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I need to add more storage to a maxed out ProLiant ML350 server.

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  • I need to add more storage to a maxed out ProLiant ML350 server.

    Hello everyone,

    I'm no expert with servers/networks but have been doing ok with some classes and a lot of online research.

    We are a small engineering firm with about fourteen employees. We run AutoCAD with a large number and size of files on the network. Our budget is not big but we do have a budget to do some upgrades before the end of the year.

    I'm looking at adding more storage to our file server. The SCSI bays are maxed out with the largest drives available for the controller (900 Gbytes storage and 140 Gbytes for OS). Currently we have all active and archived files (~300 Gbytes of archived files) on these drives. However we would like to add additional storage and move the archived files to this location. We would still need to access these file for printing and migrating to new projects.

    I'm not sure what to look for (USB, Network, SCSI or ?) so please help me decide. We would like to have fault tolerance (raid), good speed (bandwidth?) and one or two Terabytes of capacity.

    Here are some of the specs for our system for the file server (we also have a 2003 SBS for the DC & Mail) housed in a Middle Atlantic rack:

    OS
    2003 Server file server and backup
    2003 SBS

    System
    Product Name ProLiant ML350 G4 (tower)
    Physical Processor 1 Intel Xeon @ 3.20 Ghz
    Physical Processor 2 Intel Xeon (Not Installed)
    Virtual Hyperthreading Processor 1 (Physical 1) Intel Xeon
    Virtual Hyperthreading Processor 2 (Physical 1) Intel Xeon
    Operating system environment Microsoft Windows 2003 Server Standard Edition Service Pack 2 (Build 3790)
    Total memory - 4096 Mbytes
    System board
    DIMM 1 (DDR SDRAM) 1024 Mbytes (333 MHz)
    DIMM 2 (DDR SDRAM) 1024 Mbytes (333 MHz)
    DIMM 3 (DDR SDRAM) 1024 Mbytes (333 MHz)
    DIMM 4 (DDR SDRAM) 1024 Mbytes (333 MHz)
    Does the system have ECC memory Yes
    PAE enabled Yes
    Resilient memory information
    Number of cartridges 1
    Number of modules 4
    Configured for advanced ecc Yes
    Communication
    USB Root Hub USB Root Hub 2.0
    USB Controller1 Standard PCI to USB Host Controller
    USB Controller2 Standard PCI to USB Host Controller
    USB Controller3 Standard PCI to USB Host Controller
    USB Root Hub USBRootHub0
    USB Root Hub USBRootHub1
    USBDeviceOnPort1 American Power Conversion USB UPS Speed=LowSpeed
    USBDeviceOnPort2 Aladdin USB Key Speed=LowSpeed
    Network Controller 1 HP NC7761 Gigabit Server Adapter
    Storage
    Diskette Drive1
    IDE CD-ROM1 HL-DT-ST CD-ROM GCR-8482B
    Physical Hard Drive 1, Controller Slot 0 146.8 Gbytes 10K RPM - COMPAQ BD14685A26
    Physical Hard Drive 2, Controller Slot 0 146.8 Gbytes 10K RPM - COMPAQ BD14685A26
    Physical Hard Drive 3, Controller Slot 0 300.0 Gbytes 10K RPM - COMPAQ BD3008A4C6
    Physical Hard Drive 4, Controller Slot 0 300.0 Gbytes 10K RPM - COMPAQ BD3008A4C6
    Physical Hard Drive 5, Controller Slot 0 300.0 Gbytes 10K RPM - COMPAQ BD3008A4C6
    Physical Hard Drive 6, Controller Slot 0 300.0 Gbytes 10K RPM - COMPAQ BD3008A4C6
    SCSI Tape Drive HP Ultrium 3-SCSI
    PCI Slots
    PCI-E Slot 1 Available
    PCI-E Slot 2 Available
    PCI Slot 3 In Use
    PCI Slot 4 Available
    PCI Slot 5 Available
    PCI Slot 6 Available

    Thanks,

    Chris

  • #2
    Re: I need to add more storage to a maxed out ProLiant ML350 server.

    Netgear ReadyNAS sounds like the sort of thing you need. Lots of different options in form factors and capacity, dynamically expanding fault tolerant RAID and the top-end ones also support iSCSI.
    BSc, MCSA: Server 2008, MCSE, MCSA: Messaging, MCTS
    sigpic
    Cruachan's Blog

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    • #3
      Re: I need to add more storage to a maxed out ProLiant ML350 server.

