XenServer / NextCloud / backup build to move away form Dropbox



  • I want to build small server that needs to perform these functions:

    1. Nextcloud server for 15-20 users (users are not in LAN) - we want to move from Dropbox where we have 100.000+ files taking 78GB space. Users would have Nextcloud clients installed.
    2. Backup target for 3 off-site servers (totally 1TB space is enough)
    3. VM with Piler (mailpiler.org) for mail archiving (I guess we have about 20GB of mails per year)

    I thought to build it with this:

    1. Dell T30 - E3-1225v5 CPU, 8GB RAM - 400 EUR (cca $460)
    2. Two pieces of 4TB WD Red in RAID 1 - 105 EUR (cca $120) each
    3. XenServer 7.5 as hypervisor (or XCP-ng)
    • one VM for Nextcloud - 2CPU, 4GB RAM
    • one VM for Piler mail achiver
    • backup target on separate VM or on one of the above

    My questions:

    1. Do you think my config is OK, or do you recommend something else?
    2. Where should I put my space for backup target - on Nextcloud or on another VM (or together with Piler)?
    3. Would it be better to have 4x2TB drives in RAID 10 instead od 2x4TB drives in RAID 1? I don't think that storage performance should be an issue, as we have internet connection as limiting factor (10Mbps up / 30Mbps down)


  • @mario-jakovina said in [XenServer / NextCloud

    1. Do you think my config is OK, or do you recommend something else?

    Looks like a solid base to me.



  • @mario-jakovina said in [XenServer / NextCloud

    1. Where should I put my space for backup target - on Nextcloud or on another VM (or together with Piler)?

    I'd use another VM.



  • @mario-jakovina said in [XenServer / NextCloud / backup build to move away form Dropbox]

    1. Would it be better to have 4x2TB drives in RAID 10 instead od 2x4TB drives in RAID 1? I don't think that storage performance should be an issue, as we have internet connection as limiting factor (10Mbps up / 30Mbps down)

    Without knowing your iops needs, we can only take educated guesses on this question.

    That said, if we're considering RED drives, 2 our 4 are still going to be slow. I'd lean more too adding a small SSD drive to use as a cache.



  • @mario-jakovina said in XenServer / NextCloud / backup build to move away form Dropbox:

    Nextcloud server for 15-20 users (users are not in LAN)

    Is this your entire company or just one department within your company?



  • @wirestyle22 15-20 users are from all parts of company. Company has about 150 employees but most of them do not use PCs (production workers, retail...).
    2 accounting departments would probably use Nextcloud as single user each (1 Nextcloud client in department that shares folder within department).
    This is the way we use Dropbox now.



  • @mario-jakovina You do realize that the T30 is a small mini-tower server and not rackmount?

    Also it has no drive bays so you have to mount the drives inside the case, connect cables etc. And there are only room for 4 drives total - so one boot drive and your two 4TB drives. So you can't do RAID10 or if you want to expand with another two drives you can't.

    To be honest the T30 is more of a desktop computer than a server because it has no features that you will find on almost all servers. If you really want a tower server maybe a HP ML110. Sometimes you can find them for a good price ~300-400 EUR.

    Two RED 4TB drives will have >100MB/s read & write so there will be no problem with speed for the files/backup because you need more than 1 gigabit network to saturate the disks.

    However to store the VM themselves and boot your system I would very much like to have a small SSD drive for that.



  • @pete-s said in XenServer / NextCloud / backup build to move away form Dropbox:

    However to store the VM themselves and boot your system I would very much like to have a small SSD drive for that.

    There is no point in putting an SSD in a system for the hypervisor. That is just stupid.

    There is no “storing the VM themselves” on the SSD unless you are talking about splitt8ng the storage VM into a boot vDisk and a data vDisk.

    But even the, the OS will never use the SSD aside from boot. A file server al,ost never writes to the OS, it is all about the storage vDisk.



  • @pete-s I know what is Dell T30. We already have one (with SSD), and we use it as DB server and file server in accounting department (8 users), and it's fine for that.
    I did not plan to put any additional boot drive (as @JaredBusch said), 4TB should be enough for some time, and I can even add 2 more disks in future if we need it.
    Yes, it's almost like desktop. But it's ok, since we can reuse it, when we won't need it as server.
    However, thank you all for comments!



  • Do you think that we should use XCP-ng instead of XenServer?
    (we have XenServer 7.0 on another machine, but we should probably update that one also)



  • @mario-jakovina said in XenServer / NextCloud / backup build to move away form Dropbox:

    1. Would it be better to have 4x2TB drives in RAID 10 instead od 2x4TB drives in RAID 1? I don't think that storage performance should be an issue, as we have internet connection as limiting factor

    Depends on the price. For the same money, yeah, it's better.



  • @mario-jakovina said in XenServer / NextCloud / backup build to move away form Dropbox:

    Do you think that we should use XCP-ng instead of XenServer?

    Yes!!

    At this point, saying XenServer we pretty much assume you mean XCP-NG as the current free version of XS.



  • @mario-jakovina said in XenServer / NextCloud / backup build to move away form Dropbox:

    Do you think that we should use XCP-ng instead of XenServer?
    (we have XenServer 7.0 on another machine, but we should probably update that one also)

    This is a bit of a contention point, are you using XS7.0 just because it's free? Do you need an official support provider (namely Citrix)?

    If not, I would say use XCP-ng, but carefully consider your support and if you truly need it. Even the XCP-ng team has support options.



  • @jaredbusch said in XenServer / NextCloud / backup build to move away form Dropbox:

    @pete-s said in XenServer / NextCloud / backup build to move away form Dropbox:

    However to store the VM themselves and boot your system I would very much like to have a small SSD drive for that.

    There is no point in putting an SSD in a system for the hypervisor. That is just stupid.

    There is no “storing the VM themselves” on the SSD unless you are talking about splitt8ng the storage VM into a boot vDisk and a data vDisk.

    But even the, the OS will never use the SSD aside from boot. A file server al,ost never writes to the OS, it is all about the storage vDisk.

    You're right. I was thinking putting the xenserver host (about 50GB space) and the guests on SSD and just have archive files and backups on the HDDs. From my experience the VMs will be sluggish running on the WD RED disks as they are much slower (avg seek and transfer rate) than your typical 10K, 15K 2.5" drives. But your right that it won't matter much in this case.


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