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Spec's for a file server

Posted on 2004-04-21
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Last Modified: 2010-04-25
I want to buy a computer to act as a FILE server. This machine will just act as a repository for all files in an office with about 10 workstations. The only application that will run on it will be Quickbooks.

I know video and sound cards are not important, but what is top priority?

I am thinking 2.4Ghz P4, 1GB RAM, two 200GB SATA drives in RAID 1

Am I putting my money in the right places?
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Question by:Issaquah
6 Comments
 
LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:buckeyes33
ID: 10879236
What are the specs on your SATA drives?
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 10879422
For a file server, fast disk access time, reliability, and available space are important factors.  The OS you use should be robust enough to stay up for long periods of time without intervention.  Think about periodic backup offsite, so that important data is not lost.  In absolute critical situations, redundant power supplies, as well as disks, are required.  Include a UPS unit so that a brief power outage doesn't crash the server.
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Expert Comment

by:ahmedbahgat
ID: 10884552
your main concern will be the type of raid you will use, have a look at this and see which will suit your situation:


http://www.acnc.com/04_01_00.html

also have you seen servers with 2 cpu performance?, I did and since then all my servers has dual cpu, even if they are file servers in fact  2 x 1 GH may outperform 1 x 2.4 GH,
an internal back up unit will be a good idea too


cheers
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Expert Comment

by:weychuan
ID: 10907083
Get a case with good ventilation, high speed hdds nowadays are too hot. If budget allows, consider RAID 10 or RAID 5, RAID 1 tends to be slower then single hardrive.

http://www.3ware.com/products/serial_ata8000.asp
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Accepted Solution

by:
Noordeloos earned 500 total points
ID: 10918473
Issaquah,

This may sound corny but, go for a real brand, I especially like Dell for price/quality reasons.

You can get a cheap server there witch you can get good support on,
If you check the hardware section of experts-exchange, it has loads of "funny" problems, all with home made computers. You don't want that with a company server, so buy one with a brand, it seems expencive but centanly has advantages.

Processor speed and dual processors for a simple workgroup storage server is BULLS*** it totally depends on througput of the complete system, you know the phrase "the chain is as strong as its weakest link" it is also the case with a storage server. If you put a 3ghz machine with 2gb of memory, 2 15.000 rpm disks in raid0 in a 10mbit network, you could have the same performance as a 486 40Mhz with a single scsi-uw disk in the same network. Also the choice for a proper os with correct settings is bound to give a better performance than just putting a extra processor in place. Also in company terms, performance is good but relliabillaty is far more important than winning some millisecons in performance. Downtime, mean time faillure, etc is more important than speed.

Something like this will probably suit your needs: A Dell Poweredge 700 (a server with 3 year on site support and a 4x 80GB raid5 (effective 240GB) sata set.
It will cost $2,200, wich is cheap if you considder they'll come and fix your hardware within 4 hours. (try to tell your users they'll have to stop working for 2 day's because your local vendor doesn't have spare parts or something)

 PowerEdge 700:
Intel® Pentium® 4 processor, 2.8GHz, 1MB Cache, 800MHz FSB   700281   [221-4108]   1
 
 Operating System:
No Operating System   NOOSO   [420-4190]   11
 
 Memory:
1GB DDR,400MHz, 2x512MB DIMMs   1GB2D   [310-8803]   3
 
 USB Devices:
CERC SATA 6-Channel Card User Documentation   CERCDOC   [342-0048]   36
 
 Floppy Drive:
Internal 1.44MB 3.5" Floppy Disk Drive   FD   [341-0240]   10
 
 CD-ROM:
16X DVD-ROM, Internal   DVD   [340-9927]   16
 
 Keyboard:
Standard Windows Keyboard,Gray   S   [320-1862]   4
 
 Mouse:
Logitec System Mouse,Gray   L   [320-1861]   12
 
 Monitors:
No Monitor Option   N   [320-2968]   5
 
 Documentation:
Electronic Documentation and OpenManage CD Kit   EDOCS   [410-0358][410-0636]   21
 
 Hardware Support Services:
3Yr Same Day 4Hr Response Parts + Onsite Labor (M-F 8am-6pm)   W3Y5X10   [960-1305][902-4450][902-3062]   29
 
 Installation:
No Installation   NOINSTL   [900-9997]   32
 
 Hard Drive Configuration:
SATA RAID 5 with 3-4 SATA Drives Connected to add in CERC Raid Controller   ASTR5   [340-9877]   27
 
 Primary Controller:
CERC 6-Channel SATA RAID Controller   CERCSTA   [342-0037]   9
 
 Boot Hard Drives:
80GB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive   80GB   [340-9834]   8
Additional Hard Drives:
Additional 80GB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive   80GBADD   [340-9837]   23
Third Hard Drive:
Additional 80GB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive   80GBADD   [340-9837]   54
Fourth Hard Drive:
Additional 80GB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive   80GBADD   [340-9837]   51
 
Network Card:
On-board Network Adapter   OBNIC   [430-0488]   13

If your also trying to get better performance, you can always buy a new switch with one or two GigaBit ports, connect your server(s) to those ports (naturally they should have GigaBit cards installed) so that you can rule out that network speed is your weakest link in the chain.

This is my humble opinion,

Noordeloos
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Author Comment

by:Issaquah
ID: 10918507
Noordeloos

Thanks for your excellent answer!!
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