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Hard Drive Upgrade Questions

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M_Lyons10    454

Hello everyone.

 

I want to begin by saying that I am most assuredly NOT a hardware guy.  I have relatively little experience with it, but have to upgrade a hard drive in a server machine and was looking for some recommendations and questions answered before I dive right in.  I really appreciate everyone's expertise and suggestions.

 

1) The system has two hard drives (80 GB!) functioning in a RAID setup.

 

2) The system is used to store documents, etc., and is beginning to reach its storage limit.

 

3) The system is rather old, but has been well maintained and is operationally functioning great.  While a syste upgrade / replacement is planned, it will be a ways off as it is genuinely unnecessary.

 

4) The hard drives are Ultra ATA.

 

5) I am looking to expand the storage, but because the two existing hard drives are operating in a RAID, I am assuming I cannot just plug another hard drive in.  Specifically because the data would easily then exceed the mirror.

 

6) I need to make sure that I do not lose the OS, settings, or data from the existing drives and may not be able to reregister this software.

 

How would everyone approach this project.  I considered cloning the data on the drive to a new drive, but I don't know if that is necessary, or if I can use the existing drive and just add another one?  The one hard drive that is there is near impossible to access (for me), as I would need to move things like the motherboard, etc. and that is beyond my comfort zone.  I do have available slots for another hard drive.

 

I greatly appreciate everyone's help.  If there's anything I left out, please ask. 

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+goretsky    877

Hello,

 

As the lowest budget and most portable solution, I would suggest adding a USB external hard disk drive to the machine.  Given what you have told us of the computer and what we can guess about its age, I am guessing it only has comparatively-slow USB 2.0 ports, but it probably won't be that much slower than the existing solution.

 

Regards,

 

Aryeh Goretsky

 

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Xahid    5,157

I don't think you will find the U-ATA HDD anymore unless (used) which is not smart decision to buy, as Mr. Gorestsky advice, you should buy external portable HDD.

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+DevTech    1,221
On 12/18/2017 at 1:40 PM, M_Lyons10 said:

Hello everyone.

 

I want to begin by saying that I am most assuredly NOT a hardware guy.  I have relatively little experience with it, but have to upgrade a hard drive in a server machine and was looking for some recommendations and questions answered before I dive right in.  I really appreciate everyone's expertise and suggestions.

 

1) The system has two hard drives (80 GB!) functioning in a RAID setup.

 

2) The system is used to store documents, etc., and is beginning to reach its storage limit.

 

3) The system is rather old, but has been well maintained and is operationally functioning great.  While a syste upgrade / replacement is planned, it will be a ways off as it is genuinely unnecessary.

 

4) The hard drives are Ultra ATA.

 

5) I am looking to expand the storage, but because the two existing hard drives are operating in a RAID, I am assuming I cannot just plug another hard drive in.  Specifically because the data would easily then exceed the mirror.

 

6) I need to make sure that I do not lose the OS, settings, or data from the existing drives and may not be able to reregister this software.

 

How would everyone approach this project.  I considered cloning the data on the drive to a new drive, but I don't know if that is necessary, or if I can use the existing drive and just add another one?  The one hard drive that is there is near impossible to access (for me), as I would need to move things like the motherboard, etc. and that is beyond my comfort zone.  I do have available slots for another hard drive.

 

I greatly appreciate everyone's help.  If there's anything I left out, please ask. 

You have provided very little useful information which is why you have not been presented with very many options.

 

1. Do you have control of the physical space?

 

2. Is the server a desktop on a shelf or rackmount and do you have more space available for equipment?

 

3. How does the server connect to your LAN? 10 mbits or 100 mbits or 1000 mbits (gigabit)

 

4. Do you have spare network slots in your switch?  (I am thinking adding a quality NAS is a darned good solution)

 

5. What is the brand and model number of the server or the motherboard?

 

6. What expansion slots exist on the motherboard? Does it use PCI-X?

 

7. When you say you have more hard drive spots available is it detachable caddies common in rackmount servers?

 

8. If you can't find brand info, what does back panel look like in terms of available expansion? Does it have Firewire in addition to USB? Any ESATA? (highly unlikely in Ultra-ATA mobo) and is there a second or third LAN port? (common in servers)

 

9. What O/S and version is it running? What is CPU? How much RAM?

 

10. How is the RAID implemented? Servers of that time period would use either a LSI/Adaptec/Promise or similar brand RAID controller in a PCI-X socket or sometimes the RAID chip would be on a motherboard.

