Building File server

Hi,

I want to build a file server, so I bought a 3U Rackmount Server Case w/16 Hot-Swappable SATA/SAS Drive Bays from Amazon. I am going to add at least 10 hard disks 3 TB SATA3 and I think that I will buy HGST Deskstar 3.5-Inch 3TB 7200RPM SATA III 6Gbps 64MB, I will make them RAID 1.

The OS will be Windows 2009r2, So as I know that I need at least 2 hard disks 300 GB, or 250 GB SSD for the OS, I will make them RAID 1.

Now, I have 2 RAID hard disks, or 2 arrays, one for the OS, the second for file sharing.

How to accomplish this method, what is the best solution for me.
A. Is it possible to put the OS in SSD RAID1?
B. What is the best dual mobo that will work for me.

Regards
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Abdurahman AlmatrodiBusiness DevelopmentAsked:
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rindiCommented:
This isn't an answer to your main question, just an opinion. In my point of view for a file server SSD drives for the OS are overkill. The OS may bootup a bit faster, but that is just about all the benefit you'd get. Since you shouldn't have to boot the server too often you won't really notice that speed difference too often. I file server doesn't do all too much, so the speed of the OS disk doesn't really make much difference. You'd benefit more if you use other server services, like application services or Terminal services etc. For a mere file-server the disks where you host the data on are much more important, and the networking throughput. Also dual CPU's will probably not give you too much advantage.

I'd go for RAID 10 on the data drives, that is better in terms of speed than RAID 1. Also, you should get enterprise class HD's, not consumer class. In a RAID array that is important. I'd suggest SAS drives.

But of course it is possible to put the OS onto SSD's if you really want to and have the extra $$$'s.

Also, did you mean 2008 r2 server (you typed 2009 r2, and I don't think such a product exists yet ;) )?
Abdurahman AlmatrodiBusiness DevelopmentAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your post, Yes I mean 2008r2.

SAS will be too much comparing to SATA3, and the size is not that much too. So, I thought that if I spend money on dual cpu it will be better.
rindiCommented:
For a file-server you don't need processing power, so dual CPU's would be a waste of money, same as SSD Drives for the OS. possibly, with those savings (and a mainboard that is cheaper because you wouldn't need a dual socket board either), you'd have more to spend for the HD's.

Also, for a file-server you wouldn't need tons of RAM, so that would also save you cash.

Further, you could probably also go for a non m$ OS and save money there. There are many free Linux distro's that are perfect as an OS for a file-server, for example Zentyal is very easy to setup and maintain:

http://www.zentyal.org/
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Abdurahman AlmatrodiBusiness DevelopmentAuthor Commented:
Dear

Let say that I need to do:

- 2 hard disk for OS to be RAID 1, and I think I will do through mobo
- 10 hard disk 3 tb each, and I want to go for RAID 10. Is there a RAID card that will accept 10 hard disk at the same time?

I will go for your advice, and I will use a standard mobo with one cpu.
rindiCommented:
Don't use the built-in RAID controller of any mobo, those are all fake-raid controllers as far as I know, and fake-raid is a lot worse than if you'd be using software raid from your OS.

There are RAID controllers with for example 24 connections, but you could also get two controllers...

http://www.lsi.com/products/storagecomponents/Pages/6GBSATA_SASRAIDCards.aspx
Abdurahman AlmatrodiBusiness DevelopmentAuthor Commented:
So, in my case where I need two RAIDs, one for OS, and one for file HDD, do I have to buy two cards, or one will do the job?

Also, this card http://www.lsi.com/products/storagecomponents/Pages/MegaRAIDSAS9260-16i.aspx, it support up 16, while there are 4 ports, I know that there is a cable will give me 4 Sata 3 connections each, do you think this method will be slower?
rindiCommented:
You shouldn't need 2 controllers. With most raid controllers you can setup multiple raid volumes. The splitter cables don't reduce the speed.
Abdurahman AlmatrodiBusiness DevelopmentAuthor Commented:
Really, I don't how to thank you. You were very helpful.

Now, I will search for a RAID card that accept 18 SATA 3, and support RAID 10. So, if you can suggest me one, I appreciate it.

Thanks again.
rindiCommented:
I think the one you linked to above should be fine.

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