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The Sun Netra T1 105 server

Sun Netra T1 105I must confess to a fondness for these little Sun servers - they are extremely versatile and incredibly reliable and we have used them for all kinds of things including firewalls, routers, file and database servers, web servers, mail relays/servers, DNS and backup servers, you name it. The only thing we would not use these for is hosting high volume websites attracting a lot of traffic, hosting a large number of sites or heavy database usage as they lack the speed and memory resources for this type of use.

Fitted with one or two SCSI hard disks that can each be of up to 300 GB capacity, a CD-ROM drive and up to 1 GBytes of memory, these 1U servers have a single UltraSPARC IIi 64-bit processor clocked at up to 440 MHz, 2 network interfaces, 2 serial interfaces (one of which supports LOM - Lights Out Management) and an external SCSI interface. A single 64-bit PCI expansion slot is provided. At only 20 inches deep, they are light enough to carry on public transport, something that cannot be said of most other 1U servers. And the power consumption of just 108 watts maximum is welcome news in these days of many data centres limiting rack power supplies to just 4 amps per full rack (some Intel x86-type servers from Dell and HP consume more than the Netra T1 just in standby mode!).

And the really good news is they can be picked up very cheaply on the secondhand market - on eBay, you can expect to pay from 10 upwards although they may not always include disks or a CD drive, but these hot-swappable items are easy to buy and fit yourself; 50 should get you a complete server with CD drive and two 9 or 18 GB disks that can always be replaced with larger drives if you wish.

Finally, here's the uptime and the first few lines from prtdiag (to prove the machine's identity) from one of our client's Netra T1 servers, which is a busy combined mail relay/server running SpamAssassin & ClamAV spam/anti-virus filters and hosting webmail, POP3 and secure IMAPS mail servers for both the client's own use and for their hosted mail customers:

andy@mail3:~ $ uptime
 10:21am  up 1049 day(s), 08:17,  2 users,  load average: 0.18, 0.12, 0.68

andy@mail3:~ $ /usr/platform/SUNW,UltraSPARC-IIi-cEngine/sbin/prtdiag 
System Configuration:  Sun Microsystems  sun4u Netra t1 (UltraSPARC-IIi 440MHz)
System clock frequency: 110 MHz
Memory size: 1024 Megabytes

Not bad for something that cost well under 100 to set up.

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Page first created 13.03.2009

Page last updated 05.08.2011