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Hardware Thread, Server hardware help! in Technical; We are looking to increase storage capacity on a couple of our servers, these being approx 6 years old. They ...
  1. #1
    theeldergeek
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    Server hardware help!

    We are looking to increase storage capacity on a couple of our servers, these being approx 6 years old.

    They are Dell POWEREDGE 2650 which currently have 3 x 68GB SCSI ULTRA320 10,000RPM (Model ST373307LC) drives.

    Regretfully, I am so far out of the loop with hardware now, I haven't got a clue what I'm looking for in terms of upgrading.

    In essence, we need to at least double if not treble our capacity and then some.

    Can anyone point me to a vendor who could help us with a (guaranteed to work) upgrade please?

  2. #2
    Duke's Avatar
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    Ouch, that is old...

    First of all, what are the servers used for and do you have any idea what kinda of performance you need from them? If you need high performance then you can go with lots of 15k 146GB SAS drives in RAID 10 and still see an increase in the size available. If you don't need that much performance, 10k or 15k drives in RAID5 or RAID6 would be fine. If performance isn't an issue at all then you can get 1TB SATA drives in RAID6 and have loads of space.

    My personal recommendation would be to stay with Dell and look at their R510 server. It's 2U so nice and small but it will take up to 12 3.5" drives which is pretty good. You can also give it plenty of CPU and RAM if you happened to need some power behind it. Don't go direct to Dell as it'll be a pain. Work out what you need on their website then go to a reseller. We've worked with Wayne Overton at CCS Media for years and he's always got us the best deal possible from Dell very quickly.

    I assume you have no interest in moving to a SAN/NAS storage solution?

    Cheers,
    Chris

  3. #3
    theeldergeek
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duke View Post
    Ouch, that is old...

    First of all, what are the servers used for and do you have any idea what kinda of performance you need from them? If you need high performance then you can go with lots of 15k 146GB SAS drives in RAID 10 and still see an increase in the size available. If you don't need that much performance, 10k or 15k drives in RAID5 or RAID6 would be fine. If performance isn't an issue at all then you can get 1TB SATA drives in RAID6 and have loads of space.

    My personal recommendation would be to stay with Dell and look at their R510 server. It's 2U so nice and small but it will take up to 12 3.5" drives which is pretty good. You can also give it plenty of CPU and RAM if you happened to need some power behind it. Don't go direct to Dell as it'll be a pain. Work out what you need on their website then go to a reseller. We've worked with Wayne Overton at CCS Media for years and he's always got us the best deal possible from Dell very quickly.

    I assume you have no interest in moving to a SAN/NAS storage solution?

    Cheers,
    Chris
    Regretfully, we are having to try and make do with what we have, as there is just no budget this year for us. We are desperately short on space on our servers, so capacity is preferred over performance, but we really don't want to hit performance too hard, if at all.

    What I was really asking was, are larger drives still available for said server, and secondly, where might I buy some?

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    maniac's Avatar
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    Are you looking at replacing those drives with something larger, or adding additional drives to create more space?

    Either way, any standard SCSI 320 drive should work, capacities are available up to 300GB, although it would be worth checking with Dell technical support if there's any limits on capacities for that particular server. The drives you've got will probably have a listed capacity of 74GB as SCSI drives come in 36, 74, 146 and 300GB capacities generally. If I remember rightly those servers have 5 x 3.5" drive bays, so with 3 in each server alredy you should be able to add 2 more drives to each.

    I would purchase 2 x 300GB drives per server and set them up in RAID 1 for fault tollerance. You can then move whatever data you want to these drives. The Caddys to hold the drives are easily found on e-bay a lot cheaper than buying them from Dell. If money is a real problem and you need more than 300GB of space, then you could put them in RAID0, but you run the risk of losing data should 1 drive fail.

    Mike.
    Last edited by maniac; 24th June 2010 at 06:15 PM.

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    Cache's Avatar
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    Having had to source a HDD for the one that failed in a Poweredge 2800 recently, I'd quite happily recommend Upgrade Options (Upgrade Options) who Dell passed me on to because the server was out of warrenty.

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  8. #6
    theeldergeek
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    Quote Originally Posted by maniac View Post
    Are you looking at replacing those drives with something larger
    Something larger to give us greater storage capacity.

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    Duke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theeldergeek View Post
    What I was really asking was, are larger drives still available for said server, and secondly, where might I buy some?
    Ah, my apologies, I misunderstood.

    SCSI ULTRA 320 is SCSI ULTRA 320, it's a proper standard and unless Dell have put an unusual RAID controller in the server, most SCSI ULTRA 320 drives should work.

    There was a short period when only 'Dell' HDDs would work in their servers, but this only happened recently for a couple of models/controllers and they've since withdrawn the idea due to complaints.

    The ST373307LC is an older Seagate Cheetah 10K.6 73.4 GB SCSI drive, and that particular range went up to 147GB. They don't appear as current models on the Seagate site, but there is a current range of 3.5" SCSI drives at 15k.5 that go up to 300GB (available in 80-pin LC or 68-pin LW - I'm not going to even guess which one is right for you).

    For compatibility's sake, your safest option would be to get the 147GB model in the same range as your existing drives, these are pretty much guaranteed to work. If you have spare bays in the server, fill them too and just have a bigger array.

    In theory the 300GB newer models should work too if you get the right connector, but I'd find out what model of RAID card is in your servers first and do some research on what it officially supports.

    Wayne at CCS should be able to supply the individual drives for you too. I've yet to find a product that he couldn't source for me somewhere, usually with next delivery too lol.

    Cheers,
    Chris

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  11. #8
    theeldergeek
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duke View Post
    Wayne at CCS...
    Thanks for all that - do you have a link or contact number please?

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    Duke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theeldergeek View Post
    Thanks for all that - do you have a link or contact number please?
    Yep, will PM you in a second.

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    Have you maybe considered some kind of NAS setup?
    If all your looking for is extra storage space and the servers run well enough as they are (at 6 years old I would however be looking at scraping them) then this might be a affordable option - again if performance isn't so much of a problem maybe SATA drives with capacitys of 500GB-1TB in RAID5?

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    Either go for a NAS set up and move the data off those old servers, or replace the servers outright.

    They simply are not worth upgrading.

    Butuz

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