 

11. Probably won't affect anything but just to be complete, did the RAID controller have any dedicated cache RAM and was it battery backed? or does the entire server have battery backup and if so, is there additional capacity?

 

12. Whatt software is using the drive space of 80 gigs and is the drive partitioned? (It was a common performance trick back then to just use the first 20 gigs of the drive and leave the rest unused to simulate the performance of a SCSI based server.) Is the space used for Database storage or just random socuments?

 

Conclusion so far:

 

A) you don't have the skill set to expand an existing RAID and is was far trickier on old hardware in any case.

 

B) depending on answers to above questions there are a lot of possible solutions with various pros and cons.

 

C) If it is just files being stored, you could possibly just add Cloud storage to expand 80 gig to a terabyte or two with zero fuss.

 

D) A RAID-1 NAS unit would be far more appropriate than USB.

 

 

 

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Mindovermaster    1,411
7 minutes ago, DevTech said:

12. Whatt software is using the drive space of 80 gigs and is the drive partitioned? (It was a common performance trick back then to just use the first 20 gigs of the drive and leave the rest unused to simulate the performance of a SCSI based server.) Is the space used for Database storage or just random socuments?

 

All what he said.. And I can't stop ROFLing over "socuments"...

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+DevTech    1,221
51 minutes ago, Mindovermaster said:

All what he said.. And I can't stop ROFLing over "socuments"...

You know? the one where 1/2 the document is always missing when you go to clean it?

 

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M_Lyons10    454

LOL!  Sorry about "socuments", I always reread things before posting and somehow I missed that...

Also, I'm sorry it took me so long to respond.  I could have swore Neowin notified you when your topic got a response, but I didn't get any notification at all.  I should have checked back.  In any event, I hope everyone had a nice holiday!

I really do appreciate everyone's thoughts on this.  I completely agree that this is well outside of my comfort zone and skill set.  Absolutely no arguments there...

 

I'll try to answer all of the questions you asked DevTech:

 

1. Do you have control of the physical space?  Yes.

 

2. Is the server a desktop on a shelf or rackmount and do you have more space available for equipment?  This is a desktop unit.

 

3. How does the server connect to your LAN? 10 mbits or 100 mbits or 1000 mbits (gigabit)? 100

 

4. Do you have spare network slots in your switch?  (I am thinking adding a quality NAS is a darned good solution): I do.  Would the NAS only hold the documents?  I've never used one before.

 

5. What is the brand and model number of the server or the motherboard? I will have to get back to you on this.  I know that the processor is AMD and the motherboard I believe is MSI.

 

6. What expansion slots exist on the motherboard? Does it use PCI-X? This I don't know.  There is an additional connection on the ribbon, so I figured (initially) that I could use this and / or swap out the existing hard drives.

 

7. When you say you have more hard drive spots available is it detachable caddies common in rackmount servers?  It's additional connections on the ribbon.

 

8. If you can't find brand info, what does back panel look like in terms of available expansion? Does it have Firewire in addition to USB? Any ESATA? (highly unlikely in Ultra-ATA mobo) and is there a second or third LAN port? (common in servers) I have 4 USB ports (Likely USB 2 I would assume?) and 2 LAN ports.

 

9. What O/S and version is it running? What is CPU? How much RAM? The OS is Windows Server 2003.  I realize this is very old, but it is not connected to the internet and is used solely for SQL Server databases and document storage.  One of the software products we use hasn't supported a newer version of Windows Server until very recently, so we were kind of stuck.  We'll be upgrading at some point in the next year or so I would imagine.  The system has 512 MB of RAM. 

