I thought that this subforum would be the best fit for the questions (feel free to move it if I'm wrong). I have spent the last few months, in my spare time, looking over (enterprise) server hardware information. I know what FC, HBA, SAS, PERC, PDU, VRM, 1U-4U, and 1 or 2 other terms mean. I could tell you (the variety of) processors, chipset, & RAM, of many modern HP, DELL, & Supermicro motherboards. I just have no hands-on knowledge. I want get in on some server action! The best way to answer these questions may just be for me to "just start buying & building," but I was hoping for some pre-trial help. Will my server boot without a SAS backplane installed? Without I/O or VGA panels/cards installed? I could list specific server boards, but I am really hoping for you to share general & specific knowledge. What do you know? Does anyone have Fibre Channel lines in his house? Anyone have links to (preferably LARGE) schematics of server mobos? If my server has a SAS backplane, does that mean that there is no onboard controller? If I have a PCI-E or PCI-X RAID controller, how is it connected to the SAS backplane? If I do not use the specific fans for ________ board, will it start beeping (or otherwise bother me about my custom cooling?)? I see no SAS/SATA plugs on this mobo itself, should I just go to sleep and let the grown-ups mess with servers?