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Hardware Thread, Server - where to put the fastest HDD? in Technical; :P Me Again! Just a quick question. I have been asked to spec up a small server that will act ...
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    Server - where to put the fastest HDD?

    :P Me Again!

    Just a quick question. I have been asked to spec up a small server that will act as the domain and file server for 15 PCs in a small IT Suite.

    Its a SATA2 based server running RAID 0.

    I was thinking:

    2 x 36GB WD Raptor 10K HDD SATA (RAID 0)
    1 x Seagate 200Gb HDD SATA2
    1X USB HDD for backup

    Now what do I keep where for best performance for the clients?

    Is it best to have the most frequently accessed shares on the Raptors or keep the OS on them?

    Should I have a seperate partition for the Swap File?

    Thanks for any advice offered.
    CM786

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Re: Server - where to put the fastest HDD?

    Don't Raid 0 the Raptors. Put the OS on one, and the swap file on the other. Data on the Seagate.

    With 15 PC's it's overkill though. They wont notice any difference regardless of what you do.

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    Re: Server - where to put the fastest HDD?

    Agreed, and put the spooler folder on the second drive too if it is to be used for printing.

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    Re: Server - where to put the fastest HDD?

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff
    Don't Raid 0 the Raptors. Put the OS on one, and the swap file on the other. Data on the Seagate.

    With 15 PC's it's overkill though. They wont notice any difference regardless of what you do.
    Geoff, Wouldn't it be better to RAID0 the Raptors, and then set aside partitions for the OS and Swap File?n Quicker....No??

    I know that the Raptors are overkill at the moment, but the plan is for the server to start having more and more clients as staff realise the benefits of it, eventually the whole school. Then again, I can just save about £140 and just go with normal drives.... hmm. I have much larger schools that "survive" with normal SATA drives.

    Thanks for the advice guys.

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    Re: Server - where to put the fastest HDD?

    Quicker yes but with 2 disks it more likely to go bang and you have no redundancy, not that you have with one disk but ....

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    Re: Server - where to put the fastest HDD?

    Quote Originally Posted by CM786
    Geoff, Wouldn't it be better to RAID0 the Raptors, and then set aside partitions for the OS and Swap File?n Quicker....No??
    No, because stupidly windows accesses them as one large disk when configured as RAID0. So it doesn't access the OS partition and the partition with the swap file at the same time. :P

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    Re: Server - where to put the fastest HDD?

    So whats the network connection speed? Gigabit? Jumbo frames? Not much point going for really fast HDD if you can only pull or push 8MB/s.

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    Re: Server - where to put the fastest HDD?

    Current Network speed is just 100Mbps Ethernet. ops: However all the client PCs (shuttle) have Gigabit LAN and so does the server, so 1Gb is an easy upgrade. I could just cable up a switch just for the itsuite running 1Gb Ethernet only between the PCs in the suite, but its not worth it at the moment

    The ICT Coordinator has the idea that while she has the budget and approval to get the best possible kit, because she is sure she will not have the same amount of money again next year.

    So from the sounds of it 10K Raptors are wayyyy overkill. Might be worth just investing the money to be spent on the faster HDDs into getting a tape drive instead of the USB Hard Drive. Nothing critical is going to be stored on the Server yet, but as the kids work builds up it will get more and more important.

    Cheers.

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    Re: Server - where to put the fastest HDD?

    The ICT Coordinator has the idea that while she has the budget and approval to get the best possible kit, because she is sure she will not have the same amount of money again next year.
    You've got a nice rolling upgrade stratergy there.

    So from the sounds of it 10K Raptors are wayyyy overkill.
    It's not that bad. You could go SCSI?

    Might be worth just investing the money to be spent on the faster HDDs into getting a tape drive instead of the USB Hard Drive.
    I think external USB harddrives are a better option than tapes for standalone servers.

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    Re: Server - where to put the fastest HDD?

