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Hardware Thread, Storage Server for student data in Technical; Seeing as it looks like we're going to be storing student data in some form or another now I need ...
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    gshaw's Avatar
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    Storage Server for student data

    Seeing as it looks like we're going to be storing student data in some form or another now I need to find a decent priced storage device to put it on.

    Working on worst case scenario... 8000 students x 50MB each = 400GB but it's likely to be more like a quarter of that in reality I'd say, possibly even less so don't need to go too mad on that side of things.

    At the moment the network is still physical boxes and not being replaced for another year or 2 (5-year replacement cycle for server kit) so no SAN about as yet.

    Any suggestions for something suitable? We're HP for server kit usually so it'd probably be that route unless it's a NAS appliance of some sort?

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    Hebdenlad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gshaw View Post
    Seeing as it looks like we're going to be storing student data in some form or another now I need to find a decent priced storage device to put it on.

    Working on worst case scenario... 8000 students x 50MB each = 400GB but it's likely to be more like a quarter of that in reality I'd say, possibly even less so don't need to go too mad on that side of things.

    At the moment the network is still physical boxes and not being replaced for another year or 2 (5-year replacement cycle for server kit) so no SAN about as yet.

    Any suggestions for something suitable? We're HP for server kit usually so it'd probably be that route unless it's a NAS appliance of some sort?
    Sun Storage 7000 Unified Storage Systems - Amber Road Overview

    give me a call if you need to talk about this....

    cheers,

    Phil

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    IanT's Avatar
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    I've just built a Dell NAS lately - look on there web site in the education section.

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    richard2233's Avatar
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    Storage

    When you say your going to have to store data, do you mean your going to create network mapped drives? or is it individual user areas for users? And How much you looking at spending?

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    maf_001's Avatar
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    I used to use a Dell PE 2900 for a storage drive for student data.
    Spec:

    2* Quad 2.4Ghz
    8Gb RAM
    Dell Perc 5i Card
    5* 146Gb SAS - For data
    2* 74GB SAS - for OS
    2* 1Gb Ethernet

    This work great for me, I had 1500 pupils with over 600 pupil computers which got used all the time, I wouldnt go splashing your money on a fancy SAN or NAS box when you can buy a proper box that will give you the proformace you are looking for. I would imagine you can get a HP box with a simlair spec, i would just change the HDD config to suit your needs.

    When the server got backed up it pulled over 1GB a min from the drives, the added bonus if you can run windows search on the student data during the day with no problems

    Hope this helps

    Mark

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    ServersPlus's Avatar
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    Feel free to give me a call if you want some advice & suggestions on this - We sell a lot of storage solutions to schools and businesses and can help you get the perfect kit for your needs

    Cheers

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    I'm in the process of setting up a couple of the cheap HP ML115 servers with 4x1Tb HDD in RAID 1+0, then using DFSR to keep each one up to date.

    Total cost was about £1000 for 2 servers with the following spec:

    AMD 2.1Ghz Quad Core
    8Gb RAM
    4x1Tb SATA HDD in RAID 1+0, 1.87Tb Usable space
    Intel Dual Port 1000PT, Teamed for 2Gb

    Suprisingly quick too and should provide near full redundancy for the data.

    RAID on the HDD
    Separate UPS
    Each connected to two switches
    DFSR replicating between them

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    IanT's Avatar
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    I like the Dell Server build on there site

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    gshaw's Avatar
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    Ah yeah forgot to mention... anything but Dell

    Basically it's looking like we'll give our students (all part-time and some much more part time than others!) a space to store their files as until now there's a shared area that just fills up with junk! Tbh I can't see there being masses of data on there so probably don't need to go too mad, the normal server with stacked up HDs sounds like a good way to go I think...
    Last edited by gshaw; 6th July 2009 at 05:02 PM.

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    If you know a good linux geek you could build an OpenFiler iSCSI SAN
    Openfiler — Openfiler - Open Source Storage Management Appliance

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    plexer's Avatar
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    You don't need to know a linux geek to use openfiler, download iso and install on to your hardware, it's not exactly difficult and the you get a web management console for it.

    Ben

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    I really don't think you need to go overkill with the spec of file servers.

    ours is a virtualmachine, it runs very fast and the load on it is extremely low.
    Our bare metal server is a dualxeon 8GB but with 1800 users and 600 computers. the spec of the virtualmachine is as follows:

    1500MB (never seems to use more than 512MB)
    edit: 2 Processors@2.5Ghz. Average usage is around = 1987MHz
    2 * 1GB/s ethernet
    64bit RedHat Enterprise
    4GB FC SAN (10k SATA)

    nightly virusscanning is the only thing that really stretches it.
    If you buy an 8GB dual quadcore you and use it just as a fileserver you are being ripped off.
    Last edited by CyberNerd; 7th July 2009 at 09:51 AM.

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    gshaw's Avatar
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    Actually thinking about it for this year I should be OK with using the file server that's there at the moment... 8000 users given say 10MB each would be 80GB but I doubt we'll even have a quarter of those users logging in so the 100GB I've got spare should do for now then depending on space I guess review it next year along with server replacements...

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    Butuz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan400007 View Post
    Suprisingly quick too and should provide near full redundancy for the data.

    RAID on the HDD
    Separate UPS
    Each connected to two switches
    DFSR replicating between them
    What about cache and battery back up on the RAID card?

    Butuz

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    Quote Originally Posted by gshaw View Post
    Any suggestions for something suitable? We're HP for server kit usually so it'd probably be that route unless it's a NAS appliance of some sort?
    We bought a couple of Thecus i4500r devices populated with 4x1TB drives. They were only intended as secondary storage and replicating user shares from our SAN. However, we've just suffered a major failure on the SAN disk array, so the thecus devices have now stepped up to the plate and are performing remarkably well. They're a bit more robust than a cheap NAS (twin power supplies and network cards provide some failover), offer iSCSI and are configured via a web interface. Price is around £1500 populated with enterprise spec SATA drives to 4TB.

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