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New Media Server Build - Need Advice!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Ok, so I'm setting up my first home server and I've been reading tons and now I need some advice. Here is my build so far:





x5

x2

I also have various <500gb hard drives that I can use as a boot drive if I need one. If this boot drive fails with window home server, is it as easy as replacing the drive, reinstalling windows, and I have access to all the data again?

My intention is to create a (mainly) media server for about 3TB worth of media (allowing at most 3 PCs to connect and grab media at the same time), along with an HTTP server (for less then 10 users). I have 9 hard drive slots and only 7 hard drives, so I would like to be able to expand in the future if I need more space.
  • I would like this to be as 'green' as possible, thus my processor choice. Suggestions welcome here.
  • I have been considering the windows home server OS because of my lack of experience with anything else. I would like to be able to locally and remotely access files as well as setup something like LAMP for the HTTP server, and this seemed like the best way to do this. Suggestions also welcome here!
  • Do I need a raid controller? I was thinking that RAID5 or RAID10 would be the best setups, but I'm not really sure. I only have 6 SATA ports on the mobo, so I'll need some sort of solution here to connect up to 9 drives.
  • Does windows (or something else) tell you when a hard drive fails somehow? Can I use one of these drives as a hot swap that automatically takes over in case of failure? How does all that work?
  • Does anyone have any suggestions for a 'green' power supply? I saw some but I'm not really sure how large of a PS I'll need for this build. Should 300-400w be sufficient?
  • Suggestions on what RAM to use? I was just going to pickup 8GB of the cheapest I could find.
  • Will my laptop be OK streaming a 1gb movie file over wireless N? Not a whole lot of my stuff is HD (because I had serious space limitations, thus my building this thing) and I am assuming a good wireless N signal should carry it, but I have no idea..
  • It'd be awesome to be able to have 'instanced' clients that I could login to and assign various computing tasks, but I've got no idea how to do this (like how running XP under Windows 7 works now). Can Windows Home Server do something like this?


Thanks for the help!
Edited by marketermac - 10/3/11 at 9:24am
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2010
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post #2 of 5
@OP

A couple of observations:

1) The processor is fine, I have the i3-530 in mine. I'd go to a 500W power supply to accommodate the surge of the hard drives starting up. Get something with around 90%+ efficiency.

2) Apart from serving media, I've no idea what WHS can do. Personally, I would look at either Amahi Home Server or use a combination of Windows 2008 R2 + FlexRAID.

3) If you opt to use FlexRAID then no, you won't need a hardware RAID controller. However, you will need a storage adapter with enough ports. I would recommend either a Dell SAS 6/iR or an LSI SAS3081E. There's also the IBM BR10i and M1015, and the Intel SASUC8I. Hit eBay.

You could use a hardware RAID controller, which would of course pool all of your drives, but you'd never see the advantage of the speed such cards offer; you're serving over wireless after all. However, hardware RAID cards will sound an alarm if a drive fails; I don't know what mechanism Windows itself uses.

Also note that while Hitachi CoolSpin drives work well with hardware RAID controllers, Western Digital Greens have had issues with drop outs - you need the RAID Edition versions to operate a stable RAID array.

4) If you're just serving media, then 4GB RAM is more than enough. If however, you want to run virtual machines ("instanced clients") then you wil need 8GB and upwards. Virtualisation software such as VirtualBox and VMware Player can run these instances of whichever OS you wish to use.


Question: why 5 Hitachis and 2 Western Digitals? Which do you own already?
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post #3 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by parityboy View Post
@OP

A couple of observations:

1) The processor is fine, I have the i3-530 in mine. I'd go to a 500W power supply to accommodate the surge of the hard drives starting up. Get something with around 90%+ efficiency.

2) Apart from serving media, I've no idea what WHS can do. Personally, I would look at either Amahi Home Server or use a combination of Windows 2008 R2 + FlexRAID.

3) If you opt to use FlexRAID then no, you won't need a hardware RAID controller. However, you will need a storage adapter with enough ports. I would recommend either a Dell SAS 6/iR or an LSI SAS3081E. There's also the IBM BR10i and M1015, and the Intel SASUC8I. Hit eBay.

You could use a hardware RAID controller, which would of course pool all of your drives, but you'd never see the advantage of the speed such cards offer; you're serving over wireless after all. However, hardware RAID cards will sound an alarm if a drive fails; I don't know what mechanism Windows itself uses.

Also note that while Hitachi CoolSpin drives work well with hardware RAID controllers, Western Digital Greens have had issues with drop outs - you need the RAID Edition versions to operate a stable RAID array.

4) If you're just serving media, then 4GB RAM is more than enough. If however, you want to run virtual machines ("instanced clients") then you wil need 8GB and upwards. Virtualisation software such as VirtualBox and VMware Player can run these instances of whichever OS you wish to use.


Question: why 5 Hitachis and 2 Western Digitals? Which do you own already?
I was going to ask the same, about why the 5+2 2TB drives.

All if your 1-4 advice points hit pretty much exactly what I was going to say .
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post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by parityboy View Post
@OP
You could use a hardware RAID controller, which would of course pool all of your drives, but you'd never see the advantage of the speed such cards offer; you're serving over wireless after all. However, hardware RAID cards will sound an alarm if a drive fails; I don't know what mechanism Windows itself uses.

Also note that while Hitachi CoolSpin drives work well with hardware RAID controllers, Western Digital Greens have had issues with drop outs - you need the RAID Edition versions to operate a stable RAID array.
The wireless will only be for my laptops. The desktop PC that I normally use will be wired directly to the same router this new build will be wired to (1gbps ports)



Quote:
Originally Posted by parityboy View Post
@OP
Question: why 5 Hitachis and 2 Western Digitals? Which do you own already?
I'm buying the Hitachis, the 2 WD drives I already own (they currently have my media / work files / etc. on them). I could just as well leave them in my current rig and use only Hitachis on this build, I just thought if I had a storage server I wouldn't need them rotting away in my computer.
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2010
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 3570k Asrock Extreme 6 EVGA GTX 690 6GB GSkills PI 1600Mhz 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
OCZ 128GB Solid State +10x Hitachi 5400RPM 2Gb H100 Win 7 64bit ASUS VG278H 3D Surround 
PowerCase
Antec HCP 1200 Cooler Master HAF X 
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Reply
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

And after some more research I believe I found a better case:


Costs less, has 1 more HD bay, and i don't really care how it looks. And those bastards at Amazon increased the cost of my Hitachi HDs by $10 each before I bought...now I gotta wait for them to go on-sale again.

Anyone else have some thoughts on my processor / MB choice? Those two still keep sticking out to me as potential problems. If only there was a faster processor that used the same amount of power as the I3 2100T...
2010
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i5 3570k Asrock Extreme 6 EVGA GTX 690 6GB GSkills PI 1600Mhz 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
OCZ 128GB Solid State +10x Hitachi 5400RPM 2Gb H100 Win 7 64bit ASUS VG278H 3D Surround 
PowerCase
Antec HCP 1200 Cooler Master HAF X 
  hide details  
Reply
2010
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 3570k Asrock Extreme 6 EVGA GTX 690 6GB GSkills PI 1600Mhz 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
OCZ 128GB Solid State +10x Hitachi 5400RPM 2Gb H100 Win 7 64bit ASUS VG278H 3D Surround 
PowerCase
Antec HCP 1200 Cooler Master HAF X 
  hide details  
Reply
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