Well, first welcome to Minnesota! Let me ask you this, what are you intending to
do with these servers? Do they have to be new? If these are going to be used for
something like a webserver, data storage, etc. think about a used DL380G2 or
DL360 (Rackmounts) or ML350 (Tower). 

Recently we came across some new HP Proliant ML350G2 (3Ghz Intel 1x (2x slots),
1GB RAM) for about $2500. I have to look up who had these, but back in July I
saw these listed for about $1800 new, with 3yr factory warranty.

Personally I am not a big fan of whitebox servers. I have found that you do not
save as much money to justify the loss of added extras. The HP/Compaq servers
extra software is especially a plus. Being able to configure a RAID array online
is a plus. The last whitebox servers I came across all had to be done in the
adapters config utility, requiring a reboot and downtime. The one feature I like
most about these Compaq DL servers is I have 99% uptime, except for when I have
to move the server or something. 

I would stay away from IBM servers. They tend to be a lot more expensive without
really justifying the cost. Recently we got for a client an IBM server that cost
about $2600. The comparable HP model was $1800, unfortunately we needed a server
with 2 standard PCI slots for older Dialogic cards. The RAID configuration
software was a joke. 

Worst situations with a server is having to shutdown or reboot just to re-build
a drive. I have had a few drives go bad in me, but never once lost downtime,
something I can not say for a couple of the whitebox type servers we have had in
the past (the kind you would get at General Nanosys). It was for that reason we
replaced everything with DL380s. Even replaced a dual 2Ghz server with a dual
733mhz and couldn't be more happy with the result.

Anyways, take a look at http://www.nautilusnet.com/. This is the company I have
purchased 99% of all my server parts from. Very dependable, reliable company.
Another is http://www.computerresale.com/. I have heard positive things from
other brokers about them, but yet to ever purchase from them directly. 

One local company here is www.Serverworlds.com. 

If you do narrow down a specific type/model of server let me know and I will
search the broker networks for a good deal. I know you probably would like the
convenience of purchasing locally, but sadly Minnesota has some really bad
prices compared to elsewhere around the US. 

I would avoid Ebay in general though. The prices are not low enough to warrant
the hassle and frustration of potentially getting screwed. Especially since most
sellers sell "as is" with no warranty.

Sean Waite
swaite at sbn-services.com

-----Original Message-----
From: greg wm <tclug at greatlakedata.com>
To: tclug-list at mn-linux.org
Date: Fri, 11 Nov 2005 11:35:17 -0600
Subject: [tclug-list] vendor recommendation?

> hi tcluggers,
> i'm ready to drop some $ for 2 simple servers, no m$ software, could be
> custom built, could be stock metal.  general nanosystems seems good but
> i haven't really become acquainted around town that much yet.
> where would you buy your metal?  why?
> tia,
> greg
> Greg Whitley Mott
> IT Coordinator
> NonviolentPeaceforce.org
> _______________________________________________
> TCLUG Mailing List - Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota
> tclug-list at mn-linux.org
> http://mailman.mn-linux.org/mailman/listinfo/tclug-list