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I need a file server.

newtekie1

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#1
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!
 
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hat

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#2
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
So just use a linux OS
 

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#4
Do you want to do a rack mount type deal or just a standard case (that accommodates a server mobo of course)?
 

newtekie1

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#5
Computer with OS? Is this computer going to be used like a typical machine, or can it act as a dedicated NAS?
Dedicated server, this won't be used as a workstation, and might not even have a monitor attached after setup.

So just use a linux OS
The online back-up software they use requires Windows, no Linux unfortunately.

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

hat

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#6
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
First post updated with a wish list with what I had in mind.
 

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#8
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?
 

newtekie1

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#9
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?
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
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

t_ski

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#13
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
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.
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
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)
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.
 
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newtekie1

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#16
You're going to have to use Linux. Windows Server with 5 CALs cost $700 and you'll need to purchase more CALs as clients increase.
Who said you need Windows Server? Windows 7 Pro can handled up to 10 users easily, they only have 5.

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.
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.

Basically, there's no way to do it right on $800.
Sure there is.
 
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#17
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:
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
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#19
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
yeah i use a 400mhz g4 as my fileserver, you dont need alot of cpu power really.
 

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#21
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?
Thanks.

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

What about Windows Home server for the OS? For what they're doing, you could get one of the pre-built systems, (which will have tech support from the manufacturer) add a HDD or 2 and be done with it. WHS also backs up the clients that are attached to it so that would also be a benefit.

Edit: HP StorageWorks X510 Data Vault Intel Pentium E5200 2.5 GHz 2GB DDR2 Memory 2TB HDD & Windows Home Server OS installed (Q2051A) for $730 with 2 each 1TB HDDS installed. Done.
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.

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.
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 use a 400mhz g4 as my fileserver, you dont need alot of cpu power really.
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
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
what about itx? atom d510 maybe?
 

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Indiana, USA
Processor Intel Core i7 4790K@4.6GHz
Motherboard AsRock Z97 Extreme6
Cooling Corsair H100i
Memory 32GB Corsair DDR3-1866 9-10-9-27
Video Card(s) ASUS GTX960 STRIX @ 1500/1900
Storage 480GB Crucial MX200 + 2TB Seagate Solid State Hybrid Drive with 128GB OCZ Synapse SSD Cache
Display(s) QNIX QX2710 1440p@120Hz
Case Corsair 650D Black
Audio Device(s) Onboard is good enough for me
Power Supply Corsair HX850
Software Windows 10 Pro x64
#24
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.
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.

what about itx? atom d510 maybe?
That could be interesting, but don't most of the ITX Atom boards have crap onboard RAID?
 

Easy Rhino

Linux Advocate
Joined
Nov 13, 2006
Messages
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System Name VHOST01 | Desktop
Processor i7 980x | i5 7500 Kaby Lake
Motherboard Gigabyte x58 Extreme | AsRock MicroATX Z170M Exteme4
Cooling Prolimatech Megahelams | Stock
Memory 6x4 GB @ 1333 | 2x 8G Gskill Aegis DDR4 2400
Video Card(s) Nvidia GT 210 | Nvidia GTX 970 FTW+
Storage 4x2 TB Enterprise RAID5 |Corsair mForce nvme 250G
Display(s) N/A | Dell 27" 1440p 8bit GSYNC
Case Lian Li ATX Mid Tower | Corsair Carbide 400C
Audio Device(s) NA | On Board
Power Supply SeaSonic 500W Gold | Seasonic SSR-650GD Flagship Prime Series 650W Gold
Mouse N/A | Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum
Keyboard N/A | Posiden Z RGB Cherry MX Brown
Software Centos 7 | Windows 10
#25
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.
ah yea, then you dont need faster drives :laugh: