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Home Server/Media Storage

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Home server/Media storage


Use: the server will mainly be used for media storage and hosting a web page.(mainly media storage) i would not have any use for Virtualisation or any VM software since i aint a very advanced user,

Hardware
CPU: open for suggestions.
Motherboard : open for suggestions.
Ram: looking at 2gig
PSU: the Corsair AX750 seems to be very poopular with being mdoular and its high quality
Hardrives: will use a SAMSUNG SPINPOINT F4 320GB SATA/300 7200RPM 16MB for OS, and for torrent files while being downloaded. They will be moved over to the main storage pool when they are compleated(i heard that is a good way of doing it)
main storage pool will be SAMSUNG ECOGREEN F4 2TB 5400RPM SATA/300 32MB up to 20drives

i recently found a seemingly nice rack from Xcase X-Case RM420 4u Rackmount V2- 20 x SATA / SAS
it seems to be a good case, i would never need more then 20drives

so far i have seen 3viable alternatives for cards
1) software raid to use all the motherboard sata ports and add Supermicro 8-ports SAS/SATA adapter Supermicro 8-ports SAS/SATA adapter expander with SFF 8087 cables
2)seen a lot of talk about this raid card Areca ARC-1880i Areca ARC-1880i and connect it to HP Expander card with cable, SFF-8087 to SFF-8087 its expensive but you have a lot of options with it
3) using 3x SUPERMICRO AOC-SAT2-MV8 or similar card`s

Software:I am a bit lost on this part when it comes to OS. after a bit of reading i have come to the conclusion that Amahi or Windows home server is the 2 that i can see myself going to use and being able to use
as for the RAIR array i firstly looked at RAID5 but after a lot of reading i saw that a larger array of RAID5 involes more risc because of very long rebuild times and it can only loose 1drive.
i then looked at RAID60 wich should be more suited for 15+TB
i could run 2 RAID5 arrays and have 2 volumes, but to get the most bytes out of the storage pool i dont think this is the way to go
Amahi got Greyhole but i aint able to find much detailed information about how it works im still considering it but not quite sure how to manage it
the last option i have looked at is FlexRaid with its parity drive, snapshot raid, easy to use and maintain and you would only loose the drive wich goes bad and you can acces the information in flexraid seperatly on a different pc`s if you wish to get sonme of the info out that way, but the project site http://www.openegg.org have been down a lot
you can get amahi to work with FlexRaid and you can get WIndows home server to work with it to. i am leaning very heavy over on FlexRaid

why not any other of the Linux systems? i have little to no experience with linux at all, never used a pc with it so i havent really considered it, but you also have FreeBSD, UnRiad, FreeNas and a few more


i have Asus RAMPAGE III Extreme and i7 950 CPU laying in a box somwere after going over to Sandy bridge, wich would save me a bit of money but may be a little overkill?

any comments or tips are greatly appreciated
Edited by Beezie - 5/18/11 at 5:58am
    
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post #2 of 15
The links for those RAID adapters aren't working for me. Getting the generic 'there's nothing here' pages.

Anyways, I would steer away from software RAID, it's slow and undermines your data security by being linked to the OS. I would recommend the second option, get a decent RAID card and a port expander. The last option won't work to well since 3 cards means three separate arrays, so you'd have to be content to have 3 different logical drives or link them in the OS and have the same issues as the first option.

As for RAID Types. It does take a while to rebuild a large array, but the likelihood of a second drive failing during rebuild is low. If you want to be safe you could use RAID 6 which stripes ECC data over two drives and can sustain 2 drive failures at a time. it will lower your capacity by one additional drive, however and the rebuild time is the same. The other thing I would suggest is a RAID 50, since it segments the drives each array will rebuild much more quickly and you can sustain multiple drive failures if they aren't on the same RAID5, the downside is that your storage capacity would be much lower than one monolithic RAID 5 (Each RAID 5 reduces your storage capacity by one drive, so 4 Raid 5s in a RAID 0 using 20 drives would have the capacity of 16), but an upshot is the data striping would improve your sustained transfer rate (since it has to calculate ECC data this would affect reads more than writes); whether you notice that will depend on the files and your network speed (you'll see it more for large files on a decent network). I think RAID 60 is probably overkill for a 20 drive array since you lose 2 drives worth of storage per array and a 50 has plenty of redundancy already built in. I don't know anything about this flex raid thing, so I can't advise on that; looks like a software solution to me, though.

As always, backups are recommended, because **** happens.

As for software, WHS is simple to use, and works with other Windows machines if you don't want to get into Linux. If you have windows 7 machines, using it should be fairly painless, but be prepared to shell out for Professional or Ultimate or use third party software if you plan to do network backups to the server (the other versions only allow for local backup).

