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I'd like to buy/build my first home server! Advice needed

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
So I think it would be really cool to throw together a server for home use. Primary functions would include 24/7 uptime, a central repository for backups and media (not necessarily streamed from the server, just for storage), and network connectivity for RDP/VPNing from abroad (this goes along with 24/7 uptime). I don't need a fancy CPU for number crunching, just one that can keep up with these functions.

Should I buy parts and build my own (sounds more fun and I'd LOVE an excuse to get a rackmount chassis ) or should I get a prefab'ed model, like an HP Proliant? I don't even necessarily need an i3 though, so I'm hesitant to just get one of those.

I'd like to place an emphasis on affordability (both up-front and energy cost over time), noise (this will be running somewhere remote, like a closet, but as close to silent as possible), and drive bay count. I don't even know where to start looking. What do you guys recommend?
Edited by moonslug - 10/22/11 at 4:11pm
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post #2 of 22
c2d, 775 socket mobo, 4+ gigs ram... onboard video would be fine

storage space 3x what you plan on storing for overhead

windows home server 2011 for os http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...0server%202011
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post #3 of 22
I have a few thoughts on the subject; first though, what's your budget, and how much storage space do you want?
post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HardheadedMurphy View Post
c2d, 775 socket mobo, 4+ gigs ram... onboard video would be fine

storage space 3x what you plan on storing for overhead

windows home server 2011 for os http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...0server%202011
That's roughly what I figured.. I won't be running Exchange or SQL on this, so I think 4GB RAM would be fine. And I know I'd like to use at least 3 2TB drives for a RAID5 setup. A hardware RAID controller would be overkill, so a mobo with software RAID and 5+ SATA ports would be fine.

edit: I would really like to spend under $500, preferably closer to $300 if it can be done, and I'd like to start at 4TB redundant storage (probably RAID5) with the ability to go upward if needed.
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post #5 of 22
If you are buying a rack, look at craigslist. Shipping is to expensive. I got a 22u portable rack filled with stuff for $100 where it would cost me $800+ shipping (about 120 lbs) for the same stuff

If you know how to set up a raid array on your motherboard then you should be able to on an add-on card. Otherwise I would leave it to hp/dell to set up.

Also if you aren't a college student it almost isn't worth it to build your own. Students get free server software from microsoft which would cost hundreds. That is unless you are familiar with linux.

There are so many things to consider really
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post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
Haha, I don't think an entire rack would be necessary, just like a 1 or 2U case. A hardware RAID controller is probably out of the question due to budget (and necessity) concerns, unless someone can show me some examples to the contrary. And I'm decently familiar with linux, but I'd like to have it run either Windows Server 2008, or WHS.
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post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by moonslug View Post
I would really like to spend under $500, preferably closer to $300 if it can be done, and I'd like to start at 4TB redundant storage (probably RAID5) with the ability to go upward if needed.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822108065

Specs: http://www.synology.com/products/spe...g=us#p_submenu

Supported HDD's: http://originwww.synology.com/suppor...duct_id=63#3.5
post #8 of 22
network attached server(NAS) != home server
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post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
I've looked quite a bit at NAS solutions, and they seem nice but I'd like something more. I'd prefer to have the flexibility of a full Windows OS environment. Is a Windows server at that price point a pipe dream?
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post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by moonslug View Post
I've looked quite a bit at NAS solutions, and they seem nice but I'd like something more. I'd prefer to have the flexibility of a full Windows OS environment. Is a Windows server at that price point a pipe dream?
If you are a student or you download windows illegal which I wouldn't recommend then I could see it being done. You could spend hundreds or even thousands just on software if not.

My home server I am building will be a Pentium g6950 (lga 1156) with 4GB ram. I am also working on a secondary server with a C2D and 4GB ram. I have multiple copies of windows server from my work and because I'm a student.
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