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Hardware Thread, Architecture of this server in Technical; Whats best way to get it raided? Do i just get a PCI raid card...i am thinking i will build ...
  1. #16
    duxbuz's Avatar
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    Whats best way to get it raided?

    Do i just get a PCI raid card...i am thinking i will build one from in an older PC

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    Duke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by duxbuz View Post
    So basically a NAS is a machine with 1 gig NIC in and 2 or more drives for RAID1?

    Thats it?

    All read/write is over the wire?
    Imagine a Windows XP PC, share a folder on it and offer it over your network. That's essentially a NAS system. Do the same with a Linux server and an NFS share, same thing. SAN/iSCSI is somewhat more complicated.

    A 'proper' NAS would be a storage box with redundant PSUs, multiple NICs (my 7410 has 4, some are for management, some for direct access from clients, some for the VMware hosts to access it), lots of HDDs in RAID5 or RAID6 with hot-spare drives. The RAID card would be a powerful one and able to make use of the system RAM, and the hardware may have SAS expanders to hang additional disk trays off the back. My 7410 will expand to 576TB with 2TB drives using additional disk trays.

    The device itself will actually read/write the data from/to the disks and send it over the network. DAS (direct attached storage) is where the client would do the read/writes to the local storage.

    As far as RAID goes, you have several options. Most decent motherboards have some kind of on-board RAID, but a dedicated PCIe RAID card with decent amounts of RAM, a good controller chip and a battery backup is ideal. It all depends on what you need this for, can you provide any more information on what your long term plans are? If you just want to have a play with SAN/NAS, Sun make a S7000 virtual machine simulator which is awesome.

    Chris

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    Well i need it to be better than our primary schools current setup which is all the data on the DC.

    The DC has smart array raid5 hotswap drives

    its a proliant dl385 g5

    i feel i need the central storage

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    For a primary school you don't need to buy a really big one in terms of have more then 1/2 network cards if you are only planning for the VMware host to have access to it, i wouldn't recommend using an old pc for it tho, but i would say just build one in an old case, but new components as you don't want parts to fail, wouldn't need much ram then run freenas on it. would be alot cheaper if you want 1Tb plus get a couple of 1tb hard disks with the raid card and have them raid 10 (1+0) then it will mirror the data. I would suggest running two servers on the box so you don't have to have the DC as a file Server.

    Toby

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    ok.

    I wasnt sure what you meant by running 2 servers on the box. On the NAS box?

    I was going to get a new server for a second DC, keep the old one, and have a NAS box seperate.

    For second server i was going to get a HP ProLiant ML115 G5 Tower Server

    In opinion would i be better getting one of these as a NAS also OR having this do both NAS and second DC with hypervisor OR building NAS with my own parts?

    The ML115 states only Raid 0,1,5 does this mean i can do 1+0 or not

    Thankyou v much for input by the way

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    Quote Originally Posted by duxbuz View Post
    I wasnt sure what you meant by running 2 servers on the box. On the NAS box?

    I was going to get a new server for a second DC, keep the old one, and have a NAS box seperate.

    For second server i was going to get a HP ProLiant ML115 G5 Tower Server

    In opinion would i be better getting one of these as a NAS also OR having this do both NAS and second DC with hypervisor OR building NAS with my own parts?

    The ML115 states only Raid 0,1,5 does this mean i can do 1+0 or not
    I think (please correct me if I'm wrong) Toby meant that if you're going to use VMware then make separate VMs for the file server and DC, rather than having one virtual server doing both roles.

    Any idea what your budget is on this? You can do it all on the cheap, but to some degree you get what you pay for. Also, what are your current storage space requirements and estimated rate of growth? The ML115 doesn't make a great chassis if you need lots of HDD space.

    Personally, if affordable, I would try something like:

    • Keep one physical server as your primary DC. A Domain Controller can have other roles too with no issues (DCs themselves generally don't generate much load) but there are certain roles you shouldn't mix. Even in a virtual environment you should still always have one physical DC, but you can still utilise the hardware for other non-conflicting things.
    • Use the other server as an ESXi host. You will need to check hardware compatibility and make sure it's got a decent amount of RAM (4GB minimum) but it doesn't need to be hugely powerful or expensive. 2 NICs (or 1 NIC with 2 ports) would be a bonus. You can use this to run 5-10 servers (very dependant on load and your requirements) for other things, development, testing, etc.
    • Get a dedicated NAS box. Up to you if you build it yourself or buy one, but before making your own check out all the options from companies. The consumer-level hardware from companies like Buffalo and Iomega are pretty good these days. You've also got mid-level stuff from companies like JetStor and Dell to look at. Just bear in mind if it's storing critical user data and you built the NAS yourself, who gets blamed if it fails? At least if you buy a solution you have a warranty to fall back on. If set up correctly, your users can talk directly to the NAS so you don't actually need a dedicated Windows file server that in turn connects to the NAS.


    As far as your RAID question goes, it generally won't do RAID 1+0 unless it specifically says so. Even if it does RAID0 and RAID1, RAID10 requires the RAID controller to be able to support nested RAID levels. Any particular reason for considering RAID10? Generally you'd only use this if you need the performance of RAID0 but with proper redundancy. RAID10 would normally be used for something like databases rather than file serving, and you lose half your storage space. Unless performance is a requirement, I'd suggest RAID5 (or RAID6 if you have the money and HDDs).

    Cheers,
    Chris
    Last edited by Duke; 24th February 2010 at 07:34 PM.

