File Server Suggestions

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File Server Suggestions

Postby kwisher on Wed Apr 22, 2009 8:31 pm

I would like some opinions for a file server build. I have no experience with actual server grade hardware. The customer is a photographer and uses Photoshop. He is requesting a central storage system so that he can work on his files from multiple Windows systems in his studio. I will use Mint-5 64-bit as the O/S. I will also be installing a gigabit network.

My questions are:

1.) Is server grade hardware necessary for this situation or can I just use pc grade hardware?
2.) I would like to use Raid-1 with two 1-TB disks. Is software raid dependable or should I use hardware raid?
3.) I would like to have some kind of backup system. I was thinking of two 1-TB external drives that could be swapped each week. The customer would keep one drive off-site at all times. Can this be accomplished without the user having to unmount & mount the drives? He is somewhat computer illiterate.

TIA
The instructions suggested Windows XP or better, so I installed Linux :)
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Re: File Server Suggestions

Postby Husse on Thu Apr 23, 2009 5:36 am

I thought you would ask about the networking part - glad you did not :)
Ill try to answer
1.) Is server grade hardware necessary for this situation or can I just use pc grade hardware?
<<
Better quality "pc grade" is more than enough. Even if it may not be strictly necessary put a video card in it - much easier when things go wrong - and they always do :)
<<
2.) I would like to use Raid-1 with two 1-TB disks. Is software raid dependable or should I use hardware raid?
<
Software raid is ok for normal consumer use - I strongly recommend hardware raid - if you by a consumer motherboard you should by a separate PCI card for this
<<
3.) I would like to have some kind of backup system. I was thinking of two 1-TB external drives that could be swapped each week. The customer would keep one drive off-site at all times. Can this be accomplished without the user having to unmount & mount the drives? He is somewhat computer illiterate.
<
If the drives are connected with USB they are automatically mounted, but must be manually unmounted before disconnect
In Windows that's called Safe Remove if my memory serves me right :) USB 2 is reasonably fast, but not lightning fast :)
I have no experience with firewire which would be faster (somewhat) I assume you are backing up the file server - if you are to backup "directly" it's another story

The problem would be networking but a correctly configured samba would work well
There is a sample samba config in the forum if you want one - search for the user miket and samba
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Re: File Server Suggestions

Postby kwisher on Thu Apr 23, 2009 8:27 am

Thanks for your suggestions. I am confident in setting up the networking. I have been using a Linux Samba/NFS server at home for years.

I will have a better idea after I meet with the customer at his business today as to how much data he will actually be storing on the server. If it not too much, I will probably suggest some sort of on-line (in-the-cloud) solution that can be done automatically.
The instructions suggested Windows XP or better, so I installed Linux :)
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