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first time building a server

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
hello everyone!

I have been reading posts in the server sections for a couple of month, seen many wonderful projects and i feel it is time to build mine biggrin.gif
I just have a couple of question about what will i need for my needs.

- I want to have a server where all my media data will be store ( 3 pc will have access/be able to stream it from).
-I want to be able to backup my pc to it.
-I want to have enough power to play with with a couple of virtual os ( nothing hardcore, i want to learn)

I have access to a dreamspark account, i'm a software engineer student.

I have already bought a used perc 5i raid car to be able to raid 5 my 3x2tb. ( is raid 5 the best for my need?)
I saw on ebay couple of used dell poweredge 2950 or hp proliant, are they any good? I thought about using the bitfenix prodigy case but don't know which mobo+cpu to take... Is it better to use a entreprise server or try to build my one ( i am talking about like same value 500$ used enterprise server vs 500$ consumer build server)


There so many choices, i'm getting all confused lol Hope of you guys can help me biggrin.gif
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post #2 of 11
Sounds like you're on the right track.

I'd go with building your own. Business/Enterprise class servers tend to be power hungry and loud. If you build a whitebox server you can make it almost silent.

RAID 5 is your best choice with 3 drives. Remember to keep a backup of any files you can't live without. RAID is not a backup, merely a means to ensure uptime.
    
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post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
thank for the info! i went to check a couple youtube video and they are very loud...

will a pentium g2020 2.9ghz dual core be enough for what i want to do? or a i3? i don't know how much cpu power i need for this.
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post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
I have been reading more stuff about raid, and i understand that raid 5 is not for backup but just to have a 100% uptime on you data ( if a drive fail, you can rebuild etc. etc.)

so i will still use raid 5, but i still want to backup some of the data that will be on raid


on raid 5:
  • Media
  • vm
  • pc backup

on the real backup :
  • backup the vms
  • backup the pc backup


-maybe it is better to just backup my pc directly to my backup hard drive...


raid 5 is going to use 3x2tb ( giving me 4tb of space ), and for the real backup i get use a 1tb or 2tb ( i will just copy my pc ssd , and my vm aren't going to be really big)

So i was wondering how do I do this?

I will install window server 2012 has the host, use hyper-v for my vms.
I will install the host on small hardrive ( have a 40gb ssd) , Setup the raid 5 on the perc,

  • For the backup hard drive. Does windows server has like a backup program that can copy specific folder to another hard drive?
  • is there a way to just have that backup hard drive be power on only once a week, to do the backup then shut it self? because i don't really need it to be powered on all the time.


I hope you can understand what i am trying to do here lol
thanks thumb.gif
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post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mv740 View Post

raid 5 is going to use 3x2tb ( giving me 4tb of space )

i personally wouldnt use 3x drives of that size in a raid 5, still can only lose one disk, and raid can corrupt much easyer.. i know people will disagree, but thats my 2cents
     
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post #6 of 11
While I understand where NKrader is coming from, I disagree in this scenario. RAID 5 arrays over 10TB should be avoided due to the almost guaranteed chance of a URE during a rebuild, under that is just fine. However, it's best to plan that when a drive in a RAID 5 dies, that you will just rebuild the array.

My advice, would be to add another drive and do a 4 x 2TB RAID 10 (4TB usable) which give you improved reliability, no parity calculations to worry about, more IOPS and better performance for your VMs. For backups, get an external HDD (heck, 4TB USB3 externals can be had for $140) or get a smaller one to backup just the important stuff.

Also consider using a cloud archive service such as AltDrive, CrashPlan, or BackBlaze. Unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth, encryption, compression...all for ~$5 per month (yes, the first seed of your data can take a while, but after that is done it's no big deal).

Windows Server does come with a built in backup utility, called Windows Server Backup. Pretty decent, but basic. For what you need it will do great. However, backing up your VMs fully will need a better piece of software, unless you don't mind shutting your VM down during backup.
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by tycoonbob View Post

While I understand where NKrader is coming from, I disagree in this scenario. RAID 5 arrays over 10TB should be avoided due to the almost guaranteed chance of a URE during a rebuild, under that is just fine. However, it's best to plan that when a drive in a RAID 5 dies, that you will just rebuild the array.