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    Thats what i ment, but by suggesting two 1tb hard disks is where i thort of the Raid1+0 as you only have 2 hard disks, raid 5 would be better if say buying 3 500gb hard disks, as you still have same amount of space as if u purchased 2 tb hard disks, but thinking about it now you are probly better off with 3 500gb hard disks and raid 5 as tbf the likelyhood of two disks going is the same for is you had 1tb hard disks, but this option will be alot cheaper. ie 3 500gb hard disks at raid 5, as i am assuming that 1tb is plenty plenty for a primary enless i am mistaken.

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    Just to make it clear, as its starting to get complicated.
    The Suggestion is:
    Get the New server (ml115) install ESXI onto the server.
    Set up Nas Box (either custom made or Purchased) install 3 or 4 x 500gb hard disks at raid 5. - giving either 1tb or 1.5tb.

    Keep you existing box as a DC, but i would say have this as a secondary dc so the roles are on the Virtual DC, then set up another VM as say a file server/application server.

    Depending on the type of NAS you go for, if you purchased one it is more likely to be a 4 bay nas rather then a 3 bay.

    Toby

    Edit: here is what i would suggest you make the network look like. enless you point the users directly at the nas.
    Last edited by glennda; 25th February 2010 at 09:42 AM. Reason: Add Image

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    Quote Originally Posted by glennda View Post
    The Suggestion is:
    Get the New server (ml115) install ESXI onto the server.
    Set up Nas Box (either custom made or Purchased) install 3 or 4 x 500gb hard disks at raid 5. - giving either 1tb or 1.5tb.

    Keep you existing box as a DC, but i would say have this as a secondary dc so the roles are on the Virtual DC, then set up another VM as say a file server/application server.

    Depending on the type of NAS you go for, if you purchased one it is more likely to be a 4 bay nas rather then a 3 bay.
    +1 on that. Using the ML115 for VMware makes sense as we know it'll work. What's the current server's spec? If it'll handle the DC role alone with no issues then what as Toby said it makes sense to keep it as the DC.

    If you do go centralised storage SAN/NAS, try to plan ahead as much as possible for your storage requirements. It's better to have a box with empty drive spaces now knowing you can fill them later, than having to replace the whole unit and migrate your data in two years because you've run out of room and can't expand it.

    Cheers,
    Chris

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    Yes its getting complicated for my newbie experience. ha.

    ok i was wondering about this:

    I think (please correct me if I'm wrong) Toby meant that if you're going to use VMware then make separate VMs for the file server and DC, rather than having one virtual server doing both roles.
    Keep you existing box as a DC, but i would say have this as a secondary dc so the roles are on the Virtual DC, then set up another VM as say a file server/application server.
    I thought the NAS would be the file server?

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    your nas box would indirectly be the file server, it is worth still keeping a windows box with the drives on the nas box as in my opinion it would be easier to configure for permissions etc. ill do you a little diagram in a min and post it up.

    Toby

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    p.s current server is a hp proliant g5 dl380 blade with 3.35gb RAM

    546gb hdd space currently using 233gb

    5x146gb hotswap hdd's with 3 spare bays

    growth on the hdd space is not too fast

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    Quote Originally Posted by duxbuz View Post
    I thought the NAS would be the file server?
    It totally depends on how you want to do it. If your NAS solution supports CIFS (Windows shares) and Active Directory authentication then there's no reason why your users can't talk directly to the NAS box for their userdata. You'd just make shares on it and point your users to \\NAS\share

    However, if your NAS just acts as 'dumb' network-accessible storage, or maybe you got a SAN that doesn't offer CIFS, you'd need to map storage on the NAS (over the network) to a Windows server. The Windows server will then be used to share that storage out to users and control permissions, quotas, etc.

    My Sun 7410 has full AD and CIFS support, so my users talk directly to it. In this way I get better performance (no Windows server bottleneck) and one less single point of failure. The Sun S7000 stuff has a really nice management interface and I'm happy to use it for this.

    However, if I was using my NetApp box and didn't have the CIFS licence, then I'd make an iSCSI LUN and use the Microsoft iSCSI Initiator to connect it to a Windows server (where it would appear as local storage, even though it's connected over the network). I'd then use Windows to make a folder structure on the iSCSI drive and share the folders as required. The Windows file server would handle all of the permissions and access, even though the data itself would be fed back to the SAN/NAS.

    Hope that helps, it's all about what hardware you've got and what's going to work best for you.

    Chris

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    Quote Originally Posted by duxbuz View Post
    The ML115 states only Raid 0,1,5 does this mean i can do 1+0 or not

    Thankyou v much for input by the way
    I've got an ML115 at home. It does Raid 1+0 (I've got 4 x 500 gig drives as a ~1TB striped, mirrored volume). I initially wanted to run it in Raid 5 but found the performance in Windows quite painful. 1+0 performs perfectly well for me.

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    It totally depends on how you want to do it. If your NAS solution supports CIFS (Windows shares) and Active Directory authentication then there's no reason why your users can't talk directly to the NAS box for their userdata. You'd just make shares on it and point your users to \\NAS\share

    However, if your NAS just acts as 'dumb' network-accessible storage, or maybe you got a SAN that doesn't offer CIFS, you'd need to map storage on the NAS (over the network) to a Windows server. The Windows server will then be used to share that storage out to users and control permissions, quotas, etc.
    Hi

    The idea of having a seperate storage area independent to the domain controllers sounds great.

    I am thinking that if i have to upgrade a server or something, i then do not have to worry about migrating the data(which is one thing i am worrying about although it might be simple)

    If my NAS is dumb(which i presume it will tell me if its CIFS or not in description), is it straight forward to map the drives through windows server, as if its on the servers local drive?

    Thanks

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