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Need help with an idea for a build

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
Hi all

I know what I am going to say is not a new idea, and maybe a bad one. Still this is a what if technical thought experiment in how it would be done, I am not here to feed trolls so please do not take this as open season to do so. This is me honestly trying to work out a thought experiment that may help me learn more on something I am having a hard time learning on my own, so with the disclaimer out of the way.

I'm looking into a build concept that would use three server configs, setup for both local and cloud gaming, as well as game storage, game rendering, and backup.

Server 1 would be set as the redundant machine, its total storage volume would be that to manage server 2 and 3 plus the whole homes NAS and Image and data backup needs. So most likely it would run on Win Server 2012 R2.

Server 2 would function as a network drive focused on being the storage drive for the games, and game ISO's for both the games to be run off of and archived to, as well as the ISO's to be mounted from to the virtual ODD on the Render machine end.

Server 3 would be a Gaming computer that has maxed enthusiast level specs for playing at maxed settings. That loads the game data from Server 2, but does all the rendering and IP connecting if needed on it end. As well as game Play the game on its end, or stream the game out to a remote device, IE Tablet or other mobile solution

All this tied together using a Gigabit or higher LAN connection through a Smart switch on the Server Rack.

Now this is the issue, the wizardry needed to tie this together and what Hardware would be best.

I was thinking for the Game Archive server using a SSD Server, configured in in a simple RAID that won't hurt the SSD's, EI a RAID that supports TRIM, which last I checked was RAID 1, 0, and 10/or/01. That way the would be only the Network connection being the slowest point.

Next is the issue of what to use to remote out the games when they are not being played locally on the render machine, which I was from my own research finding is only Splashtop.

For the Render machine I know what specs I would use, sadly that hardware won't be out for another year or so. and for the Game archive the same. Which by that time I could avoid having to network them together and instead direct link them via Thunderbolt.

Still as you can see I have loose ends, and a lot of them. So any pointers you can give? also if you need me to clarify something please ask.
post #2 of 2
While I only scanned over your post, I can throw something out there that I am doing myself.

I just ordered parts for a new build (i5-4670, Gigabyte GA-H87N-WIFI, 16GB DDR3-1600 1.35V RAM, x2 60GB SSDs for RAID0). This is my new gaming rig, even though I don't do much gaming. I will have 120GB of local storage which will be fast (nightly backups, important stuff stored on remote server, blah blah). The board has two onboard gigabit NICs which would be great for a remote iSCSI volume on my storage box (6 3TB drives in RAID10) if additional storage is needed, and MPIO would ensure plenty of speed and bandwidth (not LACP). This would probably be the best and easiest thing for you to do in to meet this need.

When it comes to your servers, I'd recommend virtualizing whatever you can. Since you are talking of Server 2012R2 already, might as well go Hyper-V on a Dell C1100 server (or two). For ~$320, you can't get beat the price per performance you will get (for local VMs, use a 2TB drive and a 120GB SSD in a Tiered Simple Storage Space -- it's what I do and it has great IOPS). For storage, build a cheap FreeNAS box or if you want to go hardware RAID, build a low powered box with a LSI MegRAID 9260-8i card, or even a 9240-8i card with an HP SAS Expander (if you need more than 8 drives). Heck, check out the Dell C2100s on eBay. Basically a C1100 but 2U, comes with a Dell H710 controller, and 12 3.5" drive bays (I am considering getting one to backup my custom storage box).

That should give you a good starting point to something pretty good, and not too expensive.
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