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Hardware Thread, Spec for a new PDC in a Primary School in Technical; Originally Posted by CHR1S I'm looking to implement a new server as the PDC/GC etc and demote the current 5 ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHR1S View Post
    I'm looking to implement a new server as the PDC/GC etc and demote the current 5 year old server to MIS duties (replacing an even older server) and a DFS replica.

    Spec so far -
    Server 2012
    HP ProLiant ML310e Gen8 - Xeon E3-1220V2 3.1 GHz
    2x 500Gb Sata drives mirrored (Maybe SSDs)
    4x 3Tb Sata drives in RAID 10
    16Gb RAM

    We primarily have light usage, with more media use and network streaming.
    We currently deploy with WDS, would it be worth getting System Center 2012 R2?

    Additionally, would you consider running two virtualised OS' on this hardware? What would be its pros and cons?
    The spec is absolutely fine - as for 2012, I would recommend you wait until Windows 8.1 is released. Odds are they'll be a Server 2012.1 released too fixing a whole range of issues.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CHR1S View Post
    I'm looking to implement a new server as the PDC/GC etc and demote the current 5 year old server to MIS duties (replacing an even older server) and a DFS replica.

    Spec so far -
    Server 2012
    HP ProLiant ML310e Gen8 - Xeon E3-1220V2 3.1 GHz
    2x 500Gb Sata drives mirrored (Maybe SSDs)
    4x 3Tb Sata drives in RAID 10
    16Gb RAM

    We primarily have light usage, with more media use and network streaming.
    We currently deploy with WDS, would it be worth getting System Center 2012 R2?

    Additionally, would you consider running two virtualised OS' on this hardware? What would be its pros and cons?
    RAID 10? Why not RAID5? And use SAS rather than SATA for the System drives, just to give a bit better resilience and speed.

  3. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by CHR1S View Post
    With the price of drives I would rather over spec. We currently have about 600Gb knocking around, just thinking what our use would be like in 5 years at EOL.
    indeed better to have plenty of space, id also would have like to have a "hot spare" even if it wasnt plugged it for the "just in case" moment of a disk dying and there is an issue getting a part or the warranty has expired.

    this is something i am starting to do as getting hold of older disks is a pain

  4. #19

    CHR1S's Avatar
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    Seems that some companies quoting so far feel that either the spec I'm listing is too low for the users (Max 70 machines - approx 40 concurrent with the odd laptop now and then) and/or my budget is too low.

    I'm looking at a budget of £1400 ex vat.

    With the weak link being the SATA drives, would you go SAS?
    Last edited by CHR1S; 6th June 2013 at 04:00 PM.

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    i think the companies who are saying the spec is "too" low are just trying to get you to spend more money...
    you might find you need to trim back the spec a little but still buy a system which allows expansion later (say in another year or so) that way you can add extras as more cash becomes available.

    Or the other option is to say "this" is the cost of achieving your requirements.

    just dug out the spec of the server i put in a primary and its:
    HP DL360 G7
    1x E5620 Quad (dual capable)
    6GB RAM
    3x 300GB SAS 10K Disks (600GB total size)
    Server 2k8r2 license
    this came in at £1800.00 and this was at the end of 2011
    so i dont think your budget it that unreasonable

  6. #21

    CHR1S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SHimmer45 View Post
    i think the companies who are saying the spec is "too" low are just trying to get you to spend more money...
    you might find you need to trim back the spec a little but still buy a system which allows expansion later (say in another year or so) that way you can add extras as more cash becomes available.

    Or the other option is to say "this" is the cost of achieving your requirements.

    just dug out the spec of the server i put in a primary and its:
    HP DL360 G7
    1x E5620 Quad (dual capable)
    6GB RAM
    3x 300GB SAS 10K Disks (600GB total size)
    Server 2k8r2 license
    this came in at £1800.00 and this was at the end of 2011
    so i dont think your budget it that unreasonable

    I'm trying to convince myself that 10K SAS drives are not necessary - still torn!

  7. #22

    localzuk's Avatar
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    I'd say that SATA will do you fine, for that number of computers, or nearline SAS if you want to go a bit better. SAS is, IMO, overkill for your number of clients.

    We've run our storage here off SATA for 7 years and it has been perfectly fine. We've shifted to SAS now, as we've doubled the network size since the SATA server was bought.

    I'd say get plenty of RAM. RAM is cheap.

    Storage is also cheap - RAID 10 is better than RAID 5 - so your plan is a fair one.

    However, something to note here - the server you've specified doesn't have spare bays for 6 drives. It has 4 3.5" bays and a single 5.25" bay spare.

