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Old 05-19-09, 09:48 PM   #1
Phyre
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Default Few File Server Questions

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.
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Old 05-19-09, 10:49 PM   #2
Bman212121
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Default Re: Few File Server Questions

Quote:
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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Old 05-20-09, 12:18 AM   #3
Phyre
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Default Re: Few File Server Questions

Thanks for the input, Bman.

I'm running Vista 64 on the system in my sig. I've got the 64 and 32 bit disks that share a key. I might install Windows 7 RC1 on this thing and probably put the 64 on the file server rig...perhaps....

My client is the Dell in my sig. The mobo is a bit old (590 SLi) but has a couple VelociRaptors in it. Interesting aside, I had two 160 GB VelociRaptors that came with it when I bought it. One of them failed about a month ago, and the second started failing this weekend.
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