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I am about to purchase a new server as follows:

  • Dell T610
  • 2 x Xeon 2.53Ghz processors
  • 16GB RAM
  • Perc H700 w/ 1GB Non Volatile RAM
  • 8 x 300GB 15K SAS Hard drives
  • Small Business Server 2011

This will be a domain controller, file server, print server, exchange, Sophos AV server etc.

  1. What configuration would you suggest for the drives? All in a big RAID 10 or split in some way?

  2. Should I upgrade the standard (Dual Gigabit ethernet) to Quad ethernet - will it make a difference to throughput?

  3. Is the 1GB memory on the RAID controller worth it, or should I stick with the 512MB?

Thanks for the help

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how much usable space do you require? –  Jim B Jun 13 '11 at 21:44
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How many users and what are they doing? If they are just standard users, dual gigabit bridged would be fine, but if they are moving huge files like CAD drawings, you may find a quad is better. Same commend for the RAID controller. –  KCotreau Jun 13 '11 at 21:55
    
Sorry guys. There are 30 users on site plus this hosts a small private website (maybe 10-15 concurrent users). Not a design house, but do a fair bit of design work so a few large PSD's. Size isn't primary concern, we need to get the most out of it performance wise (I don't mind raid 10 over 5 unless anyone thinks that's better). Thanks –  James Holland Jun 13 '11 at 23:22
    
Also, yes, we have UPS –  James Holland Jun 13 '11 at 23:30

1 Answer 1

What configuration would you suggest for the drives? All in a big RAID 10 or split in some way?

RAID 10 is what I would do, but we don't know your users and can't answer this question.

Should I upgrade the standard (Dual Gigabit ethernet) to Quad ethernet - will it make a difference to throughput?

I don't know about SBS2011, but SBS2008 only officially supported one NIC, and makes life a bit difficult when you have more than one (like refusing to bind the DNS server to additional NICs, and the Best Practice Analyser always fails). I'd say stick with dual, I don't see many servers with a need for quad outside of virtualisation.

Is the 1GB memory on the RAID controller worth it, or should I stick with the 512MB?

Depends on how much disk activity you expect to see. 512Mb is a reasonable amount, but if you don't have a battery backup for the cache, it's irrelevant as you can't use it anyway. So spend the extra money on a BBU if you don't have one, otherwise there's no real way of us answering it without knowing your workload (same as KCotreau said in comment).

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