I'd say the motherboard and processor you have do look like more than you need for something that is doing primarily storage for a handful of machines, but if you already have them, why buy something new? you can always use the extra CPU cycles for folding or something.
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post #3 of 15
For a CPU you might check out a cheap i3 or even a Pentium dual core, those would be more that enough, for the board look what best fits you
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input Bird, i have not looked at RAID50 but will go and see what i can find of info about it. all the other machines i have do run WIn7
i will also use the hardware i already have

the raid card linked is this Areca ARC-1880i SAS RAID Low-Profile - PCIe x8, 6Gb/s, 2x8087 that with a HP Expander card would be decent
    
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post #5 of 15
If you use Windows Home Server v.1, you don't need (and I don't think you can even use) RAID.
WHS has Drive Extender, just add a HDD and it is added to the total amount of storage available (you don't have to worry about matching drive sizes, speeds and such). You can then select which files/folder will be duplicated and it will keep 2 copies of each item on separate drives so if 1 drive dies, you have a copy still. Individual drives can be moved to another computer and the info can be retrieved from it no problem.
WHS 2011 does not have Drive Extender.
Greyhole is very similar from what I have read (but have not looked into gread detail about it).

As for the CPU, an Athlon II x2 (or even a 45w Sempron ) should meet your needs.
An Atom build may also work, just depends on the loads your online hosting and streaming on the network place on it.
Edited by blupupher - 5/20/11 at 5:26am
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post #6 of 15
where are you based? I assume Norway, and if so getting that Norco case over to you will likely cost a lot in shipping. Sadly I don't know of anywhere else in Europe that sells them though, and they charge us a lot more than they go for in the states.

Getting an HP expander for a decent price will also be tricky.

Personally for media storage I wouldn't go for striped RAID at all, and definitely wouldn't go hardware RAID either. Something like unRAID or FlexRAID, which means you only lose the data on the failed drives in case of multiple failures is a much better bet than losing everything - and multiple drive failures are not uncommon, especially with today's large disks. Hardware RAID also ties you in to using similar drives - parity protected RAID like FlexRAID will allow you to use 3 and 4 TB drives in the future when they are available/affordable - with hardware RAID you're forced to stick with 2TB drives forever.

Cheapest way to get to 20 drives would be 4 onboard ports plus 2 SM AOC-SASLP-MV8 cards, leaving you with free onboard ports for your optical drive and OS drive (most boards have 6 ports currently), which works out perfectly. If you think you will ever need more drives (spreading into a new chassis) then you could go with the HP expander with the SM card also. Then install your favorite OS, and add FlexRAID, or go with unRAID.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
You are right, i am placed in Norway, The norco case is about 19Kg with the box and all, will be expensive indeed but then i have a decent rack case with space for up to 20drives and 2x 2.5"
i aint able to find anything similar tho, they have stopped selling Norco cases permanently because of por build quality or something,
the closest i can get to that is to probably mod a Fractal design XL. with 5.25" bays you can fit 14-16drives in,
the HP expander i assumed HP would sell and ship trough their Web page international. am i wrong on that?
i have already mentioned FlexRaid, it looks really good for a media storage, my data will be very static to which makes snapshot type raid good

what OS would you recommend the_beast?
    
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post #8 of 15
The xcase is a Norco, just rebadged by xcase - like many of their cases...

The issue with getting from HP is that you pay much more than you would through a US distributor - but they aren't allowed to ship overseas. Which is a pain.

OS is tricky. I am really considering FlexRAID on Windows (any flavour, I have WHS, 2003 R2, 2008, 2008 R2, XP Pro & Vista Business all in the running - will probably stick with 2003 R2 as it's what's on my media server already), but I am waiting until the latest release has a few more of the bugs removed.

unRAID is much more mature, but I'm not willing to dedicate an entire server to my media collection (I fold and rip my media on my server also), which means I'd have to virtualise it. And that doesn't appear to be straightforward (why they don't offer a prebuilt VM nowadays is beyond me) and I don't have the time to play with it. If you don't mind just having unRAID then it looks like a decent option, especially as it runs from USB so you free up your SATA ports for your data drives.

If you don't want either of the above, then going for Amahi is a decent bet. It'll either do full striped RAID (that gives all the benefits of hardware RAID, without the cost of the controller, but with the same downsides to striped RAID also), or will do folder duplication like WHS v1. It would probably be a good choice, and the only reason I haven't gone that way is becasue I already had 2003 on my server & I'm really short on time at the moment. I'm currently just using SyncToy to duplicate my media on multiple drives (so no RAID or parity at all, just snapshot duplication overnight).
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Xcase and Norco gets the same manufacturer to make them, just the name and label is different pretty much
i am not to concerned over shipping, to get the product`s you just have to live with it i guess,
on cases there really aint any other places to get them then Xcase UK
the price for a HP extender is not to bad considering all the connections it provides.

FlexRaid on Windows sounds good
    
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post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beezie View Post
Xcase and Norco gets the same manufacturer to make them, just the name and label is different pretty much
The manufacturer is Norco, they just do an OEM version for XCase in the UK with different badges.
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