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

Mon Apr 12 16:50:45 UTC 2010
Gé Weijers <ge at weijers.org>

50 simultaneous users will require more than a bargain desktop PC.

I would go for low-end server hardware, which will get you ECC memory and 
more SATA ports. The cost is probably not significantly more than a _good_ 
quality desktop system.

You may want to allow for some expansion, 2 To may grow into 3 To over 
time. Also plan for backups. You may want to use LVM and leave some disk 
space unallocated to you can create snapshots and make backups to external 
USB drives or another network server while the system is up and running.

My personal criteria:
- decent power supply
- space for 4 3.5" hard drives.
- 4 memory slots, so I can go to 8 Go memory without breaking the bank
- at least a dual-core Xeon or AMD processor which supports ECC memory
- 4 or more available SATA ports on the motherboard
- 1-2 1000BASE-T network interfaces.

You could go for a RAID controller, but RAID1 (mirroring) has little 
overhead in software, and you can buy 2 extra hard disks for the price of 
the controller.

Gé (from cloudy Nevada)

On Mon, 12 Apr 2010, Niki Kovacs 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.
> 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
> 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
> something more apt to suggest?
> Cheers from South France,
> Niki
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