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Hi all, thank god I found this forum lol. Anyways down to business. Im a windows guru (like most at one time on this forum im sure), and I have to install linux onto this server I built since it will be replacing an old file system that is currently linux (And they don't want to spend a grand for windows 2003). I have listed the spec's of the machine at the bottom of the page. I need to put the 2 hard drives in Raid 1 (Mirror), doesn't matter how it's done just as long as it is. Next question, I was curious if anyone knows how to, or has a link to network a linux box to be a file system for windows network. Thank you for your time...
Current specs for the File System:
CPU: Core 2 Duo 2.66ghz 4mb Cache
Motherboard: Asus P5W DH Delux Intel Chipset 975X
Memory: 4gb's (4x1024) OCZ XTC Gold PC-6400 DDR2 5-5-5-12
Hard Drives: 2x250gb Western Digital SATA II 16mb Cache
Power Supply: OCZ Mod Stream 520 Watts
CD-Rom: POS Lite On I think... (Was stripped from a server at work)
Video Card: X1300 256mb
For a file server, you do not need a gaming like system. The setup that you put together costs an arm and a leg just like buying Windows 2003 Server. You could of saved thousands of money using AMD Sempron or AMD Athlon64 X2. The video card could be on-board graphics like from VIA, Intel, ATI, or nVidia. For a file server, I suggest ECC memory. I recommend seperate the OS and data hard drives, so the system does not take a performance penalty. OCZ power supplies are ok for desktops, but you can do better for servers. I suggest power supplies from Enermax, Power & Cooling, or Seasonic. Seasonic has better voltage regulation and are very efficient. Servers needs swappable power supplies just in case the power supply goes.
The hard drive that I recommend getting for file performance is Western Digital 'Raptor' 74 GB. This version is faster (half the accessing time as the drives that you picked) than its 36 GB and 150 GB versions. You will have to use two hardware raid controllers to equal 250 GB and to provide RAID-1. What I mean is make two RAID-5 arrays and then using Linux software RAID to create RAID-1. This is costly be completely reduntant. I suggest using two PCI Express 3ware cards.
Like what acid_kewpie have said. Use SAMBA for Windows Shares. Configuration of the network depends on the distribution. Most distributions will hopefully load the correct module (driver) for the NIC to work and set it up for you.
First off, Core 2 Duo is extremely fast, and has a lot more cache then the AMD, (Don't think im not an AMD Fan, I have an old school 3000+ Venice overclocked to 2.6 rightnow) stock fan/heatsink it idles at 27 (my AMD with a zalman CNPS 100% copper idles at 30+) and it's faster in the long run. The motherboard I chose has a capability of up to 8gigs of memory, so 4 for now, 8 down the road. I have built computers around, and owned a few asus boards my self. 3rd, their wasn't an onboard video card, so I went to the store which I purchased this all from and baught a 50 dollar PCI-E card. 4th, I have had an Enermax, and I will go with OCZ ANYDAY over Enermax or those other brands (Power and Cooling I have heard good things about, one day I'll give them a try). 5th Raptors are fairly expensive (For the most part not much faster then just a straight up 7200 Drive, sure maybe if your accessing the hard drive a lot, but pulling up the random spread sheet or so you won't notice) and aren't as large as the drives I selected. Another reason I selected them, is because I have one my self, and it's pretty good. The reason I also chose these parts, is it won't be a file server for ever. Im sure once the drives are full on this, they will retire it and build an even bigger one, and use this for hosting or even a work station. Also I have got the Raid-1 going, no need their. If their is a guide laying around some where for the windows file server part, that would be awesome.
You do not understand what a File Server needs. The processor and memory is not dependable on File Server performance. Only the choosen hard drive that is used in the system relates to how well the File Server will perform. Also the RPM speed of hard drives does not mean that is faster. The reason why I recommend Western Digital 'Raptor' hard drives is because they are as quick (accessing time of less than 5 ms) as SCSI, but they are SATA which is cheaper. Also these drives have longer life span than what you picked.
The processor can be 100 MHz and still be much faster than the fastest processor if the accessing times of the hard drives are lower than what is used in the fastest system. The minimum memory is 512 MB. A memory capacity of 4 GB is really a waste. The size of the capacity is better spent on database servers.
It is ok to plan for the future, but for servers it is best to plan for lower accessing times and higher reduantancy when possible. The bandwidth from the File Server can always be increased to the goal by putting the hard drives in RAID-0 or RAID-5, but the accessing times can never be decreased.
Also, for the amount you wasted on completely unnecessary hardware, you should have spent $300 or so on a 3ware SATA raid card. They are worth their weight in gold. You could have built any motherboard with a cheap old processor or two, 4 raptor satas and a 3ware card, saved a ton of money, and had a system that can run circles around the one you built.
I suggest the 3ware 9500, as it is a 4 port PCI card. BIOS will detect it easily, and all linux current linux distros have support for the card in their default kernel. With that device, you could run hardware RAID5 or RAID 10, instead of software RAID1. For a file server, I like 5 as you get the benefit of losing a drive but retaining all your data, but you don't lose half of your drives like you do for RAID1.
Also, on a completely side tangent, writing things like, "3rd, their wasn't an onboard video card" and "no need their" is incorrect. Their is the possessive form of they, and there is a location. I am well aware that many people who post here do not use English as their native language, but you seem to be a native speaker, save these rather signifigant errors.
Also, for a self professed "windows guru", you certainly haven't shown much savy or initiative. Acid_kewpie and Electro both told you samba is the way to network with windows computers. I would think a computer guru on any system would have learned to use things like google or at least the search page here.