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Wireless Networks Thread, Need to review server setups please help! in Technical; 2 form entry primary school - Here's what i have at the moment Server 1 3ghz Dual Core Xeon 2GB ...
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    jamin100's Avatar
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    Need to review server setups please help!

    2 form entry primary school - Here's what i have at the moment

    Server 1 3ghz Dual Core Xeon 2GB RAM 250GB RAID5 - Main DC. AD,DHCP 5 Printers, All user home areas, Profiles, Staff and Pupil Drives, all shared drives and application drives

    Server 2 3ghz Dual Core Xeon 2GB RAM 300GB Raid 1 - CMIS server, DNS, DC Sophos

    Server 3 3ghz Xeon 2GB RAM 250GB Raid 1 - WSUS, Ghost, Policy Central

    Server 4 3ghz Xeon 2GB RAM 500GB Raid 1 - Nothing on it! (new)

    All these servers are connected to gigabit switches throughout the school I have 60 student laptops (trolleys) 25 staff laptops, and about 60 workstations. All servers run server 2k3 and all client machines have XP

    My initial instinct is to move all the home areas, shared drives and profiles off the main DC onto server 4 but i'm worried that its only raid 1 and isnt really a beefy server seeing as its only a 3ghz xeon.

    Or do i just leave it be. I don't really have any problems with any of the servers but I'm conscious about the load on server 1
    Last edited by jamin100; 4th July 2008 at 02:57 PM.

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    Strange i was going to post something very similar about our setup this summer.

    I'm planning on moving all our home areas and shared drives off the main DC and onto a new server we are buying. Our main DC is very short on space but the new one will have 3x the space so will keep all files on there and let the DC do less. May reshuffle some of the other jobs around the servers to give more even load.

    Also looking at upgrading all to server 2008.

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    jamin100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave.81 View Post

    Also looking at upgrading all to server 2008.
    If they are upgraded to 2008 will you need to purchase new CAL's for every machine on the domain ?

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    We are covered under our MSA i believe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamin100 View Post
    My initial instinct is to move all the home areas, shared drives and profiles off the main DC onto server 4 but i'm worried that its only raid 1 and isnt really a beefy server seeing as its only a 3ghz xeon.
    "Only"? No other RAID setup gives you any better redundancy and/or speed, surely (short of increasing the number of drives, obviously)? Is this hardware RAID 1? I shouldn't have thought the processor would be overloaded - it isn't actually doing anything much, the harddrives are the bits that'll be working. You could add a couple more 500GB drives as a second RAID 1 group, then stripe across the two RAID 1 groups to give you RAID 10 (probably best if you're using hardware RAID for that).

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    jamin100's Avatar
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    Yeh its all hardware RAID.
    So you think i'm best to leave as is then?
    If thats the case what can i do with server 4?
    Zimbra maybe?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamin100 View Post
    Yeh its all hardware RAID.
    Can you afford a couple more disks for server 4?

    If thats the case what can i do with server 4?
    Set it up to run virtual machines, then virtualise the other servers and move them on to it, then set the other machines up to run virtual machines, move the original servers (now as VM images) back to them, replicate file systems between the servers so you have backups in case one server conks out.

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    You should really move your CMIS/eportal SQL off the DC and onto a seperate box.

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    jamin100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    Can you afford a couple more disks for server 4?
    There's currently 2 x 500GB drives and i have a spare 250gb (new) somewhere..

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    This is my opinion on choosing a RAID system for your servers,

    RAID1 (Mirrored drives) is fine for protecting the integrity of your data. All RAID5 does is distribute the data between more disks allowing greater capacities, it does not offer more protection against failure, as only 1 disc is allowed to fail in a RAID5 array for the data to still remain intact, if 2 disks fail at the same time then you loose the array integrity and are also looking at a very expensive data recovery bill.

    With RAID1 we have the same level of protection, as 1 disk can fail and the data is still intact, and if by pure bad luck both happen to go at the same time, then the bill to recover the data is going to be decidedly less than re-buiding a RAID5 array would be, and you'll also have 2 totally seperate copies of it for them to look at! RAID5 in a way actually puts more risk into the equation, because there are more disks involved there is statistically a higher chance of failure.