 

10. How is the RAID implemented? Servers of that time period would use either a LSI/Adaptec/Promise or similar brand RAID controller in a PCI-X socket or sometimes the RAID chip would be on a motherboard.  According to Speccy: "Promise 1X2 Mirror/RAID1 SCSI Disk Device".

 

11. Probably won't affect anything but just to be complete, did the RAID controller have any dedicated cache RAM and was it battery backed? or does the entire server have battery backup and if so, is there additional capacity?  The entire server is plugged in to a battery backup.  There should be additional capacity.

 

12. Whatt software is using the drive space of 80 gigs and is the drive partitioned? (It was a common performance trick back then to just use the first 20 gigs of the drive and leave the rest unused to simulate the performance of a SCSI based server.) Is the space used for Database storage or just random socuments?  It is partitioned into 3 partitions.  1 for the OS and 2 separate partitions for the document store used for two different networked programs.

 

Thank you again for your help.  I had thought about doing an external hard drive, but figured the speed hit from the USB connection would be an issue.  I really wasn't sure though.  I was also concerned that, by connecting another drive to the machine, it would attempt to include it in the RAID and there would of course not be enough space on the mirrored drive... 

 

And we're also not talking about a mountainous amount of documents.  We are currently at about 20 GB's of documents for the program that is creating the storage problem.  While that will continue to grow, it has taken us 5 years maybe to get to this point...  In fact, I expect that to be an issue when I begin pricing an upgrade, as so much is likely to be overkill...

Thanks Again!

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+DevTech    1,221

Promise 1X2 Mirror/RAID1 SCSI Disk Device

 

- Any chance that is actually SCSI? To the untrained eye. the connector can look similar to ATA.

 

- Please provide the barnd and model number of the disk drives - Speccy can tell you that.

 

- Please list the brand and type/speed of your 2 LAN ports - Speccy can tell you that.

 

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+goretsky    877

Hello,

 

Just to add to @DevTech's suggestions, it would probably be a good idea to try and identify as many of the server's hardware components as possible.  The System Information (filename: MSINFO32.EXE) program that comes with Windows should probably help in identifying some things.  And, of course, you can always open the chassis and look for manufacturer and model information silk-screened onto the boards.

 

Regards,

 

Aryeh Goretsky

 

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M_Lyons10    454
16 hours ago, DevTech said:

Promise 1X2 Mirror/RAID1 SCSI Disk Device

 

- Any chance that is actually SCSI? To the untrained eye. the connector can look similar to ATA.

 

- Please provide the barnd and model number of the disk drives - Speccy can tell you that.

 

- Please list the brand and type/speed of your 2 LAN ports - Speccy can tell you that.

 

Thanks for your response.

 

The hard drives installed now read Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 80 Gbytes ULTRA ATA, but under Speccy it does say "Promise 1X2 Mirror/RAID1 SCSI Disk Device".

 

I can't seem to find the model number on the hard drive or in Speccy.  I've attached a picture of the hard drive and of the readout from Speccy.

 

The LAN shows as "Realtek RTL8139 Family PCI Fast Ethernet NIC".

2 hours ago, goretsky said:

Hello,

 

Just to add to @DevTech's suggestions, it would probably be a good idea to try and identify as many of the server's hardware components as possible.  The System Information (filename: MSINFO32.EXE) program that comes with Windows should probably help in identifying some things.  And, of course, you can always open the chassis and look for manufacturer and model information silk-screened onto the boards.

 

Regards,

 

Aryeh Goretsky

 

Thanks, I'm looking through that as well now. 

 (1000).png

HardDrive.jpg

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+Mando    5,113
25 minutes ago, M_Lyons10 said:

Thanks for your response.

 

The hard drives installed now read Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 80 Gbytes ULTRA ATA, but under Speccy it does say "Promise 1X2 Mirror/RAID1 SCSI Disk Device".

 

I can't seem to find the model number on the hard drive or in Speccy.  I've attached a picture of the hard drive and of the readout from Speccy.

 

The LAN shows as "Realtek RTL8139 Family PCI Fast Ethernet NIC".

