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Old 04-17-2005, 04:28 PM   #1
Tanizaki
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How's this hardware for a file server?


I'm a Linux newbie who is thinking of recycling a 1-2 year old PC as a file server. It's a Compaq S3100NX, with specs as follows:

AMD Athlon XP +2200
256 MB RAM
Expansion Bays: 2 (1) x front accessible - 5.25" x 1/2H, 1 (0) x front accessible - 3.5" x 1/3H, 2 (1) x internal - 3.5" x 1/3H

It has a 80 GB HDD but I am leaning towards swapping it with a couple of IDE drives for RAID. I'm mainly going to use it as a Samba server to hold the video files that have been filling up my main HDD. It's not the expandable monster tower that I would like, but I can't spend much money on this project.

Assuming the processor and memory are acceptable, what sort of HDD setup should I use? TIA.
 
Old 04-17-2005, 04:56 PM   #2
btmiller
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Should be fine, assuming the traffic level isn't huge. You might want to beef up the RAM a bit for extra cache space if you're going to be serving large amounts of clients. As for RAID, probably RAID 0 is the way to go for performance, but if you lose either of the drives, you'll lose the array (no redundancy), so remember to have back-ups! You could always invest in a cheap tape drive or DVD burner for this.
 
Old 04-22-2005, 07:23 PM   #3
Tanizaki
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This server will just be used to serve files for me and my wife. I'm going for RAID 1 and using Ubuntu 5.04. Software or hardware RAID, and how large would you make the two HDDs? I'm thinking at least 160 GB.
 
Old 04-22-2005, 08:16 PM   #4
btmiller
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RAID 1 is mirroring, so the drives will be the same size since the space you get will be the size of the smallest drive. Hardware RAID is faster but Linux may not be able to boot off of a RAID array, so you might need to invest in a small system disk to boot off. As for size, how big is all your stuff? Space is cheap these days.
 
Old 04-22-2005, 08:38 PM   #5
Electro
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Keep the 80 GB hard drive and then add two 250 or 300 GB hard drives. Then set the two big hard drives in RAID 1. Next setup them in an LVM or EVMS partition. It will give you future expansion when you need it. For now run Linux off the 80 GB hard drive until you can buy a 20 GB hard drive. You can always upgrade the case to a bigger one but be careful when doing so. One hard drive can easily overload a 100 Mbit network so using a RAID 0 will be useless. The amount of memory that you have is ok for a dozen of users, so if you are providing more users I suggest more memory. I recommend exchanging non-ECC for ECC memory to make the system to be more reliable.
 
Old 04-22-2005, 08:41 PM   #6
Tanizaki
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Quote:
Originally posted by btmiller
RAID 1 is mirroring, so the drives will be the same size since the space you get will be the size of the smallest drive. Hardware RAID is faster but Linux may not be able to boot off of a RAID array, so you might need to invest in a small system disk to boot off. As for size, how big is all your stuff? Space is cheap these days.
RIght now I have about 90 GB in video and audio files.
 
Old 04-22-2005, 08:45 PM   #7
Tanizaki
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Quote:
Originally posted by Electro
Keep the 80 GB hard drive and then add two 250 or 300 GB hard drives. Then set the two big hard drives in RAID 1. Next setup them in an LVM or EVMS partition. It will give you future expansion when you need it. For now run Linux off the 80 GB hard drive until you can buy a 20 GB hard drive. You can always upgrade the case to a bigger one but be careful when doing so. One hard drive can easily overload a 100 Mbit network so using a RAID 0 will be useless. The amount of memory that you have is ok for a dozen of users, so if you are providing more users I suggest more memory. I recommend exchanging non-ECC for ECC memory to make the system to be more reliable.
I have no idea what LVM and EVMS are. That's one of the reasons I'm in the newbie forum, I imagine.

How do I set up the new drives in RAID 1? Software or hardware?
 
  


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