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2008 r2 domain controller specs

processor and hard drive question regarding domain controller.  im buying a new tower server.
it will be in another building but part of our lan.  it needs gobs of storage but not necessarily fast storage.  it will be doing dns, symantec controller center, and its a repository for all of our our back up to disks.  i shoot the backup files to it on the weekend.  
it wont be doing anything intensive like email serving or sql.  just file serving, dc, dns
what kind of proc and hard drives are reccommended?  i don't need scsi or sas for this do i?
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jamesmetcalf74
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jamesmetcalf74
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2 Solutions
 
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
You failed to mention how many users the DC is serving.

That said, unless you're General Electric or a network of similar size, virtually ANY system manufactured in the last 5 years should be MORE than sufficient for these purposes.  Since RELIABLE storage is not a requirement, I would recommend a mirrored set of drives for the OS and (ugh) Symantec data and then as many large single SATA drives as you need for data storage of the backups.  I probably would NOT implement RAID on them since this is backup data only and instead drop data onto them as needed (if you use RAID and one drive fails, then the entire array is lost - if you don't use RAID and one drive fails, then all the backups on the other drives are still accessible.

I would probably say, if pressed, Dual Core CPU, 2x250 GB drives (plain SATA should be fine) for the OS/DC/Symantec functionality, and 2 GB of RAM (+ whatever RAM requirements Symantec has).  Then LARGE SATA drives for the storage.
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Mike KlineCommented:
Any decent Intel Xeon processor should be fine,
How big is your AD...want to get enough memory to try and cache NTDS.dit memory is cheap so I always go high on that.
At a minimum 7,200 RPM drives, hard to say on SAS without running benchmarks on what you are doing. Most of our Dell servers are SAS drives.
I'd personally separate the DC from the backup server but I understand that some budgets in this economy may not allow that.
Thanks
Mmike
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jamesmetcalf74Author Commented:
150 workstations on our network.  
thanks for the help guys
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davorinCommented:
Here are system requirements for windows 2008 r2 server:
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/system-requirements.aspx
And add RAM necesary for Symantec (I could not find requirements), as leew said.
But I do not agree with leew about RAID arrays.
He was talking about RAID0 and in this case he is right. If in RAID0 fails one drive all data will be lost. But using RAID0 in your case is nonsense. Wiht RAID0 you will get higher storage performance and a lot lower data protection. In your case storage performance will not be the issue, but network performance.
I would suggest you to use RAID5 array(s). In this case you will loose capacity of one drive and if (only) one of drive fails, all your data will remain intact. I was doing backup on separate drives (no RAID array) and after one drive failed it was really annoying formating, recreating folders structure, permissiont to them...
If I had RAID5, I would simply replace the failed drive and everything would be finished in 5 minutes. Raid would rebuild automaticly. Now I have RAID5...
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davorinCommented:
OS I would install on two SAS disks in RAID1. For backup I would use large SATA disks. Many RAID controlers supports mix of SAS/SATA disks (not in same array).
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
No, actually, I wasn't specifically talking about RAID 0.  But I should clarify.  In my experience, RAID 5 arrays have been flaky at best (unless you're using Fiber Channel).  So I don't recommend RAID 5 on anything less.  As for RAID 1, that would be a HUGE waste of space for a backup system (it could be done, just doesn't make much sense).

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davorinCommented:
It seems that we do not share the same experience.
Until now I had no bad experience with RAID5. Maybe I was just lucky.
Except cases when one disk failed, it could fast get company of another failed disk. But this is not the problem of RAID. I agree with you, RAID1 is not an wise option.
But I still stick with my previous comment - about RAID levels and failed disks ;)
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
RAID 5 arrays, while recoverable, can be a pain to recover, requiring special software in many cases if the controller fails or multiple disks go offline.  My experiences have been with Dell servers, Adaptec Controllers, and HP Servers.  Not ALL have failed, but enough have had problems that in my experience, using a RAID 5 is WORSE than using no RAID at all in terms of up-time.  (I won't deny that it CAN provide reliability, but when multiple drives go offline for no good reason, it's a major issue).  The one RAID 5 system I've used that worked flawlessly - even with disk failure, was a Dell (Clariion) Fiber Channel system.  Now maybe things have improved, but given the circumstances, I don't see RAID 5 as being terribly necessary or worthwhile.
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davorinCommented:
Leew, thank you for sharing your experience.
In failures you mentioned, it is really difficult if not imposible to get your data back. It is far easyer to restore data from backup. With Clariion we are talking about SANs and if you don't get someting more for that amount of money...
I agree with you, RAID5 (in this case) is not necesary. About worthwhile - it is all about luck - it can save or lose your time. And about flavors/experience.
As English is not may native language, I do not want to be misunderstood. I do respect your opinion. I'm just adding mine ;)
Thank you again.

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jamesmetcalf74Author Commented:
im about to ask a really dumb question i suspect.  im configuring some hard drives for the server and some of these terabyte sata drives are 500 bucks.
i can get terabyte drives from cdw for 150.
is this dual port hard drive stuff that hp offers what makes them so much more expensive when the come preconfigured?  whats the deal?
i want to buy everything from hp or dell for warranty purposes.
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davorinCommented:
Can I ask you what type of server do you have?
Normally HP drives are more expensive because of "special" HDD bays and HP firware.
Not really that this is worth such amount of money.
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