Kind of an unusual use case has presented itself and I wanted to get some more opinions on my proposed solution.
I’m not sure if it fully qualifies as Enterprise Gear but there is a good amount of crossover so hopefully I’m in the right place.
Essentially, I work in a creative department that has little to no tech knowledge. They collaborate on projects by passing around external hard drives. There is not a proper network setup and there is not a proper file server or anything of the like.
The only gear they really have is a G-Tech Shuttle that they treat like a DAS and backup solution. It’s running 6 or 7 HDDs in RAID5.
When I started I kind of floated the idea of setting up a 10Gb switch and getting a machine to run as a file server so we could stop handing off hard drives and actually maintain a consistent version of our projects, implement a real backup solution, and overall be more efficient.
I also tried to inform them that RAID isn’t really a backup and we need proper data management practices since we are dealing with mission critical data.
This has gained some traction.
However, they also want a machine that’s portable so that we can utilize it on location for tethering and ingesting data.
I realize it’s probably much better to have a static setup in the office and something separate for mobility but given the budget that I’m working with I’m trying to squeeze in as much functionality/modularity upfront to make it an easier sell and to allow us to pivot into a better structured setup in the future.
My current plan is to build a legitimately mobile server in a Cerberus X chassis running Linux with ZFS/Samba for file sharing/editing/working and while on-location I want to be able to spin up a Windows VM to run Capture One for tethering.
I also want to ingest video footage on location and possibly even use FFMPEG on the machine to render proxy files to offload that task from one of our few machines.
Also plan to pick up an Ubiquiti 10Gb switch to get everyone on a 10Gb connection.
My current proposed hardware for the server:
Cerberus X Chassis
Intel Xeon W 2133
ASUS WS C422 Pro/SE Motherboard
64 GB ECC RAM
ASUS Hyper 16 M.2 Card with 4x 1TB NVMe drives + 1 TB NVMe for boot
Radeon Pro WX3100
Thunderbolt 3 AIC
Intel x520-DA2 NIC
Corsair SF750 PSU
I’m going with NVMe because this machine doesn’t need large capacity but a lot of speed. Also they’re a lot smaller form facter than four 2.5" SSDs.
The TB3 card is to host the DAS (which will still be our ‘bulk’ storage) and allow a direct MacBook connection to the server.
The Xeon platform because I want the I/O and the ability to be able to upgrade long term.
If we get a bigger budget in the future I can just toss in an HBA, upgrade whatever, move into a rackmounted chassis and load the system down with drives for a more robust storage solution.
This is my general plan and I’d like feedback on how good or bad of an idea this is.
My formal education is in IT/Networking but I don’t have any real world job experience in the field. So while I know about some of the tech and some of the theory, my only experience is in the classroom and personal projects.
Thus, I’m comfortable with the technical overhead a DIY solution brings but I don’t want to implement a shoddy solution. I have a personal server that’s similar in configuration to what I want to do so I do plan to test some of the functionality and compatibility with our workflow and give everyone an idea of how it would function.
I just wanna consult more knowledgeable people and get some insight.