NAS Setup, Server Configuration


I am looking to build our own NAS server for a 15 server enterprise solution. What we are looking to do is to use a 48 Bay 9U Rack Server Chassis with x2 3Ghz Quad Core Xeon Processors, 48x 73.5 GB 15k HDD, 32 GB RAM and Quad Port 1 GB LAN with Two 24 Port RAID Controllers on RAID 6. The idea is to use 80% of the 3528 GB HDD available.

We will be using a separate machine for backup with 8x 1TB HDD on RAID 6.

My questions are as follows:

a) Is it possible to run a fast mySQL server on this configuration or are we overreaching. What is recommended to have the fastest performance on mySQL. Same config but lesser disks?
b) How do we increase hard disk capacity at a later stage. Is it possible to build another NAS server later with the same config and connect them? How is that done so all disks on both machines work as one...... Is it a PCI Express Connection or is it possible to use Ethernet and Linux Virtualization.
c) Should the mySQL server be set up alone just to handle the database and this machine used solely for other data (which will be a lot)....
d) How can i use 4 processors on this setup. Is there any way to do that?

Comments please. I am a beginner and looking to build this myself so any good help and answers are welcome.

Our whole setup is as follows

Two Machines (2x 2.66 Ghz machines, 16GB RAM, 2x 73.5 GB acting as Firewall/Load balancers with redudancy.
Followed by 48 Port Gigabit Switch
Followed by 8 Web Servers (2x 3 Ghz Quad Core Xeon, 16GB RAM, 2x 73.5 GB HDD for Web Caching/ Redundancy)
1 Application Server (same)
1 mySQL Server (same)
1 Storage Server for Data(as explained))
1 backup Server (same with 8X 1TB disks)

Is there any way to make this setup better or less costly with same performance? How can we mix and match the database, mySQL and application servers.
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  1. Hmm if there is room you could put in another 2x24port raid cards, make sure they have external plugs, run the wires to another case (1 wire per 4 disks) and you should be able to live update the raid from 48 to 96 drives and that way double the capacity.

    You could also just build a seperate server and use larger drives and migrate to that as the primary and use the old one for backups or further expansions by replacing the disks with something larger.

    If the motherboard supports 4 CPUs then you can put in 4 CPUs not sure if there are any 4CPU Xeon mobos, but there probably is, so that will give you 16 cores to run on if using quad xeons.

    It would be smartest to have the database server alone and the nas alone, the database server should have it's own raid array, the 2 servers can share the same backup server.

    For the database server I would chuck in as much ram as possible (they cache stuff in ram making the responses even faster) The same goes for the webservers, they can cache tons of stuff too making them faster because they don't need to go to the raid array and ask for data to send all the time.

    You could look into fiber from the NAS to the servers for faster access, can't remember the name of it though.
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