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    for me i wouldnt put SATA drives in a "front line" server not only because of the seek times etc but also alot of SATA drives arent rated as high in terms of the MTBF.
    but as others have said your not dealing with a large amount of clients
    having support for SAS later if your budget wont accommodate it the drives now is something worth checking

  9. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by SHimmer45 View Post
    for me i wouldnt put SATA drives in a "front line" server not only because of the seek times etc but also alot of SATA drives arent rated as high in terms of the MTBF.
    but as others have said your not dealing with a large amount of clients
    having support for SAS later if your budget wont accommodate it the drives now is something worth checking
    In this case, I'd say look at nearline SAS then. They have SAS like MTBF but SATA like performance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    In this case, I'd say look at nearline SAS then. They have SAS like MTBF but SATA like performance.
    this if you have to compromise

  11. #26
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    I'd simply whack a 600GB intel SSD in there for total piece of mind on the storage.

    Virtualize it and take images for backups. Job done.

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    After doing much shopping around, Dell seem to offer the best value for servers. The following is what you can get for £1,117 exc VAT, inc Delivery:

    PowerEdge T110 II Tower Chassis, Up to 4x 3.5" Cabled HDDs

    Components
    1 Intel Xeon E3-1240v2 Processor (3.4GHz, 4C/8T, 8M Cache, 69W, Turbo)
    1 8GB Memory (2x4GB) 1600Mhz Dual Ranked Low Volt UDIMM (speed is CPU dependent)
    3 450GB, SAS 6Gbps, 3.5-in, 15K RPM Hard Drive (Cabled)
    1 PERC S300 3Gb/s SAS/SATA Internal Software Controller for 3.5" HDD Chassis
    1 16X DVD-ROM Drive with SATA Cable 1 UK 250V 2M Power Cord 10A
    1 Order Configuration Shipbox Label (PO Number, Ship Date, Model, Processor Speed, HDD Size, RAM)
    1 Embedded BMC
    1 C9 - RAID 5 with PERC S300, Min. 3 Max. 4 or 6 SAS/SATA Drives, Max. number depends on chassis

    Software
    1 PE T110II Electronic System Documentation and OpenManage DVD

    Service
    1 Base Warranty
    1 1Yr Basic Warranty - Next Business Day - Minimum Warranty
    1 INFO 1Yr ProSupport and Next Business Day On-Site Service
    1 5Yr ProSupport and Next Business Day On-Site Service
    1 INFO Declined Remote Consulting

    Then all you need to get is a Windows Server 2012 licence: £99.12 from Phoenix Software (about the same price from most other license providers)
    For Backups, buy a copy of BackupAssist and Western Digital Passport USB 1TB Hard Drives are £60 each - Get 3 or 5.

    So this has 900GB of SAS drives (being Raid 5) and the option of adding a 4th drive in the future if you ever need more space, and a next day hardware warranty for 5 years. No mouse of keyboard, but you can get a decent cherry keyboard for about £10 and a logitech mouse for £5. Yes, I know the PERC S300 is a software based raid controller, but with the high specs of the server it has never caused any performance issues. These servers run fast and can be used as a PDC to run all services in primary schools without any issues, and offer good value for money.

  13. Thanks to CommodoreS from:

    CHR1S (17th June 2013)

  14. #28

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    For those suppliers saying your under-speccing I think the others a right, just trying to make you spend more as your spec will be more than able to support that many clients. I have a Primary 550 Users, just over 200 machines all run via 2 ML110 G6s with WD RE4 drives ( 4TB storage) and manage perfectly.

  15. Thanks to SYSMAN_MK from:

    CHR1S (7th June 2013)

  16. #29

    3s-gtech's Avatar
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    We've done pretty well with SATA here, they can be fine but make sure you have your RAID setup for any nasties! We run a pair of DFS-R file servers for our main share drives, fed by 6 7200rpm SATA drives each (RAID 1 OS, RAID 5 data). They're not enterprise class drives - 500GB Western Digital Caviar SE. First server was built in 2007, one drive failed in that time and replaced under warranty. With up to 400 client connections (spread between them), I've not had a complaint about the performance yet.

  17. Thanks to 3s-gtech from:

    CHR1S (7th June 2013)

  18. #30

    CHR1S's Avatar
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    Would you guys go for the WD Red drives @ 5400rpm with read writes for ave 100mbs but with the added NAS/RAID features or Seagate Barracuda ST2000DM001 @7200rpm with double speed but no RAID/NAS features (baring in mind the ridiculously cheap price of these saving £90 a drive).

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