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post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Im looking for some advice on building up a home server and have a few questions i need answered to point me in the right direction as this would be the first time ive jumped into building something like this.

My main uses for it would be largely backing up of my Movies, TV Shows, Music & Pictures and a few things id like to be able to do is Run torrents on it along with being able to access it remotely to upload/download files along with streaming items locally within my home.

As i mentioned first steps into the server side of PC building so be gentle.

Components wise id like as small a footprint as possible case wise i did look at the Fractual Designs Array case and something of that size is what im looking for.

Im unsure whats really needed in terms of CPU, Mobo, Ram for what im wanting so help in that department is required storage wise im looking at 3Tb WD Red drives, Storage wise im looking for at least 3Tb minimum to begin with and i would be adding drives as and when needed i would like the facility of a redundancy raid encase of a dreaded failure but on this again im not 100% sure on what raid to run and if i will require a raid card.


Any help in this will be greatly appreciated i do apologies for the rambling but hopefully you can make sense of it and point me in the right direction, Budget wise im not restricting myself but a sub £1500 max i would say
     
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post #2 of 14
It depends on how much power you think you need. I'm running a HP N40L (very small server, 1.5 Ghz Dual Core), with 3 - 2TB drives in raid 5. For you I would suggest using those 3 TB drives in raid 5. Would give you plenty of space to start. If you want to expand in the future then I'd look at a full fledged hardware raid card that allows array expansion. Then you could add a drive or 2 later. It sounds like most of what you want to do is fairly low power, like file sharing. You should be able to accomplish all that easily on a dual core, or quad if it's cheap. As for OS, that's up to you. I have Windows server 2008 R2 on that server with raid 5 serving out all my files. I do have a linux server, but it's more for the public facing webserver, email, and other services like Teamspeak server.
post #3 of 14
Hi BioHzrd,

If you are not planning on buying an all inclusive server setup and want to go the DIY route...

Here is a link to my recent Sever build posted in this forum http://www.overclock.net/t/1315802/silent-nas-build. In that post I also added an excel sheet with details of each item I used along with a note for my choices. I am not sure if this is what you are looking for but there are a few links on that post that may help answer some of your questions about Network Attached Storage ( NAS). I am currently using Nas4Free Server OS, but I have also listed a few other freeware OS's. Nas4Free, as you probably guess is free. For me, it was easy to setup. Note, I myself is no Subject Matter Expert (SME) on the topic but it took me 30mins to configure and setup the OS. I am also using XBMC as my media center for movies, music, pics etc. There are many other options besides XBMC as well. XBMC has the ability to include torrents but I have not used/setup that capability... anyway that will come much later.

My build is a bit over the top component-wise but you should be able to find similar items online that does the same thing. I am not sure what your level of understanding is, so please understand I mean no disrespect if I go into too much detail. Hopefully others will chime in and expand on their builds and suggestions. I will make some assumptions like low power consumption.

Since your server will be running 24/7 you want to limit power usage as much as possible so you do not have a high electric bill. The components I used in my build are power efficient and as a result the system generates less heat. Less heat means less time your fans will be running to keep your system cool.

Thanks Giving Sales are around the corner so you should be able to take advantage of online sales and or Cyber Monday sales... or maybe there are other sales available in Scotland. I would like to visit there someday wink.gif.

When choosing your MoBo... some things to think about?
*Be sure your MoBo will support 2GB drives or larger. If you plan on using only 1GB drives most Mobo these days will have support for it.
*It has the number of SATA ports you need for your build with room for growth if needed.
*Number of PCIe lanes for devices?
*Raid 5 support -- this will give you the redundancy you need
*On board graphics? -- this is optional depending on your need.

Choosing HD drives:
Personally I would suggest using Green or Blue WD drives and not RED. Although red is suggested for Server/Raid. Shop around for pricing for what works best. Green WD drives are the most power efficient and are the quietest of all three, however performance of read/write will be the lowest of all three. Do not let that discourage or fool you though, I have not experienced any performance loss for reads/writes even when accessing over my wi-fi network.

You also need a minimum of 3 drives (same size and type if possible) for a Raid-5 setup. You do not need a separate raid card if your Mobo has hardware raid support built in. You should see this on the detail specs of your Mobo before purchase. Something like Raid support 0,1,5. You need a Mobo with at least a Raid 5. Also available is Windows built-in software raid, but I would recommend looking for a Mobo with Raid 5 support.

For RAM:
If possible and within the budget try to obtain the lowest possible latency and/or voltage RAM that is compatible with your Mobo. My favorite brands are g.skill and corsair but do not limit your options by my suggestions.

Cases: There are a ton to choose from.
I looked at the Prodigy case (http://www.bitfenix.com/global/en/products/chassis/prodigy/) and at the LIAN LI PC-V354B Micro ATX cases (http://www.lian-li.com/v2/en/product/product06.php?pr_index=546&cl_index=1&sc_index=25&ss_index=63). I decided to use the latter.

Useful information I found during my build:
Just browse for some light reading if needed. There are some information on this page that is over my head.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network-attached_storage

Links to Free Server OS's below. These are the more popular ones recommended by PC Magazine and Maximum PC. There are many others as well.
http://www.nas4free.org/
http://www.freenas.org/
http://www.openmediavault.org/
http://cryptonas.org/

Here is a link to a PSU calculator to help determine what PSU size to purchase for your build. You will obviously need to know what your build will consist of before using this link. But you can play around or you can enter your components and click submit for the PSU wattage suggestion. Once you have the PSU size, determine if you would want a PSU that is Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum certified. This is just my preference, but I do not go below gold if I can help it.

