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Old 08-05-2011, 11:19 PM   #1
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Default Help setting up a server

Firstly, I very recently bought a Dell Poweredge 2850 for $25. It's got 3 36GB 15,000 RPM SCSI drives, and 1.5gb of RAM. Is this a good deal at all? I know absolutely nothing about servers, but have always been very curious so I thought I'd give it a go. I'm pretty savvy with Windows and hardware in general, so I don't really think there's anything here that's impossible, I just don't really know where to start.

My goal is to make a home server, for music, movies, documents, and a weekly backup of some of my files. At the moment, this server is running Ubuntu 11.04. If needed, I can put on a different version of Linux, and can get a copy of any version of Windows. I have a ton of OS disks lying about, some of which I've never even used. So, if this OS is a bad starting point, I'd like to remedy that before I get any farther.
Also, what software can I use to get files from one place to another? The only thing I've used in the past is Filezilla, but will that still work if my windows machines are NTFS and this linux one isn't? Thank you for all help
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Old 08-06-2011, 11:09 AM   #2
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Default Re: Help setting up a server

hahah ok well 1st of all if that is like any dell poweredge i've worked with when you fire it up its going to sound like 4 hair dryers blowing at full blast.....so i don't think you'll be using that in your home, unless its a sound proof basement. Linux will read NTFS but from the sound of it you've got one HELL of a learning curve.
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Old 08-06-2011, 11:34 AM   #3
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Default Re: Help setting up a server

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hahah ok well 1st of all if that is like any dell poweredge i've worked with when you fire it up its going to sound like 4 hair dryers blowing at full blast.....so i don't think you'll be using that in your home, unless its a sound proof basement. Linux will read NTFS but from the sound of it you've got one HELL of a learning curve.
Hahaha, it definitely was. I didn't see that many fans on the outside of the case, so I was really surprised. But I will be keeping this in a backroom of my basement, so it's not really an issue.

Like I said, I'm mostly a Windows guy. I've never really done much with it, I've never really used it as a primary OS. I'm pretty confident that I /can/ do it, I just need a good starting point.
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Old 08-07-2011, 09:30 AM   #4
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Default Re: Help setting up a server

Hi,

So lets start with what you have. You have under 100GB of space to work with, this is going to be a problem for you in the long run, and getting new drives is going to be costly. There might be some options for you here, but I don't know if you would want to get a new mobo and use sata or ide hard drives. I would like to know more about the hardware in the box too.

Next we have to work on what OS you have installed, do you have the server version of 11.04 or is it the desktop version. You will want the server version if you are going to run this as a server. There is a lot of stuff that you can use to make backups of your stuff so that isn't a problem.

Filezilla won't be a problem for you. Filezilla is just a program that can connect to any FTP server, so you don't have to worry about that either.
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Old 08-07-2011, 12:43 PM   #5
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Default Re: Help setting up a server

he isn't going to get a new mobo, those servers are veeeeeeery proprietary.

I would install windows and go from there....there isn't anything saying you must use linux. there also isn't anything saying for it to be a "server" you must have the "server" OS installed.
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Old 08-08-2011, 02:59 PM   #6
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Default Re: Help setting up a server

I think a SAN / NAS is in order. You can run the server and have your backups stored on the SAN/NAS device. You can make a cheap NAS for storage purposes. All information that is being backed up will be accessed through UNC (\\Servername) using SAMBA, so you don't have to worry about NTFS vs EXT3 as long as you have an account on all PC's for backing up. The difficulty here is that all machines will need the account and password unless you allow file sharing without any passwords.
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Old 08-08-2011, 03:00 PM   #7
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Default Re: Help setting up a server

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he isn't going to get a new mobo, those servers are veeeeeeery proprietary.

I would install windows and go from there....there isn't anything saying you must use linux. there also isn't anything saying for it to be a "server" you must have the "server" OS installed.
Yes, but linux would surely be more lightweight, correct?
Quote:
Originally Posted by wmorri View Post
Hi,

So lets start with what you have. You have under 100GB of space to work with, this is going to be a problem for you in the long run, and getting new drives is going to be costly. There might be some options for you here, but I don't know if you would want to get a new mobo and use sata or ide hard drives. I would like to know more about the hardware in the box too.