    In my opinion RAID5 is pretty much redundant unless you need a single volume that is bigger than 500GB. For years and years it was the only way of creating large single volumes by combining the capacities of several disks together, mainly because until fairly recently you were limited to relatively small SCSI disks as the only real choice for servers. Now we have high capacity high speed SATAII drives, a simple RAID1 mirror offers the same level of protection in terms of drive failures allowed, we can achieve the capacities we need to, and you get faster disk access too. You can apply the age old principle, Keep It Simple Stupid! (Not intended as an insult by the way!)

    If you can achive the storage capacity you require using just a single drive, then a RAID1 mirror is the best choice in my opinion. If you need bigger, than RAID5 is still good, and if you want more protection, look at RAID6 (allows for 2 drive failures) Introducing 'hot spares' into your array (A disk that will instantly 'jump in' if a drive fails) or a combination of the two.

    Mike.

    EDIT: The reason I wrote this is because in the first post you said you were worried because Server 4 was only RAID1, but I don't see this as being a problem for you, and my explanation turned into a lecture! Sorry I don't mean to lecture anyone, I'm sure most people already know the differences, but there does seem to be some confusion surrounding RAID sometimes, and I've either helped, or made it worse, not sure which yet! Should not type on forum after coming back from pub, should not type on forum after coming back from pub . . . . .
    Last edited by maniac; 7th July 2008 at 01:01 AM.

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    speckytecky (7th July 2008)

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    Butuz's Avatar
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    I notice your throwing around 500gb drives. This means you are running bog standard SATA./IDE drives in these servers yes?

    Frankly you should be running RAID5 SCSI / SAS setups on all of your servers as apart from the speed increase (particularly when serving multiple small files) they are far, far more reliable.

    Thats the first thing I would change if I were you.

    Andrew

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    speckytecky (7th July 2008)

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    torledo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamin100 View Post
    2 form entry primary school - Here's what i have at the moment

    Server 1 3ghz Dual Core Xeon 2GB RAM 250GB RAID5 - Main DC. AD,DHCP 5 Printers, All user home areas, Profiles, Staff and Pupil Drives, all shared drives and application drives

    Server 2 3ghz Dual Core Xeon 2GB RAM 300GB Raid 1 - CMIS server, DNS, DC Sophos

    Server 3 3ghz Xeon 2GB RAM 250GB Raid 1 - WSUS, Ghost, Policy Central

    Server 4 3ghz Xeon 2GB RAM 500GB Raid 1 - Nothing on it! (new)

    All these servers are connected to gigabit switches throughout the school I have 60 student laptops (trolleys) 25 staff laptops, and about 60 workstations. All servers run server 2k3 and all client machines have XP

    My initial instinct is to move all the home areas, shared drives and profiles off the main DC onto server 4 but i'm worried that its only raid 1 and isnt really a beefy server seeing as its only a 3ghz xeon.

    Or do i just leave it be. I don't really have any problems with any of the servers but I'm conscious about the load on server 1
    Server 1 is a standard setup for most primaries and small IT environments in schools, if you do regular backups, have a hot spare and have some way for the RAID controller(s) to notify you of a failed disk (usually SNMP traps or email alerts from a server management package like openview or ibm director - that's if you've got a dell or ibm server) then it's a decent setup....the problem is if it's a white box server the components may be substandard and telephone support equally substandard.

    Where possible it may be an idea to have a global hot spare setup which can be available to either the RAID 1 or RAID 5 so that should a disk from either RAID set fail the hot spare is available globally, you may not feel the need to add that level of protection to a RAID 1 seeing as user data is probably more vital (and as a two disk mirror RAID 1 is less vulnerable - debate!!!) in which case RAID 5 hot spare is better than no hot spare. RAID 5 is fine, you'd be very unfortunate to lose 2 disks at once or for another disk to fail during a rebuild....most hard disk 'failure' are just false alarms that merely require reseating of the hot swap disk - i take it you have hot swap disks for your raid 5, if not tut-tut.

  15. Thanks to torledo from:

    speckytecky (7th July 2008)

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