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Looking for Feedback - Server Configuration Requirements

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Looking for Feedback - Server Configuration Requirements

This question has been answered by Cristodul

I will start with the note that I am a newbie on this chapter. However, I've been tasked to come up with a server configuration for our office. Three different locations, over 30 users. SQL database, maybe visualization in the future.

I've done some researching and I came up with below configuration. Now I need your expertise and feedback. Do I miss something? Do I have something extra? 

Dell PowerEdge T620

Chassis with up to 8, 3.5" Hard Drives, Tower Configuration

2x 6 core Intel® Xeon® E5-2643 v2 3.50GHz, 25M Cache, 8.0GT/s QPI, Turbo, HT, 6C, 130W, Max Mem 1866MHz

Memory: 1600 MHz RDIMMS, Advanced ECC,  4x 8GB RDIMM, 1600MT/s, Low Volt, Dual Rank, x8 Data Width

Windows Server® 2012R2,Standard Ed,Factory Inst,No MED,2SKT,2VM,NO CAL

RAID Configuration RAID 1 for H710P/H710/H310 (2 HDDs)

Raid Controller: PERC H310 Integrated RAID Controller, Full Height

Hard Drives: 2x 2TB 7.2K RPM Near-Line SAS 6Gbps 3.5in Hot-plug Hard Drive

iDRAC7 Express

Network Adapter: Intel X520 DP 10Gb DA/SFP+ Server Adapter

Power Supply: Dual, Hot-plug, Redundant Power Supply (1+1), 750W

Power Management BIOS Settings: Performance BIOS Setting

Bezel: None

Internal Optical Drive: DVD+/-RW, SATA, Internal (Dual)

Virtualization Software: None

Systems Management Upgrades: Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol Enabled

Again, please don't take offense of my newbie question! 

Thank you in advance!

Regards,

C

Verified Answer
  • You have a great configuration except:

    Your storage selections are WAY outclassed in comparison to the rest of the system configuration.  Even for 30 moderate-light users your bottleneck will be your storage subsystem.  The 7200RPM drives will be slow for file access (if your users primarily will access the server as a file server), and the H310 will not help.  The H710 will improve things, but I would recommend 10K or 15K SAS drives WITH the H710, OR if you really must have that much storage, put 4 or 6 drives in a RAID 10.

     

  • "Looking at Raid 10 configuration, looks like it requires PERC S110. Is that accurate?"

    No.  The H710 can do RAID 10. You will need to choose a non-software RAID chassis option though.

    "Going to a 10k or 15k SAS drives is not a bad idea, however the price will go up considerably for the size of drives. I would suggest that and see if it will get approved. My opinion is that is worth investing some extra money in the machine and the benefits will come with usage."

    Yes, and I agree.  If you need to balance the config a little, I would reduce your processor or memory in favor of better-performing storage.  Reductions in anything will limit its future proof-ness, but will make for a more useful and balanced server for as long as it lasts.

    I would also suggest you contact a Sales Rep for better pricing or help fixing/creating a config that may not seem to work online - might help you give them the hardware they need in their price range.  It is usually anywhere from 5-20% cheaper than the online price.

     

  • Thank you very much for your feedback THEFLASH1932!

    I supervisor wants to connect an external hard drive to act as a back-up...

    I wasn't sure about the 10Gbit card, but you cleared that for me.

    The company is talking about virtualization for the future, however, not sure how close/far that is.

    Regarding the GPU, I was leaning the same way as you mentioned, and I just want to double check.

    I would like to plan for each user to have it's own working area (currently the server is a dump ground that anybody and everybody can put things in, no privacy whatsoever...). As somebody may say... I'm trying to walk before I run... :)

    I am really happy with the feedback that you had provided!

    Regards,

    C

All Replies
  • You have a great configuration except:

    Your storage selections are WAY outclassed in comparison to the rest of the system configuration.  Even for 30 moderate-light users your bottleneck will be your storage subsystem.  The 7200RPM drives will be slow for file access (if your users primarily will access the server as a file server), and the H310 will not help.  The H710 will improve things, but I would recommend 10K or 15K SAS drives WITH the H710, OR if you really must have that much storage, put 4 or 6 drives in a RAID 10.

     

  • Thank you very much for your feedback THEFLASH1932!

    Looking at Raid 10 configuration, looks like it requires PERC S110. Is that accurate?

    Going to a 10k or 15k SAS drives is not a bad idea, however the price will go up considerably for the size of drives. I would suggest that and see if it will get approved. My opinion is that is worth investing some extra money in the machine and the benefits will come with usage.

    When I built the configuration I was trying to keep in mind expansion, future and performance. 

    Regards,

    C

  • "Looking at Raid 10 configuration, looks like it requires PERC S110. Is that accurate?"

    No.  The H710 can do RAID 10. You will need to choose a non-software RAID chassis option though.

    "Going to a 10k or 15k SAS drives is not a bad idea, however the price will go up considerably for the size of drives. I would suggest that and see if it will get approved. My opinion is that is worth investing some extra money in the machine and the benefits will come with usage."

    Yes, and I agree.  If you need to balance the config a little, I would reduce your processor or memory in favor of better-performing storage.  Reductions in anything will limit its future proof-ness, but will make for a more useful and balanced server for as long as it lasts.

    I would also suggest you contact a Sales Rep for better pricing or help fixing/creating a config that may not seem to work online - might help you give them the hardware they need in their price range.  It is usually anywhere from 5-20% cheaper than the online price.

     

  • Hi THEFLASH1932,,

    My thread was move to home section, don't know why... anyway...

    Do I need to select any of the following:

    Host Bus Adapter/Converged Network Adapter?

    Additional PCIe Cards?

    GPU?
    Again, thank you for your responses!
    Regards,
    C
  • I moved it back ... I'm not sure why whoever moved it thought it belonged anywhere besides small business.

    "Host Bus Adapter/Converged Network Adapter?"

    Are you connecting your server to some external storage - SAN, etc.?  If not, then no.  Chances are, you don't need a 10Gbit card at all, and a single 1Gbit port will suffice.  Also, you must have the cabling (CAT6) and the networking infrastructure to support 10Gbit.  If you are planning for future virtualization, then you might consider another 2 or 4 port Gbit NIC (the server comes with two onboard Gbit NIC ports), depending on how many/what type of virtualization you plan to implement.  If your networking hardware supports link aggregation, you can team the existing two/onboard network ports to create a single network connection to increase bandwidth and/or provide failover.

    Any other PCIe cards would depend on what you intended to connect to your server - servers are designed to work with specific solutions, so sometimes not just any old/generic hardware will work.

    "GPU?"

    No.  A "GPU" does not add graphics capability to a server like a graphics card does to a workstation.  These servers support GPU's for high-end rendering of graphics like medical or technical imaging or for video output for highly-virtualized systems, typically accessed by thin clients, where all video is handled on the server (VDI).

    How will the 30 users use this system?  Remote Desktop?  File server?  Reporting Services?  Indirectly (local software queries remote database)?

     

     

  • Thank you very much for your feedback THEFLASH1932!

    I supervisor wants to connect an external hard drive to act as a back-up...

    I wasn't sure about the 10Gbit card, but you cleared that for me.

    The company is talking about virtualization for the future, however, not sure how close/far that is.

    Regarding the GPU, I was leaning the same way as you mentioned, and I just want to double check.

    I would like to plan for each user to have it's own working area (currently the server is a dump ground that anybody and everybody can put things in, no privacy whatsoever...). As somebody may say... I'm trying to walk before I run... :)

    I am really happy with the feedback that you had provided!

    Regards,

    C