Thanks, I'm looking through that as well now. 

(1000).png

HardDrive.jpg

they are ultra ATA hard drives aka IDE, they aint SCSI.

 

Another way to verify is take a photo of the "spare connector" on the ribbon, and upload here, betcha its an ultra-66 cable (or 33) and not SCSI termination :) ofc it may be a misconfig or it does actually have an IDE raid expansion or supported by the motherboard.

 

You aint gonna find brand new replacements for those mate, a NAS is looking more like the answer.

 

think of a NAS as, a pile of hard disks in a network enclosure, which you can map to each PC like you have with the file "server" and/or you can control access via NTFS perms if you mount the NAS shares to the server, otherwise youll be looking at CiFs 

 

Have a look on the MSI mainboard, there should me a MS-xxxx number near either the graphic expansion port or the PCI slots. If we can find that we can check directly the motherboard specifications.

 

the synology range of NAS units support SMB/NTFS ACLs (Access Control List)

 

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+BudMan    3,150
On 12/18/2017 at 12:40 PM, M_Lyons10 said:

How would everyone approach this project.

Buy a new nas, move the data over... 80GB drives... From that date code

 

Date Code Year: 2007
Date Code Week: 47
Date Code Day: 7
Build Date: Friday, May 25, 2007

 

Those drives are well over 10 years old... Get a new NAS, build your own, etc.  And move your data to the new nas.. That is how I would handle the project... It is completely pointless to do anything with such old hardware other than move your data off of it.

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+DevTech    1,221
1 hour ago, M_Lyons10 said:

Thanks for your response.

 

The hard drives installed now read Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 80 Gbytes ULTRA ATA, but under Speccy it does say "Promise 1X2 Mirror/RAID1 SCSI Disk Device".

 

I can't seem to find the model number on the hard drive or in Speccy.  I've attached a picture of the hard drive and of the readout from Speccy.

 

The LAN shows as "Realtek RTL8139 Family PCI Fast Ethernet NIC".

Thanks, I'm looking through that as well now. 

 

 

- You keep dribbling out tiny bits of info

 

- Start with the basic model and year of the computer itself

 

"5. What is the brand and model number of the server or the motherboard? I will have to get back to you on this.  I know that the processor is AMD and the motherboard I believe is MSI."

 

- What CPU

 

- What RAM

 

- Motherboard model

 

- Computer brand and model

 

People here can make better educated guesses if we can pinpoint the archaeological era for that computer.

 

 

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

 

I'm having a few concerns that NAS might prove problematic for your tech skill level:

 

- You only have a 10/100 LAN so the speed of NAS might be affected

- Various software running on that old might have trouble getting to non-local info

- You need to confirm battery capacity when adding the NAS

- The network address for a NAS might need to be manually configured

- A firewall or two might need adjusting

 

 

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

 

Plugging a spare IDE HD into the extra connector will not trigger and automatic integration into a RAID-1 setup so it is safe to try

 

- you will need to probably configure it as a stand alone drive in the Promise software, either in Windows Server 2003, or hit CTRL-S (or similar) on boot up.

- if you can arrange to backup the drive constantly then longevity aspects of getting an ancient drive may not matter - buy three of them to last until your upgrade...

 

 

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

 

Plugging an external USB drive might work - just test it - if it gets detected, then buy a cheap RAID-1 external USB.

 

- You might need to keep the size of the drive very small or else create a small first partition for the O/S to see it.

 

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

 

I considered using a SATA to IDE adapter plug and something like a Samsung 850 SSD, but the BIOS and O/S issues could be weird/insurmountable

 

- these cards cost less than $10 so I'd be inclined to test it just for fun

 

https://www.amazon.ca/SATA-Serial-Adapter-Converter-Cable/dp/B01FTVOOIS/ref=pd_bxgy_147_3?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=66RACQB07AF30JANB0MS

 

---------------------- 

 

If it was me, I would mirror the O/S to a VM and then provision two VMs on Azure:

 

- A new Windows Server 2016

- and the Windows Server 2003

- by running both at the same time, the software can be gradually transitioned to the new server O/S

- Just my opinion, but in addition to Cloud working great at scale, it is also great at onesies and twosies since managing an on-premise server is more trouble than it's worth unless it hits a "micro/small data center" size.

