Frank_Rizzo - 2:24 pm on Dec 24, 2010 (gmt 0)
This is difficult. Servers meant to be reliable as possible so the fans tend to run full speed to prevent overheating and dust accumulation.
You can either change the fans to lower dB / similar CFM devices, or undervolt the existing fans but this would probably invalidate the warranty.
Take a look at the bios. There may be fan speed options in there where you can set for optimal / silence / performance. Changing that will not affect warranty at all, with only a slight speed trade off.
Work out the total cost of the server with 24/7/365 warranty and then price up similar or better with a self build and then price up a hardware contract with a local IT hardware support co.
It's no joke working with loud fans in close proximity. Your hearing will be damaged over time.