Perfect Dataserver !

Posted on 2005-04-14
Last Modified: 2012-03-15
Dear Experts,

  Here I want to discuss with you few points related with a Dataserver.

  1) Capablities.
  2) Functionalities.
  3) Vulnerablity.
  4) Compatiblity with Normal User who only knows Basic operation of computer.
  5)Ease of configuration & Backup.

Also I am interested In Discussing Suitable Operating System for this Windows, Linux , Novell , Any other.. ?

 Thanks in Advance
Question by:aashishkunte
    LVL 19

    Accepted Solution

    1) Capabilities - As data storage is generally its principle function, one of the most important aspects of a Dataserver is its provision for the future/scalability.  Before choosing storage capacity, I would advise that it be at least twice what you project is necessary, and more still if you project notable expansion.  A guide is 20% increase per year in data on server but that figure is conservative.

    2) Functionalities - Will it be a file server, terminal server, mail Server, print server etc will it have extra functions like backups, ISA/VPN, Remote Access, Authentication, domain controller.  Bear in mind that an application server will require significantly more processor speed and memory than a fileserver - any server based applications will decide how the machine is spec'd.  Citrix for example would require a lot more CPU power and RAM than most.  Check with Software providers for their recommended specs.

    3) Vulnerability - Windows Updates and Antivirus are no longer a luxury but necessities.  Install automatic updates or a WSUS server for deploying these to workstations and get yourself good antivirus.  Do this before anything else.

    4) Compatability - As far as a user is concerned, network shares are simply a drive letter for storing data on - virtually no interaction from user to server.  If you mean - how difficult it is to configure server yourself - the Windows server platforms are very user friendly and help is available on tonnes of websites, not least EE!

    5) Backup - Veritas Backup Exec is in my opinion the best out there.  NTbackup if you are on a budget, Arcserve 2000 if you are forced into it (!) - Veritas Backup Exec if you want trouble free backups.  Am using it for years in tonnes of locations and have never looked back.

    OS - Personally - you won't go far wrong with Windows Server 2003.  Theres plusses and minuses to all OSs but for support and scale Windows 2003 is hard to beat
    LVL 1

    Assisted Solution

    1) Capablities - Storage is cheap these days, the cost of a server with 200 or 400 GB of storage is negligible.  RAID will be your friend.
    2) Functionalities. - As eluded by others, the role of this server will dictate what you require.  What speed of storage do you require.  Depending on the amount of users
    you may need to look for other solutions.  How big are the files that your users work with.
    3) Vulnerablity - OS aside, your biggest failiures will be related to drive failiure.  A backup is important but if you have no drive to restore to, you're SOL.  RAID will not only increase performance but will also help you recover from a drive failiure.
    4) Using a Windows based server (asuming all your machines are part of a domain) will simplify authentication.  Using group policy, you can push drive maps to each users desktop (Drive U: is their personal folder, Drive G: is The Group Drive) .  To the user, the drives show up as additional drives on their PC,
    5) The backup solution will be based on the OS.  Make sure that you look into tape rotation and remote storage (have the boss keep a copy of the tapes in his safe at home, your tapes are useless if you have a fire, and your backup tape is in the same cabinet as your server)

    If you're on a tight budget, look into NAS solutions from companies like Linksys.  This solution is basically a hard drive with a network card.  This is a stand alone solution and is administered throught a web browser.  A full file server will be much harder to configure but will be a lot more versatile.


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