 

 

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+Mando    5,113
5 minutes ago, DevTech said:

 

- A new Windows Server 2016

- and the Windows Server 2003

- by running both at the same time, the software can be gradually transitioned to the new server O/S

- Just my opinion, but in addition to Cloud working great at scale, it is also great at onesies and twosies since managing an on-premise server is more trouble than it's worth unless it hits a "micro/small data center" size.

 

 

agreed :) way id go too, but wouldnt be very cheap. BUT tbh that original machine has done its time and should be retired IMO.

 

 

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+goretsky    877

Hello,


I seem to recall that under Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 the old Promise Ultra TX66/100/133 PCI RAID 0/1 PCI controllers showed up as SCSI, so that explains why it doesn't show up as an ATA RAID device.  I just sent one out for recycling (I was using it with the same Seagate 80GB ATA drives to mirror the MP3 collection in my old HTPC).

 

The motherboard's manual should explain whether there are additional ATA or SCSI connectors are on the motherboard.  You could plug another drive into one of those, plus the internal power supply.  The other option, of course, would be to use an external USB hard disk drive. That would be slow, but if you just need to make a copy of the databases prior to moving to new hardware that would be a low-impact way to do it.

 

Regards,

 

Aryeh Goretsky

 

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M_Lyons10    454

Thanks everyone for the help.  Sorry if I am trickling out information, that wasn't my intention, I thought I was answering the questions being asked...  This machine was custom built, so there is no brand or anything on it.  I've attached a screenshot from Speccy with the computer's info.  Hopefully this answers the questions better?  I'm happy to answer whatever questions I can of course.  The inside of the box is a bit tight, so I've had some difficulty getting to certain things.  I published a snapshot from Speccy which can be viewed here: http://speccy.piriform.com/results/p0Dac5cl2tZxGxcGbYdhirA

 

Hopefully that helps better.  Sorry, I just saw this feature in Speccy or I would have just done this from the start.

 

I appreciate everyone's suggestions and recommendations.  I completely understand that this system is old, until very recently we had a product that we needed to use that had not supported newer versions of Windows Server, so an upgrade wasn't really possible until very recently.  It is planned, however in looking at the options available, a lot of the units I've seenn have been overkill for what we actually need (Though I would LOVE to upgrade to a current version of SQL Server).

 

I've been reading up on NAS devices and they seem to have some interesting features.  For my needs though, what is the upside to using a NAS as opposed to connecting an external drive to the server?  They would both be slowed down by the connection, right?  I would like to use the solution as a production drive where the data is stored and being accessed as opposed to a backup only. 

I also have some room on one of the partitions and was considering changing the partition sizes and using the solution as a means to do a backup only.  I do do regular backups, but this may be easier...?  I've used MiniTool Partition Manager before to change the partitians around on a PC and their website says that it supports Windows Server 2003 as well.  It would be a temporary solution, but they all kind of are...

The Azure suggestion is very interesting.  I'm not sure what Azure would cost for us, but it will definitely be something I will be looking at when we plan the actual server upgrade.  Would there be any issue with storing sensitive information like customer data on Azure?  I'm assuming no...  It certainly would be nice to not have to worry about maintaining a server and things...

 

Does anyone know what kind of a hit I'd take when transfering a document for example by moving fron the internal hard drive to an external?  It seems to me this would be rather significant, but I understand these drives are rather old too...  Would NAS be faster?

 

Thanks Again!

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M_Lyons10    454

Sorry, I forgot the screenshot.

 (1005).png

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+DevTech    1,221
4 hours ago, M_Lyons10 said:

Thanks everyone for the help.  Sorry if I am trickling out information, that wasn't my intention, I thought I was answering the questions being asked...  This machine was custom built, so there is no brand or anything on it.  I've attached a screenshot from Speccy with the computer's info.  Hopefully this answers the questions better?  I'm happy to answer whatever questions I can of course.  The inside of the box is a bit tight, so I've had some difficulty getting to certain things.  I published a snapshot from Speccy which can be viewed here: http://speccy.piriform.com/results/p0Dac5cl2tZxGxcGbYdhirA

 

Hopefully that helps better.  Sorry, I just saw this feature in Speccy or I would have just done this from the start.

