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Storage for small-medium business.

This is a long one. I've been running this system for a few years and the recent growth of data is becoming worrisome.

Supermicro SuperChassis 745TQ-R800B with a X7DWN+ mainboard running 2 quad core Xeon E5410s running 2.33 GHz with 16 GB RAM. The RAID card is a bit of a dog. It's a HP Smart Array E200 SAS Controller with 128 MB RAM and a battery backup. My initial plan was to have two arrays and volumes, one holding the host, a Win 2003 x64 server, my SBS 2003 server VM and the other volume holding a few smaller VMs. (accounting and remote desktop) I had two 3 disk RAID 5 arrays with a hotspare in place for each, for a total of 8 drives. The array cache is enabled, and accelerator ratio is 50:50. Physical drive write caches are on. (Connected to a UPS and battery on controller). The drives are all WDC WD5000ABYS-0 drives running SATA 1 (150 Gbps).

The initial plan had to be scrapped as drive thrashing was killing my system. The performance of the card is horrible. I intend to replace it, but my SBS VM is HUGE, and the time involved in moving it would be problematic. In addition, the backup for that VM is hit an miss since it's so large. I've had to become selective on backing up files which is also problematic. The final problem with this huge VM is that it takes a long time to shutdown. The power in my facility is atrocious, and everything has it's own line conditioner and UPS. It still takes a good 5 minutes to shut down, and a good 15 to come back up. WAYYYY too long.

My current thoughts are that the server is still pretty fast. It just needs a better RAID controller. I also need to lighten up the SBS VM. I was thinking of moving the shared company folders and user shared directories to a NAS of some sort. That would reduce the size of the SBS VM from 254 GB to 104 GB. (150 GB in User/Shared Dirs) There would probably be a bit more as well as some of that is client apps and the like.

So, any thoughts?

1. I need a new SAS controller. I picked up some of those Datoptic SPM393 driverless 1-5 raid controllers that smokes the HP. The only real downside to this type of controller is the lack of battery backup.
2. I need to figure out a RAID scheme for the new controller that is best suited for running VMs, in particular an SBS VM. (Exchange stores)
3. I need a stinking fast box running anything that can hold all those 150+ GB of shared/user files. It needs to have hot swap redundancy for disk failures. Linux / FreeNAS is not out of the question, I've used them. The ability to put this box on a UPS and have it safely shut down is paramount. The Norco DS-24ER looks interesting, redundant power supplies are nice, and if I use 2.5" drives cooling should be pretty easy.
4. What do you guys use for offsite backups nowadays? I've grown out of my tapes and I'm using blu-ray disks now, but this is time consuming. I need to be able to pull out files from a few years back when asked and produce a user's directory for whatever date is asked for. Keeping a tape drive on hand for each type of media is pointless as I can't even hook up half of them anymore.
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  1. I would use 2x SPM393 and create a RAID50 out of it.

    You would be surprise how reliable those are.

    Forget about the battery option...This was used when with SLOW drives like PATA, SCSI 1, 2, 3 even with some SATA1 to speed thing up.

    With SSD and SATA3 64MB cache per drives. You dont need this option any more.

    Matter of fact i would prefer SPM393-I, due to lack of write cache. This is a good thing... if there is power disrupted in middle of writing, i would not worry about data corruption.

    Here is what i did....
    I was writting a bunch of small files to SPM393 raid (as an external box) I turn off the power in the middle of it.
    Wait for 30 sec, turns it back on, there is NO data corruption...

    I dont know how DATOptic's RAID controller does it, but data is OK...
  2. Cool. I'm actually running some of their stuff right now. I have two of the SPM-393s each running 4 x 2GB Green WD Drives in RAID 5, both of those plugged into a IMIRROR525A in Large drive mode. (I got the idea off of your older thread)
    It's a non-mission critical box running Proxmox with a few VMs and also acting as my network image backup. The whole thing is plugged into an APC UPS.

    I was thinking of going with one of the Norco 12 bay ones, redundant power supplies, 2.5" SAS drives... Not sure what to use as a MB yet. I don't imagine I'll need a lot of CPU or RAM, and that as long as it's USB 3 I should be good. How would you connect it to a network? Jumbo frames is out as not all the network supports it. I do have 2 x 2 port Intel GbE NICs on the server, plus a few fiber cards kicking around.
  3. Best answer
    Here is what I see.

    Get this MB for your FileServer - Bond these NIC together
    http://www.amazon.com/Intel-D2500CCE-Mini-ITX-Motherboard-BLKD2500CCE/dp/B007MS9OI2/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1353100002&sr=1-1&keywords=2500cce

    Run Openfiler on this

    With heavy traffic volume use 3x 120GB SDD as RAID 5 in SPM393. This will give you 240GB volume with random access speed of 200MB+/sec there is nothing can beat that. It's fast and safe

    With other volume use 2x SPM393 and IMIRROR create RAID50 up to 10x drives

    This is the ultimate set up for 100's users

    You can use it as File Server or iSCSI initiator to your existing Server
  4. FireWire2 said:
    Here is what I see.

    Get this MB for your FileServer - Bond these NIC together
    http://www.amazon.com/Intel-D2500CCE-Mini-ITX-Motherboard-BLKD2500CCE/dp/B007MS9OI2/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1353100002&sr=1-1&keywords=2500cce

    Run Openfiler on this

    With heavy traffic volume use 3x 120GB SDD as RAID 5 in SPM393. This will give you 240GB volume with random access speed of 200MB+/sec there is nothing can beat that. It's fast and safe

    With other volume use 2x SPM393 and IMIRROR create RAID50 up to 10x drives

    This is the ultimate set up for 100's users

    You can use it as File Server or iSCSI initiator to your existing Server


    What's the first volume for? I assume the second volume is for user files/shared data.
  5. clicker666 said:
    What's the first volume for? I assume the second volume is for user files/shared data.



    The 1st volume for ANYTHING that needs to be stinking fast in random read/write! such SQL databases, user files/shared data.

    Where the 2nd volume for ANY archives, back up, libraries, media content... If you ever need that space :-)
  6. Gotcha, thanks!
  7. Best answer selected by clicker666.
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