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Please help me get my head round all of this! I need to build a home server.

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hey everyone, I have been looking at off the shelf NAS boxes and have come to the conclusion that things like the 2 bay NAS systems don't cater for my needs and I want to have a go at making my own system.

This is where I stand at the moment:

I am just about to re build my sig rig into a Define R4 case and with minimalism and silence in mind, it will only have a 256gb SSD and possibly a 1TB Samsung F3 to install my less played games.

I would like to migrate a few of my other drives into a home server. It's main use will be storage for my many GB of media, mainly my Blu Ray collection as well as a wide range of DVDs, and various other 1080p and 720p films (including 1080p SBS 3D)

Essentially, I want my current hard drives from my main system, somewhere out of the way and as a bonus, accessible from other devices in my home. (All Windows 7)

My first question is about my mixed selection of drives, they are of varying capacities including but not limited to 500gb, 1TB, 1.5TB and a 3GB USB3 external drive. I would like my external drive to be part of the system but to maintain it's USB3 connection rather than taking it apart and fitting it internally.
Is it possible to use these to their maximum capacity as I do now where they are just individual drives in my desktop pc? I hear a lot of talk of RAID in home servers but is this for redundancy or speed etc or is it the only route to take? At some point I would like to replace all the drives with 4tb drives in RAID but as it stands now, I just can't afford to and also can't afford to loose the capacity of my larger drives to meet the size of my smallest drive.

I hope to use FreeNAS as I am on a very limited budget so what would be my hardware requirements? Also, if possible, would said system be capable of streaming 4K / ultra hd in a few years when I upgrade my home theater projector?

I am trying to learn the limitations but a lot of people want different things out of their sytems to me, would an FM1 AMD system be ok? FM2 doesn't cost much more, should I go for that? Would I be right in saying that ideally I need 1GB of ram per TB of storage for best results? What are the benefits of ZFS?

How is this for a possible spec? Please add to it or tell me I'm totally wrong and spending too much / too little!


AMD APU A6 6400k 4.1GHz
http://www.ebuyer.com/507065-amd-apu-a6-6400k-4-1ghz-socket-fm2-1mb-cache-retail-boxed-processor-ad640kokhlbox

Asrock FM2A75M-DGS A75
http://www.ebuyer.com/406724-asrock-fm2a75m-dgs-a75-socket-fm2-vga-dvi-5-1-channel-audio-matx-motherboard-fm2a75m-dgs

Crucial 8gb Ddr3 1600 Mhz (pc3-12800) Cl9
http://www.ebuyer.com/432450-crucial-8gb-ddr3-1600-mhz-pc3-12800-cl9-1-5v-ballistix-sport-udimm-240pin-bls8g3d1609ds1s00ceu

I already have a case and a PSU that should more than do the job.

Sorry for all the questions guys, I normally obsessively research my tech purchases but I just can't get my head around some of it and really need to be led in the right direction with this one. My other option is:

HP ProLiant G7 N54L 2.2GHz MicroServer
http://www.ebuyer.com/430446-proliant-microserver-turion-2-2-2gb-250gb-nhpl-sata-lff-in-704941-421

This I guess is all I need and if I buy it right now, it is only £109!!! With the £100 cashback but would this stream the media I want for years to come? I know I can upgrade but is it better to get the mATX system now for £170. Is the £60 extra worth the faster CPU, enough ram to run ZFS and a more capable MB with USB3 etc?

Thanks so much for any guidance, I MASSIVELY appreciate it on this one, I'm stuck!
Bones
(14 items)
 
   
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AMD Phenom II X6 1090T  Crosshair IV Formula 5870 Corsair  
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
Samsung 830 256gb  7 TB storage Custom loop, 6 x 120mm rad area Windows 7 Pro 
MonitorPowerCaseMouse
Panasonic 42ST50B, Optoma HD33 100" gaming scre... Coolermaster Silent Pro 1000w CM 690A Logitech Performance MX 
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Bones
(14 items)
 
   
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X6 1090T  Crosshair IV Formula 5870 Corsair  
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
Samsung 830 256gb  7 TB storage Custom loop, 6 x 120mm rad area Windows 7 Pro 
MonitorPowerCaseMouse
Panasonic 42ST50B, Optoma HD33 100" gaming scre... Coolermaster Silent Pro 1000w CM 690A Logitech Performance MX 
Audio
Marantz SR5007, Acoustic Energy Neo V2s 5.1 
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post #2 of 4
If I were you, I'd make your 500GB, 1TB, and 1.5TB drives internal. If you have W7 Pro (which you list on your Sig Rig) you can do a lot with drives. I'd set up a software "JBOD" kind of thing where you just span all of your disks. I'd (personally) use the 3TB USB3 drive as a backup drive.

In W7, go to Start>Control Panel>System and Security>Administrative Tools>Create and format hard disk partitions

This will open a screen, in which you can span partitions on your HDD's. My recommendation, like I said above, would be to span all of them and create one gigantic 3TB drive. Your computer will see it as a single HDD. However, doing this reduces reliability of the system (obviously....no redundancy, lots of disks).....so I'd use your 3TB external as a backup.

