I've had the idea to lay out a buying / setup guide for smaller businesses trying to get their infrastructure updated.

I wanna try to provide a "standard set of components" that are powerful, yet affordable.

It will run more expensive than the standard "buy something as you go" but it will also be cheaper to run since you'll see less failures and, if more businesses adopt this, you can exchange experiences and share configs, i.e. via github.


If we buy our networking gear in the right order there will be no need to reconfigure something at a later time!


First piece:

Firewall / Router and one switch.




Have a real network, meaning be able to make use of VLANs, Routing and a Firewall.

Just don't bother with unmanaged switches, instead grab very cheap managed ones with a good feature set.

Cheap access & server switches

  • TP-Link Gigabit, SNMP, CLI and very nice feature set from ACLs to dynamic VLAN learning or MSTP
  • HP 2810
  • Mikrotik CSR

Cheap routing switches as your core (but first the firewall can handle that)

  • Dell?
  • NetGear?
  • Juniper 8-port EX

Cheap powerful router / firewall

  • i.e. Cisco 1802W
  • i.e. Juniper SRX100



  • Idea: 3-5 small servers with HW raid running Cloudweavers to start with?
  • ML110 + Raid P420, possible you could just use BBU in one of them

Server example build:

  • IBM x3100 M4, Xeon 1220v2, 2GB Ram
  • M5014 Raid Controller + BBU
  • (RAM and disks from IBM have insulting prices, but come with onsite replacement. Undecided on this)
  • 16GB Ram (2x8)
  • 4x1TB Disk

Price if you use cheap sources: ~ EUR 1600

Cloudweavers License: $495

That gives EUR 2100 per server; buying everything from IBM with all the benefits of a real server would bump it to about EUR 3300?

"Starter Kit" would be two servers, thus

Total: EUR 4200 - EUR 6600.

Each server has a consistent, high storage performance, enough CPU horsepower for build VMs and will not break down if you throw compile jobs at it. Dual network uplinks bring redundancy and increased speed. Smoothly expand with more systems of the same type and your performance will increase with each server.

Too much?

Cloudweavers allows you to expand online, so you could start with 3 EUR 500 Systems. These will still be enough to run a typical IT and give you good performance most of the time. If you're going to build larger software projects or host your own large git repos, you would want to expand each "server" with two strong Intel SSDs. But those add a lot to the price tag, meaning the "intermediate" build will come in at a similar price but with a better / consistent result.

Total EUR 3000 without SSD, EUR 3400 with SSD (100GB per Box)

These systems could later be used as Backup nodes on the XtreemFS filesystem, or just as a plain desktop.



  • Windows I'd say ;p
  • Some Open Server distros are also around, how about those?



  • Bacula4Hosts comes to mind



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