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Parts for a file/media server

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I just purchased my first house and now I want to build a server for all my bluray ISOs and music to be able to stream to the HTPC that I'm going to build after this server. My hopes are to use Windows 7 (I already have a copy) and use some software raid. You can help me decide, but I was thinking FlexRAID??

I'd like to make this as future proof as possible, but don't need to over do it just for the sake of over doing it. I'd like to keep the price around $800 without drives, if possible.

What details do you need from me to allow you to better help me? biggrin.gif Thanks for the help!
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System #Uno
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post #2 of 13
I think that you should save the w7 copy you already have and use it for the HTPC that you build after the server. Get Windows Home Server for the OS. It is really easy to setup and it can be had for under $50.
post #3 of 13
My suggestion, which will cost you nothing but time (if you own the hardware already) is to set up an unRAID server to store all your media files on, and then stream those files to a front end client.

unRAID has 2 suitable plugins for streaming media files to a front end client:
PS3 Media Server is basically a simple DLNA uPnP media server, so will stream your media to any device that supports DLNA while Plex Media Server is a complete backend media server that has a built in DLNA uPnP media server, like PS3 Media Server, but much more as well.

IMO, for the ultimate hoke media setup, start with unRAID server running the Plex Media Server pluggin, and then combine that with a frontend client that is running a Plex Media Player Client. That will provide the best user experience.

There are several options for a Plex Media Player Client, these include:
  • A Windows or Linux PC, connected to a TV, that has the Plex media Client installed
  • A TV or BluRay player from Samsung that supports the Plex media Player app
  • A TV or BluRay player from LG that includes the LG MediaLink client
  • A ROKU media player with the Plex Media Player app installed
  • A GoogleTV device with the Plex Media Player app installed
  • An iOS or Android mobile phone/tablet/device with the Plex Media Player app installed
  • A supported AppleTV device with the Plex Media Player installed

Ideally, the simplest and cleanest looking solution for a frontend client is to simply buy/own a supported Samsung or LG smart tv, then you don't need to have anything else attached to the TV, as the TV itself will be the frontend and it will connect to the Plex Media Server plugin that is installed in the unRAID server.

Food for thought smile.gif
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Crimson Basilisk
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post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by d-block View Post

I think that you should save the w7 copy you already have and use it for the HTPC that you build after the server. Get Windows Home Server for the OS. It is really easy to setup and it can be had for under $50.

Thanks! I actually have Server 2012 Data Center. Am I being ambitious to think I should use that rather then Home Server?
Quote:
Originally Posted by un-nefer View Post

My suggestion, which will cost you nothing but time (if you own the hardware already) is to set up an unRAID server to store all your media files on, and then stream those files to a front end client.

unRAID has 2 suitable plugins for streaming media files to a front end client:
PS3 Media Server is basically a simple DLNA uPnP media server, so will stream your media to any device that supports DLNA while Plex Media Server is a complete backend media server that has a built in DLNA uPnP media server, like PS3 Media Server, but much more as well.

IMO, for the ultimate hoke media setup, start with unRAID server running the Plex Media Server pluggin, and then combine that with a frontend client that is running a Plex Media Player Client. That will provide the best user experience.

There are several options for a Plex Media Player Client, these include:
  • A Windows or Linux PC, connected to a TV, that has the Plex media Client installed
  • A TV or BluRay player from Samsung that supports the Plex media Player app
  • A TV or BluRay player from LG that includes the LG MediaLink client
  • A ROKU media player with the Plex Media Player app installed
  • A GoogleTV device with the Plex Media Player app installed
  • An iOS or Android mobile phone/tablet/device with the Plex Media Player app installed
  • A supported AppleTV device with the Plex Media Player installed

Ideally, the simplest and cleanest looking solution for a frontend client is to simply buy/own a supported Samsung or LG smart tv, then you don't need to have anything else attached to the TV, as the TV itself will be the frontend and it will connect to the Plex Media Server plugin that is installed in the unRAID server.

