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Hardware specs for Windows 2008 R2 File / Print server

I am about to purchase a new File / Print server which has to last for the next couple of years. It will be used by 40 users, the current data volume is 800GB.

I was thinking to setup the OS on 2x 72GB 15k SAS drives (RAID 1) and store the data on 4 x 1TB 7.2k SAS drives (RAID 10).

Any improvement ideas? Are SAS 7.2k drives sufficient for basic file sharing?  There are no applications or databases on the drive? Would it be a noticeable improvement for end user if I would use 10k or 15k drives instead? Or should 7.2k be sufficient?  Also is the RAID controller over kill? I assume the processor ans RAM should be good enough for basic file and print sharing. Please let me know what you think.

Server Specs

HP ProLiant DL380 G7 Server
Quad-Core Intel® Xeon® Processor E5606 (2.13GHz, 4M L3 Cache, 80 Watts)
HP 8GB PC3-10600E 4x2GB 2Rank Memory
HP P410/ZM SAS Array Controller
HP Smart Array Advanced Pack including 1yr 24x7 Technical Support and Updates Single Server License
HP 72GB 6G Hot Plug 2.5 SAS Dual Port 15,000 rpm Hard Drive
HP 72GB 6G Hot Plug 2.5 SAS Dual Port 15,000 rpm Hard Drive
HP 1TB 6G Hot Plug 2.5 SAS 7.2K MDL Hard Drive
HP 1TB 6G Hot Plug 2.5 SAS 7.2K MDL Hard Drive
HP 1TB 6G Hot Plug 2.5 SAS 7.2K MDL Hard Drive
HP 1TB 6G Hot Plug 2.5 SAS 7.2K MDL Hard Drive
HP 1G Flash Backed Cache (For P410i)
HP Slim 12.7mm SATA DVD Optical Drive
(2) Embedded HP NC382i Dual Port Multifunction Gigabit Server Adapters
HP NC360T PCI Express Dual Port Gigabit Server Adapter - Low Profile
2 HP 750W Common Slot Gold Hot Plug Power Supplies
2 HP 1.83m 10A C13-UL US Power Cords
HP 2GB USB Flash Media Drive Key Kit
HP TPM Module Kit
HP ProLiant Foundation Pack Single Release Factory Integrated Software
Integrated Lights Out 3 (iLO 3) Management


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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Commented:
I would consider the processor and RAM excessive.  Then again, I would consider ALMOST any config today to be excessive for a File Server for an environment that size.

Realistically, the only thing I would change is the RAM.  I'd LOWER it to 4 GB.  RAM utilization for file sharing is really nothing.  So is CPU, but for a server I wouldn't get anything less than a quad core CPU just because they are usually the only thing offered and if there was by chance a dual core, the price difference is usually so minimal you might as well get the quad in case you repurpose the server later.

Now, that said, I'm reminded of a question I recently participated in... Install this virtually.  So you can move it to other hardware and/or add another server to it later.  Since the major GOOD virtualization technologies are free of license fees, you can use VMWare ESXi or Hyper-V to create the Virtual Server and run it off that.  Even then, for a file server, 4 GB should be fine - 1 GB for the host (maybe 2) and 2-3 GB for the file server vm itself.  Just MAKE SURE you don't buy the server with Windows pre-installed - that's an OEM copy and cannot be virtualized.

(Frankly, if I were doing this for a client, I would definitely be doing this virtually).
Gary ColtharpSr. Systems Engineer

Commented:
For a fileserver, you want 15K RPM drives....which should be available with SAS. With only 4 drives on the DATA array, I would run RAID5 unless you are planning on spanning two disks each, then mirroring for your RAID 10 implementation. You will lose a significant amount of storage space but it is highly fault tolerant. Even better would be smaller disks, but more of them.... 8 disks.... two 4 disk RAID 5 Arrays, mirrored to implement RAID 10.

On a fileserver...the storage controller is where you want to spend your money. So no, its not overkill.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
> For a fileserver, you want 15K RPM drives ... no, its not overkill.

I disagree for THIS question.  In large environments with heavy data access, yes, you want fast drives.  In small environments (and yes, I consider 40 a small environment) a file server for "for basic file and print sharing" doesn't need 15K drives. Now, that said, I'll admit, your definition of basic file and print sharing and mine may be different.  Frankly - and I should have stated this before - you should be looking at what you have NOW and where your bottleneck is.  If the existing server is 3 years old or older AND out of warranty, I would replace it, yes.  But otherwise, WHY are you replacing the server?  Disk space?  Why not add disks?  Is it slow on the network?  Perhaps it's bad network drivers or maybe you have a 100 Mbit network or network card in the server.  

I believe IMPORTANT servers should be and need to be under a 24x7x365 warranty with 4 hour response so if the server doesn't have that, it should be replaced and the existing server repurposed.  That said, before you replace anything for any other reason, you need to evaluate what factors are prompting the replacement and make sure those factors are addressed in the new server.  If your existing server is running a Mirror with two 1 TB 7.2K drives and no one is complaining it's slow, then it's poor advice and poor choice upping this to 10K or 15K drives UNLESS you can foresee a major change to your environment that might necessitate the speed increase.
Network Engineer
Commented:
I agree with leew that 10K or 15K SAS drives are probably overkill. I would stick with RAID10 as ou originally planned, instead of RAID5 as another expert suggested. I would NOT use 15K drives for the OS. Use 7.2K drives at most, and the best thing is to take a 100 GB partition from the RAID10 array and put the OS on that and use the other 1.9 TB for data. Actually, I would virtualize the whole thing. Run Hyper-V or VMware vSphere Hypervisor and then put the file server in a VM. Use 3 virtual disks for the VM. The first would be 40-100 GB thin provisioned, the second would be maybe 1.4 TB thin provisioned for data, and the third would be maybe 100 GB and be dedicated to storing shadow copy data for the C and D drives. With up to 64 shadow copy backups of files and folders, it is really rare that I ever need to restore anything using my backup software.
Martin GerlachConsultant

Author

Commented:
I am actually also in the process of purchasing a SAN and two VMhost machines, I didn't decided if I should use VMware or Hyperv.

The VM  are going to be the exchange, Sharepoint, terminal and BB server. I am constable to virtualized the file server. is it common to virtualize file servers?
kevinhsiehNetwork Engineer

Commented:
If you are going to have two host machines already and a SAN, then by all means skip this hardware purchase and just have another VM as your file server. My file server has been a VM for about 4 years now. It has more than 1 TB of data...maybe it's closer to 2 TB. It replicates files from 13 other servers using DFS-R and supports 120 users in the building, including many with redirected documents. I think that it is very common to virtualize file servers, especially if they won't be pushed too hard. Your 40 users is a small installation, assuming your users aren't animators or drafters.
Distinguished Expert 2019

Commented:
From the list:

HP P410/ZM SAS Array Controller
HP Smart Array Advanced Pack including 1yr 24x7 Technical Support and Updates Single Server License

Doesn't make much sense buying the advanced pack, you planning on using RAID 6?

HP 2GB USB Flash Media Drive Key Kit - what's that for???
HP TPM Module Kit - What's that for???

Distinguished Expert 2019

Commented:
Oh, and what's the extra NIC for, 4 onboard gigabit ports not enough?
Distinguished Expert 2019

Commented:
Oh, and just noticed 750W PSUs, you should use 460W ones, you can confirm by using the ProLiant Power Advisor - http://h18000.www1.hp.com/products/solutions/power/advisor-online/HPPowerAdvisor.html