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evc911llc
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Need help with custom server build!

After some research I wanted to ask the experts! I am not new to PC building, but I am navigating in a bit of unknown territory with Server 2012. Knowing its based on Windows 8 architecture, I still feel unsure.

I am looking to build a exchange server/backup AD for a domain.

Utilizing:

WS 2012
Exchange 2013
Min 16 GB RAM
RAID 5 w/ controller card
Single or Dual Core (prob Xeon?)
A decent PS

I have the licenses, the UPC, and the backups. Just need recommendations on these components. I believe the major hurdle is a RAID card. I am trying to stay within the 100-200 range or less. Also I want to make sure it can work with SATA.

All other components can be best suggestion.
Server HardwareComponentsWindows Server 2012

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Last Comment
andyalder

8/22/2022 - Mon
David

A $200 dollar RAID controller isn't going to have a battery backup to hold on to the cache so you risk data loss in some drive failure scenarios.   If that is your budget, RAID5 is risky, and you really won't have any significant performance benefit .  In fact, it RAID5 writes will be SLOOOW.

Go native windows host-based software RAID1 and save the money and put it towards SAS disks instead of SATA.  You will get read load balancing so read performance with software based RAID will be twice that if non-RAID (in perfect world).

Get decent disks too, if going SATA, make sure they are enterprise/server class.  It makes a big difference.
pgm554

Agree.

Unless the card has a co processor ,don't bother cause it's just glorified software RAID.
evc911llc

ASKER
So you believe its better to do a software RAID?
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William Peck
evc911llc

ASKER
Just a mirror in Disk Manager to a same disk? 1 to 1?
evc911llc

ASKER
Ok with that recommendation any ideas on decent yet cheaper components for the build?
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David

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evc911llc

ASKER
Thanks for the great info! Would you peronsally recommend a good Supermicro board? I have little familiarity with them.
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David

they have a lot to choose from, different budgets and mounting requirements.  Best you contact them and just say you want a server class board, with the LSI 6-gigabit SAS/SATA non-RAID controller built on the motherboard, and then that narrows it down.

I know companies  (ISPs and cloud providers) that have thousands and thousands of these systems, but part numbers and versions change quarterly and I just don't keep up with them.
andyalder

>Single or Dual Core (prob Xeon?)

Going to be pretty expensive buying anything that's only single core nowadays ;)
Guess you could get a xeon E5-1620 and turn 3 of the cores off in BIOS though.