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Old 05-19-09, 09:49 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,726
Default Re: Few File Server Questions

Originally Posted by Phyre View Post
I've got an old rig that I currently have connected to the network wirelessly. I'm planning to move this rig to the closet in my main computer room and get it a wired connection. Transferring large amounts of data over a wireless g connection is trying my patience. The rig is nothing special:

Chaintech Zenith ZNF3-150
Athlon 64 3200
2 Gb RAM
(2) Maxtor 200 GB SATA 1.5 drives

It doesn't need to be anything fancy as there will be no streaming of music or video. It will mainly serve as a place for backup and perhaps redirect for "My Documents." Well, okay, maybe it will stream iTunes. This will mainly be serving one machine though.

The Questions....

Which operating should I be using for this. I'm currently running Windows XP on this machine. Should I even worry about installing an actual server OS?

The motherboard has an onboard Gigabit NIC. Should I install a standalone NIC to offload CPU cycles? I'm planning to get a D-Link DIR-855 in the near future; I've currently got a Linksys BEFSX41.

I'm considering a RAID 1 or RAID 5 scenario. The RAID 1 would be two 1 TB hard drives, and the RAID 5 wold be three 1 TB hard drives. I don't see myself filling up 2 TB of information anytime soon. I'm thinking I'll go with RAID 1. Also, should I stick with the onboard SATA RAID controller or go with a dedicated card?

If there is something I'm missing or haven't considered, please let me know.
Stick with XP.

Use the onboard nic.

Use the onboard Sata controller.

Use RAID 1.

The main reason is that you're only going to be able to get PCI add-in cards for that board, so you can definitely bottleneck the bus if you are copying files across the network with add in cards. The onboard nic and sata controller are going to be hooked into the southbridge, so they should have 266MBps links.

I'd actually suggest trying Vista if you have it available. It handles network traffic much better than XP could sustain 60MBps + if your client can handle it.
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