Dell SBS 2011 RAM and RAID and Backup configuration questions
Posted on 2011-09-05
I ordered a Dell T310 with SAS 6/iR RAID, 4 WD 232 disks and 8 megs of RAM, and a Dell RD1000 backup system. My idea was to put our separately licensed (education license) SBS 2011 and adding in extra RAM to 12 Megs.
Since I found out that the SAS 6/IR only supports RAID 0 and 1, I installed the OS on one disk, and used the other 3 as a software RAID 5 within Windows. The RD1000 hard drive is a nightmare, being incompatible with the Windows backup programs if you want to do a restore of a single file or folder. It only backs up full volumes.
I'd appreciate some peer review and suggestions how to get out of this mess.
1. I think I'd prefer to have full hardware RAID 5, but believe this would involve purchasing a separate controller card, as I don't think the SAS 6/IR can be upgraded. Any suggestions for a card? Or, has anyone had success with the SAS 6/IR configured as RAID 1, with a hot spare? (the best possible outcome with my current hardware).... OR, should I just stay with the Windows software RAID?
2, The machine appears to be running with 10-25% CPU effort in the "background". This while running Exchange, the Quickbooks background processes, and SQL Server. Memory use is at 33%. I'm thinking the extra RAM will help here. I've had two tries from Crucial to augment the stock 8 megs that came with the machine; both were incompatible. I've ordered additional RAM which, if incompatible with the stock RAM, will replace all of it.
3. Don't quite know what to do with the RD1000. Seems too bad to have to use 3rd party software with it. I just want to do nightly backups at the folder/file level so if users loose something I can restore it.
In hindsight, I should have ordered with the O/S installed, and the full complement of RAM. Even the extra thousand or so dollars would be been less than the amount of time I've invested in trying to do things from scratch.
Would appreaciate any ideas here. Thanks!