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Building my first 3ware RAID 5 system

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Hi all!

I’m new to this board, but what I have seen so far is that there are a lot of skilled people around here, so I thought I might ask for your opinion on a disc-to-disc backup server.

The server I’m planning to build will only be used for disc-to-disc backup over FTP (up to 200 connection at the same time). No other applications then a FTP daemon and the standard services will run. OS = Windows 2003 SERVER

This is what I had in mind, please comment and/or suggest another solution if I’m on the wrong track. Thanks.

Motherboard, CPU, Memory

1 x Asus: PC-DL DELUXE (DUAL XEON 875P, 4XDDR,GBLAN)

1 x Intel: BX80532KE2400E (XEON 2.4GHZ 533FSB 1M BOX)

2 x Kingston: KVR333X72C25/512 (333MHZ DDR ECC CL2.5 DIMM)

Housing

1 x Chieftec: BA-01B-B-B (Bigtower 360W ATX12V PFC 6x5¼" 10x3½")

2 x Compucase: F12B3LS (COOLER FAN 120MM, BALL BEARING)

2 x Compucase: F09B3LS (COOLER FAN 90MM, BBEARING, LOW NOISE, 3 PIN)

Raid 5

1 x 3Ware: 3W-9500S-8 (8-port S-ATA 150 Storage Switch / half length, PCI 64 bit/66 MHz)

2 x 3ware: 3W-RDC-400S Serail ATA RAID Drive Cage, 4 hot swap trays with keylocks

8 x Hitachi: HDS724040KLSA80 (DESKSTAR 7K400 400GB SAT/150 7200RPM 8MB)

Others..

1 x Asus V9180SE/T/64MB (GF 4 MX-440-8X 64MB VGA+TV-OUT)

1 x NEC: 50026392 (ND-3500 DVD+-RW DL, 16X, BLACK, BULK)

1 x Sony: MPF920E131 (SONY FLOPPY DRIVE 144)

Not sure where to put the DVD drive since the hotswaps uses 6x5¼. I like ASUS but never used the motherboard, is it okay for its purpose? Well, I'm far from a experienced server builder so could use some help :)

Thanks a lot!

Thomas (Sweden)

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You should be okay with that one controller since you'll only barely scratch the 3TB limit at 2800GB (7*400+parity), but the controller wont support 600 - 800GB drives whenever they come out, since its using 64-bit LBA

All the other hardware ill let other guys decide, because i find it kind of irrelevant if your running AMD og Intel, for a simple fileserver it doesnt really matter, as long as you stick with "known" vendors.

What kind of FTP deamon do you plan to use, and what about the clients?

Darking

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Just wanted to clarify a bit :

The AMCC 3ware 9500-S supports 64 bit LBAs, so it does support drives over 2 TeraBytes, so 400 GB or 600 or 800 GB won't be a problem at all, even if you have 8 of them...

The power supply might be something to check though !

Good luck,

MEJV

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You might to check the power supply and make sure it's ATX12V 2.0 compliant. 8 drives and a Xeon should be ok for normal operation, but power draw on start-up for the drives themselves is easily 12amps on the +12v rail alone. ATX12V 2.0 and newer power supplies have much larger +12v rails than units built to older ATX12V standards.

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Ok, thanks for the input! I have checked my distributor for another powersupply and I found this one:

-------------

COMPUCASE HEC POWER SUPPLY 460W ATX FI, BB, XEON

For AMD MP (A) oder Intel XEON (AX) available High Efficiency Over Voltage / Over Power / Short Circuit Protection 100% Hi-pot & Function (Chroma) Tested 100% Burn-in Under High Ambient Temperature (50°C) MTBF Over 100,000 Hrs. at 25°C a more powerfull

-------------

Is it a better choice? It does not tell if it’s an ATX12V 2.0 compliant and I couldn’t find any info about it on the www.compucase.de website. But it’s a 460W.

RAID:

My thought was that 1 of the 8 drives should be a pure spare drive. Never worked with 3ware RAIDS so don’t know if it’s a good ide? With 1 spare drive plugged in it should be 7x400–400=2400MB on a RAID 5 system.

