS Hard Drive (Dell Enterprise) (8)
    Broadcom 5720 Quad Port Gigabit Ethernet
    iDRAC7 Enterprise
    Dell 2U Sliding Ready Rails
    2x Dell 750W Power Supply
    Windows Svr 2012 R2 Standard x64 English
    3 Year Limited Warranty

    Should I consider upgrading to the 1100W PSUs for an additional $60?



  • @shuey said in Advice on building "storage servers" with two DL380 G7 servers:

    I'm uncertain about which RAID controller to go with. These are the three to choose from:

    1. PERC H310 Mini Mono Controller
    2. PERC H710 Controller with 512MB NV Cache
    3. PERC H710P Controller with 1GB NV Cache

    I'm not sure there would actually be any significant benefit in getting the 1GB NV card vs the Mini Mono...

    http://cfdlab.unsw.wikispaces.net/file/view/dell-hardware-raid-perc-h710-controller.pdf/496747816/dell-hardware-raid-perc-h710-controller.pdf

    Page 9.

    Looks like the H310 doesn't have an NV cache, battery, and supports less RAID levels. The cache makes things way faster and adds life to your drives.



  • @shuey said in Advice on building "storage servers" with two DL380 G7 servers:

    I'm uncertain about which RAID controller to go with. These are the three to choose from:

    1. PERC H310 Mini Mono Controller
    2. PERC H710 Controller with 512MB NV Cache
    3. PERC H710P Controller with 1GB NV Cache

    I'm not sure there would actually be any significant benefit in getting the 1GB NV card vs the Mini Mono...

    Cache can make a significant performance difference. The difference between 512 and 1 GB, that probably depends on your work load.



  • Thanks for the quick replies guys! I'll just have to make sure I have it properly enabled once the server is deployed :D.

    Check out my recent spec list too (I updated my previous post).



  • @shuey said in Advice on building "storage servers" with two DL380 G7 servers:

    Should I consider upgrading to the 1100W PSUs for an additional $60?

    I think the 750s are even a bit high.



  • @tim_g said in Advice on building "storage servers" with two DL380 G7 servers:

    @shuey said in Advice on building "storage servers" with two DL380 G7 servers:

    Should I consider upgrading to the 1100W PSUs for an additional $60?

    I think the 750s are even a bit high.

    I don't know what the power draw specs of your items are - You should look them all up and see what it actually takes to run your configuration, then size your PSU based on that.



  • @shuey said in Advice on building "storage servers" with two DL380 G7 servers:

    Windows Svr 2012 R2 Standard x64 English

    Why such an old OS?



  • @dashrender LOL, that's an upgrade for us! We're still running Server 2008 R2 on almost every server in our fleet! :-O



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