Meet a Server Builder! Anthony Carrion, Senior Builder at TechMikeNY
Meet Anthony Carrion – Senior Server Builder at TechMikeNY. When you order a server from TechMikeNY, there is a good chance that the build has passed through Anthony’s experienced hands.
We spoke to Anthony to glean some pearls of wisdom with his experience in building almost 6,000 (!) servers.
How long have you been at TechMikeNY?
Two and a half years.
About how many servers would you guess you have built, tested, and shipped out?
A little under 6,000.
Any pitfalls or challenges with building servers? Specific issues that come up often that we can pass along to HomeLab users?
The greatest virtue of building and maintaining servers is having patience. Often, when the server gives out errors, there is no indication of what component itself is malfunctioning, and troubleshooting each part is required. Another challenge is finding the right components for certain actions and understanding which one works in the server for optimal performance. For example, if you use V1 processors in a 12th Gen Dell server, the speed of the RAM caps at 12800 MHz. But if you use V2 processors, then you’ll be able to use the 14900 MHz modules at their full speed.
You need to keep track of all the variables of the components you are installing – just because a component works for one server doesn’t mean that it will work for all.
Fun Fact: Anthony, in his HomeLab environment, runs a custom-built computer that he uses for everyday tasks (Gaming, Running VMs, Programing) and a hand-me-down computer running Ubuntu 20.04 as an FTP/Storage server.
What is the best advice you can give to someone just starting with building a home server?
If at first you don’t succeed, remember patience. Also, using google/discussion boards. There is a good chance that somebody has had the same issue that you did. HomeLabs are a great way to build problem-solving skills because you begin to understand all of the components if you want it to work.
What are some nifty tech solutions you use at home?
I installed windows in an internal SSD while still using the external drives to work independently from the others, which allowed for maximum storage of the drives.
I also have set up an FTP server in my home that can be accessed from anywhere.
Any significant challenges in working with refurbished IT hardware, if any?
The biggest challenge is just staying on top of what components are being phased out due to compatibility issues.
Essential Fact: Anthony builds 12-15 servers per day, depending on the volume and configurations.
What is the craziest thing you’ve seen in prepping a server? Any memorable moments?
I have seen PSUs start smoking/popped as the power cable was being inserted. That’s always interesting.
There was one time when I had first started building servers, and I had to replace a riser card so we could install 2 CPUs. What I didn’t notice was a small manufacturer sticker on the replacement riser card. When I plugged the server in the chip, it immediately got hot enough to ignite the sticker, and it started a small fire inside the server! I killed the power and put out the flame, but it was too late -- the system board was fried.
So that’s an added piece of advice to HomeLab users: always remember to remove the manufacture’s stickers before installing chips!
Non-Tech Fact: When not building servers, Anthony likes to walk around downtown Manhattan. He is also an avid online gamer.
Remember, if you ever have any questions on a configuration, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at email@example.com. There is a good chance that one of our reps will be asking Anthony for the answer!