FTPD:

With my UNIX background I’m not really familiar with any windows FTP daemons. Darking, maybe you could recommend me a good, secure FTP-D for Windows? I want to have good log options and be able to control the bandwidth on individual accounts. And also be able to set an active date, like one month from activated date. Sorry if this software question is off topic.

Thanks

Thomas

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Just wanted to clarify a bit :

The AMCC 3ware 9500-S supports 64 bit LBAs, so it does support drives over 2 TeraBytes, so 400 GB or 600 or 800 GB won't be a problem at all, even if you have 8 of them...

The power supply might be something to check though !

Good luck,

MEJV

I guess i was wrong them, i was 100% certain they didnt support over 3TB pr controller, due to some sort of limitation in the controller... Ive seen the same on several SCSI controllers from HP(5300 series to name one). But they also say on their site:

Single array capacity scales to over 3 terabytes per controller (64-bit LBA support)
http://www.3ware.com/products/serial_ata9000.asp

Guess there's a benefit to go from the 8506 cards to the 9500 series afterall :)

Darking

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Ok, thanks for the input! I have checked my distributor for another powersupply and I found this one:

-------------

COMPUCASE HEC POWER SUPPLY 460W ATX FI, BB, XEON

For AMD MP (A) oder Intel XEON (AX) available High Efficiency Over Voltage / Over Power / Short Circuit Protection 100% Hi-pot & Function (Chroma) Tested 100% Burn-in Under High Ambient Temperature (50°C) MTBF Over 100,000 Hrs. at 25°C a more powerfull

-------------

Is it a better choice? It does not tell if it’s an ATX12V 2.0 compliant and I couldn’t find any info about it on the www.compucase.de website. But it’s a 460W.

i would think that 460watts is more than enough.

I run 18 drive setup with a 660 watt, and since the controllers support staggered spinup, its not really an issue at bootup either.. at bootup it hits 550watts or so, and sits on a lazy 420 watts when running normally.

That includes 12 fans, and 6 3disk hotswap cases

RAID:

My thought was that 1 of the 8 drives should be a pure spare drive. Never worked with 3ware RAIDS so don’t know if it’s a good ide? With 1 spare drive plugged in it should be 7x400–400=2400MB on a RAID 5 system.

A hotspare is always a good idea.

The good thing about 3ware controllers is that you dont really have to worry about drivers for different enviroments, they are very well supported.

Ive used them for almost two years now and i have no complaints, other than i think that the raid management software could learn a thing or three from say compaq's arraymanager software

FTPD:

With my UNIX background I’m not really familiar with any windows FTP daemons. Darking, maybe you could recommend me a good, secure FTP-D for Windows? I want to have good log options and be able to control the bandwidth on individual accounts. And also be able to set an active date, like one month from activated date. Sorry if this software question is off topic.

Nope sorry i cant, ive used ftp for very little other than downloading from, its not really something i use profesionally.

But why not stick with what you know and put up a nice Unix/linux box, it'll save you the licens of a windows 2003 server, and im sure it can do whatever you need it to do, since its just "simple" ftp, I cant really see a reason why you would want to use Windows, if not for some of its functions... and ftp aint one of em :) (yes yes i know you can run ftpdeamons on windows too)

Darking

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Hey,

Just another clarification :

32 bit LBA limitations make the max array size 2 TB, not 3 TB.

64 bit limitations = 4835703278458516698824704 bytes = 4398046511104 Tera Bytes

That should be enough for a while... but ATA is limited to 48 bit LBAs, which is 131072 Tera Bytes for a drive...

I think we have enough margins for a few years on this side...

As for 3ware 8506, it is limited to 32 bits LBAs or 2 Tera Bytes /array.

The 9500-s is 64 bits... as far as I know !

One more thing : Win NT/W2k,/XP have a 32 bit drive/array limitations or 2 TB.

Windows 2003 sp1 (or is it sp2) will have a fix to bring this limitation to 64 bits LBAs... not until early next year...

Windows 64 bit has or will have the fix as well...

Linux kernel 2.6 can have arrays > 2TB,

kernel 2.4 is limited to 32 bits...

