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Old 07-11-2014, 10:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default File and Backup Server

I am wanting to build a server to learn more sys admin stuff. I have a copy of Windows Server 2012.

I am trying to convince a friend of mine to sell me his build and update his system.

He has an AMD Athlon Black 955 and 8gb Ram. The link below is the build.
Friends System

If he won't sell it to me I am going to build one. I have always built gaming systems and not servers. So, what should I be looking for and what differences are there?

I am thinking Intel and something with a lot of sata and RAID support. No gpu and tons of storage.

I am planning on making a email server and file server. Also a backup system for my other computers. I have some knowledge of sys admin I have worked in IT for a few years and just want to get my own network more advanced. I am thinking a lot of RAM for Virtual Machines also.

Any suggestions and/or help are welcome! I will answer all questions to the best of my knowledge.

The budget is between $600-$1000.
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Old 07-11-2014, 12:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: File and Backup Server

from what I know, gaming systems rely heavily on cpu and gpu processing. this is to get the best frame rate possible.

with a file and backup server, you should be more concerned about storage capacity and speed. corporate enterprises usually buy sas hard drives at 10k rpm or above. this is for the file server. budget conscience companies would buy slower hard drives for their backups. they are cheaper and usually good enough to meet your backup windows.

you'll want a raid controller for this too. raid five is most common. you can lose one drive and the system can still run. I hear raid 0+1 is the best but its also more expensive.

everything else really depends on how many users you plan to put on the system. four critical points to the system will be memory, cpu, storage, and network

here's a server for 600. you'll need to buy a raid controller and hard drives.

https://www.cdw.com/shop/products/HP...amIdentifier=3


edit - also, keep in mind that you get the licening for 2 vms and 1 host with windows 2012 standard. read the webpage linked below to find out more.

http://www.aidanfinn.com/?p=13090
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Old 07-11-2014, 01:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: File and Backup Server

I would not recommend RAID 5 for the OS. If RAID 1+0 is to expensive then just do RAID 1, the OS should run just fine on one HDD. Now for your file share, how much space do you plan of having?
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Old 07-11-2014, 02:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: File and Backup Server

What people need to keep in mind when tossing around the word "server" is that, there really isn't much of a difference unless you're wanting to drop the cash on actual server grade parts. A home server is typically derived from consumer grade desktop components. That being said, any good gaming rig minus the expensive GPU will do fine.

When it comes to RAID and RAID cards again the previously mentioned statement can become an issue. If you want to use a RAID card you have to be cautious when matching card to board as they won't always just work. You need to do your homework to make sure you have good compatibility.

I second the OS not on RAID. Leave RAID for your storage. If you want to mess with VMs with your budget I'd say shoot for a 120GB SSD for your OS and a good size RAID 5 partition for your VMs.

Speaking of VMs, here again consumer grade hardware is holding you back. THe cheapest solution is to go with a mainstream Intel quad but if you have several VMs up you're limited to amount of cores. Running a VM strictly on virtualized cores is not a pleasant experience. So that kinda makes having an i7 pointless.

Also another thing to keep in mind before spending any kind of cash is basically anything you want to learn now you can learn on your home rig without spending money.
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Old 07-11-2014, 02:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: File and Backup Server

I know I can learn from using my own gaming rig, but I actually want to make a system and have it running longterm.

I can expand the budget if it makes sense. I have access to both Server Standard and Datacenter.

I know VMs are awful on virtual cores or resources. I figured a hyper-v enabled cpu would be good to have. I am willing to invest in a solid solution .
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Old 07-11-2014, 02:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: File and Backup Server

Well, how many VMs do you plan to run at once? That's a key question.

Another reasonable question here is, when do you want to do this and how long can you wait?
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Old 07-11-2014, 02:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I am willing to wait if something is coming out. I am thinking I will probably run 4-6 VMs. Plus a file and backup service.
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Old 07-11-2014, 02:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: File and Backup Server

You plan on running those with 1 core a piece? Haswell-E is going to start dropping around September. The lowest chip (300-400) will be a hexcore piece with 15MB L3. DDR4 is also going to have better error correction, and allows way more RAM than DDR3 as well as being faster (not that it matters much anyways). Something to think about. If you spent say 300+ now on an 1150 i7 might as well wait and spend the same money for 2 more cores.
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Old 07-11-2014, 02:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: File and Backup Server

I am not in a rush to buy. I would rather wait to have more physical cores.
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Old 07-11-2014, 02:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: File and Backup Server

If you really want server grade stuff, we can do that too.
Intel Xeon E5-2620 v2 Ivy Bridge-EP 2.1GHz 15MB L3 Cache LGA 2011 80W Server Processor BX80635E52620V2 - Newegg.com

Can go dual slot:
SUPERMICRO MBD-X9DR3-LN4F+-O Enhanced Extended ATX Server Motherboard Dual LGA 2011 DDR3 1600/1333/1066/800 - Newegg.com

Or single:
SUPERMICRO X9SRI-F ATX Server Motherboard - Newegg.com

Or wait. Whatever you want to do.
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