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File / PS3MS Server Advice

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I need some advice on some components and your opinions for my first server. I plan on having the option to be able to easily have 8 drives in the home server and I want to use CoreAVC to decode 1080p video.

I have some parts from my old gaming computer that I will be using:
ASUS P7P55D-E Pro
4GB of G.Skill RAM
i5-750
Corsair H50
2x SAMSUNG EcoGreen F4 HD204UI 2TB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive in RAID 1 till I eventually upgrade
What I plan on buying:
Fractal Design Define R3 Black ATX Mid Tower Silent PC Computer Case
EVGA 512-P3-1311-KR GeForce 210 512MB 32-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card
I'm just not sure about the power supply. I want a 80 Plus Gold one so this is as efficient as possible. I will worry about getting a RAID card when I get past 4 drives. I am just curious how you get 9 SATA power connectors in the case.

Also what OS would I use for this? FreeNAS would work for a file server but I also want to run PS3 Media Server. So would I need to use Windows Server? Or would Windows 7 do? I want to be able to monitor it on any computer or something in case a drive goes down or something.

I would also like to use it to backup my main windows disk image once a month. Also there will be no overclocks and everything will be set up so be as quiet and save as much power as possible.
Edited by ChaosBlades - 7/24/11 at 12:28am
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post #2 of 11
decent case with 8 3.5"s

worry about a real raid controller now, you can expand your array instead of being forced to destroy it with you want to add more drives on nicer controllers...

hardware gets cheaper the longer you wait so throw those drives in your box for more space today and save up for a bit...

nicer raid cards have Ethernet management interfaces so you can see when something goes down and even alert you by email all in the controller.

PS3 Media server runs in linux too... and you could setup centos or pretty much any distro as a pretty stable file server... even windows can do this reliably...

and there are plenty of apps on the windows side to monitor... http://www.passmark.com/products/diskcheckup.htm

jumping up from your internal drive setup to hot swap or external cages normally have status LEDs and real controllers have a buzzer that will start whining when things go south.


also, plan on a real backup solution. raid does not equal backup.

Even a super redundant raid 6 setup with 2 online spares ↓ can be crippled or worse, corrupted with nothing more than a simple windows update...
╒════════════════════════════════════════╛

Edited by LiNERROR - 7/24/11 at 12:36am
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post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
I don't plan on buying for 2-3 more months at the least. I have those drives in my sig computer now and they are about full in RAID 1. I would really be punching my self if I lost the files on them by something going very wrong on my gaming computer.

What RAID controllers do you recommend? What should I be looking for in one?

I don't really understand the other RAIDs like 5 and 10. What exactly would suit my needs as far as that goes? I would like as much space as possible but to be able to loose at least 2 drives out of 8. I know it could get corrupted but I think this will be good enough for my needs. As in I think I got enough luck that I don't need anything too extreme. I just want to get it out of my uber overclocked, has water running through it, I mod / generally mess with computer. lol

CoreAVC is not for Linux so I guess I will be using Windows 7.

Edit: Those RAID cards are pricy. I didn't see anything cheaper that could do what I wanted so how does this work. I think I am going to be buying parts till X-Mas I will get the backup battery some other time.

areca ARC-1222 PCIe x8 SATA / SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) RAID Card

Edited by ChaosBlades - 7/24/11 at 9:57am
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post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
I went ahead on got this power supply. I simply could not refuse the value. $99.99 ($80 off) with a $20 MIR. So $79.99 for it. Crazy!... Free Shipping even!
COUGAR COUGAR-GX700 700W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
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post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
So anybody out there want to give me some advice on a RAID card? I have decided RAID 6 will be best I was looking at these two but if I can do what I want with something cheaper or different please recommend.

areca ARC-1220 PCI-Express x8 SATA II (3.0Gb/s) Controller Card
areca ARC-1222 PCIe x8 SATA / SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) RAID Card

I am leaning toward the 1220 because it is SATA II and has an optional fan less heat sink. Not to mention a bit cheaper. It also seems to be a more popular choice. So will this work for what I want or will it be overkill?

Also what does "The controller can provide up to 4, 8, 12, or 16 SATA ll peripheral devices on a single host adapter." mean? How can it support 16 drives when there is only 8 SATA II connectors?
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post #6 of 11
Both of those will work. There's not going to be anything much cheaper for true hardware raid. Cheaper options would be software and/or FakeRAID solutions.

The first is SATA to SATA, so it has 8 SATA cables to directly connect to the hard drives. I wouldn't take off the fan, they can get hot. I think when it says 16 devices, it means if you connected it to a backplane that has multiple hard drives attached.

Second one is SAS breakout to SATA so 1 cable splits to 4 SATA devices, a little nicer cable management if you care for it. Has a web interface too.

Both should work with Windows 7, if you decide on another OS, do some Google searches to make sure they are compatible.
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post #7 of 11
Use Linux, PS3MS is Linux Ready ( they even are repos )
Do not buy a raid card, MDADM raid is better than cheap raid, cheaper than cheap raid.
And why on earth do you want CoreAVC? Your CPU can easily decode 1080P, the real problem is encoding. Which COreAVC doesn't do.

My 5 cents
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post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
I just googled MDADM and I got walls of text and terminal entries that I have zero clue about. I wouldn't feel comfortable just googling what random characters I should enter if X happens. It just seems like a very steep learning curve for me. If I am using windows and I have to have a graphics card since I don't have integrated graphics which is only $30 I might as well use CoreAVC as it is the most efficient way to decode H.264/MPEG-4 AVC. CoreAVC only uses around 3% of my GTX 470 decoding 1080p on my system. Also SW-RAID is always slower than HW-RAID. Im not really on a tight budget it will just take more time to get it. I want to make something that I can trust and be proficient with for a some years. Instead of being proficient after a few years. ;P

Also if I was encoding I would encode it on my sig rig then transfer or have the output file set to the server.
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post #9 of 11
@OP

Software RAID isn't "always slower than hardware RAID"; there was a time when that blanket statement was true, but that time is long past. The biggest issues you'll have with hardware RAID is a) price and b) vendor lock-in. If that card dies after the warranty (and yes, it does happen), then you'll have to buy another to get back your data.

If you insist on hardware RAID, I'd suggest buying a Dell PERC 6/i off eBay. There's so many of them floating around, they are both cheap and ubiquitous. They are probably the best alternative to software RAID.

For your server OS, you could use something like Amahi Home Server, which supports media streaming and a whole host of other features, such as RAID and drive pooling.

It's up to you. If you insist on using Windows, you will have to use hardware RAID; you'll have no choice. If you use a Linux-based OS, you have options.
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post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by parityboy View Post
@OP
It's up to you. If you insist on using Windows, you will have to use hardware RAID; you'll have no choice. If you use a Linux-based OS, you have options.
I love my flexraid!
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Phenom II 965 Asrock 870 Extreme3 Sapphire 6850 sniper 2x4gb DDR3 1600 
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WD blue 500gb cheap dvd-rw 7 x64 21" LG 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
KA-558 Antec TP-750 NZXT Gamma MX518 
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Athlon II x2 240 Biostar A870u3 2x2gb gb ddr1066 Samsung h154ui 
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Western Digital Blue 500gb none Windows 7 x64 46" lcd 
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