 

I appreciate everyone's suggestions and recommendations.  I completely understand that this system is old, until very recently we had a product that we needed to use that had not supported newer versions of Windows Server, so an upgrade wasn't really possible until very recently.  It is planned, however in looking at the options available, a lot of the units I've seenn have been overkill for what we actually need (Though I would LOVE to upgrade to a current version of SQL Server).

 

I've been reading up on NAS devices and they seem to have some interesting features.  For my needs though, what is the upside to using a NAS as opposed to connecting an external drive to the server?  They would both be slowed down by the connection, right?  I would like to use the solution as a production drive where the data is stored and being accessed as opposed to a backup only. 

I also have some room on one of the partitions and was considering changing the partition sizes and using the solution as a means to do a backup only.  I do do regular backups, but this may be easier...?  I've used MiniTool Partition Manager before to change the partitians around on a PC and their website says that it supports Windows Server 2003 as well.  It would be a temporary solution, but they all kind of are...

The Azure suggestion is very interesting.  I'm not sure what Azure would cost for us, but it will definitely be something I will be looking at when we plan the actual server upgrade.  Would there be any issue with storing sensitive information like customer data on Azure?  I'm assuming no...  It certainly would be nice to not have to worry about maintaining a server and things...

 

Does anyone know what kind of a hit I'd take when transfering a document for example by moving fron the internal hard drive to an external?  It seems to me this would be rather significant, but I understand these drives are rather old too...  Would NAS be faster?

 

Thanks Again!

1. muck around with partitions and you risk turning your server into a brick. Just because it worked before doesn't mean you won't glitch it this time. What is the business value of the server and how much downtime can you survive?

 

2. I already discussed why NAS might be tricky for you. If you decide to proceed with using NAS as your primary Database production vehicle, then make sure you provision the NAS device with drives designed for constant writes such as WD Black or Samsung 850 PRO

 

Also, get a Gigabit LAN card (preferrably Intel) and plug that into your motherboard for the NAS connection.

 

3. That is a normal consumer motherboard so just ignore all the previous comments concerning stuff likely to be found on a server motherboard.

 

4. The consumer motherboard makes the Promise thing weird and please check if you have an actual Promise I/O card in the PCI Bus. If so, you would have empty IDE connectors on the motherboard for disk expansion.

 

5. That is a really old motherboard with the Althon MP server version of the Athlon XP plugged into it. The MP version of that chip was designed for motherboards with 2 CPU sockets and for "real" business server usage the AMD Opteron CPU would have been used in a server motherboard.

 

So you have a single core Athlon XP 1.5 Ghz type CPU similar in performance to a 2.0 Ghz Pentium 4

 

It is going to be really hard to provide speed estimates through the lens of recent experience and somehow perceive the 50 Shades of Slowness from back then.

 

6. You can get a free 30 day evaluation of Azure by just signing up. The "security" issues of cloud are in the past now for most people but like all security issues EVERY option has pros and cons. For the most part, every major Cloud Provider will manage security far better than you can.

 

The thing to watch out for on cloud pricing is you get charge for any usage. So you have to stop thinking of servers in the cloud as vitual images of your server-in-a-box (even though they are)

and think more along the lines of resources needed at the time they are actually needed. i.e. spin down everything you don't use and then spin it up again to serve a request and then spin it down again right away. Experience will tweak your "wait a bit in case another request comes along" time period so you get good enough latency

 

I would mirror the 2003 server right away in the 30 day free period to see how that goes, but I would also re-architect new applications to NOT actually use a dedicated VM but instead the on-demand Azure Container Services. https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/services/container-service/

 

 

7. Your retro server using non-server tech from ancient times questions here are delightful so keep it coming.

 

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+BudMan    3,150
4 hours ago, M_Lyons10 said:

what is the upside to using a NAS as opposed to connecting an external drive to the server? 

