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Build me a file server (please!)

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Ok, so I want to get all the hard drives out of my main rig to make room for the water that I want to put in it smile.gif

I currently have 10 HDDs. I'd like them all to end up in the new server. These HDDs just store my work and media files (office documents,CAD and visio drawings, movies, music). I'd like to be able to open / play these things on my main PC from the file server while downloading files and being able to open a web browser for email. A few things about my existing setup.

  • I don't have a RAID card or anything similar (all my HDDs are plugged into my sweet ASrock mobo). Software RAID (see next bullet) is just fine since all my drives are 5400rpm.
  • I run FlexRAID on Windows 7 now, but will need a new OS for this server. Open to suggestions, would love to keep using FlexRAID.


Stuff I currently have and would like to reuse if possible:
  • Antex D-85 Case
  • HAF 932 Case
  • Corsair 950w PSU (is this even a good idea using such a big PSU for a small setup?)
  • 500gb 7200 RPM drive (OS drive)
  • 6gb (3x2gb) of DDR3 RAM


If I could keep the whole thing (well, new parts only) under $500 that'd be great. Ability to access files remotely would be a huge plus (maybe WHS?)



Thanks in advance!
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2010
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post #2 of 9
Well if you're going to use FlexRAID anyway using WHS seems somehow redundant. Unless it works well with WHS2011 (the extent of my FlexRAID knowledge consists of what I skimmed over in the last few minutes). I would say if you can swing it go Linux. A a port and VPN can be as easily opened for a Linux setup as for a Windows setup. Also, Linux is seemingly built for SSH access (easy for troubleshooting access if nothing else, right?).

Doesn't appear you'd be pushing this server very hard, a Core i3 or even less than that would be fine. And I think 6 gigs would be fine as well. I don't think even a 900 watt PSU is really necessary. I could be wrong about that though, I've never tried running 10 HDDs on one PSU. In fact I don't know if I've even seen a PSU with 10 power connectors (easily solved with "Y" cables though, right?).

I would actually advocate virtualizing the server as well, but I'm weird that way... rolleyes.gif

I don't know if this helped...
 
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post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
+Rep thx

I've never done a linux anything outside of a webserver (apache + SQL) so my knowledge is pretty light there. How difficult is it to move / stream files from a linux box? Will I notice much difference then if I had set it up using Windows (after the initial setup, of course)? Ideally I just want it to appear as a shared drive so I can forget I even have the extra rig setup.

WHS was my first choice only because it's less expensive then getting another Win7 license. The 900w PSU I have now has enough connectors, however with FlexRAID only one drive (which contains the data) is ever active except during a sync (once a day, takes about 15 minutes after the initial sync to update changes), so power consumption should be fairly low except for that small window.

Virtualizing the server?


And yes, definately gave me some new idea's. My largest hurdle at the moment is getting a cheap motherboard with some type of SAS card (or something else) that will allow me to connect to all the HDDs (and hopefully leave room to expand). Seems like nobody has anything good to say about the sub $200 cards, and I really don't need a RAID card that costs $500 or more for what I'm trying to do..
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2010
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post #4 of 9
Quote:
Virtualizing the server?

I've been working on this project off and on for...I don't want to think about how long. At least a year probably. The idea is to make the server inside a virtual machine and that way, the theory goes, the underlying physical hardware can change and the OS inside the VM won't know the difference. For instance if a SATA port expander or motherboard went south no need to re-install the OS just migrate the VM to a new hardware and you're up and running. I've only barely scratched the surface on this myself (see my virtual WHS sig link), others in this forum are far, far more experienced in doing this.

Concievably, you could have linux installed/booting from a USB thumb drive. That would both free up space for storage and be one less needed SATA port.

Media playing/streaming/filestorage etc., this forum at least seems to have nothing but praise for Amahi as a WHS-equivalent Linux solution. I've never tried it out personally but I wouldn't hesitate to given the feedback on this forum.

It may be exclusive to the US but a Technet subscription will give lots of keys to lots of server-related stuff for...I want to say $200US. Something like that.
 
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Intel Ivy Bridge Core i7-3630QM nVidia GeForce GTX 680M 16GB DDR3 1600MHz Dual Channel Memory (2 SODIMMS) Hard Drive: Serial-ATA II 3GB/s 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
Hard Drive: Serial-ATA II 3GB/s Windows 7 Ultimate x64 17.3" FHD 16:9 (1920x1080) Battery: Smart Li-ion Battery (8-Cell) 
Audio
Sound Blaster Compatible 3D Audio 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
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Western Digital hard drive wd1001fals-00e8b0 Maxtor 300GB I don't need no stinking optical drive Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64 
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Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
Hard Drive: Serial-ATA II 3GB/s Windows 7 Ultimate x64 17.3" FHD 16:9 (1920x1080) Battery: Smart Li-ion Battery (8-Cell) 
Audio
Sound Blaster Compatible 3D Audio 
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Western Digital hard drive wd1001fals-00e8b0 Maxtor 300GB I don't need no stinking optical drive Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64 
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post #5 of 9
On Linux, you would just setup a Samba share and then you can map to it on your main PC. Flexraid can install on Linux I think, but if you're more familiar with Windows, WHS might be quicker to get going.
How efficient is that 900W PSU? Like you said, only the active drive will be spinning and with say an i3, that's only going to be like 30W. It might not be efficient with such a low W demand. Though, I guess no reason to replace since you already have it.

