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I need a file server.

Discussion in 'System Builder's Advice' started by newtekie1, Aug 5, 2010.

  1. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    I'm building a new server for a client's business, I already have an idea about what I'll be building, but I just thought I would see what everyone can come up with.:laugh::toast:

    Budget: $800 FIRM This means absolutely not a penny more(shipping can go over $800).
    Needed: Just the computer with OS.
    Maximum Users: 6-7(5 currently)
    Everything must be bought new from Newegg.
    Must have at least RAID1 capability, so include at least 2 identical hard drives.
    Must have 1TB of usable space.

    I'm looking for quality and reliability more than speed here. Their current server is all of 10 years old, and it isn't a stretch that they will try to get 10 years out of this one as well.

    Here is what I had in mind.

    Ready
    .
    .
    .
    Set
    .
    .
    .
    GO!
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2010
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  2. hat

    hat Maximum Overclocker

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    Computer with OS? Is this computer going to be used like a typical machine, or can it act as a dedicated NAS?
     
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  3. v12dock

    v12dock

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    So just use a linux OS
     
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  4. PVTCaboose1337

    PVTCaboose1337 Graphical Hacker

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    Do you want to do a rack mount type deal or just a standard case (that accommodates a server mobo of course)?
     
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  5. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    Dedicated server, this won't be used as a workstation, and might not even have a monitor attached after setup.

    The online back-up software they use requires Windows, no Linux unfortunately.

    Standard case. It doesn't even need to have a true server mobo, a very reliable desktop board will be good enough. I actually talked them out of just using a cheap Dell desktop as their server...so that gives you an idea what they are expecting.
     
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  6. hat

    hat Maximum Overclocker

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    I was gonna say to build a FreeNAS server, but if they need Windblows... some greater thought needs to be put into this, heh
     
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  7. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    First post updated with a wish list with what I had in mind.
     
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  8. t_ski

    t_ski Former Staff

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    Your list is decent. I would have recommended you'd jump on the 1TB drives for the shell shocker deal today ($60 each and you could have had three for a raid 5 array).

    What is the true purpose of this rig? You say file server, but is it just for storage? No domain, no authentication, no print server, etc?
     
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  9. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    Pure file server, no domain, no print server, nothing.

    The only thing beyond the file server role will also be a scan server, as they have a huge printer/scanner/copier combo that currently scans to each individuals desktop, and will now be scanned directly to the users folder on the server.
     
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  10. GENTLEMEN New Member

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    I'm just wondering why you chose a quad over a faster dual (or tri) if it's a file server.
     
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  11. Namslas90 New Member

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  12. Phxprovost

    Phxprovost Xtreme Refugee

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    Last edited: Aug 5, 2010
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  13. t_ski

    t_ski Former Staff

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    If they are going to use it for scanning and archiving files, make sure they put in a policy and procedure for what can be scanned, how it will be scanned (make sure they use black & white not color) and how long the data will be kept.

    Unless they are all going to be hitting the file server hard at the same time, the specs should not matter much, as long as the hardware is current. Make sure you give them plenty of HDD space to grow and fault tolerance is a must, especially if the files are not replaceable. Speaking of which, what about a backup solution? Don't rely just on the raid array.

    And for the raid array, raid 5 would be better than raid 1, since you get speed + fault tolerance, and rebuilds would only be for half the array. Make sure you get all new parts with good warranty (retail chips, etc.) in case anything goes bad. That way warranty covers the parts instead of you.
     
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  14. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    The policy for scanning is already in place. Most of the documents are scanned in grayscale, but there are a few forms that have to be scanned in color. I'm not worried about it, that has already been in place since they got the scanner a few years ago. And as I said, they've all been scanning directly to their own computers, which at the most has an 80GB hard drive(most have 40GB drives).

    My build I have in mind now has 1TB of space to start out with, I figure that should be plenty for them. Right now they are using just under 20GB on the data partition of their current server, and with adding the scans to the server I can't imagine them using up 1TB any time soon.