All depends on what sort of NAS you get... Don't forget NAS just means Network attached storage... So your server running OS ABC is just a NAS.. It takes storage and attaches it to the network ;)

 

Many of the off the shelf NASes have lots of features - can be tied right to your AD for auth, etc.  Can be used to run VMs on them, etc..  They are just servers - some have more umph than others, etc. etc.  This is way different then just plugging in a external drive to some old server... That what has usb 1, 2 maybe?  Can you say I like to watch paint dry as I move files about, etc..

 

Depending on the NAS you buy it could do your mirror of your drives - so while not a true backup, will protect you from drive failure and having to restore from backup.   Can do multiple raid levels - many have more than 1 bay... So you could get something like a 4 bay, put 2 drives in so you can mirror.. Then if you need more space add more drives later, etc.

 

As to storage in the cloud - that would be ok for your backup maybe.. Something like the glacier is very reasonable priced for archive of your data, etc.  I use it as one of the backup legs for my home movies and pictures.. Its like 2 cents a gig per month or something.

 

Do you have a budget for replacement of this system your currently storing your data on?

 

You get a multi bay system, also allows for you to move bigger drives in and remove older drives, before they fail..   So you can fire up some "server" and install the OS and share files off that - or you can just buy a "nas" that makes it dead simple for a non IT shop to get up and running..

 

There are high end and then there is low end..

 

Highend - https://www.qnap.com/en/product/ts-879 pro

 

Lowend home budget.. That you can get for under $150, etc..

Say something like

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JKM0A36

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+Mando    5,113

i didnt spot the W2k3 resize question, general rule of thumb with 2003 and disk resizing is....dont just dont, hell i wont even risk it on legacy Virtual machines running 2k3.

 

aint worth the risk or pain of bricking it as a nonbootable device. Too easy to make it FUBAR.

 

2k8 onwards fair enough (gingerly) but 2k3 hell no.

 

the "server" in question is well past its best before date IMO, id label it a server only because it has 2k3 server on it, thats where the "server" label ends. Its a desktop Frankenstein monster IMO. 

 

Id go azure or if they insist on being on prem, id whack up a esxi setup and p to v that 2k3 instance, with a view of moving the "server" OS into the 21st century. Im surprised that old thing is even still running.

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+DevTech    1,221
1 minute ago, BudMan said:

All depends on what sort of NAS you get... Don't forget NAS just means Network attached storage... So your server running OS ABC is just a NAS.. It takes storage and attaches it to the network ;)

 

Many of the off the shelf NASes have lots of features - can be tied right to your AD for auth, etc.  Can be used to run VMs on them, etc..  They are just servers - some have more umph than others, etc. etc.  This is way different then just plugging in a external drive to some old server... That what has usb 1, 2 maybe?  Can you say I like to watch paint dry as I move files about, etc..

 

Depending on the NAS you buy it could do your mirror of your drives - so while not a true backup, will protect you from drive failure and having to restore from backup.   Can do multiple raid levels - many have more than 1 bay... So you could get something like a 4 bay, put 2 drives in so you can mirror.. Then if you need more space add more drives later, etc.

 

As to storage in the cloud - that would be ok for your backup maybe.. Something like the glacier is very reasonable priced for archive of your data, etc.  I use it as one of the backup legs for my home movies and pictures.. Its like 2 cents a gig per month or something.

 

Do you have a budget for replacement of this system your currently storing your data on?

You might want to review the thread.

 

He wants to consider a NAS for his production Database usage and documents etc, not backup.

 

Current system is a Athlon XP single core /IDE drives with Windows Server 2003

 

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+BudMan    3,150

You might want to review what I wrote ;)   I know its not a backup - I just brought up running storage in the cloud is fine for backup... Which he should have!!! If your suggesting this clearly low budget place should run their servers on AWS... That is going to be a huge budget hit!

