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Time to build a new server


SETaft
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I've finally found the time to construct a new server for a friend's small business, a civil Engineering firm with about a half dozen users. The system is for back-up and file sharing. An HP N54L with an Intel 120gb SSD running WHS 2011 and three or four 1TB drives (RAID 5) will serve as the foundation. I'm trying to keep everything simple so I will forgo any domain thoughts and stick with a workgroup strategy.

 

I'd like to configure the system with three or four 1TB WD (Black or Desktop) drives in a RAID 5 configuration. I'm looking for suggestions regarding required RAM sizing and a RAID card and drive selection to support the RAID configuration. I've also heard snippets on the Podcast regarding HP remote access tools for this configuration.

 

I'll complete my research this week and perform the build next week. Thanks in advance for any constructive comments you can offer.

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By the way, I'm still chugging along with my HP 470 Media Smart Server in my own environment. It's equipped with a pair of 500 gb, a pair of 1.5 tb drives and 2gb of RAM. Other than a fan getting a bit noisy, it's been running great for I don't remember how long. Perhaps I'll retire it and look for a deal on a newer system too.

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Highpoint Rocket Raid 2720 for the Raid card and with the price of drives, please go with at least 2TB drives, perferably WD Red for the array and an SSD for the OS.

 

For the server backup and client backups you coukd go with single drives.

 

How much data does the customer have at present? Now for RAM, since you said this was an engineering firm, you need to be at least 4 gigs and possibly 8. Just my thoughts.

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I think WHS 2011 calls for 160GB for the system drive.  While you can make it work with a smaller drive you might not want to for a production server for a business. But with 240/256GB SSD going for less than $200 or even less than $150 these days that shouldn't be a big issue.

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Yes, 160GB. Also, there is the "cfg.ini" hack to install to a smaller disk, and to use the entire disk for the C:\ drive.

 

 

But yeah, considering how fast a drive this small gets filled (especially if you max out the RAM and install a bunch of stuff), a 240GB may be worth the money. 

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Thanks for the comments so far. After reading the reviews on the WD Reds I was a bit concerned. There were a few too many trouble reports than I cared to see. Thanks also for the insights on the SSD sizing requirements. The server will be used for backups and file sharing, no applications.  I'm replacing a +10 year old server that has run without incident (knock on wood) that's less than one quarter the capacity of the new one I'm proposing.

 

I still need to do a bit more research regarding remote access. Guess I'll review some of the older Podcast's for that. Once again, thanks for the assist. 

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I don't remember seeing a single negative post on this board about the WD Reds.  It's a mechanical device which means at some point in time it will fail.  Now to be fair. research the same way for your current drives and see what you get and also look at the dates of those posts.

 

Do they relate to the time of the floods at the manufacturing plant?

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Thanks for the response. I was referring to several of the reviews on the 1 tb drives on the Newegg site. Quite a few reviews regarding Disk Drive reliability have been released of late. Each seems to have its' favorite. I'm just attempting to minimize the potential for data loss.

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Wow, that's a lot of bad reviews...

 

But that's why a certain number of members here always recommend spin-rite on new disks. :)

 

As for minimizing data loss, that's why I tend to recommend StableBit Scanner. Monitors SMART data, as well as does a surface scan of the disk periodically.

I am biased though, as I do work for the company. (but I was biased before hand as well, as many here can attest to)

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Since this is a production server, I would go with NAS or Enterprise rated drives, which would rule out WD Blacks. WD Reds have had some 'teething' issues, but if you test them before putting them into production they should perform well. The other drives you could consider are the Hitachi -- the BackBlaze folks really like them. :)

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