Online PSU calculator
http://www.extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

I hope I helped in some small fashion and not caused you more confusion.

Much respect.
Edited by RogueRage - 10/30/12 at 3:12pm
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the info its appreciated, i had a quick look last night for parts while i had some spare time and came up with this and it also comes in well under my maximum budget for now. Let me know what you think and if i could change any parts

Fractal Design R2 Array Case
Gigabyte GA-H77N-WiFi
i5 3450 (77W)
Corsair XMS 8Gb
WD 3Tb Red's

I was going to pick up an SSD for the OS and then offload all the files onto the HDD is this advised or a waste of time money ?

Can anyone reccomend a Hardware RAID card that will allow me to expand on the already set up RAID in the future ?!
     
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post #5 of 14
A few things

1) I wouldn't bother with an SSD as a boot device unless it's going to be powered up/down a lot. Most servers (even home ones) run 24/7. I'd spend the money on more storage space

2) For home use i'd go with software raid. It's easy to expand, and you don't need a RAID card as such. You can use a JBOD card just to add SATA ports if your motherboard runs out of ports.

3) I wouldn't use the nas to 'back up' video. I'd rather just keep them on there and use pairity on the array so that it can support a HDD failure.

A real hardware RAID card would be very fast. But anything over 125MB/s is a waste if you're using 1Gb ethernet. And RAID cards that support expansion can be very very expensive.
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input appreciated i will need to see if i can find a SATA expansion card as motherboard only has 2 SATA 2's & 2 SATA 3's.

Can you expand a bit on note 3 mate im not 100% clued up when it comes to Raid's so unsure of what you mean by "pairity"

Cheers
     
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post #7 of 14
The most simple example i can give is, if you have 4 drives configured in raid 5 (hardware or software). You can loose any 1 of those drives without loosing your data. If that happens you'd just replace the broken drive with a working drive and there is enough parity data to construct the missing data from the failed drive.

Some expansion cards are labeled as "SAS expanders" They'll only have 1 or 2 connections, but you use a SAS --> SATA breakout cable so that each of those SAS ports becomes 4 SATA ports. So they're really 8 port expanders.
post #8 of 14
Hardware raid controllers give great performance and stability. If you want a hardware controller at a decent price, look on eBay for a Del PERC 6\i. 2 SAS ports, which means 8 SATA (or SAS) drives. You can connect it to an HP SAS Expander, or an Intel SAS Expander, or one from Chenbro...for up to 32 drives. PER 6/i is going to be around the best bang for your buck, without breaking your wallet. My LSI MegaRAID 926-8i with a BBU was about $450, plus another $150 for my HP SAS Expander. That's $600, but I can use up to 32 drives directly...and with a few JBOD chassis I can span to 256 drives. (32 drives per array though).

Performance is simply amazing...4 NICs with iSCSI and MPIO, I have 26 VMs running on a 2 node Hyper-V cluster at home and it's perfect. All my drives are 7200 RPM SATA drives.

If you are building a box purely for storage of media/files, and streaming those files...you could save a bit of money and go with a software raid. If you use your motherboards SATA controller to build a raid (AMD, Intel, JMicro, etc...) I'd never recommend a raid that uses Parity (Raid's 5/6/50/60 being the most common parity raids). It's just not worth the risk. On board controllers are good for Raid 0 for your boot drives (fast read/write), Raid 1 for redundancy, or Raid 10 for performance and redundancy.

If you want to use Raid 5/6/50/60, I'd say go with FlexRaid, ZFS, or something similar...or go with hardware raid.

Regarding Hard drives...I disagree with a comment above. If you are going to go with WD drives, go with the RED series. They are designed for NAS's...to run 24/7...they have TLER for error correction timeout, and a few other reasons. GREEN, BLUE, and BLACK all lack TLER...which can lead to problems if read/write errors come up...and you don't have a hardware controller that can mitigate. I'd highly recommend trying to find some Hitach 7K3000, or 5K3000 drives (2TB or 3TB)...or the new Toshiba DT01ACA300 (3TB) or Toshiba DT01ACA200 (2TB), which are basically relabeled Hitachi 7K3000s since WD bought Hitachi and sold them to Toshiba (to make the FTC happy).
Edited by tycoonbob - 11/5/12 at 8:33am
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Right these are the parts im looking to pic up in the new year once im hope let me know what you think and if i should change anything.

Fractal Design Array R2

Intel Ivy Bridge i5 34720

Gigabyte GA-Z77N-WIFI

Corsair Memory XMS3 8GB

LSI MRSAS9260-4I/SGL MegaRAID 4PT

3TB WD Red WD30EFRX

3Ware CBL-SFF8087OCF-06M Mini-SAS to SATA fanout


OS wise im still unsure if i should just run WHS or go with the likes of FreeNAS
     
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Crucial Real SSD M4 - Raid 0 Western Didgital Caviar Black  LG Blu Ray Writer  XSPC Raystorm CPU Block  
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post #10 of 14
I think if you're using a powerful RAID card like that you can afford to use a much cheaper CPU and much less RAM. Unless the server will be doing other things that simply serving files.

Have you decided what hardware raid level you'll be going with yet?

Edit: That being said though, there's nothing wrong with the parts you've chosen. But if you were doing it on a tight budget you could get away with a lot less.
Edited by Boyboyd - 11/8/12 at 1:25am
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