[mythtv-users] Dell PowerEdge 2550 1 GHz as dedicated backend/storage..?

George Mari george_mythusers at mari1938.org
Tue Nov 20 05:03:40 UTC 2007

matt lutz wrote:
> On 11/19/07, Andrew Close <aclose at gmail.com> wrote:
>> i've been considering migrating from an all-in-one (FE/BE) solution to
>> a separate FE, BE (and possibly separate DB) solution for a little
>> while now; but i don't have an extra machine to purpose as a dedicated
>> BE.
>> however, i just came across this deal:
>>> 1 Dell PowerEdge 2550 1 GHz server with 256 MB of memory
>>>     - contains QTY=2 18GB internal SCA Ultra-160 SCSI drives
>>> 1 Dell PowerVault 220S disk array
>>>     - contains QTY=10 18GB SCA Ultra-160 SCSI drives
>>> Come with LVD-SCSI cables and 3 power cords.  No operating system.
>> the PowerEdge is a 1GHz PIII machine, which should be good enough for
>> a BE considering all my capture cards are hardware MPEG.
>> two questions:
>> 1) does anyone know the what the availability of SCA Ultra-160 SCSI
>> drives is like?  (i haven't Googled yet...)

I use used and refurbished Seagate Barracuda 180s.  If you find them for 
$50 each on eBay, that's a good deal for that particular model of drive, 
and it costs $.28 per gigabyte.  Search for st1181677lcv on eBay, and 
right now I found a lot of ten of these for $380, which comes to $.21 
per gigabyte, which is roughly equivalent with today's large SATA drives.

Both my BE and my file server each have 6 of these in a RAID5.  As long 
as you keep the drives cool, even used have been reliable for me.

I also do not keep my BE and file server in my living room or bedroom - 
they live in my nice cold basement, where I can't hear them and their 
fan noise.

I like SCSI - a lot.  But I don't recommend it if you are not the 
patient type.  It takes a bit of effort to understand.  SCSI is a 
commitment in both equipment and learning, but once setup, they are just 
as much set-it-and-forget-it as any other disk technology.

>> 2) would it be stretching this machine to function as a BE running
>> comm flagging/transcoding and dealing with HD (when i get there)?

My BE is a dual 600Mhz P3 with 576MB of RAM - it comm flags recordings 
from my PVR-350 in 2-3 minutes behind real-time.  I don't transcode 

> I think commflagging and definately transcoding will take *forever* on this
> box.  That's a pretty old box.  In my opinoin, you'd be better off buying
> newer hardware with a much faster CPU.

I don't have any HD recording devices, but I'm planning on adding a 
HD-5500 in the next month or two, and I'll let you know how it goes.

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