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Mini Server for Network Data

Discussion in 'System Builder's Advice' started by Jakl, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. Jakl

    Jakl New Member

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    Hey guys, I hope you can give me some ideas of what to put together for a Server just for Data backup for Accounting, Development Designs, and so forth. It will be connected to our domain in the company, and used for data storage and backup with a Raid 1 or 5 .

    I just want to figure out if it worth going to the Xeons, or simply have a Quad or C2D (Q9400 or e8xxx) , 4 or 8GB RAM, what mobo, and what other "useful" hardware for it (better network cards, RAID PCI Card, anything)

    Your Thoughts?

    *edit* It wont be on Windows Server OS, we will have XP due to all our systems here are on 2000 / XP *shrug* or if Vista is a good way to go, possible will be looking into that
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2009
  2. Jakl

    Jakl New Member

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    any advice?
     
  3. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    How many users? Will they be accessing the data directly off the server, or just backing up to it?
     
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  4. Jakl

    Jakl New Member

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    I believe only a few people will be accessing the system, ~5-10 users , and they will be accessing the Data directly off the server. There will be a RAID setup for backup in case anything happenns with a few 1TB HDD's .
     
  5. erocker

    erocker Super Moderator Staff Member

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    24 hours between bumps. Give people time to respond to your thread. That being said, I think cheap is the way to go. You arent doing anything really demanding. The cheapest Intel quad you can find will work great. XP x64 is a good choice for the O/S and why not throw 16gb's of ram in it. I know nothing on good affordable RAID setups. I do know that going with a good raid card is the way to go, at least over motherboard raid options.
     
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  6. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    I'm with erocker here, cheap is the way to go. You should be fine with even a cheap dual-core, and 4GB of RAM, IMO. As long as you aren't running any apps directly on the server, and are just accessing the data, you won't need a whole bunch of RAM. I've seen 10+ users running off a P4 with 1GB of RAM without issue.

    A nice RAID card is definitely a must though, I wouldn't use onboard, especially with a RAID 5 setup.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2009
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  7. Jizzler

    Jizzler

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    You can use pretty much anything.

    I took an old P3 Optiplex, added a pair of drives in RAID-1, and could do backups/restores at about 25MB/s. Probably was a PCI limitation more than anything (NIC + raid controller on single 32bit PCI bus).

    That was for backups only, luckily today anything bought is quite a bit faster and should handle the load just fine. (Unless you were going all out with Roaming Profiles, Redirected Folders, extremely large files, etc).
     
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  8. Ahhzz

    Ahhzz

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    HP MediaVault. MV5140 or MV5150. 'Nuff said.
     
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  9. Tau

    Tau New Member

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    Is the network Gigabit? If you are having 2+ concurrent connections you will NEED raid 5 period.

    A P3 with 1GB ram will be loads for a machine like that, should be able to pick the machine up for under $300, then go invest in a NICE raid card, one of the 3coms with onboard memory 64/128 (more is better) and run the HDDs in raid 5 off that. you will want a 4 drive raid 5 for best performance, and depending on the card you get you should be able to pull 450+MB/s read speed off that sucker. (what you want for multiple concurrent connections).

    Dont use an HP mediavault... Use an actual machine that you can add into the domain and setup share permissions on via the AD....
     
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  10. IggSter

    IggSter

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    Some other advice should you go for a raid solution.

    Make sure drives can be hotswapped.
    Buy a couple of spare drives when you set up the initial raid
    Have one hot swappable drive that is not part of the raid array to allow you to copy critical data there, remove it and store in fire safe or off site.
    There is a real benefit in having NICs that team (ie 2 ethernet cards plugged into same switch) this will allow one to fail and still provide conectivity and double your network bandwidth when all are working. (You will need a compatible switch also)
    Pay particular attention to the number of PCIe lanes your raid card uses..some are x 2 only so will bottleneck file transfers
     
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  11. Tau

    Tau New Member

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    Need to setup teaming on the fileserver as well, great way to maximise that aging 100baseT network :), though you know you have an issue when you are almost maxing teamed gigabit!
     
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