Next we have to work on what OS you have installed, do you have the server version of 11.04 or is it the desktop version. You will want the server version if you are going to run this as a server. There is a lot of stuff that you can use to make backups of your stuff so that isn't a problem.

Filezilla won't be a problem for you. Filezilla is just a program that can connect to any FTP server, so you don't have to worry about that either.
I was planning on using a USB External drive with it, if possible. As far as the hardware, all I really know is it has a 2.8Ghz Xeon processor, and 1.5GB of ram. There's really nothing descriptive on the outside of it telling me much more. Also, it's the desktop version of 11.04. I was thinking about putting the server version on, but I don't have it on hand at the moment, and I figured I could just disable the GUI and essentially have the same thing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PvilleStang View Post
I think a SAN / NAS is in order. You can run the server and have your backups stored on the SAN/NAS device. You can make a cheap NAS for storage purposes. All information that is being backed up will be accessed through UNC (\\Servername) using SAMBA, so you don't have to worry about NTFS vs EXT3 as long as you have an account on all PC's for backing up. The difficulty here is that all machines will need the account and password unless you allow file sharing without any passwords.
That seems like what I want to do, use it as a file server. How would I go about doing that with my own hardware though? It's the software side of things that I need help with, as I've never really done anything like this before.
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Old 08-08-2011, 03:24 PM   #8
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Default Re: Help setting up a server

Really, if it were me, I would build the NAS and get it configured (follow any number of websites on how to make a cheap NAS) or you can set up an Attached Storage configuration (I.E. external USB drives). As for software, I'd recommend keeping the GUI, it will make life much easier for you. Ubuntu 11 will have the software repository that could help you find backup software solutions, and configuring any of these through terminal will be no simple feat. If you stumble upon a copy of Windows XP, it will be a pain to load because of the RAIDed drives. A server OS like 2000 would be ideal, but getting your hands on an old copy isn't always easy. Setup requires many steps before we can help out.

1. Design network architecture: decide how you want to set up your PC's (in a domain, stand alones, etc.), decide on IP segment, set firewall accordingly, etc.
2. Decide on Server OS
3. Decide on PC OS"s
4. Set up file sharing on PC's requiring backing up
5. Select Backup solution based on OS's of Server and PC's. Note that some backup solutions require remote agents on workstations / remote servers that require backing up.
6. Install / Configure
7. Tweak out backup configuration
8. Read logs, if backup failures, goto step 7

In other words, going from a fairly simple home network configuration and trying to introduce backup solutions creates a complexity that requires a lot of planning and forethought.
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Old 08-09-2011, 10:05 AM   #9
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Default Re: Help setting up a server

Quote:
Originally Posted by PvilleStang View Post
Really, if it were me, I would build the NAS and get it configured (follow any number of websites on how to make a cheap NAS) or you can set up an Attached Storage configuration (I.E. external USB drives). As for software, I'd recommend keeping the GUI, it will make life much easier for you. Ubuntu 11 will have the software repository that could help you find backup software solutions, and configuring any of these through terminal will be no simple feat. If you stumble upon a copy of Windows XP, it will be a pain to load because of the RAIDed drives. A server OS like 2000 would be ideal, but getting your hands on an old copy isn't always easy. Setup requires many steps before we can help out.

1. Design network architecture: decide how you want to set up your PC's (in a domain, stand alones, etc.), decide on IP segment, set firewall accordingly, etc.
2. Decide on Server OS
3. Decide on PC OS"s
4. Set up file sharing on PC's requiring backing up
5. Select Backup solution based on OS's of Server and PC's. Note that some backup solutions require remote agents on workstations / remote servers that require backing up.
6. Install / Configure
7. Tweak out backup configuration
8. Read logs, if backup failures, goto step 7

In other words, going from a fairly simple home network configuration and trying to introduce backup solutions creates a complexity that requires a lot of planning and forethought.
Well, right now I have nothing in the way of network storage or anything :P I have around 4 computers right now that are all using our wireless router. 1 is Win7, 2 are XP, and 1 is Vista. All windows machines though. For some reason I was hoping to go with Linux on this server, simply for experience, and I'm guessing it will be a more lightweight solution than Windows, therefore giving me more power to do the actual, well, serving, correct? I'd be more than willing to get a copy of windows Server '03 or '08 if it would help things though.
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Old 08-16-2011, 04:00 PM   #10
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Default Re: Help setting up a server

here is the solution:
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