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Hardware Thread, Server and Back-up hardware in Technical; Hello everyone, I am working on a university project where we have to change the existing print and file servers ...
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    Server and Back-up hardware

    Hello everyone,

    I am working on a university project where we have to change the existing print and file servers + add back-up server.

    The file server will support 1000 students (users), each of them will use at least 15GB of memory space + 100 professional users, each will use at least 20GB.
    The printer server will support 20 network attached printers.
    All users use the service only if the have log-in.
    For the back-up: we need one incremental for every day and one full back up per week.

    so we will have to buy file and print server, storage, and back up server.

    My questions:
    1) Which specifications should I look for when choosing the file and print servers? (how much RAM, etc??)
    2) How much storage do I need for the back up server? (just to calculate the storage that all the users will use or to buy a bit extra just in case?)
    3) Can you suggest a brand for all the hardware? (PS the file and print servers will run the Microsoft Windows server operating system)

    Thank you in advance!

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    What retention do you need for the backup? IE. How many weeks?

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    At least 4.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ITgirlInProgress View Post
    The file server will support 1000 students (users), each of them will use at least 15GB of memory space + 100 professional users, each will use at least 20GB.
    SSD drives might be a realistic option here. 16TB of data isn't that much these days - if a 1TB drive is 500, and a 24-slot rackmount server around 3,000, 15,000 would get you a 22TB RAID6 file server. I/O performance should be really good - you'll need to specify a good RAID card (might well be 1,000) and a 10 gigabit (or greater) network connection, assuming the network infrastructure is up to it.

    With the print server, the bottleneck for print jobs is again is likely to be disk speed - larger print jobs will need to be spooled to disk, so the faster the harddrive the better, and again a 10 gigabit network connection would be useful. Actual disk storage space probably isn't that important, so a couple of mirrored 1TB SSDs should be more than enough. We run our print server as a virtual machine, so hardware resources are shared with other servers, and performance seems fine.

    1) Which specifications should I look for when choosing the file and print servers? (how much RAM, etc??)
    If you were using ZFS with block-level deduplication, the recomendation would be 3-5GB of RAM per TB of disk space. This would mean a minimum of 72GB of RAM in your file server - these days, a perfectly reasonable amount, we have 96GB in one of our servers at a cost of under 1,000.

    2) How much storage do I need for the back up server? (just to calculate the storage that all the users will use or to buy a bit extra just in case?)
    You can buy a 12-3.5"-disk-bay server and fill it with 4TB SATA drives for 3,000, that's 40TB in RAID6. Use that to mirror your file server and do snapshots every hour, cutting those down to per day after a week or so. Mirror those backups to a cloud backup providor - Google now charge 6 per TB per month, which is very reasonable.

    3) Can you suggest a brand for all the hardware? (PS the file and print servers will run the Microsoft Windows server operating system)
    If you can;t build the servers yourself, I'd probably use Dell, although I'm not quite sure if they actually offer a 24-port SSDserver at the moment, check HP's website too.

  5. Thanks to dhicks from:

    ITgirlInProgress (15th March 2014)

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