Food for thought smile.gif

I just bought an LG 60LM7200 last week, which I believe has the MediaLink you're talking about. That would be pretty awesome if I didn't even need a HTPC.

What about server hardware do you guys recommend?
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System #Uno
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post #5 of 13
I wouldn't recommend using server data center, it will work though. You'd be better off with WHS than server 2012. Plus there is a wizard for pretty much everything that holds your hand the whole way. For your cpu any quad core would do. I'd try for a low power consuming chip.
post #6 of 13
I would recommend Windows Server 2012 Essentials, if you want to use Server 2012.

Server 2012 Datacenter is no technical difference than Standard, but either will work for your needs. However, Server 2012 will make things more complicated than Essentials or WHS.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
With WHS would I be setting setting myself up for failure if I want to use 3 TB drives?
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post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by dds115 View Post

With WHS would I be setting setting myself up for failure if I want to use 3 TB drives?
No. You'll be fine, though whs automatically splits it in half. This article explains it more in depth.

link
Edited by d-block - 2/9/13 at 2:16pm
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by dds115 View Post

I just bought an LG 60LM7200 last week, which I believe has the MediaLink you're talking about. That would be pretty awesome if I didn't even need a HTPC.
Nice, I own a couple LG smart TVs, and I pretty much use the setup I described in my earlier post. It honestly is the cheapest and cleanest way to set up a home server these days.

The ability for the unRAID server to use plugins makes it simple, just set it up with the plugins you want and you're ready to rock and roll.

I stream via the server to the 2 LG TVs, as well as to an Android tablet and a couple of Android phones now and again that are running the Plex client (good for kids, just open the client on the tablet, find the movie you want them to watch and then press play and leave them to it so you can watch something you want on the bg TV smile.gif ).

MediaLink can be problematic at times, but once you do get it all running and sorted so it does everything you require, stay with whatever LG tv firmware and Plex server versions you have that makes it work - upgrades to TV firmware and Plex server software can introduce problems that might take a further update to fix, so if it ain't broken, don't fix it wink.gif

Although that might scare you, don't be scared. It's a great setup once completed and worth the effort - HERE is a basic youtube video showing how it all looks on the TV once sorted.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dds115 View Post

What about server hardware do you guys recommend?
If you want to run the Plex Media Server plugin, and have it transcode on the fly, then ensure the CPU will support the amount of transcoded streams you will run concurrently.

Saying that, any modern quad core (or dual core with hyperthreading) CPU will work fun for the large majority of home users. I've built a few servers for Plex now and I generally just go with Intel i3 3220 CPUs because they perform really well for the price and they have a low power consumption.

As for the rest of the hardware, the unRAID wiki does have a list of compatible hardware HERE that members have used and added as compatible - but regardless of the list, if the hardware works and is supported by Linux it will work with unRAID.
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Crimson Basilisk
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WD Caviar "Black" 1TB SATAII LG WH14NS40 Blu-ray Burner XSPC Rasa CPU (Acetal) Black RX360 Triple Fan Radiator 
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post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
I went to Fry's and ended up with a basket full of parts. Before I start building, does anyone see any problems with these parts for the server?

PSU - Corsair TX650M
MoBo - MSI Z77A-g43
CPU - i5 3570 K
OS - WHS 2011 (still deciding if I want to use it, but wanted to buy it and will return it if I decide against it)
RAM - 16GB token from an unused rig. DDR3 1600
HD - 3tb Cool Spins, 320 GB WD Blue for OS

Any reason to not use this as my build?
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System #Uno
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Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
128GB SSD O/S, 2TB @ 7200, 1TB Raid 1 @ 7200 LG BluRay Burner Windows 7 64bit, Red Hat, Ubuntu (2) 23" eMachine 1080p 
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Thermaltake TR2 RX 850W Corsair 800D 
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