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Server 2003 - need to expand


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ngk0585's Avatar
ngk0585 ngk0585 is offline
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27-Dec-2010, 01:00 PM #1
Server 2003 - need to expand
Onboard disk drive is 250GB - (no derrogatory comments please). OK for the last 18 months - time to upgrade. I'm not as familiar with the inner workings of 2003. I do have some knowledge of disk systems tho'. Looking for opinions. We could install new drive, or I prefer to install a SAN or NAS unit. I just am not sure which is best for data management. Can 2003 manage client files on a SAN or NAS, or do they have to be in the server? We have 10 clients with their own space and share 4 drives commonly with an application on the server. Actually the server App is not a "cloud" type program where we connect and process there -it is distributed. Opinions? We have a couple of months before we are in trouble.
We are a small business and cannot afford to blow away and change out the computers. Don't I wish!
Thanks
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28-Dec-2010, 03:51 PM #2
Well I guess the most simple questions are, what do you have for a server now (complete specs), how much space do you need/anticipate needing, and what is your budget? These factors will all affect the solution to your problem.
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ngk0585 ngk0585 is offline
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29-Dec-2010, 09:52 AM #3
Have a Dell Inspiron with Server 2003. 18 months now. We had to get S2003 because of an application we used that did not perform on 64 bit. I am thinking we will need about 4 TB storage. That will take us into the next few years. I am presuming to use it for security and it should transfer to a new 64 bit server when we switch over - probaly in a couple of years. Out budget is tight. We don't make Obama hate money (250K) so cannot afford to go too expensive. I am thinking in the $1000 range if possible. If we only get 4 TB that should be possible. I would like SCSI and think fiber would be too much. The other alternative is to just install a large disk into the existing server. Then if we upgrade just move the disk, or cope files over to new machine. I used to be a sales engineer for SAN and NAS and think it may be overkill for a small business. Thanks.
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29-Dec-2010, 04:00 PM #4
I think that you might run into problems on your budget, as a decent SAS controller is going to cost you roughly 30% of your budget, not to mention the price of 4TB in SAS drive space. But if you're going to spend that much money on storage that (for a smaller business especially) is mission critical, you want to get a pre-built solution that has a warranty, with included support.

As a temporary fix, I might recommend adding another RAID controller to your current server and running a couple of drives in RAID (1 or 5, depending on how much redundancy you need), and then saving any extra money over the next few years for a good SAS card, and a DAS unit. I would plan your DAS implementation at the same time you migrate to a Server 2008 R2 box though. Are you currently using SBS 2003, or Server 2003 Standard?

Also, what functions are you using your server for? If you have heavy traffic coming into your server from the web or over the network for SQL requests, you might not want to depend too heavily on local storage... in that case, another server or a NAS might be more preferable.

Have you been monitoring your server to determine the load your local network/workstations are putting on it (as far as memory and processing power is concerned)?
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29-Dec-2010, 07:27 PM #5
In addition to the storage, you need a method for backing it all up. What software and hardware do you have in place now for backups, and is it capable of handling the new storage unit and additional 4TB of space?
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30-Dec-2010, 08:44 AM #6
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Originally Posted by DoubleHelix View Post
In addition to the storage, you need a method for backing it all up. What software and hardware do you have in place now for backups, and is it capable of handling the new storage unit and additional 4TB of space?
Well since ngk0585 said they're going to use it for security, I'd say that's probably what they're trying to cover right now.

I skimmed over the first post about the actual hardware, and missed the fact that you're running Server 2003 on a Dell Desktop PC. Normally if you were running a Dell Server box, I would recommend using Dell OpenManage Server Administrator, but it doesn't have support for machines other than their server lines. This application allows you to monitor the entire server, it saves logs, and allows you to configure your storage controllers as well as virtual disks and RAID configurations. If you are planning to migrate all of this data to a 64-bit server, you might want to consider a NAS.

Switching directions a little bit, It might be in your best interest to get a NAS device that supports large hard drives and installing a couple 2TB drives in a RAID-1. This way you have redundancy, but then it will also allow you to more easily migrate that data to a server that has more storage later on. Once you migrate the data to the new server, you can add a harddrive, setup a RAID-5, and use it for backups from your new server. How much redundancy do you want to have on your network?

I know i'm kind of talking in circles, but there's really alot of ways you could go with this. In the meantime, I would have you look at the following links to read a little about the storage support in Server 2003.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/l...68(WS.10).aspx
http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/device...e/LUN_SP1.mspx
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03-Jan-2011, 09:52 AM #7
Which partition is running out of space? Just putting in a SAN or NAS will not buy you anything of your system partition is getting full.
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03-Jan-2011, 02:27 PM #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockn View Post
Which partition is running out of space? Just putting in a SAN or NAS will not buy you anything of your system partition is getting full.
Assuming the server has more than one partition...
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03-Jan-2011, 04:52 PM #9
True, adding a SAN will still not help anything unless you can move that data safely to the SAN location. Just all depends on how they set it up.
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