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Hardware Thread, Spec me a server... in Technical; ...
  1. #1

    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Spec me a server...

    I need to start thinking about a new server for September. A bit different to my usual servers whose spec's tend to read "max out CPU cores and RAM". So I thought I'd see what recommendations you guys have. Here's the spec:

    £7,500 budget.
    Primary file server. Windows 2012.
    Data store for live Hyper-V VHD images.
    Shared folders for public files, home folders, profiles, app-data, etc.
    Thinking of using Server 2012's Storage Spaces
    Would like to properly support Volume Shadow Copies and File Server Resource Manager
    Hyper-V Replica and ReFS would be nice

    We currently have a File Server running Windows 2008R2 with just over 4Tb space in a RAID-50 configuration.

    I would like to repurpose that old server to run Server 2012 supporting both Hyper-V Replica and/or DFS shares with the new server.

    What can/should I be buying for this?

  2. #2

    ICTDirect_Dave's Avatar
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    I've got just the thing

    Dropping you a PM

  3. Thanks to ICTDirect_Dave from:

    tmcd35 (16th July 2014)

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    I would use Server 2012 R2 not 2012

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    tmcd35 (16th July 2014)

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Just got a very appealing quote for @ICTDirect_Dave. He's kindly allowed me to share the specs for more discussion:

    Spec as follows:

    2 x W3680 3.33GHz Hex Core Xeon
    144GB DDR3 10600R ECC RAM (18 x 8GB)
    16 x 450GB SAS HDD 10K 6G Dual Port
    P410 Raid Controller With BBWC - I've got some funky attachments that allow for an external sas that I could add on to this for a bit more also
    2 x PSU
    Rails
    2 years RTB Warranty as standard
    My first thoughts are to (atleast) half the CPU and Ram and up the hard drives to 15krpm. Our current server is quad core, 6Gb Ram and 16x15k rpm 450Gb SAS drives.

    I then got thinking about the RAID controller. What do I want here? Do I even need a RAID controller with Storage Spaces?

    And of course the questions over SSD's. And drive allocation - OS vs Hyper-V store vs Home folder file server. Should the home folders be moved into a VM? Should I move to iSCSI instead of SMB v3 folder shares?
    Last edited by tmcd35; 16th July 2014 at 11:50 AM.

  7. #5

    ICTDirect_Dave's Avatar
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    One thing I didn't realise when I put this together is that those CPUs will only take 24GB RAM each. You'd need something like the X5670 (2.93GHz HEX) that can see up to 288GB instead.

    My bad...

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ICTDirect_Dave View Post
    One thing I didn't realise when I put this together is that those CPUs will only take 24GB RAM each. You'd need something like the X5670 (2.93GHz HEX) that can see up to 288GB instead.

    My bad...
    Lol, you're going in the wrong direction! I'd be happy with 4Gb Ram!

  9. #7
    Joanne's Avatar
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    What size primary is this? 10 form intake?!

  10. #8

    ICTDirect_Dave's Avatar
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    haha! Well I'm sure we can sort that out.

    Drop me a line with anything specific and I'll do my best to help you out.

  11. #9

    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joanne View Post
    What size primary is this? 10 form intake?!
    Sorry, that's primary as in main, not as in type of school - lol.

    We're current'y 700 pupils and around 300 devices. We have plans to expand out wireless network in the coming year and look closer at the pupil:device ratio. We're a secondary school years 7-11. Currently sitting on around 25-30 virtual servers.

    Our existing file server is about 4-5 years old so it's now time to look at replacing it and looking at best current tech to do it with. Not sure if a full blown SAN is the way to go or what £7,500 is likely to buy us.

  12. #10
    Joanne's Avatar
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    that makes so much more sense!! Hahahahah.

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    Last server that got installed here was a Dell with

    2x E5-2690 Xeons
    32GB RAM
    5 x 200GB Intel enterprise SSDs

    Came to just under £5k

  14. Thanks to Bananas from:

    tmcd35 (16th July 2014)

  15. #12

    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bananas View Post
    5 x 200GB Intel enterprise SSDs
    How much are these drives? 5x200Gb is 1Tb without redundancy, about 1/5th the actual total space I'd require as a minimum. Are SSD's still too expensive for mass storage? Anyone using SSD's with Storage Spaces?

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    ICTDirect_Dave's Avatar
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    Annoyingly I currently have 240GB Enterprise SSDs going for £65 each, but they're 3.5" drives which is frustrating!

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    Hi tmcd35,

    We supply bespoke servers and could probably do something that would meet your needs, I'll drop you a PM as would need more info before being able to send specs etc.

    Thanks,

    Ed

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    How much are these drives? 5x200Gb is 1Tb without redundancy, about 1/5th the actual total space I'd require as a minimum. Are SSD's still too expensive for mass storage? Anyone using SSD's with Storage Spaces?
    Can't remember now but if you need more storage I'd do 2 SSDs mirrored for the OS and then either a pile of 15k SAS drives or a NAS or SAN to make the storage up.

    That dell server, once you get past all the various BIOS screens, 2012 boots in about 20 seconds!

  19. Thanks to Bananas from:

    tmcd35 (17th July 2014)

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