MEJV

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FTPD:

With my UNIX background I’m not really familiar with any windows FTP daemons. Darking, maybe you could recommend me a good, secure FTP-D for Windows? I want to have good log options and be able to control the bandwidth on individual accounts. And also be able to set an active date, like one month from activated date. Sorry if this software question is off topic.

Try to take a look at Serv-U Secure FTP Server It should be able to do most of what you want.

Regards

Theis

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One more thing : Win NT/W2k,/XP have a 32 bit drive/array  limitations or 2 TB.

Windows 2003 sp1 (or is it sp2) will have a fix to bring this limitation to 64 bits LBAs... not until early next year...

Windows 64 bit has or will have the fix as well...

mmmm are you absolutly sure about that?

Im running windows 2003 server and... :

space1.JPG

space2.JPG

But ok its dynamic disks and they prolly work different than basic discs does.

Darking

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That screenshots got me to think about where to put the OS. Maybe I should use the motherboard RAID 1 system and two “small†40GB drives for the OS installation? I haven’t thought of keeping the system files outside the 3ware RAID 5 until now.

Is it a good idea to install the Windows 2003 on the motherboard RAID 1 or should I keep it on the 3ware RAID 5 drives? The motherboard RAID 1 sure dont have any hot swaps :)

About the housing box I will go for an Enlight 8950 with a redundant 400W power supply. I hope it carries enough connections for 11+ drives.

Regards,

Thomas

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You should be okay with that one controller since you'll only barely scratch the 3TB limit at 2800GB (7*400+parity), but the controller wont support 600 - 800GB drives whenever they come out, since its using 64-bit LBA

Why not?

LBA48 is 2^57 b (128 pb).

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Windows 2003 sp1 (or is it sp2) will have a fix to bring this limitation to 64 bits LBAs... not until early next year...

Windows 64 bit has or will have the fix as well...

Windows 2003 came with 64-bit LBA, when the adapter has storport drivers.

Windows 2000 had 32-bit LBA for physical drives, but RAID volumes were 64-bit.

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Question, why FTP? Ftp backups over the internet is a bad idea and there are more featureful methods to use for local backups as well....

-Chris

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The clients will use programs like SyncBack, it’s a pretty good and easy-to-use backup solution for personal use I think, but please, let me know if you can recommend me a better solution - over the internet. There will be no local backups except of the fileserver itself.

Regards

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Get a good, expensive ISP. Because transfereing a couple of GB per night, over the internet, would annoy most ISP's....

I recently got a note from my ISP, that If I continued to use bandwidth at the current pace, my monthy internet bill would go from 35.95 to 109.00...

So make sure your account comes with enough bandwidth to actually do the backups over the internet... I think such an account would be so expensive, that a local tape backup system of some description, will look attractive.

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Allright....so you've got a whole bunch of users connecting to their files on the server over the internet, and then the file server is backed up locally, correct? What types of files are being worked with / stored?

-Chris

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Hi Chris

No, all users will use their files locally, not over the internet. They connect to the fileserver, through internet, only to do backups. It’s all kind of files, documents, photos, archived files; the type of file depends on what the user want to backup. It’s not a business solution, more of a personal solution.

Thomas

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The main issue with ftp is that it transmits passwords in plain text over the network. Anyone running a packet sniffer andwhere along the line can easily intercept a user's password and comprimise the system, possibly more. Ftp is simple and proven for anonymous downloads...but problematic when you're also looking to provide some security with it.

Now in a linux world i'd probably suggest users use SCP with allows transfers via an FTP-like interface over an encrypted SSH connection. You could also try something like using WebDAV over SSL with whould add support for tracking of versioning and other nicities.

Now i've never used these running off a windows server, but I'm sure windows equivalents do exist. A quick search and test Here and i had an openssh server running on top of windows XP.

Of course these are just ideas :-)

-Chris

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The main issue with ftp is that it transmits passwords in plain text over the network. Anyone running a packet sniffer andwhere along

Not just the password, the entire data stream is in plaintext.

Rsync over ssh is a nice option available in his case.

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...Which may or may not be an issue depending on the data being transfered. The password however is ::::always::: an issue.

-Chris

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