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff
    The ICT Coordinator has the idea that while she has the budget and approval to get the best possible kit, because she is sure she will not have the same amount of money again next year.
    You've got a nice rolling upgrade stratergy there.
    Not sure if your being sarcastic or not? :P

    We are changing platform from iMac G3's to PCs! Yippeeee! We have been contemplating the move for a few years and with this years budget being especially big for ICT ( not sure why??) and alot of our software being dual platform thought we may as well go for it!

    Yeah, think i will stick with the USB HDD, its much faster then tape. The LEA are quite keen on us getting a tape drive but I think we can leave it.

    Thanks for the advice Geoff.

    This forum is much better then the (dead) one offered by the LEA which is just full of "special offers" from the LEA "ICT Team" and LEA suppliers. (Sorry, off topic)

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    Re: Server - where to put the fastest HDD?

    Not sure if your being sarcastic or not?
    Ah, good. Mean's I got it right.

    We are changing platform from iMac G3's to PCs! Yippeeee! We have been contemplating the move for a few years and with this years budget being especially big for ICT ( not sure why??) and alot of our software being dual platform thought we may as well go for it!
    So a downgrade then?

    Yeah, think i will stick with the USB HDD, its much faster then tape. The LEA are quite keen on us getting a tape drive but I think we can leave it.
    Tape is hillariously expensive too.

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    Re: Server - where to put the fastest HDD?

    Quote Originally Posted by CM786

    We are changing platform from iMac G3's to PCs! Yippeeee!
    Not sure if your being sarcastic or not? :P Microsoft would probably really like to quote your last post as it goes so much against received wisdom.

    Quote Originally Posted by CM786
    Yeah, think i will stick with the USB HDD, its much faster then tape. The LEA are quite keen on us getting a tape drive but I think we can leave it.
    Hmmm why do I hear the words "single point of failure". With backups you want to be able to cylce your media and keep the odd sample off site. Unless you can buy several of these units then it's no better than XCOPY to another server. OK OK that's an over exageration but you get my point.

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    Re: Server - where to put the fastest HDD?

    [quote="Geoff"]

    So a downgrade then?

    :P :P :P :P :P

    We still have nice new OSX Imac G4's in the classrooms if its a comfort!

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    Re: Server - where to put the fastest HDD?

    I think that if we didn't have a sense of humor we'd be in serious trouble! LOL

    Quote Originally Posted by NetworkGeezer

    Not sure if your being sarcastic or not? :P Microsoft would proabbly really like to quote your last post as it goes so much against reciveied wisdom.
    Billy and me are big mates. :P :P

    Seriously however. I know that OSX Server with new iMacs would have been another option, but the Head, ICT Coordinator and Staff all wanted PCs. They claim that alot of the (primary-level) educational software they keep getting recommended is PC only and the kids all have PC's at home. The governors (one who is some IT-bod) also decided on the PC route. So they have kept the new iMacs with OSX 10.39 in the classrooms and PC's in the suite.

    Since I am only their half-a-day a week (work in 7 schools over a week) I was not involved totally in the decision making process but I am in the buying process. I think that since its a brand new very simple 15 PC + 1 Server + 1 Network Color Laser primary school network with no email we shouldn't have too many issues if the machines are setup right.

    Single-point of failure - yes I was aware of that, so I think I might twist the ICT coordinators arm and see if we can buy 2 or 3. Still cheaper then tape.

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    Re: Server - where to put the fastest HDD?

    I have just done a similar thing, its being delivered tomorrow so gotta decide what to do, its got a 73GB Raptor in it and a 120GB SATA HDD, for again a small primary school (25 workstations). After this convo, I think I will put Server 2003 and all the apps on the Raptor and run the Profiles and Work from the SATA drive. This server has (or will have when it arrives as its on a seperate shipment) a Dat 72i tape drive, some cheap price like £300 for an internal USB2 one with a load of free tapes, and extras are for peanuts. Workstatons are Biostar Cubes - Sempron Based, and Aopen mini-towers, 17" TFTs etc....

    Again this is all from www.cclonline.com - 01274 471203 (Lyndsey Higgins)

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