want to make a "mini mainframe" on my network

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by Ernie Werbel, Apr 29, 2007.

  1. Ernie Werbel

    Ernie Werbel Guest

    Hey all. I have a small network and have decided that for our purposes, the
    best approach would be to have one, central location for users to store
    their files, and have the client PCs connect to it through privatized
    irectories on the network drive. I need to do this on a small budget, so
    all I really need to do is set up a bootable hard drive and network card in
    a computer (even an old one will do). But it seems rather wasteful to build
    a PC for this purpose so I am wondering if they sell external hard drive
    units that connect to Ethernet for this purpose? Thanks for any advice.

    Ernie Werbel, Apr 29, 2007
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  2. Ernie Werbel

    Paul Guest

    That is called a NAS. The chart allows comparing the read/write
    performance. Many of these units aren't that impressive. They
    have a processor inside the box, and that is what translates
    network requests, to storage operations.


    If you click on a link in the chart, you'll be taken to a review
    of the product.

    A product which is "BYOD", means you can buy the hard drive
    separately, and get the best price on it.

    There is even an article on the site, on how to build your
    own NAS.


    Paul, Apr 29, 2007
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  3. Ernie Werbel

    PeeCee Guest

    Thanks for the chart link.
    Explains why my Netgear SC101 didn't impress me as a NAS backup drive.

    Because it resides in another room I always forgot to turn it on before the
    PC's, consequently the software couldn't see the device so rebooting my PC
    became a PITA. (I don't like leaving things powered up for months on end)
    In the end I used it for a week and then turned it off.

    Probably be better to pull the drives and put them in USB box's, at least
    they are faster and are recognised after plugging in.

    PeeCee, Apr 29, 2007
  4. Ernie Werbel

    PeeCee Guest


    No you do not want a 'mini mainframe' you want a file server.

    A NAS device as Paul suggests is only suitable as a backup device given the
    performance issues highlighted.

    May I suggest a seperate PC in a suitably locked and ventilated location.
    Don't use an old PC but get a new one and run SATA drives in at least Raid 1
    (mirror) configuration.
    Make sure the case is well ventilated (fans front and rear) and install
    suitable backup facilities as well (DVD burner, Tape drive, external USB

    I know you said 'small budget' but unfortunately the data you want to put on
    this PC is the 'crown jewels' of your IT resources, probably the most single
    valuable resource your company has.
    Locating all your data on the one server is the logical thing to do, in
    doing so however you create a single point of failure. As such it is
    critical the file server is a reliable and easily backed up.

    To skimp on this file server would be negligent, dare I say criminaly

    PeeCee, Apr 29, 2007
  5. Ernie Werbel

    Ernie Werbel Guest

    Thank you all for the advice. I have one more question, about the BYOD
    option... Since I have some spare drives I could probably put those to use
    but do I need to worry about formatting and/or partitioning?
    Ernie Werbel, Apr 29, 2007
  6. Ernie Werbel

    Paul Guest

    The best way to find out, is download the manual for the BYOD NAS you
    are interested in. It would be short sighted on their part, if the
    procedure was not simple to do.

    A downside of a NAS, is what happens in the event of hardware
    failure. For example, someone blew the power supply on their Buffalo
    product, and had trouble getting a replacement. The nice thing about
    building a server of some sort, to do this job, is you can use standard
    components. There is nothing like running down to your local computer
    store and picking up a replacement ATX supply, if something happens.

    I only mentioned the NAS, since that niche market exists. Rich guys
    tend to buy them. But it may not be the ideal solution for what you
    want to do.

    The advantage of building a server with everyone's home directory
    on it, is it might ease your backup strategy. But you still need
    backups. And you should think carefully about the storage of your
    backup (whether it takes the form of a disk drive, or a bunch
    of DVD disks). The backup hard drive you use, should be unplugged
    (i.e. removable tray or enclosure), so if something ever happens
    to the electricity, your entire operation won't be wiped out. Part
    of your planning approach, should include considerations for
    disaster recovery. Put some thought into what would happen if the
    building burns, airplane crashes into building, H.V. electricity
    line touches 120 VAC, etc. Off site storage of the backup should be
    part of your procedures.

    Paul, Apr 29, 2007
  7. Ernie Werbel


    Jan 29, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Low cost alternative to server

    I did attempt to respond to your question and was unable to because the administrator of this board will not allow me to post links. Since In my response I attempted to tell you exactly what you need how much and where u can order them. From very reputable and long term businesses I was unable to post the answer on this site. However if you would like to you can view the answer to your question at >Threads.govanbros.com>
    Johhny0005, Jan 29, 2010
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