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Old 10-19-2009, 11:29 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question New Server Specs, Need Some Help.

I am planning to build a new server for my work due to how old the current one is. I will reuse the case, but almost everything else needs to go. Here's what I am thinking:

1) ASUS P5BV-E/SAS motherboard
2) Intel Xeon X3220 processor
3) 2x Kingston 2GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 ECC Unbuffered Dual Channel Kit Server Memory
4) Reuse existing 550w power supply
5) Reuse existing 650 gb hard drives. These are essentially brand new. I have (4) of these and (2) are in the tower at once in RAID 1 using a Promise FastTrack TX4310 controller. The second drive gets swapped out for one of the other two drives each week to rebuild. The (2) drives in the case use Promise's Removable bays.
6) Reuse existing DVD drives and floppy.

I would like to get your opinion on the setup as well as if I should get a different RAID controller? if I do use a different controller do I need to get new removable bays or can the Promise ones be reused? Any comments are greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-19-2009, 02:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Server Specs, Need Some Help.

What will this server be doing?
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Old 10-19-2009, 03:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Server Specs, Need Some Help.

Looks like you could save a bit of money by choosing the ASUS P5BV-E if you don't have any SAS HDDs and I don't understand why you swap out your HDD every week. The rest looks fine.

Why do you want to change the controller, it looks fine? Promise only specify that you can use it with their controllers... but then, they would. You can almost certainly use the bays with whatever controller you like, why not test by putting a drive in the bay and attaching to the onboard controller?
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Old 10-19-2009, 10:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Server Specs, Need Some Help.

Yeah it would be nice to know what this server is going to be used for.
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Old 10-20-2009, 10:24 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Server Specs, Need Some Help.

We are a small architectural firm and the server is used for data storage, but the files on the server are accessed by all of our employees. At any given time we could have 50 or more files open, being edited or being saved to. I was just curious regarding the controller and if there was possibly a better card for our scenario. This setup has worked well for the past couple of years, but I'm always looking for ways to increase efficiency and decrease errors or failure.

The reason for swapping out the drives is so that we have a quick method to get back up and running and not be very far behind (if at all) in the event of a hard drive failure or data failure. Thanks for the help.
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Old 10-20-2009, 11:45 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Server Specs, Need Some Help.

Stick with the controller. If you are just sharing out the files and they are accessed "live" on the server you should consider a CVS (or similar) server, more work but well worth it.

I wouldn't do my backups like that but hey, each to his own.
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Old 10-20-2009, 05:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Server Specs, Need Some Help.

I might be missing something, but why don't you put all 4 HD's in and go with a raid 5 setup. I checked and your controller card does support it. That would boost your capacity by 650gb. Some could argue that raid 5 has a slower write time due to the whole parity thing however I doubt it would come into effect on your scale operation.

Just my 0.02cents

P.S. I'm by no means a server specialist =p

P.P.S. Just in case you missed my point, a raid 5 array can withstand the loss of a drive without downtime.
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Old 10-22-2009, 01:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Server Specs, Need Some Help.

So, it sounds like the current RAID setup is probably the best solution for us due to hard drive availability, simplicity and redundancy. Thanks for all of the other ideas though. What do you guys think about the other hardware?
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Old 10-23-2009, 11:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Server Specs, Need Some Help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by masteroc View Post

Just my 0.02cents
Thats two hundredths of a penny! You miser!
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