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

Mon Apr 12 19:21:29 UTC 2010
John R Pierce <pierce at hogranch.com>

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'd look at using 1TB drives rather than 2TB, the 2TB seem to be too 
bleeding edge and have been too many anecdotal reports of problems.  for 
sure you want to use server rated SATA drives for an application like 
this, such as the WDC RE series, or the Seagate ES series (this has more 
to do with write buffering and consistent error reporting than it does 
to do with performance).

if this system is going to have 50 clients constantly playing videos on 
it, then I'd look at 450gb or 600gb SAS drives, and a lot more of them.

If this is to be a rack mounted system in a data center, I'd probably 
look at a box like a HP DL370, which can hold quite a lot of drives. 

put the lowest end single CPU they offer in it, but get the better raid 
controller and a reasonable amount of memory, and redundant PSU.   get 2 
hot spare drives.   if initial requirements are 2TB usable storage, 
thats 4 x 1TB raid10 plus 2 x 1TB spares.  also get two small drives 
(like 72gb sas) for those left-side slots, mirrored for the OS and 
software.   6gb ram is probably fine.   the base model of this system is 
$3300 with a 4-core 2.4ghz, 6gb ram and 4 gigE ethernet ports (you could 
gang these to the switch if their network infrastructure supports ether 
bonding aka ipmp).

OSX should be happy with NFS, Linux clients certainly are, and Samba can 
serve files for Windows clients.