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Replacing aging SBS 2003 server


marky9074
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Hi there, first post!

 

Been trying to replace an aging SBS 2003 server with a Synology NAS drive, but the clients software must use MS SQL. Whilst you can relocate the DB files to a network drive, it is not advised, and even then if I install MS SQL server Express on each workstation only one can attach the database at any one time. So I am back to square one, looking for a replacement for the SBS 2003 server.

 

I am not sure how I got here, but somehow I stumbled over the HP Microserver. I liked the idea, as I could rip out the guts and replace it with some decent drives and SSD OS drive. Now, the N40L is available for ~£100 in the UK after rebate:

 

http://www.ebuyer.com/281915-hp-proliant-turion-ii-n40l-microserver-100-cashback-658553-421

 

But the N54l is three times the price:

 

http://uk.insight.com/en-gb/productinfo/servers/0001792065-00000001&utm_source=base&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=base&src=000093

 

I would feel a bit tight if I set up a server for a client with a cheap and slow processor, but maybe with the right drives and components it might fly anyway?

 

Basically the server would be used for file storage for user roaming profiles and data, nothing major, maybe 1TB max. I have offloaded exchange to a hosted exchange account.

 

I have not seen anybody discuss hardware mirror of SSD drives for the OS, then software RAID 1 for the data. I was thinking of getting a couple of these 7K1000.D drives as they were A listed on PC-Pro. 

 

http://cpc.farnell.com/jsp/displayProduct.jsp?sku=CS23869&CMP=e-2072-00001000

 

And after seeing the work on this forum, maybe an icydock for the OD bay, and of course some decent memory, I guess the 8GB Kingston is safer. Basically I am hoping someone could point me in the right direction of a spec list, and a suggestion of how best to configure the data drives. I appreciate there are a lot of bleeding edge threads here pushing the boundaries, but I am after a stable production server, so any suggestions would be much appreciated.

 

I would also appreciate any input on whether the N54L is worth the extra cash. I guess I will have to stump out for 2012 essentials too...

Edited by marky9074
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2012 Essentials would do what you are asking, from  a domain standpoint, especially since you mentioned roaming profiles.  I don't think the 54L is worth the extra money over a 40L.  The IcyDock 2 drive bay has been mentioned here several times but I would not invest in a dual SSD drive setup for the OS.  Spindle drives will work just fine.

 

Spend the money on good quality drives for the data portion (read WD Red NAS Drives).

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I would think they need to shift all the old ones first hence the cahs back offer is still on..

 

I would have thought, the newer ones prices cant come down till the old stock is gone..

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I did have a think earlier, and assumed a single SSD would be fine (and I could always ghost it anyway to an external drive in the icydock). The client is not too concerned about the cost (though I am trying to keep the cost down, as really all he needs is a NAS). 

 

I guess I could get three of these in a software RAID 5?

 

http://www.ebuyer.com/390985-wd-red-2tb-3-5in-sata6-wd20efrx

 

It might be a little bit of overkill storage wise, but at that price may as well..

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I am a little confused about storage spaces.. is this a replacement for the normal drive management in server or in addition? Would I create a software RAID 5 as normal (sorry I keep up with Linux, and my MCSE was way back in NT4 Server...)

Edited by marky9074
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Storage Spaces is a quasi DE but its much slower, SS is a new tool but not many people are using it..  Go with RAID and don't look back.

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What is the performance like of the onboard RAID controller? I am now thinking RAID 1 for the OS and RAID 1 for the data, using all four bays, but on the onboard controller. Then if I need any more I can use 'Storage Spaces'. As I work offshore, I want to make sure that this server is bulletproof in case it goes pear shaped whilst I am away..  I know it might be overkill to mirror an SSD drive but better safe than sorry..

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You have a decision to make here. If you stick with the stock BIOS, the SATA ports are limited to SATA-I (1.5Gb), but you can use the onboard RAID. If you install the 3rd party BIOS-Mods.com BIOS you can get the SATA ports up to SATA-II (3Gb), but you can no longer boot the system if the SATA ports are set to RAID.

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Presumably the onboard will only support one RAID set anyway, so my hands are tied if I want to mirror the two SSD's for the OS....

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