View Full Version : Small office server, HELP!
Sure could use some advice. My boss has an old server with old WD ultra wide SCSI drives that are 9 gig each. Iím not sure what motherboard he has, but the chip is a Pentium 166mhz. Iíve tried to get him to upgrade the whole machine, but thatís out of the question. He has NT 4.0 running and the drives are almost full, so I finally talked him into buying at least a new hard drive. I was thinking of a WD JB 8meg cache model or IBM GXP. Very cheap compared to a new SCSI controller and HD. Iím not sure about the driver support for ATA 100 controllers running on NT. I was thinking of keeping NT running on one of the old SCSIs. I need help! What controller and hard drive would you recommend under these conditions. We have 5 workstations and all are running Windows 2000. Itís a small CPA firm that I NEED to upgrade. I've built a few Athlon and P4 systems, but never ever used NT 4.0, any suggestions or tips would be greatly appreciated. I sure don't want to screw up this machine.
Depending on how many drives he has attached, why not just add another drive. Controllers support 7 to 14 devices depending on type. You may need a SCSI cable with more connections, but they are commonly available and there are converters for 68pin to 50pin SCSI drives available if necessary. Even with adding a drive, a good backup strategy is a necessity.
Well I'm wanting more speed, I was thinking that a new ATA100 drive would be alot faster than the old ultra scsi drives? He is really concerned with cost, I think the new scsi drives are alot more than the ATA100 drives.
05-21-02, 06:24 PM
I'd just slap another HD in there. Be careful with the PSU, thought, a 250W may start to get a litte flaky when you 've got a bunch of crap on it.
Can you not clean out unnecessary files? Usually when I go on "call" with buds and the like, the first thing they tell is "the disk drive is too small". (They're talking about the HDD.) Clear Recycle Bin, empty Temp Net files, and bam, there's an extra GB.
But I assume no one has been surfing *that* much on your office server. :p
The reason I suggested hanging another SCSI drive is that there are probably going to be 2 bottlenecks on that system. The first being the processor speed and the other being RAM speed(if you're lucky it might be 60ns EDO). That being given, the actual speed increase of going to a ATA 100 or 133 interface will be minimal beyond the point where the data chain hits the PCI bus, since DMA is limited by the RAM speed. As a fileserver, NT will still have to process all requests for data since it's probably set up with NTFS permissions and with the processor speed and probable amount and speed of RAM will drastically limit performance. I have a file server that we use for documents and FDD images that has similar limitations. It's a PI 200 with 64MB RAM and running 2000 Server due to company policies. Since it doesn't get hit for high bandwidth uses and has limited access, it doesn't have any functional problems. It currently has a couple of ATA100 drives and really gains nothing from a performance standpoint. What really hurts, from a personal standpoint, is the Adaptec 29160 SCSI card running an external tape backup, just a bit of overkill.
If you are certain that you want to go the IDE route. Something like a Promise 100TX2, 2 channel ATA100 IDE adapter and a nice reliable drive. Some of the slower drives can be more reliable than the newest fastest thing on the block. A large 5400 rpm drive will most likely have all of the speed that the machine can handle. Remember, the prime requisites for a file server are reliability, stability and the safety of the data. Speed for most file servers falls a distant fourth.
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