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New server for company use

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hey guys My Parents are thinking of finally digitising ( YES FINALLY !!) all their documents and drawings onto a central server.
They've tasked me with building them a server.
Being a n00b in servers and networking I was hoping you kind fold would be able to help me !
OK so down to business:

1) NETWORKING
Basically what they want is a server where staff from all over the world would be able to access and store the data. But yet they want it to be a system where like for example : Person A saves files on the server and only A is able to view his/her files. but yet they ( being the bosses ) would be able to access the whole system.
They currently have the main office in Singapore and they want this server to be here.
The Singapore office has about 20 People
Office in Malaysia -> another 20 people
Office in China -> 15 people
Giving it a little more surplus for expansion I'd say ideally this machine should be able to support 70 People over the next 5 Years

2) Hardware
I'm absolutely lost as to which board&CPU I should go with.
BUT I'm looking at a RAID 5 OR 6 (leaning to raid 6)
They will need about 5 TB of storage
Do I need a SAS card are SAS cards faster ? or will regular SATA (II/III) work ?

I have no idea of the OS and how as to implement some kind of monitoring system.

THANKS IN ADVANCE GUYS !! REALLY HOPE TO HEAR SOME ANSWERS
Sorry for the excessive caps it's just that I'm excited
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post #2 of 14
Since this is a business, your best option is to talk to your local Dell or HP sales rep. They'll be able to give you a good guideline on what you'll need. Also, what's your budget?

In simple terms, you will need a machine with a 4-core CPU, between 4GB and 8GB of RAM, a hardware RAID card supporting RAID 6, and enough drive bays to support 5-10TB of storage. Something like a Dell R510 would be the kind of thing I would look at.

How you access this machine is another matter entirely. How big are the files in question? How quickly do you need to access them (i.e., how much network bandwidth are you willing to pay for)? Do you want to use a VPN (I'd recommend it)?

Are you happy to use the machine as a simple file server, or is there a database-driven application to index all of the drawings? Have you considered a backup strategy for the data? On-site or off-site? Daily/weekly/monthly? To what medium: disk or tape?

OS-wise, good generalised options are Windows Server 2008, RedHat Enterprise Linux 5 (is 6 out yet?) or Ubuntu Server 10.04 LTS. Specialised options are Nexenta, QuantaStor, OpenFiler or FreeNAS.
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post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Ah oops haha sorry forgot to include the budget. They're looking at about 4-5K USD
The files have a maximum of 20 MB. We are going to purchase a static i.p. fiber optic (100Mbps) will this be enough ? or should we go with the 1Gbps connection ?
They want a database application to index everything and to control what each user sees.
How would i set up a vpn ? (I'm thinking of placing 100Mbit lan through out the office should be fast enough...

Ah ha ! back up ! I totally forgot about that ! I was thinking well with raid 6 there's a tolerance for 2 drive failures so why would I want to back up ?
Then I remembered what if something happened to the office ? All my data would be gone ! Off site back ups every Friday night this back up server would be placed at home
And then the company computers would back up to the server every day I'm thinking of attaching a external drive bay to my upcoming sig rig and allowing it to handle the server back up. would this be a good idea or should i get me a dedicated home server ?
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post #4 of 14
Are you rack mounting? Le Cisco...

C210 from Cisco, talk to a VAR (value added reseller) and ask about this quarters server promotions (they get the promos from their disti), usually the c210s get into HP $ territory. Mid range XEONs, LSI MegaRAID 6 card, 10 600gb HDDs, 2x intel/broadcom dual port NICs, at least 4Gb memory (not optimal for one stick but will work), extra psu, RAID battery up option for RAID card, SAS Expander, rack mount kit /cable management, and smartnet. Don't forget power protection, something from APC or Belkin would be appropriate.

C210 datasheet:
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps10889/index.html

5TB after raid will require at least 10 drives (maximum 16) (using 600GB 10K RPM Drives)

If you're going to spend money, do it right hahah.


What is the WAN speed at the other locations? Will these files be from MS office for example? A WAN acceleration solution (caching really) might be part of the answer since the locations are not near but they are very specialized solutions.

EDIT: You need a C210 not a c200 if you went Cisco because of the storage requirement. Although now that I think about it, if thats your requirement and you have plans for growth storage wise, C series in gerneral won't be the best way to go for the $ probably. You can only add 6 more drives to this configuration, they are meant more for lower storage requirements or network attached storage, iSCSI or FC. You probably should look into HP, definitely contact a local VAR though.
Edited by Mr.N00bLaR - 10/19/11 at 8:01am
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post #5 of 14
As for the way the employees access files, use file permissions and shared folders. Setup a Domain Controller and use active directory to manage your users login credentials and PC's. Give your parents usernames "Full Control" under permissions to the root share folder so that all subfolders will automatically inherit the admin rights. setup login scripts that will automatically map the share folder(s) on login.(This can all be managed from the server once you join the PC's to the domain)
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post #6 of 14
if any important data is being stored a raid is must and so are external back ups in case of fire.
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post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fabricate View Post
As for the way the employees access files, use file permissions and shared folders. Setup a Domain Controller and use active directory to manage your users login credentials and PC's. Give your parents usernames "Full Control" under permissions to the root share folder so that all subfolders will automatically inherit the admin rights. setup login scripts that will automatically map the share folder(s) on login.(This can all be managed from the server once you join the PC's to the domain)
You make it sound "simple" to set up AD... except you left out the part about (1) backing up AD and (2) configuring redundancy for AD... along with the inherent knowledge required in managing AD properly. Would not recommend for this particular scenario.
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post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ComGuards View Post
You make it sound "simple" to set up AD... except you left out the part about (1) backing up AD and (2) configuring redundancy for AD... along with the inherent knowledge required in managing AD properly. Would not recommend for this particular scenario.
Did you want me to write a book? Haha, I'm just giving him some pointers; it's up to him to sort out the details.
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post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ComGuards View Post
You make it sound "simple" to set up AD... except you left out the part about (1) backing up AD and (2) configuring redundancy for AD... along with the inherent knowledge required in managing AD properly. Would not recommend for this particular scenario.
I can't say that i agree with you on not recommending this. AD is not hard to use. Sure if he doesn't do his research then it will be a bad idea, but it wouldn't take much for him to read up on it and then set up a test domain. Backing up AD is as easy as using NTbackup to get the system state. Redundancy i agree with you, but he could set up a desktop computer as a secondary domain controller.
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post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by thrash408 View Post
I can't say that i agree with you on not recommending this. AD is not hard to use. Sure if he doesn't do his research then it will be a bad idea, but it wouldn't take much for him to read up on it and then set up a test domain. Backing up AD is as easy as using NTbackup to get the system state. Redundancy i agree with you, but he could set up a desktop computer as a secondary domain controller.
I still don't believe it is for the uninitiated. Planning for an AD implementation includes planning for disaster recovery. Who's going to teach the user on properly backing up AD? Doing authoritative restores? Or Active Directory Recycle Bin? Verifying DC replication? Configuring Global Catalogs? Setting up Group Policy properly? Setting up DNS / DNS scavenging properly? Configuring DHCP integration?

Just because you can build a domain by running DCPROMO from the command prompt doesn't mean that it's "easy".

I would recommend implementing it only if you have access to the proper support professionals.
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