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Hardware Thread, SAS or SATA 4 Servers in Technical; I work in primary schools, and at most these schools have about 150 client machines. But in terms of concurrent ...
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    SAS or SATA 4 Servers

    I work in primary schools, and at most these schools have about 150 client machines.
    But in terms of concurrent users probably 60 machines.

    They server normally tends to be the pdc,dhcp,dns,file & print server.
    Curriculum servers dont tend to have a intense database, the only database on curric servers
    tend to be the Abacus Intertactive Planner database.

    Most of the stuff tends to be roaming profiles, doucments and in terms of programs they run off a share. Would SAS be overkill for such a system?

    Im running some performance monitors;

    Physical disk: idle time
    Physical disk: queue length
    Physical disk: disk write time

    are there any other monitors i should be looking at?
    And what are your opinions on SAS vs SATA, if i was working at a secondary school or higher then I would go SAS all the way, but primary schools tend to be lighter.

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    Michael's Avatar
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    SAS does give better performance, but is also a lot more expensive. With the example you have given using multiple SATA2 disks in a hardware RAID1 or RAID5 setup would be absolutely fine.

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    mattstevenson2005's Avatar
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    if your one server is doing all that then i would really suggest SAS drives, im at a secondary school with around 150-200 concurrent users all day with 24 servers and all the servers have local SAS drives for their system drives. So if your one server is doing all that work you should have SAS

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    AIT
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    Quote Originally Posted by owen1978 View Post

    Most of the stuff tends to be roaming profiles, documents and in terms of programs they run off a share. Would SAS be overkill for such a system?
    Paging files is another good monitor.
    Average disk queue is probably the most important. If this is high then sas would be beneficial.


    sas would not be over kill for the c drive or even roaming profiles if you can aford it.
    However for the small number of users sata would be far more cost effective specially if raided.

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    I would probably go with SATA and just buy as many disks as the unit can take to spread the load. But considering the costs differences I don't think a primary would really see the benefit plus you can get much high capacity disks, just backup then becomes more interesting.

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    I would suggest that you save the money and get SATA. Our file server which servers 1500 pupils with average of 300 concurrent users has SATA in RAID 5, and while it isn't really fast, it does do the job nicely.

    Make sure you RAID it to give redundancy and better performance. Use the money you save from SAS to buy more disks, and setup seperate arrays for the AD/DNS/DHCP, etc and the file stores to get better performance.

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    AIT
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    Quote Originally Posted by dyoung5 View Post
    I would suggest that you save the money and get SATA. Our file server which servers 1500 pupils with average of 300 concurrent users has SATA in RAID 5, and while it isn't really fast, it does do the job nicely.

    Make sure you RAID it to give redundancy and better performance. Use the money you save from SAS to buy more disks, and setup seperate arrays for the AD/DNS/DHCP, etc and the file stores to get better performance.
    i agree.

    1400 students. 10 sata drives raid 5. excellent performance. much better than the old 15k sas.

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    In terms of the roles the server plays as a pdc, dns, dhcp these would hardly bother the disk and would be cpu intensive instead.

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    And don't forget to enable write caching.

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    Looks like we have the old SAS SATA split forming in this thread.

    I don't think its a performance issue any more is it!

    The more disks in an array means the data has to be stripped across them any way with BBWC cache controllers the performace loss seems to be minimal for what most schools would use them for.

    Reliability is another issue. SATA does not have the same proven track record as some of the SCSI/SAS devices and the quality of the SAS drives seems to fall off remarkably as they get cheaper.

    HP only offer 1 year warranty on SAS drives even though the same hardware can be found with a 3/5 year warranty from the OEM's.

    I personally have replaced far fewer SCSI/SAS drives in Comparison to SATA drives in all of the years I have been in frontline support.

    As a result I look to the Big Boys for guidance and you will always see that for critical data they use SAS/SCSI and for the less important or easily resotrable data, SATA.

    Hey, in some SAN's they mix them SAS on the Live Arrays SATA on the backup/Mirrors.

    So IMOHO, I choose SAS for my critical servers and SATA for the ones that I can afford to run without whilst I find time to restore them.

    As always cost will be an overiding factor as budgets get tighter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by m25man View Post
    Looks like we have the old SAS SATA split forming in this thread.

    I don't think its a performance issue any more is it!

    The more disks in an array means the data has to be stripped across them any way with BBWC cache controllers the performace loss seems to be minimal for what most schools would use them for.

    Reliability is another issue. SATA does not have the same proven track record as some of the SCSI/SAS devices and the quality of the SAS drives seems to fall off remarkably as they get cheaper.

    HP only offer 1 year warranty on SAS drives even though the same hardware can be found with a 3/5 year warranty from the OEM's.

    I personally have replaced far fewer SCSI/SAS drives in Comparison to SATA drives in all of the years I have been in frontline support.

    As a result I look to the Big Boys for guidance and you will always see that for critical data they use SAS/SCSI and for the less important or easily resotrable data, SATA.

    Hey, in some SAN's they mix them SAS on the Live Arrays SATA on the backup/Mirrors.

    So IMOHO, I choose SAS for my critical servers and SATA for the ones that I can afford to run without whilst I find time to restore them.

    As always cost will be an overiding factor as budgets get tighter.
    I undestand, but in a primary school scenario, the amount of abuse the SATA will get is considerably less thus hopefully it will last longer?

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Built a couple of servers for local primary/infant schools of late. We tend to be going for a couple of 300Gb WD 10krpm SATA drives in RAID-1. Seems to be giving the schools the space they need and the drive access speed for the number of users.

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    SAS drives are a whole different breed of harddrive and I would highly recommend SAS drives for your OS atleast. SAS drives use more bits per sector for a higher fault tolerance they're also designed to cope with vibration (ringing) better and go through a higher level of testing. A SATA drive must endure scrubbing (in a raid) and it's sectors are 10x more likley to fail compared to a sas drive (a real issue in a RAID environment (during a rebuild).

    I say all this but I do have a raid 5 sata array for file storage in my SAN (4x1TB), I couldn't afford 3TB SAS storage.

    I do have a raid 5 SAS storage for the OS'es. 3x450GB.

    I have a very complex paper on this very issue I'll have to dig up the link.

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    im at a secondary school with around 150-200 concurrent users all day with 24 servers
    Hmm sounds like overkill to me. We have 350 curriculum machiines which means a possibilty of 350 concurrent users and we only have 2 servers. But getting back to the thread we just got some sas drives this summer in our new servers and I'm very impressed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by owen1978 View Post
    I undestand, but in a primary school scenario, the amount of abuse the SATA will get is considerably less thus hopefully it will last longer?
    Data is just Data, I don't think abuse comes into it.

    SATA Drives are mass produced and are cheap, there are Enterprise Level SATA drives that claim to be of a higher quality and get 5 year Manufacturer warranties but you only need to look at THIS search result to see what can happen to your data!




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