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Upgrading to 1gbps network and implementing RAID 1 questions

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February 25, 2012 1:44:40 PM

I am trying to upgrade an existing 100mbps network that consists of 10 computers and various printers to a 1gbps network running RAID 1. What i have is 2 small businesses in the same building that all share a network. Currently I have one business side (about 5 computers) all working off of a dedicated file server which is really nothing but a windows XP install and a 1.5Tb drive. That drive is set to back up every other day with a free simple program called syncback which has gotten us by through the years. The other side of the business (5 computers) just uses the individual computers to work off of and is also backed up to the same 1.5Tb drive with the syncback program. On that computer that has the 1.5Tb back up drive it also has another OS drive in it that runs an FTP server and a print server program (It is a print company). What my goal is: I want to combine everything into one computer server that would run all of the following - FTP server, print server, 2 - RAID 1 setups (one for each company). Now one side of the business uses much more space than the other. The side of the business that uses much more I was thinking 2 - 3TB drives in a RAID 1 setup and the other side of the business having 2 - 1.5TB drive in a RAID 1 setup as they don't use nearly as much space. Then on top of that having a separate drive by itself being the OS, FTP server, and print server drive (500GB). Also I would be upgrading the network to 1gbps which includes a new router and a few switches as the cabling is already cat5e and cat6 to handle the new speed. I am new to the whole RAID setup so I am wondering if you can set up 2 separate RAID 1 configurations with 4 HDD's in the same computer. As far as hardware goes for the server computer I have an older N680i LT SLI motherboard with a quad core Q6600 processor that I can max out with 8GB's memory but not sure if that's sufficient (on the processor side). As far as the OS goes I have a choice of Windows 7, XP Pro 64-bit, or Server 2003. I am assuming as far as the OS goes I would use Windows server 2003 but correct me if I'm wrong. I am trying to utilize a lot of the existing hardware but if I need to upgrade the hardware or OS please let me know what I should be using (ie Xeon or Opteron). As far as setting up goes I see it going something like this: Starting with all blank drives I would have 2 - 3Tb drives, 2 - 1.5Tb drives and 1 - 500Gb drive. I would start by installing Windows server 2003 (or whatever is recommended) on the 500Gb drive and running the FTP and printer servers off of this drive, then put in the 3Tb and 1.5Tb drives and setting them up as separate RAID 1 drives. Then take the existing backup drives and copy all info from them onto the new RAID hdd's. Then of course share the RAID drives to allow access from all of the computers. After everything is set up I would essentially have all info being backed up in real time with RAID 1 and the 500Gb OS drive would be cloned to another drive ready to swap out if the original failed. Is my thinking on all of this correct or am I missing something? Any suggestions or questions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.
a b G Storage
February 25, 2012 2:14:39 PM

You may have better luck if you summarize what you're questions are. I got about one sentence into this and decided it was to long to bother reading.
February 25, 2012 2:58:19 PM

If you want to use 3Tb drives you'll need up-to-date hardware (BIOS) and OS, older stuff won't handle it.
February 26, 2012 2:57:58 AM

Alright I will make this as short as I can and see if what I am thinking is correct:

1. Keep all existing cat5e and cat6 cables as I was told cat5e would handle a gigabit lan.
2. Build a computer with an MSI board that supports RAID1 and more than 3TB.
3. The computer will have the following specs: Core i5 processor, 2 - 3TB sata III 64MB cache drives in RAID 1, 2 - 1.5TB sata II drives in RAID 1, 1 - 500GB OS drive running windows 7 64-bit, 16GB's of DDR3, onboard video, onboard gigabit lan, 600W PSU.
4. Replace all switches and routers to gigabit speed.
5. 75% of computers and devices will use the 3TB drives for file server, and the other 25% will use the 1.5TB drives for file server.

Realisticly there will be 5 computers at the most using the file server, what we would be using it for would be to edit corel, autocad and photshop files. Since it will be a RAID 1 setup they are essentially backed up in real time. Maybe someone can chime in a let me know if I am missing something. Thank you and sorry for the long post at first.


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