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Help with build "File server" & run various apps

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hi Guys thanks for looking.
I've been researching for days and still can’t figure out what I need. I’m hoping someone can help me.

I have a small business about 5 computers hooked up (max 3 at the same time) to a network. I’ve been using my computer as the central location for all the files. I would like to get away for this and hoping I could build a cheap efficient “File server” and have all the files there. I was looking in to NAS’s but I was thinking if I’m going to spend the money why not just build a new computer and then I would be able to use it for other stuff.
Storage:
It would be holding photos (right now 20gb) and some documents.
Apps:
I was thinking of using it to resize/edit photo’s, handle my email sorting (Outlook) and hold a Access database. Maybe some other apps??

Processer:
Here’s where I’m having the problem. I have been doing a ton of reading and still don’t know what I need. I looked in to servers (don’t think I need that), I looked at 6 core processers and single core processers. I’m not sure what I need I don’t want to waste my money and I don’t want to have to replace it in the next year or until I need a server.

Motherboard:
Not sure what Raid config I would need so I’m also lost. I was thinking raid 1, but I’ve been reading that Raid 5 is good also.
Also have a Micro ATX case

Hard drive:
1tb+
I’ve read a lot that HITACHI’s are good and fast.

PSU:
It will be on 24/7.
I need something very efficient and reliable. ???

Case:
I have a Micro ATX case (TX-381-C) laying around.
It would be nice to use that.

I would love keep the price low, but like I said before I don’t want to have to replace it till I buy an actual server. I’m not sure what my price range should be??

I would really appreciate help. I am about to go insane with all the options there are!! I just need someone to steer me in the right direction.

Thanks,
Brian


Sorry not sure if this matters, but I forgot to mention that I have a Fry's very close to me.
Edited by BrianT - 3/6/11 at 11:26pm
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CPUMotherboardHard DriveOS
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Current system
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardHard DriveOS
Intel Q6600 Intel 975XBX2KR VelociRaptor 300gb Windows 7 
MonitorPower
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 
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post #2 of 5
Hey, here are a few thoughts about your build.

Since it should serve quite a few rigs first and foremost is must have GigEthernet 1000/100/10 to be able to serve all attached rigs. Integrated GigE will do for a few rigs, no need of any expensive card.
Storage: RAID 1 & 5 are both redundant, but there's a difference. For RAID 5 you need minimum 3 HDDs and you'd be able to use the space available from all the disk minus 1 (aka you place 4 1TB drives, you can use 3TB). If one HDD fails, all data is intact; replace the drive, rebuild and redundancy is back. The problem (imo) is that while rebuilding the array the remaining good drives are very stressed and the likelyhood of drive failure is increased while not having redundancy. Also, because it needs to compute parity data RAID5 is compute-intensive; motherboard integrated software RAID5 increases CPU usage.
RAID 1 needs pair number of disks - one has the data, one has the double. One fails - you have the other. Rebuilding is not nearly as stressing as all that is needed is to re-copy the data (no parity computation).
My take - RAID1 is the safest option and most appropriate for desktop class components; if you were to buy a discrete RAID-5 capable card, then RAID 5 would become a better option.
HDDs: since the server will be on most of the time and will actually have important data maybe the RE line of WD may be a good idea - they're optimised for workstations.
Processor/platform - I'd go for an AM3 motherboard and as many cores as possible. Athlon II x4 are a good option, Phenom II x6 are even better.
Case & PSU - that seems like a decent case, but I don't know if it has enough airflow to keep all things cool 24/7. If noise isn't a problem you could simply add more powerful fans, alternatively the Antec 300 could be more appropriate since it has ample room and very good airflow. A 80+ power supply should be mandatory since the server is on all the time; a 400-450W good quality PSU should be perfect (Corsair CX430 for example).

