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New server

Posted on 2010-11-30
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Hi, need some info on getting new server.
- around 15 users, SBS server: AD/Exchange/File/DNS/DHCP etc
- around 1TB storage
- Tape drive SCSI

Could you please suggest rack mount server (prefer IBM or HP) for above requirements, how many disk drives and what RAID, do i need to order separate RAID and scsi card or it comes with server, SBS 2008 or SBS2010/2011 already released?
And, please suggest me on license as well, CALs
Thanks
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Question by:joyjohn
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by:RickEpnet
ID: 34240243
How many users, Will you be using SharePoint very much?
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Author Comment

by:joyjohn
ID: 34240257
15, no Sharepoint on this particular server
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Expert Comment

by:RickEpnet
ID: 34240314
Give me a budget I will give you my recommendations. This is what I do for a living remember I am not selling you anything so it is ok to give me your budget. Once I get the config you can then shop it out.
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Cris Hanna earned 250 total points
ID: 34240385
SBS 2011 will not be available pre-installed on a server until sometime in the first quarter of 2011

I don't do HP or IBM servers, only Dell so I can't give you specific model numbers.
But in general

1.  12-16 GB of RAM, unless you are going to install SQL server on there in which case you'll need 16-24 GB (the more, the better) up to a max of 32GB

2.  I would suggest a smaller Raid 1 for the  OS, and then a seperate RAID 1 with 1TB drives.  A dedicated RAID controller is the way to go.  Software raid is not stable and does not perform well.

3.  NICs :   SBS 2011 (or 2008) only supports 1 single port nic.  If the server comes with builtin single port NIC, thats fine.   If it comes with a dual port nic, better to add an Intel PT1000 single port GB NIC, and then disable the other one.

4.  Backup:  SBS 2008 or 2011 does not natively support Tape Backup any more.  So if you really want to go tape, you'll need 3rd party software.    You can get external USB drives 2TB for $129 a piece and SBS will natively back up to those.

5. Find local Resellers for HP and IBM, and use the above guidelines

6. CALs:   There are two types  User and Device.  If everyone has their own computer, User CALs are the way to go.   You need a CAL for every user    If you have share computers then Device CALs will be the way to go.
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Author Comment

by:joyjohn
ID: 34240398
Hi, Rick about budget its ok let me know your list (your recommendation for 10-15 users support). please exclude tape drive
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by:RickEpnet
RickEpnet earned 250 total points
ID: 34240459
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by:RickEpnet
ID: 34240486
You could add a second CPU and you would need to add SBS to it. The second CPU would be nice but by no means a Must have.
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by:Cris Hanna
ID: 34240517
So that cart did not include the OS?
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Author Comment

by:joyjohn
ID: 34240611
Thanks Chirs & Rick. I think 12GB RAM should be enough, not using SQL/Sharepoints etc
And, dedicated RAID controller is defintely better option, could you please provide more info on setting up the raid on hard drives. I have never setup 2 different raids on same server, can i do this simply using the raid management tools or from BIOS ? could you please add more info on this, thanks
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by:RickEpnet
ID: 34240715
I would not setup 2 raids but this is just a difference of option. But if you wanted to you would need to order 2 more drives 146GB drives would work fine. It is done in the raid config as you are booting up. You would select the drives you want to add to the array and select the raid level and then commit the changes.
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Author Comment

by:joyjohn
ID: 34262938
so what's the best settings for storage, RAID? please let me know how many drives and settings, do i really need to create 2 raid for os and data?
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by:RickEpnet
ID: 34263022
You do not have to create 2 it is a preference. Raid one 2 Drives Raid 5 3 drives or more.
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Author Comment

by:joyjohn
ID: 34263206
ok may be 3 drives with RAID 5
if i go more than 3 drives then what's the best?
On CALs, do i need to enter the key on SBS server like on SBS 2003 or keys are just for ref
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by:RickEpnet
ID: 34263254
It all depends on if you are using SATA or SAS drive. With most raid controllers for SCSI or SAS the more spindles the more throughput. So 6 drives will be faster that 3 everything else being equal. SATA is not normally like that but they are making changes all the time.

Not sure about the CALs
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Expert Comment

by:Cris Hanna
ID: 34263534
CALs are just paper.
Regarding 2 raids, 1 for OS, 1 for Data
If you do this and OS goes kaput...you're data is completely intact...you just have to restore the one area

A single Raid 5 and a controller craps...you have a lot more work ahead
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Author Comment

by:joyjohn
ID: 34263654
thanks Chris, i've never setup 2 raids, as mentioned above i should be able to create 2 raids via raid config during start up?
"I would suggest a smaller Raid 1 for the  OS, and then a seperate RAID 1 with 1TB drives."
-but using raid 1 i am going to loose data when 1 drive fails, isn't it? at least with 3 drives on raid 5 if 1 fails i can have all data there and i can just replace faulty drive.
SATA or SAS? which to select
please suggest me thanks
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by:RickEpnet
ID: 34263779
No they both are redundant. The difference is with Raid 1 you are limited to 2 drives with raid 5 you can have many. You should also be able to add a hot spare if you want to leave a extra drive for each array idle.
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by:RickEpnet
ID: 34263785
By the way I just want to be clear there is nothing wrong with joyjohn way of doing it. It has it benefits for sure. It just cost more up front.
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by:Cris Hanna
ID: 34263820
Raid 1 = Mirroring  - Two drives  (Appears as 1 drive in Windows Explorer)  What ever is written to one drive is written to the other.   1 drive fails, you break the mirror, replace the faulty drive and rebuild the mirror.

Raid 5 = 3 or more drives...1 drive fails you replace it (could be a hot spare) and the raid rebuilts

Everyone you talk to will have different ideas on "what's best".

Some people consider SATA drives to be consumer Grade   I've had good luck
SAS is definitely business class and more expensive
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Expert Comment

by:RickEpnet
ID: 34263829
I agree with this. If you can afford it SAS is the way to go. If you buy HP there are different grades of SAS some are Enterprise some are Mid Line. The Enterprise are the better drives.
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Author Closing Comment

by:joyjohn
ID: 34266278
thanks guys, it really helps me to gather all the hardware.
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