Hardware advice, small business

hi, I have been running Freepbx for a few years on an ASUS EEEbox without ANY problem! Recently, after power outages, the machine has been acting strange. Turns out the CMOS battery is dead. Disassembling this eeebox is a major pain, after removing heatsinks, fans, drives, ect. has me thinking maybe its just time to get a new machine.

What would you buy today for a small business Freepbx server? I have about 5 lines, at most 3 concurrent users.

budget under $300 hopefully?

I’d just run it on a laptop. Any old laptop in the last decade would work.
Make sure it has a good battery and you got yourself a pretty good UPS.
Put the FreePBX Distro in the machine, boot it up and come back in an hour, should be ready to go.

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Hi!

At that price point I don’t think you can get real server hardware unless it is used so I would get a good desktop PC…

Assuming you want to go with new hardware:

CPU: Skylake or Kaby Lake (now with Hyper Threading… :wink:) Pentium. When at idle these CPUs are apparently pretty energy efficient…
Socket type: LGA1151
Form factor: ATX or mATX. If the number of slots is important (and their type), take that into account… Don’t go with Mini ITX, this impose restrictions as far as slots and airflow is concerned…
Motherboard: Personally I would go with Gigabyte or Asus…
Case: Something with good airflow that matches the form factor of the motherboard. Don’t go with something too small, that usually means poor airflow…
Memory: DDR4, something like 8GB… Personally, I like G.SKILL…
Hard drive: Whatever you think you need… As for the brand personally I would go with Western Digital…
Power Supply: Do your research, don’t buy ([email protected], you would regret it… Personallly I would go with an EVGA G2 or something similar… Be careful, some brands simply resell other manufacturers hardware and they might go with a good manufacturer for some of their lines and a ([email protected] one for another…

That is what I would go for home, I would not go for less for a business unless it is not important for you to have your phone lines up as much as possible…

I did actually build (all my home PC I assembled myself with some rare exceptions because they were not available unassembled…) something like this for home recently but for something else…

Good luck and have a nice day!

Nick

holy crap…8 gig? I’ve got 150 users running on less than 50% of 4 gig…

Get a cheap centrino NUC it will do everything you want ‘headless’ for a couple hundred buck, no muss , no fuss.

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I have always seen DDR4 sold with a minimum capacity of 8 GB but I just checked and it looks like you might be able to get 4 GB…

Get whatever you can get your hands on and you think will meet your needs…

On that PC I recently build I actually put more but just because I was swapping around memory, not because what I was using it for needed as much…

Nick

I think he’s overthinking it. 5 users? Find something already put together, install the FreePBX distro on it and then just never touch the machine again. It’ll run years.

All you guys need to install sysstat then after enabling it,run " sar -A" and see what is really constrained.

guessing is just plain dumb, if you deploy servers, you REALLY need to KNOW wtf you did :wink:

dicko, I know this is overkilll but unless you want to go with AMD (which I haven’t done in quite a while), what I described is the cheapest and most easily available you can get new…

If old style Atoms were still easily and readily available they would probably fit his needs…

Oops, I think I was wrong, I think you can still get new style Celeron but based off Skylake but that would not save you much money…

A long time ago I was using almost exclusively Pentium I at home when the CPU was no longer current but it fitted my need and it was for home, he doesn’t want something for home but for work

Nick

I am sure we will soon have people come here and suggest he uses a Raspberry PI… :unamused:

Nick

PS: I have nothing against Raspberry PIs and I actually have more than one but I would not use them for that, even less so for a business…

Just install sysstat and suck it and see, If you have a better metric please expound (guessing or seat of the pants thinking , is exactly that :wink: )

dicko, I don’t have his config nor his load so I can’t test this and I believe your point was that what I described is more than likely overkill and I agree…

My point was if you can’t have real server hardware then at least don’t go with the cheapest desktop hardware… Go with relatively good quality hardware…

Did you ever go with low quality hardware because you could not purchase better quality hardware? I did…

The power supply of that PC was emitting RF interference that was picked up by every radio in the vicinity and once I had enough of it and I opened it up I saw that almost all the caps in it had leaked…

Don’t go with ([email protected] hardware, you will regret it and if you need to buy something that’s overkill for the job but of a better quality do it…

Nick

:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Nice expression, I will keep it in mind… :wink:

By the way guys, in case you haven’t guessed by now English is not my native language, sometimes I might not get some of the subtleties of what you say/said…

Nick

Perhaps

will give you context ( your English is however otherwise excellent)

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Anything you can put your hands on will work. What I do is :

  • Install twice as much memory as needed, possibly 2 banks of 2 if dual-channel. If one stick fails, it’s relatively easy to troubleshoot and reboot with half the memory.
  • Have a hardware RAID and 2 hard drives. I usually buy used Megaraids on eBay $cheap. The Megaraid software works good with most Centos versions.
  • Most of the time I put hot swap drive trays from Icydock too.

If you put it together yourself, $300 gets you a really nice machine. I have built several out of scraps from older hardware.

@michelpy

i.e. ~30 watts max, your solution likely more like 300W, that’s likely 15cents an hour with a PF of 0.8 x 7x24x365 please do the ‘sums’ ;-). I think even Google figured out why not to do that :wink:

@dicko depending what you use for drives.

I used two scrounged 60MB 5400 RPM laptop hard drives in this enclosure, does not take much more than 1 drive.
ToughArmor MB992SK-B http://www.icydock.com/goods.php?id=150
They even have a version with the built-in RAID controller too, and most modern motherboards will have some kind of SATA RAID too.High-efficiency power supply and an aggressive CPU profile will not take that much power.
I’m not calling it a server, but at least it has easy-to-replace parts and adequate cooling.

Again, stick a meter on it and see why you will lose over as little as a year.

I am just being pragmatic and I am also a licensed electrician. You probably still have incandescent bulbs :wink:

Check out https://www.amazon.com/P3-International-P4460-Electricity-Monitor/dp/B000RGF29Q/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1488588140&sr=8-4&keywords=power+meter or anything similar.

Just FYI " raids" on domestic motherboards are NOT hardware, they are software,under-performing and very hard to recover on a MB failure unless you have an identical MB, just DO NOT use them!!!

If you are comfortable doing installations via serial port, you might look into a PC Engines APU2. About $180 shipped from Switzerland gets you a 1ghz amd jaguar quad core machine, 4 gigs of ram, a 16 GB ssd, and 3 Intel GB nic’s, all in a small, low power form factor.

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It’s not FreePBX, but it is asterisk-based and presumably low-power: Grandstream UCM6104 or UCM6108.

If your needs are simple enough, you might consider something like that for such a tiny installation. It will clearly limit you in some ways, but for a small location with simple needs? Perhaps.

Tom

PS: for larger installations where you need more power, recently retired server hardware, say an HP DL 380 G7, dual six-core Xeons, 104GB RAM, 3x300GB 10k SAS and true hardware RAID can generally be had for $500 or less. Sure, not power efficient, but if your needs are more extravagant and your budget is not…