      Originally posted by cruachan View Post
      Netgear ReadyNAS sounds like the sort of thing you need. Lots of different options in form factors and capacity, dynamically expanding fault tolerant RAID and the top-end ones also support iSCSI.
      Cruachan,
      I'll look into the Netgear.

      I had someone suggest a DroboPro http://www.drobo.com/products/drobopro/ .
      Does anyone have any experience with one?


      Chris

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      • #4
        Re: I need to add more storage to a maxed out ProLiant ML350 server.

        Should I be looking for SCSI or SATA? With multiple users will SATA perform as good as our built in SCSI drives?


        Thanks,
        Chris

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: I need to add more storage to a maxed out ProLiant ML350 server.

          Traditional SCSI is on the way out and being replaced by SAS (Serial-Attached SCSI) which has the advantage that SAS controllers also support SATA drives. SAS is more expensive than SATA though. Depends really on access requirements - if you're looking at this for archive storage then I wouldn't bother too much with high performance. Keep the frequently used data on the server's drives.

          With the number of users you have I'd be amazed if there was a noticable difference between SCSI/SAS and SATA though.
          BSc, MCSA: Server 2008, MCSE, MCSA: Messaging, MCTS
          sigpic
          Cruachan's Blog

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: I need to add more storage to a maxed out ProLiant ML350 server.

            QNAP and Synology might also be worth to look at
            Marcel
            Technical Consultant
            Netherlands
            http://www.phetios.com
            http://blog.nessus.nl

            MCITP(EA, SA), MCSA/E 2003:Security, CCNA, SNAF, DCUCI, CCSA/E/E+ (R60), VCP4/5, NCDA, NCIE - SAN, NCIE - BR, EMCPE
            "No matter how secure, there is always the human factor."

            "Enjoy life today, tomorrow may never come."
            "If you're going through hell, keep going. ~Winston Churchill"

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            • #7
              Re: I need to add more storage to a maxed out ProLiant ML350 server.

              I have an HP MSA2000 SAN storage with 4TB (both SAS and SATA disks). I bought the iSCSI version, and I'm very satisfied. I don't know how much budget you have, but it's a nice toy to play with. Its management it's plain and intuitive.
              Last edited by sorinso; 21st November 2009, 19:34.

              Sorin Solomon


              In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
              -

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              • #8
                Re: I need to add more storage to a maxed out ProLiant ML350 server.

                The NAS products seem to have a pricing advantage over DAS due to the cost of the interface (network VS a controller card). I have also limited my selection to a rack mount system. Some of the products have cheaper units that are not rack mount (FYI).

                I have looked at the HP MSA2000, HP StorageWorks 20 Modular Smart Array, Drobo Pro, QNAP and the Synology. The Cost of the HP seems to go way up buy the time I add the Interface card and the HP drives.

                The Drobo Pro seems to be a simple solution with plenty of drives space and starts out around 1,499.00 with out drives (up to 8 drives).

                The QNAP (NAS) starts out around $700 (TS-410U) with out drives (up to 4 drives).

                The Synology (NAS) starts out around $1300 (RS409) with out drives (up to 4 drives).

                Both the QNAP and Synology offer different models that have different features (CPU, redundant PS, RAM and so on. They both have integrated solutions for FTP, Photo server ITunes server and so on. The one thing that I found interesting was the Surveillance Suite. The ability to record Network cameras (wireless or hardwired IP cameras) seems to be a nice feature except IP cameras are more expensive.

                There seems to be a lot of options with the different systems and will take me some time to research. At this time I'm leaning towards the QNAP system.

                If anyone has some insight with the NAS systems please speak up.

                Thanks,
                Chris

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: I need to add more storage to a maxed out ProLiant ML350 server.

                  I found a site with some really good benchmarks and comparisons:
                  http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: I need to add more storage to a maxed out ProLiant ML350 server.

                    Thank you for coming back with remarks about the solutions given and your thoughts about what you find the best answer to your needs.
                    One thing about HP: the device allows you to expand up to 96 disks without need for additional controllers and it has snapshot and volume copy possibilities. I can say I'm very satisfied with it, but that's me... It doesn't need to mean it's the best solution for you too.
                    And 10nx for the link, in the name of future users looking for a similar solution

                    Sorin Solomon


                    In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
                    -

                    Comment

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