Building a New Server

Building a Windows File Server

My CEO wants to build a file server, currently we have a 3TB with RAID 5 on a old dell server win 2008, we really want a faster server with larger space etc.

any recommendations
IT GuyAsked:
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
I believe in matching the server to the job. That means planning, taking performance measurements on your current server  then using that as a baseline for specs. I don't agree with random spit balling for a good server.
ste5anSenior DeveloperCommented:
Gather your requirements: How many users access the server in parallel? Is it really only a file server or are there more roles involved, like domain controller? How much data do you have right now? Growth prediction?

What about single point of failure? Only one in all? Or two servers and two SAN'S? Two servers and one SAN? One server and two SAN's? Spare power supplies? Spare disks?
nappy_dThere are a 1000 ways to skin the technology cat.Commented:
Why do u want a faster server?

-Is it slow transferring data to from client workstations?
-what is the speed of your network switch?
-your raid controller can also affect i/o performance

So many factors may be at play.

Can you tell us more about your environment?

BTW, the larger your server the large backup window may be required.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Getting a server with an NVMe RAID 10 will do you no good if your bottleneck is the network... so WHERE is it slow?  WHY is it slow.  Answer that first and then figure out what you need.
IT GuyAuthor Commented:
thanks for all your inputs.

# of users that access server - 125 users
its only one file server
its only a file server - no other roles
currently i have 2.5TB of data on my D Drive approx to grow to extra 1.5 TB ever 2 years (most are video files)
no spare drives or power supplies (looking to solve that in my new build)
fast server - the possessor is old, currently we installed the bad Intel patch that started this discussion
GB network switch

mentioning slowness was a bad idea, its not slow - apologies
nappy_dThere are a 1000 ways to skin the technology cat.Commented:
Is the server simply hosting video files or also processing them?

If your server is simply hosting the video files and staff are opening them from the server to edit the files, you may need possibly bond two or more NICs together to improve network i/o from the server.

Make sure you get a RAID controller with at least 1GB NV RAM and a backup battery.

If you want redundancy  consider using RAID-5 array with one or two hot spares.

If you want speed use a RAID-10 array, with 4 4TB SAS drives with one or two hot spares.

The bottleneck could be your 1GB server NIC.

This is just one opinion on your server direction for storage upgrades and performance. :)
IT GuyAuthor Commented:
thanks - any suggestion on what motherboard and CPU
nappy_dThere are a 1000 ways to skin the technology cat.Commented:
Are you building your server or purchasing from Dell/HP/Lenovo?

There are many options available but I personally like these mainstream vendors :)
IT GuyAuthor Commented:
i will be building - thanks
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
building is not wise. this is a server that runs the business. who are you going to call when the raid array repeatedly goes offline for no apparent reason? the controller company? the motherboard maker? the hard drive maker? and what are you going to do when their diagnostics say there is nothing wrong and refuse to help you anymore? build your workstations if you want. the server should be name brand so you have one number to call and all the parts are validated to work together. yes, it can be more expensive... but consider how much the business can lose if the server is offline for days because of a weird problem that shouldn't be happening.
nappy_dThere are a 1000 ways to skin the technology cat.Commented:
Second that comment above. Consider when you are on vacation who does your company call for support.

Also when you build from various components, the vendors will point their finger at each other.

Buy from a vendor such as Dell/HP/Lenovo and this becomes their responsibility for the hardware provided as long as you follow industry practices.

PS, I don't even wanna build workstations as the same reasons exist for support. :D

In the end you are not really saving anything when you consider how much of your time will be invested to maintain support.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
20 years ago, I said build, it's cheaper, it's fun, you know all the components, and it works.
15 years ago, I said build, it's cheaper, you know the components, it should work.
10 years ago, I said build for yourself, if you know what you're doing. I will not build servers for clients.
5 years ago, I said build for yourself, if you know what you're doing and it's not critical. I will not build anything for clients.
Today I say better to buy used name brand off ebay than build a server for yourself. An HP G7 or Dell R410 are CHEAP. NEVER build for a client anything. Not worth the potential headaches.
IT GuyAuthor Commented:
thoughts on building a NAS with Seagate NAS 12 TB with RAID 10? what enclosure would be best
nappy_dThere are a 1000 ways to skin the technology cat.Commented:
I would not build a NAS.  There are many other players i nteh marketplace doing this and it is stable and provide better support.

Unless you are VERY competent with software such as FreeNAS and even then I would choose nothing less than their Enterprise edition CLICK HERE

Look at something such as  this QNAP and you can use those drives CLICK HERE

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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
As I said, "NEVER build for a client anything. Not worth the potential headaches." - the more time you spend in technology the more you realize how much of a bad idea building things is.
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