Building the AnandTech Staging Environmentby Jason Clark on September 10, 2004 12:05 AM EST
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- IT Computing
First TryThe first thing that we tried was building a separate server out of some spare parts. We threw a dual Opteron 246 together with a 120GB 8MB Cache SATA hard drive and 1GB of memory. The hardware itself worked fine, although I/O was a bit of a bottleneck due to the mediocre IDE hard drive. Compiling larger .NET projects is very I/O intensive. The main problem, however, lied with the software side of the implementation, particularly debugging. In order for Visual Studio to debug projects on remote servers, there are several hoops that you have to jump through, and after you finish doing that, you may or may not be successful.
After spending a day or two trying to get remote debugging working correctly, I decided that developing the .NET projects locally was the reliable choice. The next decision: which hardware were we going to use? I/O wasn't that great on our home-built server, and we wanted to use the latest technology to build a powerhouse workstation that would serve our needs for years to come (rebuilding workstation/servers isn't something that we like doing often).
As luck would have it, we received a SuperMicro 7044A-82R from SuperMicro, which certainly fits the "Powerhouse" workstation bill that we were looking for. Not only is our new workstation outfitted with the latest technology, it has the redundancy and workstation/server chassis to go with it. We've used some Supermicro products through the years, and it has always served us well. In fact, we still have an old SC750-A Supermicro case around the labs, which was one of the first server cases that we used at AnandTech.