My advice, would be to add another drive and do a 4 x 2TB RAID 10 (4TB usable) which give you improved reliability, no parity calculations to worry about, more IOPS and better performance for your VMs. For backups, get an external HDD (heck, 4TB USB3 externals can be had for $140) or get a smaller one to backup just the important stuff.

Also consider using a cloud archive service such as AltDrive, CrashPlan, or BackBlaze. Unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth, encryption, compression...all for ~$5 per month (yes, the first seed of your data can take a while, but after that is done it's no big deal).

Windows Server does come with a built in backup utility, called Windows Server Backup. Pretty decent, but basic. For what you need it will do great. However, backing up your VMs fully will need a better piece of software, unless you don't mind shutting your VM down during backup.

What about RAID 6 or 5 with a hot spare?

I ask cause now I'm worried about my 14TB lol
    
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post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tycoonbob View Post

While I understand where NKrader is coming from, I disagree in this scenario. RAID 5 arrays over 10TB should be avoided due to the almost guaranteed chance of a URE during a rebuild, under that is just fine. However, it's best to plan that when a drive in a RAID 5 dies, that you will just rebuild the array.

My advice, would be to add another drive and do a 4 x 2TB RAID 10 (4TB usable) which give you improved reliability, no parity calculations to worry about, more IOPS and better performance for your VMs. For backups, get an external HDD (heck, 4TB USB3 externals can be had for $140) or get a smaller one to backup just the important stuff.

Also consider using a cloud archive service such as AltDrive, CrashPlan, or BackBlaze. Unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth, encryption, compression...all for ~$5 per month (yes, the first seed of your data can take a while, but after that is done it's no big deal).

Windows Server does come with a built in backup utility, called Windows Server Backup. Pretty decent, but basic. For what you need it will do great. However, backing up your VMs fully will need a better piece of software, unless you don't mind shutting your VM down during backup.

thank you for your info!

for raid 10 : you can't expand the raid volume unless you rebuild everything from 0 right? Thought i don't think i will need more than 4tb for my needs for now.

Will i need a very fast cpu if it just to stream media to maximum 2 pc/media player and running small vm?

Pentium G2020, i3, or faster?

I don't care really for price unless it goes 300+ tongue.gif I'm more looking for a cpu that will fit my needs and that will have some bit power left if i even want to do something more with this server
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post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by killabytes View Post

What about RAID 6 or 5 with a hot spare?

I ask cause now I'm worried about my 14TB lol

RAID 5 with a hot spare is the same as a RAID 5 honestly, it just means the rebuild will instantly start after a drive failure. Same result, really. RAID 6 is more secure (allows for 2 drive failures), but you will suffer more write performance. If it's media (or other write once/ready many) kind of data, then that's nothing to worry about.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mv740 View Post

thank you for your info!

for raid 10 : you can't expand the raid volume unless you rebuild everything from 0 right? Thought i don't think i will need more than 4tb for my needs for now.

Will i need a very fast cpu if it just to stream media to maximum 2 pc/media player and running small vm?

Pentium G2020, i3, or faster?

I don't care really for price unless it goes 300+ tongue.gif I'm more looking for a cpu that will fit my needs and that will have some bit power left if i even want to do something more with this server

RAID 10 can be expanded, if your controller supports it. Obviously, it expands 2 drives at a time.

Streaming depends if you are transcoding or not. If you are not transcoding, CPU usage is minimal. If you are transcoding, CPU matters. It all depends on the source files, bandwidth between source and target, and what kind of quality you want at the target. Depending on your budget, I would recommend a Xeon 1230v2, which is about $200-250. Quad core with HyperThreading, so you can virtualize with it as well.
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by tycoonbob View Post

My advice, would be to add another drive and do a 4 x 2TB RAID 10 (4TB usable) which give you improved reliability, no parity calculations to worry about, more IOPS and better performance for your VMs.

yep, thats what ive decided on, with 3tb disks smile.gif
     
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