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File Server rebuild - need help with drive configuration

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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
I'm looking to upgrade the server hardware in our office (<15 people).  Everything works, but I want to be proactive since we're approaching the limits of our current SCSI drive capacity.  The last time I messed with it, it was a simple 30G Gateway server with OS & data on a pair of mirrored(?) SCSI drives.  The mobo got fried in a flood several years ago, but the two SCSI drives survived and I built a new box around them.  If I rebuilt this correctly, the current drive configuration is:

Server 2003 OS on SATA (II?) drive
Data (critical project info & quickbooks data) on two 30GB SCSI drives (hopefully mirrored)
Archived data on second SATA drive

This server is a domain controller and also allows employees access to approximately 26-28G of critical project information, CAD files, and bookkeeping info.  I'm not an IT guy, but it seemed reasonable to keep the frequently read/written data on robust SCSI drives, and mirror them to reduce the risk of data loss (although it's completely possible that if I didn't configure this properly they are not currently mirrored/striped/whatever.  For what it's worth, there is a systematic backup schedule of normal & incremental backups that maintains 6 weeks data on a NAS device in a different part of our building).  When I last worked on the box, we were only dealing with 12-16G of data so the 30G drives were more than adequate.  Now that we're approaching their full capacity, I want to upgrade, with the express goal of reliability and decent speeds for multiple users simultaneously accessing files (excel, pdf, bookkeeping, CAD, scheduling databases, etc).  Would the following configuration work?  My terminology sucks, so please bear with me:

Drive 1: OS, on same SATA drive or upgraded to SSD
Drive 2,3: Critical data, on mirrored (raided?) SSD drives (60 or 90G each) & PCI controller card
Drive 4: Archived Data, will reuse current SATA drive

If I’m correct, the SSD drives will reduce lags for the users, especially in CAD and accounting software (already have gigabit cards, so network throughput should not be an issue).  Is this necessary for the OS drive, or just for the actual data storage?  Am I even on the right track?

Thanks in advance.

JD
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