[CentOS] Slightly OT: which hardware for CentOS file server (Samba, 2 To storage, 50 users)?

Mon Apr 12 15:59:18 UTC 2010
Tim Nelson <tnelson at rockbochs.com>

----- "Niki Kovacs" <contact at kikinovak.net> wrote:
> Hi,
> The language lab from the local university has contacted me. They'd
> like 
> to have a low-cost file server for storing all their language video 
> files. They have a mix of Windows, Mac OS X and even Linux clients, 
> roughly 50 machines. The files are quite big, and they calculated a 
> total amount of 2 To of storage.

2 TB?

> I'm not very proficient with hardware, meaning either I'm dealing with
> remote servers in some datacenter, or otherwise I install CentOS 
> desktops on any hardware people throw at me.
> Since the aim is lowcost, would it be wrong to install that fileserver
> on a no-name desktop PC with a 64bit processor and enough RAM, and
> then 

You *COULD* do this, but keep in mind desktop class hardware may give you poorer performance, especially for fileserver use. You seem to have the storage requirements down, but make no mention of performance requirements. They are moving huge files to/from the server, but are they expecting it to happen in a few minutes or take all day? You mention 50 machines, but how many *CONCURRENT* connections? The more concurrent sessions you have, the poorer it may perform due to disk thrashing. A *GOOD* storage controller added to a desktop class machine on a PCIe bus will do wonders for you.

> simply put 2 x 2 To hard disks in it, either with a mirroring RAID
> (can 
> never remember which does what in 0, 1 and 5) or some rsync script 
> regularly copying over the first disk to the second? Or do you have 

For mirroring, you'll want RAID-1. This automatically keeps both drives/partitions in sync as the data is transferred, no need for rsync or any external scripting other than checking the health of your array(s).

> something more apt to suggest?

I'd suggest something more 'yum' like than 'apt'. [1]

> Cheers from South France,
> Niki

Cheers from North Central U.S., 


[1] A poor attempt at package manager humor. RHEL/CentOS 'yum' vs Debian/Ubuntu 'apt'. :-)