Data storage server build

Good day everyone!

I was going to build a data storage server for my small busines and it will about 10 user logging in.

Q1: I found 2 CPU that can affordable wich is intel i7-3770k and Xeon E3-1270 V2. wich one is better?

Q2: should I buy GPU for it or I can just use the MOBOs built-in VGA? coz it will just a data storage...

Q3: 128GB SSD for the OS and a 512GB SSD for the data storage should just use AHCI or RAID?
20 answers Last reply
More about data storage server build
  1. q1 their both overkill for just a storage server. You need to decide if you want to use desktop or server class components and then go from there.

    q2 just use the mobo's integrated card, use saved money towards more drives/other equipment if necessary

    q3 what os are you going to use? I can see the use in a ssd for a boot drive but to only have ssd as storage drives is kinda pointless for a storage server unless you have LAN connection(s) faster than 1gb
  2. yes.. I'm just going to use desktop build. coz need to save moneys.

    win7 or win2007? and this data storage is only in a LAN with 1gbps.
  3. flank2 - A SSD on 1Gb network is not at all pointles. 10 users that use a spinning disk at the same time can slow it to a halt. It is only when you read/write large files you max out the 1Gb network.

    But chanwei21 as a storage server i would say you need at least 2 disks in RAID1 to secure your data, if one of them dies.
  4. alright, I'd probably get a cheap dual core cpu. I don't know if you ok with going amd, but if you did you could save even more $$. You could even use a amd fusion apu like maybe the e-350 and save even more $$ and have a power consumption of like ~30watts depending on how many/what type of drives you use.

    um do you have a domain or are you on a workgroup network?

    1gbps LAN connection will max out at around ~125MBps... most mechanical sata hard drives can come close to or exceed this transfer speed via internal sata connection. Just look at how fast ssd's transfer rates are, 1gb LAN connection will CERTAINLY bottleneck any(?) ssd.

    I must apologize, torbendalum is correct, I was just thinking in throughput only... it's early lol
  5. thanks guys~ I was wondering if the higher cache is good for data storages.
    my data storage transfering repeatedly about 100kb ~ 100mb single files and yet as of now all of my employees connected to my main computer that I am using coz we don't have a seperated fast data storages and now I'm feels some slowing like a turtle when opening a folder.. XD
  6. I would say any dual core or higher with a lot of ram (8gb or more is ok) No need for a GPU, use the integrated video, it's enough for a server or workstation, even for an HTPC so...

    I like the RAID 1 option as it protect your data and ensure that the server work all the time... (for a server, i'd pick HDDs as you'll write/read a lot of data and for multiple devices so SSD will wear faster than usual... however an SSD is supposed to work for 10 years like an HDD too)

    You could pick 4 1TB HDDs for the price of 1 512gb ssd (it'll be about the same sequential read speed but slower in write and 4k data) and even do raid 10 out of it to have faster and the same safety than raid 1...
  7. I see, yeah I'm going to give a 8GB*2 DDR3-2400mhz..
    what will better OS to use? win7-ulti or a server2007r2?
  8. My 2c:

    -3570k would be fine, 3770k if your budget allows. Xeons would be the better option, but more expensive.
    -minimum 8GB of RAM, 16 preferred once your users start hammering the server
    -OS on the SSD is fine. RAID1 SSD would be recommended in an event of disk failure and minimal downtime, otherwise make sure your backups work and are up to date
    -Data on SSDs would work, but all the read and write will kill it within a few years if not months. IMHO I'll recommend a RAID5 setup with 5 or 6 HDDs. This would give you SSD performance, MUCH bigger storage capacity and allow for a single drive failure with minimal downtime
    -No need for a GPU, onboard video is more than enough

    [EDIT] As for OS, Win7 is ok if you only intend to use it as a host, if you want more manageability look at Server 2011 SBS (which is awesome for small businesses) or Server 2008 R2 / Server 2012
  9. There is a lot that goes into deciding what to get for a server for a small business. My business works with customers just like this to build technology solutions and many of the times we are setting up a small office with their very first server, so yes it can be quite a daunting challenge it may seem.

    First, I would not recommend going with desktop hardware. Given the size of your network, and that this is a business environment, I think you are asking for trouble. The cost of enterprise-class server hardware is not really that much more comparing apples to apples, but it is BUILT for continual 24/7 usage and years of reliability. A desktop system with mainstream hardware is just not built for that kind of usage, and often times lack support for some of the software or hardware features and upgrades you may end up needing!

    For a file server, I'd recommend at least a good dual core processor, preferably a quad-core Xeon just to give you all the performance capabilities you can for future growth. 8 GB of memory would be the minimum I'd recommend but that's also quite a good amount so you shouldn't really need to upgrade that unless you add more roles or services to your server. You will also want to have RAID configurations, and if this is going to have numerous connections and business-critical information, then I'd recommend a hardware RAID controller instead of just cheap onboard SATA RAID with most mainstream desktop motherboards. It is not nearly as reliable nor offer the performance as a desktop RAID controller.

    For the best flexibility, I usually go with two RAID 1 arrays, the first array you can do with SSDs, but if this is just going to be a file server it shouldn't be using a whole lot of access to the original OS anyways so is kinda wasted. You don't need high capacity hard drives, so I'd say something like WD Black 500 GB hard drives in RAID 1 would suffice for the cheapest option. Ideally, with a dedicated RAID controller, you'd consider something more like 300 GB 10k or 15k SAS drives for added performance and reliability.

