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  1. #1

    File Server Recs for hardware and software

    Hi All,

    I currently have a server running Mac OS X and it's time for me to upgrade. I'm exploring my options and am looking at either moving to an XServe running OS X server or some sort of other flavor of Linux setup with different hardware.

    I'd love to hear the people in this forum chime in with recommendations for alternatives to the XServe.

    The main reason I want to get away from the XServe is cost, but that alone won't keep me from buying it. If it turns out to be the best solution for my project, that's the road I'll take.

    Onto the details!

    Here's what I want to do with my server:
    • File server for 20 - 30 people
    • Gigabit ethernet
    • Big Hard Drives with RAID. 500 - 1000 GB available for storage.
    • Backup system (Hard Drive, not tape drive run) - I want this external to rotate backups offsite.
    • We are primarily a Mac based office with 1 PC. At this point, PC is not networked.
    • FTP access both as a regular file sharing FTP where i have many username/pwds site AND some sort of FTP or WebDav access to the main file server folder for people that are out of the office. I currently am using PureFTPd on the Mac to do this.
    • HTTP/Apache to run Project Management System and some internal reporting systems (in other words, we are not hosting our company's website on this server)

    In my dreamworld, i want:
    • To be able to add users very quickly for FTP through a GUI.
    • Not have an in-house Network admin.
    • Be able to access server through VNC and not have a monitor or keyboard attached to it.
    • Have a nice GUI for admin - not have it too complicated. That said, we will bring someone in to set it up if needed (I know enough to be dangerous).
    • Have it be as secure as possible
    • Have it be stable. We don't need to be cutting edge
    • Have a small footprint for the hardware. Would love to NOT have to have a rack/case. I'm currently using a Mac Mini with external firewire drives.

    We are:
    • Willing to invest in the best hardware for the job.
    • Willing to invest in the best software for the job.
    • Willing to pay someone with more knowledge than myself to get this setup for us.
    • But... not wanting to pay more than we need to to get the best hardware and software for the job.

    Thoughts? Suggestions? Things I should read to make an educated decision?



  2. #2
    Sounds like you've done your home work and requirements determination. You can get a decent server with 500 GB to 1 TB of storage for under $1500.00 since you don't need an OEM OS installation. As for the RAID, depending upon the RAID level, you will have to account for parity which will reduce your total storage capacity should you use a RAID-5 setup.

    As for hardware, the sky is the limit and I'm sure you will receive several suggestions regarding hardware so I won't go there.

    As for a stable distribution, I highly recommend CentOS 4.2. CentOS is a RHEL clone and is very stable! I run CentOS with VMWare and have been very happy with it - but any major distro will meet your listed specifications.

    If I were you, go ahead and tackle this project yourself, I'm sure that there are many who frequent this board willing to help. Good luck!

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