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Hardware Thread, Bit of Help - For Home in Technical; Currently got : HP ProLiant ML110 G4 Xeon 3040 1860-2MB/1066 Dual Core, 1x512MB, Non Hot Plug SATA 160GB, DVD/CD-RW, 3 ...
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    Bit of Help - For Home

    Currently got :

    HP ProLiant ML110 G4 Xeon 3040 1860-2MB/1066 Dual Core, 1x512MB, Non Hot Plug SATA 160GB, DVD/CD-RW, 3 Year Next Business Day Warranty

    HP ProLiant ML110 G5 - 1-way / Dual-Core Xeon 3065 2.33GHz - RAM 1GB - HDD 1 x 250GB - DVD±RW (+R double layer) - Gigabit Ethernet - 4U Wty 3yr NBD

    Both have been upgraded to 4GB RAM each and the hard drives as default. Now my plan is as each server can hold 4 SATA drives is to beef these up to the max.

    I currently have 2 of Western Digital WD5000AAKS 500GB SATA II 7200RPM 16MB Cache - OEM, one in each plus the standard drive in each.

    I want to set these up to do be the best as such and serve me for what I need. File storage is going to be a number 1, I have been looking at drives on eBuyer and they have normal SATA ones and RAID ones, I thought any drive could be setup in a RAID? Sorry my knowledge of RAID is very poor. As well as running a file server, it will be running as a DC, DNS, DHCP is need be (router can do this but can swap to the server is better), WSUS, Exchange, possibly a SQL database when I get to that point. Also I plan to run roaming profiles and other little bits and bobs, it is mainly a test ground but something I want to setup up at home so I can learn more (I learn by playing!). Also its going to be a printer server as well!!

    Just after a bit of advise on what would be the best way and what size drives to get, also is it worth getting a second NIC in each, it's not for anything business critical just home but has to be reasonably stable. All will be running in a Windows 2003 R2 envrionment. One more thing is that I would like to setup one as a possible terminal server and the chance of Citrix XenApp been installed to play with, there also may be a possibility of a small web/FTP role on one of them.

    If anyone can help it would be much apprichated. Just need to know what to buy and how to spread the services over the both of them, if needby the RAM can be increased, just trying to plan it out and work out the finances of it all.

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    Forgot to add that I would like to upgrade to Windows 2008 Server, still looking into this, also I would like to play with ISA but have another box I can install this on is need be.

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Any drives can be used in RAID, the ones marked up as "raid" or "enterprise" are generally slightly different in specification - i.e. have a supposed higher reliability rate, and may offer some different features like Native Command Queuing, however that's fairly standard across the board these days. Other than that and the price, you're just as well to get any old drive (as long as it's not Maxtor!). If something fails and you're using a proper RAID level, it's cheap and easy to swap it out for another.

    I'll leave the server side of things for someone more experienced than myself in commissioning to help with

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    Thanks for that, I only use Western Digital.

    Not sure weather to go for several 500GB or several 1TB's, but I suppose if I have a raid setup if a 1TB one fails I wont loose it all. Each server can hold and suppose 4 drives, what is the best setup to have for this?

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    A Raid 5 setup would probably be my first choice - that way you have performance and redundancy. Should one drive fail, it can be removed and replaced without losing anything (and run minus that drive until you get the replacement).

    Certainly ideal for increased performance with file sharing and file system intense stuff like SQL server and virtualisation. My home system (this system) is on a RAID5 mostly for the virtualisation work albeit based within Windows. The drives are older 400gb units yet it's noticeable better to work with than one of the standalone 1tb units with VM work.

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    With regards to the RAID, can the drives still be partitioned down, with a RAID5 and 4 disks of say 500GB how much of that will be available to use, would it be 2TB or less? Sorry RAID isnt something I am up on.

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Yes, you can partition your RAID drive(s) how you like.

    A raid 5 would be the capacity of all but one drive - so if you have 4 x 500gb units, you'd have 1.5tb usable space.

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    Do all the drives have to be of the same size? Could I not get say 3 x 1TB and 1 x 500GB or would that not work?

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    It's best to have them the same size - reason being the array would only be as big as the smallest drive.
    I.e. if you had 1 x 500gb in a raid 5 with 3 1tb drives, you'd only have 1.5tb (as in 4 x 500gb - the one drive as mentioned before)

    Might be an idea to take a look at [ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redundant_array_of_independent_disks]RAID - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]
    Probably better at explaining it than I am I know (?) the ins and outs but just can't remember most of it

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    Thanks for the reply, I will take a look now I know what would be best.

    Anyone have any recommendations on how to spread the services out on the 2 servers, just after trying to get the best out of what I have.

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