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+DevTech    1,221
21 minutes ago, BudMan said:

You might want to review what I wrote ;)   I know its not a backup - I just brought up running storage in the cloud is fine for backup... Which he should have!!! If your suggesting this clearly low budget place should run their servers on AWS... That is going to be a huge budget hit!

I was just pointing out an odd complexity here of potentially conflicting requirements, just in case it would give you an idea, not as a critical comment. :)

 

On the budget. There has been no mention of budget. It is a LOB system covered in dust because it has been reliably doing its job. That presumably can justify very high business level budget amounts if justified. Or not. OP has not specified.

 

AWS and Azure Cloud are price competitive and although I personally prefer Azure for many reasons, even some Neowinian traditional reasons, in his case being a LOB system based on Windows Server 2003, it would be easier to transition to to Windows Server 2016 and in general, Windows Server support is better on Azure than AWS.

 

My mention of AKS was my capricious offbeat take on things as obviously that tech will be way over the heads of any outfit slogging through the World War 1 trenches of Server 2003.

 

 

 

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farmeunit    587

I'd recommend ESXi and P2V as @Mando mentioned.  At that point, it's mostly hardware agnostic and you can move between ESXi instances easily.  Updating the OS, as well.  Then you can resize and do whatever else is needed.   You can find pretty decent, cheap hosts on eBay if you look around.

 

Limited in RAM department, but has drives:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Dell-R510-Xeon-E5640-8GB-2-500GB-4-300GB-2-1TB-2-750w/182808106029?hash=item2a9036542d:g:fU0AAOSwhKZZ1cvK

 

This is if you can't afford something better for now.  

 

For a little more you get quite a bit of RAM and 4x1TB hard drives.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Dell-R510-2x-X5640-2-67GHz-64GB-8x8GB-4x1TB-Server/192304948676?_trkparms=aid%3D555017%26algo%3DPL.CASSINI%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20170810093926%26meid%3Dbcc72e8394444a5fa4073f7db221e548%26pid%3D100854%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D1%26&_trksid=p2349526.c100854.m4779

 

I also just used an old desktop with 2x4TB hard drives with FreeNAS on it.   We have a ReadyNAS for primary backup and FreeNAS for offsite.

 

For local NAS file shares I have one Windows 2012 server and a second for a separate deparment.  Both are VMs on two separate hosts.

 

Lots of options depending on budget.

 

 

 

 

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+Mando    5,113
7 minutes ago, farmeunit said:

I'd recommend ESXi and P2V as @Mando mentioned.  At that point, it's mostly hardware agnostic and you can move between ESXi instances easily.  Updating the OS, as well.  Then you can resize and do whatever else is needed.   You can find pretty decent, cheap hosts on eBay if you look around.

 

Limited in RAM department, but has drives:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Dell-R510-Xeon-E5640-8GB-2-500GB-4-300GB-2-1TB-2-750w/182808106029?hash=item2a9036542d:g:fU0AAOSwhKZZ1cvK

 

This is if you can't afford something better for now.  

 

For a little more you get quite a bit of RAM and 4x1TB hard drives.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Dell-R510-2x-X5640-2-67GHz-64GB-8x8GB-4x1TB-Server/192304948676?_trkparms=aid%3D555017%26algo%3DPL.CASSINI%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20170810093926%26meid%3Dbcc72e8394444a5fa4073f7db221e548%26pid%3D100854%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D1%26&_trksid=p2349526.c100854.m4779

 

I also just used an old desktop with 2x4TB hard drives with FreeNAS on it.   We have a ReadyNAS for primary backup and FreeNAS for offsite.

 

For local NAS file shares I have one Windows 2012 server and a second for a separate deparment.  Both are VMs on two separate hosts.

 

Lots of options depending on budget.

 

 

 

 

TBH i went 2x X Series Lenovo hosts, a V3700 dual controller SAN and esxi 6 HA all for under £30k and that services 23 VMs and 200 endpoints on a 2k12 domain (couldnt go newer at the time) a bargain!

 

heck cut the SAN out and fill up the X series with SAAS drives fo rthe space they need, then backup using Veam or V-ranger offsite to the cloud. £15k max 

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