I don't really see the need to virtualize the server, it really only has 1 purpose and that's to serve files. I guess it'd be fun and if you ever needed to move things or change hardware, it'd be easy. Or if you ever wanted to split the server into multiple roles.

Look on eBay for Dell Perc 6/i or IBM m1015. Those should be pretty cheap and it's all you need for FlexRAID
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post #6 of 9
Well I think having a good raid controller with onboard memory is a must. Since you only have HDDs I think Sata II will be fast enough and save you a few bucks.

207

2x HDD RAID1 on the motherboard for the system (fault protection on the system Array is important too!) and then the rest 8x HDD in RAID5/6 on the controller for good speeds and fault tolerance.

Just my 2cents.gif
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post #7 of 9
Ok I am doing what you are doing and Well I dont have as much money to spend as you. I am going to just have a 2tb hdd as my main and then also as my storage (wish i had 200$ to spend and maybe get dual 1tb raid 1 for systems ... sigh) anyway.

I have decided to go with FreeNAS
http://www.freenas.org/

Supports everything (well almost everything) and does not matter what you have hooked up to it via the network u will be able to pull from it. Now Reading into the riad I know it supports raid but the one you are liking? IDK got to be honest.

One think is it comes with torrent and a web clients for you to log into and so much more standered man ... u cant go wrong takes up like 100 mb and requires like 100 mb ram .... so u can go get a P3 and it will be the peoples champions!

I will be running mine on a AMD Semturon (unlocked to a dual core) 2gb ram 2tb hdd 430 watt cosair and a dvd drive. I will stick it in my closet and hope it stays fresh wink.gif
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post #8 of 9
If you are set on WHS there is a sell for the software from newegg for 40$ shipped .... not bad if u ask me !!! smile.gif
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post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackeduphard View Post

Ok I am doing what you are doing and Well I dont have as much money to spend as you. I am going to just have a 2tb hdd as my main and then also as my storage (wish i had 200$ to spend and maybe get dual 1tb raid 1 for systems ... sigh) anyway.
I have decided to go with FreeNAS
http://www.freenas.org/
Supports everything (well almost everything) and does not matter what you have hooked up to it via the network u will be able to pull from it. Now Reading into the riad I know it supports raid but the one you are liking? IDK got to be honest.
One think is it comes with torrent and a web clients for you to log into and so much more standered man ... u cant go wrong takes up like 100 mb and requires like 100 mb ram .... so u can go get a P3 and it will be the peoples champions!
I will be running mine on a AMD Semturon (unlocked to a dual core) 2gb ram 2tb hdd 430 watt cosair and a dvd drive. I will stick it in my closet and hope it stays fresh wink.gif

I (hope!) I have everything figured out. Here is what I went with:

WHS - $50 (didn't see the deal before I pulled the trigger, doh).
i3 2100 - $99
Gigabyte H61M-S2H - $69
RAID CARD SUPERMICRO AOC-SASLP-MV8 - $109
CABLE 3WARE|CBL-SFF8087OCF-10M - $20 ea. (2 needed, these are to connect the RAID card to my HDDs)
TOTAL: $317

This will give me room for 12 HDDs (including OS drives), plus there are still 2x PCIe slots that I can get additional RAID cards for to increase up to x28 HDDs if I ever want to expand. It's all going in my DF-85 case.

I already have 3 of these things:
EverCool Dual 5.25 in. Drive Bay to Triple 3.5 in. HDD Cooling Box

which are awesome because they are cheap (only a little more then a decent fan, and they have a pretty decent fan on them).



I plan on modifying my DF-85 (here comes another thread) to remove all of the 3.5" bays (there's like a dozen of them) and replace them with the above 3 in 2 holders.....I'll start another thread with pics once all my parts come in.
2010
(14 items)
 
  
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i5 3570k Asrock Extreme 6 EVGA GTX 690 6GB GSkills PI 1600Mhz 
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OCZ 128GB Solid State +10x Hitachi 5400RPM 2Gb H100 Win 7 64bit ASUS VG278H 3D Surround 
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Antec HCP 1200 Cooler Master HAF X 
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2010
(14 items)
 
  
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i5 3570k Asrock Extreme 6 EVGA GTX 690 6GB GSkills PI 1600Mhz 
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OCZ 128GB Solid State +10x Hitachi 5400RPM 2Gb H100 Win 7 64bit ASUS VG278H 3D Surround 
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Antec HCP 1200 Cooler Master HAF X 
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