need advice for file server spec

By Otmakus ยท 5 replies
Nov 8, 2006
  1. I'm planning to build a computer to be used as file server. The computer would have 2 Seagate 320 GB SATA2 in RAID 1. I have the spec in my mind, but would like some advise before actually buying and building the computer. It would be used as a file server for 3 or 4 graphic designers who would take source files from the server, and, after completing the final design in their own work stations, copy the final design back to the server. The data exchange won't be that big, maybe around 1-2GB per day. It doesn't have to be very fast, the security and reliability of the data is more important.

    My current planned spec:

    -Athlon 64 3000+ AM2
    -Asus M2NPV-VM (onboard video card)
    -2 x Seagate 320 GB SATA2 in RAID 1
    -Corsair DDR2 PC 5400 512MB
    -DVDRW Pioneer for backup
    -Enlight Case with 330W PSU
    -Generic keyboard and mouse
    -Old Philips 15" CRT monitor

    The server and the workstations will be connected via 100Mbps network, I've considered upgrading to gigabit network, but would like to see the current network performance first before deciding.

    As for the OS, what would be best for it? Will Windows XP be sufficient? Or do I have to use Windows 2003 Server? The clients all use Windows XP Pro.

    Any advise before I buy the components?
  2. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    XP Pro will be quite fine. Just make sure you get a decent software firewall and don't use the server for any web browsing. 2003 Server would be absolute overkill as it sounds like you aren't asking for much.

    If security is a concern, consider Linux as well. There's plenty of solid Linux distros which are free to use that could serve your needs too. But you WILL have to read up a bit to get everything setup. :)
  3. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    What is your budget?

    You should consider getting a real server box with real hardware RAID, preferably SCSI or SAS. SAS would be more flexible, because you can attach normal SATA drives to that too.

    The processor is totally unimportant - anything sold today will be more than enough. A good place to save money.

    XP would probably work, but as Rick said, something Linux or BSD would be much more solid (and you'd save the price of XP).

    Are you sure DVD is enough for backups? 300 gigs of data is some 40-50 DVDs :) Two USB2 external hard drive enclosures would be more feasible maybe.
  4. Otmakus

    Otmakus TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 51

    The budget is limited, so a real server box would be too expensive, and it would also be overkill for my need IMO.

    I won't connect the server to the internet, it would only be connected to the intranet, and I will use firewall and antivirus too. I also don't have much experience with Linux, so Win XP it is then.

    I know this kind of server doesn't need much processing power, but I hesitate on buying a Celeron, the cost decrease won't be that much either, what do u guys think? Is it better to use a Celeron and increase RAM to 1 GB? If it is, can u recommend me a good and relatively inexpensive MB for Celeron with RAID support?

    For backup, I also think another 320 GB HD and a SATA to USB adapter would be perfect for backup, but I'm not sure about USB 2.0 transfer rate. How long would it take to transfer 200-300 GB of data via USB?

    How about my choice of MB, RAM, and other components? Is there anything that would be bottlenecking the computer? Any advice will be much appreciated.

    Thanks for all the responses, I'll build the computer next week, I'll let u know how it is then.
  5. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Realistic USB 2.0 transfer rates are some 40MB/s, so you should expect to copy 300GB in roughy 2.5 hours
  6. Otmakus

    Otmakus TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 51

    2.5 hours??? That's way too long, I guess I'll be better off opening the case and install the backup HD in a spare SATA slot. It can be done right? I know SATA HDs are hot swappable but I've never actually done it before.
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