    Also, I've kind of already touched on the backup, there will be an off-site backup that they already use via an online backup company. They also have an on-site external hard drive back-up.

    And yeah, I want the hardware covered under warranty which is why I specified everything needs to be new, so I'm not on the hook for anything.:toast:
     
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  15. FordGT90Concept

    FordGT90Concept "I go fast!1!11!1!"

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    You're going to have to use Linux. Windows Server with 5 CALs cost $600+ and you'll need to purchase more CALs as clients increase.


    Online backup = big no-no. Major security breech and little chance the data will be available when you need it. Not to mention expensive when there's lots of data.

    Basically, there's no way to do it right on $800.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2010
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  16. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    Who said you need Windows Server? Windows 7 Pro can handled up to 10 users easily, they only have 5.

    Security breach how? Could the 256-bit encryption used during the transmission be a security breach, or the password based encryption that is used to encrypt the data before transmission to the security breach?

    Oh, and the data is stored in a data center about 20min away if anything ever happens. Their entire building could burn down, and a few quick car trips later, and they will be back up and running with 98% of their data on a new computer, probably in under 4 hours.

    Sure there is.
     
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  17. t_ski

    t_ski Former Staff

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    Just wanted to make sure you got your bases covered. This is the kind of stuff we deal with at work, and it's easier to do when you are planning than when it's done and you are having to go back and fill in the holes.

    Any chance of finding a mobo with a three year warranty to match the CPU?
     
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  18. thebluebumblebee

    thebluebumblebee

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  19. Easy Rhino

    Easy Rhino Linux Advocate

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    you could probably look around craigslist for a solid p4 system for 100 bucks and just replace the psu. there is one for sale in my area that is an IBM eserver with a p4 3.0 ghz, 512 ram and has a scsi controller included. so i would just have to buy a couple of these and be done with it. no point on reinventing the wheel for a file server.
     
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  20. mrhuggles

    mrhuggles

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    yeah i use a 400mhz g4 as my fileserver, you dont need alot of cpu power really.
     
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  21. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    Thanks.

    Swapped out the motherboard for an ASUS with a 3 year warranty for only $10 more.:toast:

    I'm not a fan of home server, and it is particularly a pain in the ass when trying to setup a office wide shared scanner like they used. I tried that solution in th past, and it just didn't work out nearly as well as a more widely used OS. And really, for the money, I think I'm getting a better machine with more room to expand in the future.

    I wouldn't feel comfortable doing that, I'd prefer something new that I know isn't about to die from a old motherboard or something. Again, they want this thing to last a decade.

    I'm all for saving money, but they've given me an $800 budget for the machine, and they are paying me for the time to build it and install it, so I'd like to give them the best possible for their money, even if it is overkill for a file server. But thank you for the suggestion.:toast:

    Yeah, I dropped the CPU back to an X2 from the X4, mainly so that I could afford the ASUS board with a 3 year warranty.

    I'm feeling pretty confident with the system in my original post, unless anyone has any suggestions on changes to make it better?
     
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  22. Easy Rhino

    Easy Rhino Linux Advocate

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    you dont really need 4 gigs of ram if you want to save 40 bucks and spend it elsewhere. also, what kind of files will they be pulling? large files or a bunch of small ones? if you have 5 people accessing large files from that server at the same time those HDDs will be too slow.
     
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  23. freaksavior

    freaksavior To infinity ... and beyond!

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    what about itx? atom d510 maybe?
     
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  24. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    Actually, its 8GB... I don't really know where else I'd spend the money if I went to 4GB or 2GB.

    Their file server now has 2 5400RPM 2MB cache drives, and they don't any speed problems, and they are only on a 100Mb/s network. I don't see why the two WD Black Drives in RAID1 wouldn't be fast enough. I'm not sure what files they will be accessing, the biggest will probably be the scanned documents, everything else will be text documents and a few Quickbooks company files.

    That could be interesting, but don't most of the ITX Atom boards have crap onboard RAID?
     
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  25. Easy Rhino

    Easy Rhino Linux Advocate

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    ah yea, then you dont need faster drives :laugh:
     
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