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

Mon Apr 12 17:01:07 UTC 2010
Timo Schoeler <timo.schoeler at riscworks.net>

thus On 04/12/2010 06:50 PM, Gé Weijers spake:

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

Please don't top post...

Yes -- 50 not too lazy users will kill the machine.

> 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.

ECC is mandatory in decent machines, be it workstations or servers, IMHO.

Think of a faulty stick of RAM you don't discover immediately, it might 
shred all your Terabytes of data.

> 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

Almost every not too crappy mother board will allow ECC using an AMD CPU 
(Phenom et al). To get ECC in intel space, you'll have to pay *much* more.

> - 4 or more available SATA ports on the motherboard
> - 1-2 1000BASE-T network interfaces.

Maybe, search for a (used) server on eBay or elsewhere. You can get very 
decent machines with all the features or more (ECC, many memory slots, 
dual, redundant power supplies, even out-of-band management) at a very 
low price. Keep in mind that those machines *are* loud. (You have a 
closet/rack to keep it, don't you?)

> 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.

Maybe for future growth you'll want to keep in mind that you could go 
RAID6. RAID5 is evil, taking todays hard drive sizes in mind (speaking 
of 2TiByte drives, especially).

> Gé (from cloudy Nevada)


Timo (from sunny Berlin)

> 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