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FreeBSD Datacenter Hardware Configuration Recommendations

This document is designed to give datacenter providers and ISPs a quick overview of A-Team's preferred server hardware configurations and guidelines.  Please take these into consideration when building a new server on our behalf or for one of our clients.  If you have any questions or concerns don't hesitate to contact us via this support portal or via phone at +1.877.883.1394 x1, thank you!

 

Operating System

Please do not install any operating system and leave the server(s) blank.  A-Team Systems will install the OS via our imaging tools which bootstrap via IPMI/ISO/etc.

 

Storage

A-Team Systems' stack is built on FreeBSD which has superior RAID functionality as compared to traditional hardware RAID cards.  For this reason please attach all hard disks to SATA3 (6 GB/sec) ports on the motherboard if available.  For traditional HDDs SATA2 (3 GB/sec) ports are acceptable if not enough SATA3 ports are present.  For SSDs we require SATA3 however.

If not enough SATA ports are available on the motherboard and a RAID card must be used to provide additional ports leave the RAID card in JBOD (if it is an option) or each disk as a volume.  The end goal is that each disk is presented to the OS individually.

To summarize our configuration preference, starting with most preferred layout:

  • Motherboard SATA3 (6 GB/sec) ports
  • Motherboard SATA2 (3 GB/sec) ports are acceptable for HDDs (not SSDs).
  • Mixing SATA3 and SATA2 ports is OK if it not enough motherboard SATA3 ports are available (for HDDs only, not SSDs).
  • Hardware RAID card in JBOD mode
  • Hardware RAID card with each disk configured as a separate volume

 

Networking

Our suggestions vary depending on server count/layout:
 

Single Standalone Server

Nothing special, configure the WAN network port as normal.

 

Two Servers (High Availability Pair)

Please connect the first NIC on each server to WAN ports, and the second NIC on each server to private switch (or VLAN) ports.

Please also attach any IPMI NICs to the private switch (or VLAN).  A-Team Systems will provide you with IP configuration information for this.

Both server's WAN ports should be on the same physical segment and and be able to exchange ARP traffic  WAN and LAN ports must support floating IPs (needed for IP high availability).

 

3+ Servers (Cluster Configuration)

Two servers will be designated as "proxy1" and "proxy2".  These servers are the only servers which will be connected to the Internet/WAN uplink.

For proxy1 and proxy2 connect the first NIC on each server to WAN ports, and the second NIC on each server to private switch (or VLAN) ports.

Proxy1 and proxy2s WAN ports should be on the same physical segment and and be able to exchange ARP traffic.  WAN and LAN ports must support floating IPs (needed for IP high availability).

Please also attach all IPMI NICs (including those for proxy1 and proxy2) to the private switch (or VLAN).  A-Team Systems will provide you with IP configuration information for this.

All remaining (non proxy1 and proxy2) servers will be attached only to the private switch (or VLAN) only.