Cheers
Centurion
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II 940 @3.3GHz 1.25V Gigabyte 790X-DS4 XFX 5850 8GB OCZ DDR2-800 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Corsair Force 3 TRUE Win 7 Pro x64 ACER 23" TN  
PowerCase
400W Silverstone Strider Antec P182 
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Centurion
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II 940 @3.3GHz 1.25V Gigabyte 790X-DS4 XFX 5850 8GB OCZ DDR2-800 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Corsair Force 3 TRUE Win 7 Pro x64 ACER 23" TN  
PowerCase
400W Silverstone Strider Antec P182 
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post #3 of 5
As it's a file server, I would go for one of these:

http://uk.insight.com/en-gb/producti...ers/HPIA05745A

http://uk.insight.com/en-gb/producti...vers/HPIA06VSX

Just add a bit more ram to make it 2 GB and add a couple of more HDD's

I would tend to lean more toward the HP ProLiant ML110

Hope that helps.
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel I7 920 @ 4.0GHz (1.26V) Asus Rampage II Extreame Radeon HD 6870 @ 960Mhz Corsair Vengeance 6GB 1600MHz 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
1.7TB Total Windows 7 Pro 64bit BenQ G2420HDBL 24" LED Cooler Master GX 750W 
Case
CoolerMaster CM 690 II Advanced 
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My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel I7 920 @ 4.0GHz (1.26V) Asus Rampage II Extreame Radeon HD 6870 @ 960Mhz Corsair Vengeance 6GB 1600MHz 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
1.7TB Total Windows 7 Pro 64bit BenQ G2420HDBL 24" LED Cooler Master GX 750W 
Case
CoolerMaster CM 690 II Advanced 
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post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dragosmp View Post
Hey, here are a few thoughts about your build.

Since it should serve quite a few rigs first and foremost is must have GigEthernet 1000/100/10 to be able to serve all attached rigs. Integrated GigE will do for a few rigs, no need of any expensive card.
Storage: RAID 1 & 5 are both redundant, but there's a difference. For RAID 5 you need minimum 3 HDDs and you'd be able to use the space available from all the disk minus 1 (aka you place 4 1TB drives, you can use 3TB). If one HDD fails, all data is intact; replace the drive, rebuild and redundancy is back. The problem (imo) is that while rebuilding the array the remaining good drives are very stressed and the likelyhood of drive failure is increased while not having redundancy. Also, because it needs to compute parity data RAID5 is compute-intensive; motherboard integrated software RAID5 increases CPU usage.
RAID 1 needs pair number of disks - one has the data, one has the double. One fails - you have the other. Rebuilding is not nearly as stressing as all that is needed is to re-copy the data (no parity computation).
My take - RAID1 is the safest option and most appropriate for desktop class components; if you were to buy a discrete RAID-5 capable card, then RAID 5 would become a better option.
HDDs: since the server will be on most of the time and will actually have important data maybe the RE line of WD may be a good idea - they're optimised for workstations.
Processor/platform - I'd go for an AM3 motherboard and as many cores as possible. Athlon II x4 are a good option, Phenom II x6 are even better.
Case & PSU - that seems like a decent case, but I don't know if it has enough airflow to keep all things cool 24/7. If noise isn't a problem you could simply add more powerful fans, alternatively the Antec 300 could be more appropriate since it has ample room and very good airflow. A 80+ power supply should be mandatory since the server is on all the time; a 400-450W good quality PSU should be perfect (Corsair CX430 for example).

Cheers
Thank you both for your responses.

dragosmp its pretty funny my nickname in high school was Splinter.

Sounds like Raid 1 is defiantly the way to go.
All I really need is backup. I think?
Those RE by WD are expensive. Could I get away with using something cheaper?
Like 2 of these? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822145298


I have a Intel Q6600 with a Intel 975XBX2KR and 8gb of ram with a HUGE case (lots of loud fans) as my main computer.
Would that work? I would need to get new hard drives and PSU.
What would this be classified as? Worksation, Server or PC

If so, I’ve been dying to get a new computer and one of those Phenom II x6 have been calling my name for a while.
I do quite a bit of multitasking with 4 screens and it’s been stressing my computer.

Thanks for your thoughts,
Brian
Current system
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardHard DriveOS
Intel Q6600 Intel 975XBX2KR VelociRaptor 300gb Windows 7 
MonitorPower
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 
  hide details  
Reply
Current system
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardHard DriveOS
Intel Q6600 Intel 975XBX2KR VelociRaptor 300gb Windows 7 
MonitorPower
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 
  hide details  
Reply
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Was wondering if someone could help me?

I'm still pretty lost.

Thanks
Current system
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardHard DriveOS
Intel Q6600 Intel 975XBX2KR VelociRaptor 300gb Windows 7 
MonitorPower
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 
  hide details  
Reply
Current system
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardHard DriveOS
Intel Q6600 Intel 975XBX2KR VelociRaptor 300gb Windows 7 
MonitorPower
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 
  hide details  
Reply
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