    The second RAID array would be just for storing data, and you can use something like two WD RE4 1TB or 2 TB hard drives in RAID 1. I recommend RAID 1 highly because ALL of your data is on EACH hard drive without any kind of striping or parity. This means if there is some kind of catastrophic failure, you can just pull one of your hard drives, install it into any other computers, and you instantly have access to all of your data again and are up and running in a matter of minutes. You can't do this with RAID 5 or RAID 10. This has saved several business I have come in to work at because something went wrong with their backup and their server was down. If you have RAID 5, all of your data relies on that RAID controller due to the configuration of the data across the drives, so you have to have it up and running to get your data. Still, no matter what RAID you do for fault tollerance, RAID is not a backup. You need to have another form of backup that is completely separate from your RAID array.

    Now, while you can use a standard desktop OS to share out files to your workgroup, this is pretty limiting and you are reaching the maximum size of your workgroup so you may consider needing to upgrade to a full Windows Server OS soon. Yes, it's more expensive, but it also gives you a lot more capabilities if you need to expand such as domain services and virtualization.

    For most small businesses that are getting a new server similar to what you are looking for, I recommend the HP ProLiant ML110 G7 server. These systems are a huge value for what they cost, and can be highly customizable as well. You can start on the low end with a Core i3 dual core processor and the onboard SATA RAID for as little as $500, and add in your hard drives. I would recommend the quad-core Xeon models, and go with at least 8 GB of DDR3 1333 ECC Unbuffered RAM. I'd also suggest adding an HP P410/256 MB SmartArray SAS RAID controller, which will give you more performance, stability, and compatibility with different OS and software needs. There are even configurations of this server with dual redundant power supplies, and this is something I would also consider. Around where I live we don't have the most reliable power, and having that redundant power supply has help keep a couple businesses running after they have had one PSU fail due to power surge or standard wear.
  10. Of course the RAID5 with HDDs is a way to go. SSD will die too quickly. RAID5 gives incomparable storage space and reliability.
    If your data is going to be encrypted it's worth considering buying a processor with AES instruction set. If not, then dual core pentium will do the job. No need to get the performace beast like 3570k or xenon e3 (!).
    Points to invest money: raid controller, reliable server-grade HDDs, good network card, good network switch and infrastructure, good PSU.
    Points to save money: cheap cpu, cheap, but decent mainboard (good capacitors and electronics), cheap ram - no 2400MHz! - 1333 or 1600MHz.

    Base it all on a free Linux distribution like Ubuntu x64 and you will have a reliable machine for many years to come.
  11. How come nobody mentioned a mid-range NAS ?
  12. If you can afford it, the win server is the better choice, because you can promote it to a domain server and manage the 10 clients from there.
  13. das_stig has a very valid point. If you do not need a server (PDC or not) then a large Network Attached Storage (NAS) would do the job easily. Just buy a large enough configuration (4, 8, 16GB +) and then configure it for a RAID 5 Array (Block Level Striping and Parity) and then you are set. The RAID 5 setup will reduce the amount of storage by one drive from the set (for parity info), so you will lose anywhere from 33% of your total storage space on a 3 disc setup, to 25% on a 4 disc setup, etc. Be prepared for that kind of reduction in space when buying your NAS.
  14. so 1*128gb 550mb/s ssd for my OS and 2*1TB WD RE4 and set to RAID1.

    wich of rhia cpu helps alot?
    inte i7-3770k
    intel Xeon E3-1270 V2
    intel Xeon E5-2620 (I was wondering why this cpu benchmark is lower than two above and more xpensive?)
  15. why are we recommending cpu(s) for a simple fileserver that people say are overkill even for gaming? OP's intention is to save money.

    cifs/smb is single-threaded, is it not?
  16. The reason for me suggesting more performance than bare minimum for dishing out files on a network is simply because of expandability. I've seen quite often when a customer tries to save money by going with the bare minimum and within a year or two they have to purchase a whole new server because they now want to do more with it and can't as it's just way too low powered. It's better to spend just a little more to begin with and have more room to grow.

    A good 4 bay Synology system with an Atom processor is barely any cheaper than the HP ProLiant ML110 G7 server with a Core i3 processor that I recommended above, but the capabilities, upgradability, and flexibility of the server is so much more than the NAS. You can run nearly any OS you want from the server, you can do print sharing, domain control, website hosting, terminal services, localized and remote backup of your entire network, and virtualization on the HP, but not on the Synology.

    If the business size that the OP was describing was a little smaller, I'd feel a little more comfortable with the recommendation of a NAS, but I just don't feel that a CHEAP NAS (that will actually save them money over an actual server) is going to offer the scalability and performance they are looking for, and if they do add more computers in the future to their network they may need a domain solution which cannot be done with a NAS.
  17. I understand you're point choucove and I totally agree with you, but OP's current infrastructure hasn't been stated and we still don't know if they even have a domain. My reply was aimed at OP for wanted core-i7's or multi-core xeons.
  18. Well, I believe there is no need for GPU, a dual core or 8GB RAM is enough to set up a server or workstation for small organization. A server is usually a dedicated operating system which is designed to support lots of users from one place. Today's businesses have lots of critical data that should be managed carefully. Luckily, there are lots of companies like and other that offers many data management software as well for small organization in maintaining data. However, if you are personally designing it then first decide your budget and don’t forget to seek guidance of any network engineer too. A server is very helpful to run multiuser applications like messaging, email, shared documents etc. that becomes useful for long term aspects.
  19. We recommend you to use One World Abstract management system or software to store and secure data of your business meetings.
  20. Pay attention to original post date please - 14 February 2013

    Thread is 23 months old !!
Ask a new question

Read More

Management Data Storage Build Servers Business Computing