Server for small business

dw1980

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Oct 27, 2011
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Morning all.

Hope all is well. Hope I am posting this in the correct section.

I am working at a small company, where we have 6 PC's with windows 10, connecting to a server which is also running windows 10. I want to upgrade the server PC (which is now 10 years old), to an unused PC which we have in the office with a Xeon processor.

We do not have any software/systems running from the server, the server is primarily used to store all the AutoCAD / Solidworks files, purchase orders, datasheets etc on. Problem we have everyday is that for some reason the server just decides to restart itself, and the files which we have open on our PC's become corrupt. Can be quite painful.

What would be the best operating system to run on the server, that makes the windows 10 PC's connect to it easily. Also the existing server has two hard drives, running RAID in case of hard drive crashing, for data backup.

Any suggestions anyone? I am also looking at a better backup system, as I only get to backup the server once a month, by copying the files from the server's hard drive onto an external hard drive which takes about half a day.

I also want to set the server up so that we can access it if we are off site (we in mining field, so we go to site/Russia quite often and sometimes need a file or two from the server). At the moment we use Teamviwer, which I am not very fond of for this idea.

Sadly money is a bit tight at the moment, as the business is not doing very good, hence I want to use the Xeon PC which we have in the office.

Any help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 

Overmind

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What is the specs of the current PC and of the Xeon processor machine?

Why is the backup taking half a day to complete?
 

dw1980

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The exisitng server is an Intel 2 Duo CPU E8200 @ 2.66GHz with 4gb RAM. I need to check the specs of the Xeon processor. The backup takes about half a day because I am copying about 150gb's worth of files and folders via a USB cable, from the server to an External Hard Drive.
 

AstroTurf

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by the sounds of things you just need a NAS and you can back that up to either the cloud or one of the other computers via the network overnight.
 

OCP

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The exisitng server is an Intel 2 Duo CPU E8200 @ 2.66GHz with 4gb RAM. I need to check the specs of the Xeon processor. The backup takes about half a day because I am copying about 150gb's worth of files and folders via a USB cable, from the server to an External Hard Drive.
is the data unique each time? if not a incremental backup would be much faster.

+1 for UnRaid or FreeNAS for a quick, simple and reliable file server.
 

PsyWulf

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Freefilesync,set up a copy job for "changed" data,run daily and rotate
Set up a second job different folder/disk for weekly and rotate

There's some decently cheap server licenses being sold on Carbonite recently,but to be fully license compliant you'd need to buy CAL licenses for everybody accessing the server (though the licenses are honour-based rather than hard-enforced)

As for the remote file access requirement,FTP server would be simple to setup on the server,with accounts for remote access
 

SauRoNZA

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Would be a bit of a waste of a Xeon to only be a file server.
 

RoganDawes

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Sounds like part of the problem is that you are only using USB2 for your backup disk! You should be able to halve (or quarter!) your backup time with a USB3 external disk. But also, doing an incremental backup will save you a lot of time too.

Assuming you mean 4 hours for the backup, that's basically 11MB/s throughput! :-(

You have a fairly large problem, either with the source disk, the load on the server, or with the target disk.
 
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dw1980

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Oct 27, 2011
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Thanks. I basically just copy everything over onto the external hard drive, each time under a new folder with a new date as the name, as it would be difficult to tell which files and folders have been edited. Yes, I am using USB 2.0, as the server does not have USB 3.0 time does take about 4-5 hours (hence "half a day as a work day is 8 hours).

I am not too familiar with raid setup etc, so don't really want to disable it as the backup only gets done once a month. I will be looking into Freefilesync and see if I can use that, will make life much easier.

Ok, so it seems the exisitng server PC is fine for what we do, will keep the Xeon for an AutoCAD / Solidworks workstation - makes sense.

as for the Server licence, did not know it is per user, so will have to make do with Windows 10. Maybe the Server PC just needs a good format, and re-load Windows 10 and re-set up the network.

How does one set up RAID?
 

PsyWulf

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Thanks. I basically just copy everything over onto the external hard drive, each time under a new folder with a new date as the name, as it would be difficult to tell which files and folders have been edited. Yes, I am using USB 2.0, as the server does not have USB 3.0 time does take about 4-5 hours (hence "half a day as a work day is 8 hours).
In terms of checking for changes,the most basic version of the process checks for modified dates or sizes,both are fairly safe indicators for something changing. Even Robocopy/Teracopy can handle this way in a manual copy,but im a lazy bugger so Freefilesync (or similar apps) do it and can be scheduled. If you volume of changed data is anything less than 50% of total data you'll already halve your backup times or more. You could use 2 harddrives of decent size to do daily and weekly rotations to give you quite a bit of data recovery window

I'm used to working with SMEs with breakneck budgets so i've done an array of options to cover them for data/hardware losses
 

RoganDawes

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Thanks. I basically just copy everything over onto the external hard drive, each time under a new folder with a new date as the name, as it would be difficult to tell which files and folders have been edited. Yes, I am using USB 2.0, as the server does not have USB 3.0 time does take about 4-5 hours (hence "half a day as a work day is 8 hours).
In that case, you could buy a cheap PCI or PCIe USB3 card like this, and use that for the backups. Although it sounds like the server may also be a bottleneck, because you should definitely be able to get more than 11MB/s over USB2.

Just check whether your server has PCI or PCIe, since they are completely different.
 
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sajunky

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Although it sounds like the server may also be a bottleneck, because you should definitely be able to get more than 11MB/s over USB2.
It can be with lot of small files or large folders, also depends on the copying software.

Instead of getting a crappy USB3 card with poor drivers, I would rather suggest SATA controller card.

OP can even use your on-board SATA controller under condition that BIOS support hotswap. If you can define SATA port as an external (or removable), you can just add external SATA bracket and use SATA external drive.
 
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sajunky

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Problem we have everyday is that for some reason the server just decides to restart itself, and the files which we have open on our PC's become corrupt. Can be quite painful.
Painful? It is completely not acceptable. I suggest the following in order:

1. Check system logs. If there is no trace of a system errors, it could be a serious hardware fault. Boot from Hiren's Boot CD and run DOS MEMTEST, leaving it running overnight. If you need to repair this computer, consider costs, a simple NAS solution (as suggested) is the best in your case.

2. Assuming computer restaring problem is fixed, see my earlier post about changing to SATA external drive.

3. Chosing a backup strategy is essential. Once a week a full backup, plus incremental daily. Incremental backup is very quick. Any software will do, even a simple scheduled cmd batch file (checking for updated attributes), but there is a lot of free software available.

4. Remote access by S/FTP (keep it simple again), unless special security is required.
 

dw1980

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Oct 27, 2011
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Hi All, Sorry got hectic in the office and running around to suppliers etc. We have a 10mbps ADSL Line, works pretty good and fast enough for what we do in the office.
 
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