As I stated in the introduction, the AVADirect Custom Server started out as a custom storage server, but quickly derailed. During the transformation from beefed up NAS to entry level server, something was lost. There are a few places where we can point the finger, but the 3300 Dollar price tag is a really good place to start. Once you take away the cost of the Seagate Constellation ES SAS drives that add around 1200 USD to the total, you are left with around 2K in hardware that is better suited for a system you build your Facebook surfing friend than it does handling your Quickbooks database.
The reality of the situation is, once you take out the budget controller card, you have access to the video features that would make this system a perfect fit for a media server, media center or general use computer. The processor and RAM combination is overkill for most storage tasks, but as stated previously, we would never want to go with a smaller processor and have to upgrade later.
On the other side of the coin, adding the Seagate drives is what gives validity to the whole server premises. The drives are absolutely the best choice for any serious high capacity nearline storage system. This is an area where Seagate has dominated for a very long time, but what do you expect since they started the nearline market.
With such high praise for the drives in the system, we now have to turn our attention to the only part that could possibly screw it all up; the RAID controller. If you are spending 1200 Dollars on enterprise class hard drives, the last thing you want to do is tie them to a subpar storage controller that is slower than most motherboards onboard, software RAID controllers. Even though it would have added another 300 Dollars to the system build, just about anything with an XOR engine and cache would have been a better fit for these drives.
If you really want to round things out, keeping your operating system on a separate drive would be a nice idea, too. This will allow you to take advantage of the full 8TB capacity made available by the Seagate drives and not neuter the array to just 2TB.
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- Page 1 [Introduction]
- Page 2 [Specifications, Pricing and Availability]
- Page 3 [The Packaging]
- Page 4 [The AVADirect Custom Small Business Server]
- Page 5 [Test System Setup]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks - HD Tach]
- Page 7 [Benchmarks - Everest Random Access Time]
- Page 8 [Benchmarks - CrystalDiskMark]
- Page 9 [Benchmarks - AS SSD]
- Page 10 [Benchmarks - Passmark]
- Page 11 [Final Thoughts]