About the build: not much power is needed. I like your system as it's decent, which means it'll last, but it's simple. You might be overkill on RAM, but it's cheap so NBD...right?
 
HomeServer
(8 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD FX8350 Gigabyte 990FXA-UD3 Gigabyte 7950 Windforce Ripjaws X 1333 16GB(4x4GB) 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
WD Caviar Green 2TB Intel 320 Series 80GB LITEON DVD Burner Full custom WC Loop 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Enterprise - 64 Bit LG Flatron W2061TQ Razer Blackwidow Expert Ultra X3 1000W 
CaseMouse
Corsair Obsidian 700D Modded Cyborg R.A.T. 7 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD FX4100 Gigabyte 78LMT-USB3 XFX R7 260X 2x4GB Ripjaws X 1333MHz 
Hard DriveOSPowerCase
6x2TB WD Green in RAIDZ Windows 8 Enterprise Antec Earthwatts 380W Fractal Define R4 
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HomeServer
(8 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD FX8350 Gigabyte 990FXA-UD3 Gigabyte 7950 Windforce Ripjaws X 1333 16GB(4x4GB) 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
WD Caviar Green 2TB Intel 320 Series 80GB LITEON DVD Burner Full custom WC Loop 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Enterprise - 64 Bit LG Flatron W2061TQ Razer Blackwidow Expert Ultra X3 1000W 
CaseMouse
Corsair Obsidian 700D Modded Cyborg R.A.T. 7 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD FX4100 Gigabyte 78LMT-USB3 XFX R7 260X 2x4GB Ripjaws X 1333MHz 
Hard DriveOSPowerCase
6x2TB WD Green in RAIDZ Windows 8 Enterprise Antec Earthwatts 380W Fractal Define R4 
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post #3 of 4
May still make the most sense to go custom but these are worth a look-see:

http://www.amazon.com/HP-MicroServer-N54L-NHP-250/dp/B00AKWUZ58
Dark Star
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Core i5 4690K  Gigabyte Z97 UD3H EVGA 670 FTW 4GB EVGA 670 FTW 4GB 
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16GB Samsung Green 30nm  Samsung 850 512GB Asus Blu Ray Burner Custom Water 
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Dark Star
(16 items)
 
  
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Core i5 4690K  Gigabyte Z97 UD3H EVGA 670 FTW 4GB EVGA 670 FTW 4GB 
RAMHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
16GB Samsung Green 30nm  Samsung 850 512GB Asus Blu Ray Burner Custom Water 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 10 QX2710 PLS 27" Matte Ducky DK9008G2 MX Black Seasonic SS-760XP2 
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Enthoo Pro Steelseries Sensei Raw Frost Blue Asus Xonar DX Logitech Z-5500 
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post #4 of 4
RAID tends to be a stop gap just in case only the 1 disk failed you can keep on chugging. It is not a backup, and if you have an assortment of disks like it looks like you have its unlikely that you have many of the same disks so if 1 fails your sol.

ZFS would most likely be your best option. There are tons of things that you could do (outside the best practices) that could make good use of what you have. Example being using zfs stripe 2*500GB disks and mirror that pool with 1*1TB disks. I haven't done this myself but it should work. It will however use the smaller of the 2 pools for the total size ie: pool 1 has 950GB and pool 2 had 960GB then the pool will be 950GB

Just note on the main components, if this is just going to be a file server it needs almost no hardware. I am using a Pentium 2 as a file server at work atm. If it is going to be like most home servers, starting as a file server then evolving into a proxy server with web cache, DNS, game servers, and 25 other random applications of your choice then what you have there would be more the way to go.

Might be worth a look at some old supermicro servers. They tend to go with the theory that if there is room for it, add another hot swap bay. You should be able to find an older unit with 16GB or better ram and 8 hot swap bays with 2 full of 73GB sas disks. I picked two of these up for $100 each, and zombied them together, 24GB of ram and dual dual cores @ 2.3Ghz. It is more than enough for 2 minecraft servers, virtualmin with all the trimmings and a 3TB zpool.

Be forewarned, it never stops at just a file server.
PSU is original
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Kingston 2*2GB 2133Mhz Kingston 2*2GB 1333Mhz 2*1 TB WD Green spanned LightScribe CD/DVD Burner 
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6 * 120mm  Win 7 Pro 64bit Vizio m3d420sr Asus VS247H-P 
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17" eMachine Monitor Logitech G510 Rosewill 100w modular rsv4000 
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Logitech G500 Ultrasone pro 750 IDE expansion card usb to rs-232 
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PSU is original
(20 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
AMD 8120 ECS A990FXM-A Deluxe GTX 580 windforce GTX 570 windforce 
RAMRAMHard DriveOptical Drive
Kingston 2*2GB 2133Mhz Kingston 2*2GB 1333Mhz 2*1 TB WD Green spanned LightScribe CD/DVD Burner 
CoolingOSMonitorMonitor
6 * 120mm  Win 7 Pro 64bit Vizio m3d420sr Asus VS247H-P 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
17" eMachine Monitor Logitech G510 Rosewill 100w modular rsv4000 
MouseAudioOtherOther
Logitech G500 Ultrasone pro 750 IDE expansion card usb to rs-232 
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