My Server Environment
Last Updated: 10/2009

My home server environment today consists of two different physical servers and a virtual server.   I assembled the oldest of the two back in 2005 and just recently completed the second one.   Below, I will explain these machines, their specs and roles.

My Windows 2003 Servers today run:
  • Active Directory Services
  • DHCP
  • DNS
  • WINS
  • IIS
  • Symantec AntiVirus Corp Ed. v10
    (Parent Server - Managed Configuration)
  • Twonky Media Server
  • HomeSeer

Thanks to Microsoft giving attendees a free copy of Windows Server 2008 a while back at the Server 2008 Launch Event, I hope to replace the components in the server I built in 2005 and begin running Server 2008 after that.

Click here to see the desktop full screen!
Server Name: Vectorsigma
OS: Windows 2003 Enterprise
Built in 2005

  • Dual Pentium III
    Note: Due to cost, the CPUs used are 1Ghz CPUs, but since the system board does not support a 133Mhz FSB, these CPUs are under clocked and running at 750Mhz.
  • 512MB RAM
  • Highpoint Rocket RAID, hosting dual 120GB IDE Drives running RAID 1
  • Stand Alone 120GB drive (used to store Shadow Copies)
  • IDE Mobile Racks (for easy install and removal of hard drives)
  • 250MB IoMega ZIP Drive
  • 3Com 3C905-B NIC
  • BroadCom NexXtreme 5700 NIC
When I built this server, I moved from a Windows 2000 ADS to a Windows 2003 ADS.   Since I kept the same ADS I started a few years back and I was moving to 2003, I had to upgrade the Schema for my ADS.   Once the Schema was updated and I could promote this server as a Domain Controller, I then transfered the FSMO roles to this new machine).

This machine does in fact run two network interfaces.   Prior to me upgrading my home LAN to gigabit, both NICs used to be 3Com 3C905-B's.   The purpose behind this was bandwidth.   When I built this server, it was the only one in my environment, so it ran everything (and still today runs almost everything).   Since I also run software on this server to stream music to MP3 receivers in my home (that receive via a LAN connection), I was concerned the outgoing bandwidth would bog the system down.   This was an attempt at trying to manually "load balance".   Both NICs are linked to the same subnet, but I have designated different services to run off each one.   I only upgraded one NIC to gigabit to increase bandwidth for file transfers (but things like the MP3 streaming is still done via the other NIC).   Granted, today if I upgraded the second NIC to the same Broadcom card, I could configure teaming, but since this seems to be working, I am leaving well enough alone for now.

Server Name: Iacon
OS: Windows 2003 Enterprise 64-Bit
Built in 2009

  • AMD Phenom 9600 Quad Core
  • 4GB RAM
  • 750GB SATA Drive
  • BroadCom NexXtreme 5700 NIC
I re-used the case from my old dual Pentium II 450Mhz PC and replaced the components inside.   Prior to this box, I had been hosting two Virtual Machines from an old Dell Dimesion Pentium 4 1.6Ghz machine.   I originally wanted to run VMWare's ESXi, but unfortunately was unable to, as this box did not fit the compatable hardware for it.   So I have currently settled for running VMWare Server on a Windows host.   Currently, this machine is hosting three Virtual Machines (an XP machine, Win2003, and Linux Fedora).   I have not had a chance to stress test it, but so far, it appears to make for a good testing playground.

Early Home Server Builds
The pictures and information below chonicles my former server builds (from most recent to the oldest).

I finally moved to Windows 2000 Server and this has been the last time to date that I rebuilt my Domain.   Since I had a small Domain and I was the only one on it, I decided with all the changes introduced with Active Directory and the fact I was building yet again a new server, I would install Windows 2000 from scratch and build a brand new Domain.

My first Windows 2000 server was a 400Mhz AMD K6-2, running 256MB of RAM.   I did not stay with that long.   Shortly after, I built a dual Pentium II 450Mhz server with 512MB of RAM (seen below).   I loaded this one with:
 - One 3GB Hard Drive dedicated to the OS.
 - Two 8GB Drives, mirrored with a Tek Ram RAID Card.
 - IDE Mobile Racks (for easy install and removal of hard drives)
 - 250MB IoMega ZIP Drive (internal)
 - 1GB SyQuest SparQ Drive (external)

I knew prior to moving to this new Domain COntroller, that in order for me to properly shut down the old one, I had to transfer the FSMO roles.   That process went smooth and the old server was properly shut down and removed from my Active DIrectory.

After the 486's, I later aquired a salvaged Compaq Prolinea.   It was my first Pentium-based server (which can be seen to the left).   This would be the last time I built a NT 4.0 server for myself.

Unfortunately, I don't remember much of the specs on this machine (I believe it was a Pentium 75).   What I do remember was that I loaded it with two CD-ROMs (so I could share them both out) and for that time frame a large hard drive.   I believe it was this server layout where I first applied the best practice of installing the OS on a seperate partition from the rest of the data.

Prior to these pictures, I had pieced together a 486 with 12MB of RAM to run Windows NT 4.0.   That's right, 12MB of RAM.  Yes, the requirement for NT 4.0 server is documented 16MB, but in those days, I was scraping hard to build a second PC to play with a Server OS.  I tried originally on 8MB of RAM and NT 4.0 refused to boot.  12MB and it ran great (for at the time a one user environment).

I later got salvage 486 that was a better PC then the first one (smaller chassis, populated with 16MB of RAM).   I pulled had to pull all the drives from the original server to make it work.   Since my Domain NT 4.0 Domain was not that big and my only client was a Windows 9x PC, I just rebuilt the Domain from scratch.   Both domains ran the NT 4.0 version of DNS, WINS and DHCP.

Page Created by: Jason Morris

Back to LAN Parties and Computer Related!

fb-cam2.jpg (5620 bytes)