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Recommend me a Home Server Build - Page 2

post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsmoke;11859365 
You can either go for RAID 1 which is mirroring your drives to protect you data in case of drive failures. RAID requires a RAID controller. Or you could go the route of files duplication using software. You said you don't want to spend money so I would choose software duplication route for you.

Why not just get a motherboard that supports RAID?
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoddimusPrime;11860356 
Why not just get a motherboard that supports RAID?

Because while motherboard RAID has some support in Linux (via DM RAID), how complete that support is will depend on your distribution. For example, my distro (Ubuntu 10.04 LTS) doesn't support RAID created with the ICH10R. 11.04 will, but that's not until April.

If you want RAID in Linux, best option is either a) get a hardware RAID card or b) use Linux software RAID. For your case, Linux software RAID is your best bet. It's absolutely solid.
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post #13 of 20
Hmm didn't know that about ich 10... If this is on the cheap, are all current motherboard raids that new? (Ie: can a person seek out boards that have been on the market a while?)
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post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
Well,.... for what I am doing I might be willing to spring the small amount extra for a controller as long as it doesn't slow things down.... or I can wait until support comes out for ICH.

I assume with what I am doing I do not need a server rack correct? Backing PC files up, streaming files, being able to access my files from off site, and potentially running a vent or game server as well as personal websites if I choose to in the future. It is not like I am wiring my house for each room. I do most things wireless like my wife's laptop, consoles, phones, nook, blu ray players, and so forth. Only my 2 desktops are hard wired and of course when I have LAN parties of 12 or less people.
post #15 of 20
Buy a cheap Core 2 Duo/4GB machine on Craigslist, with a legit OS installed. Throw in a new 2GB Hard drive. Profit. biggrin.gif
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post #16 of 20
RoddimusPrime, the idea of a "server" is about usage, not the hardware. Putting it in a rack is for convenience and packaging of multiple computers. Until you get to the enterprise level, a "server" is a typical desktop PC that serves the company with a shared RAID or an internal website.

Very lame computers make really awesome servers. They don't run desktop apps, so anything they're serving is really easy. I got unexpected praise regarding the server at my work. The server is pedestrian in some ways but well thought out in others. This server runs 2 active virtual machines and serves our RAID to the business. One of the VMs is our internal webserver (for employess and for development) as well as running a cron that is essential to our business process. Another VM hosts a postgres database that serves our accounting.

Here are pics of that server and the "rack" cabinet it's in... Yeah, that was an Ikea cabinet that was left abandoned in the business space that I'm renting now. In the bottom is my F1 dedicated folding rig. I learned the hard way not to put that on the same UPS as the server. tongue.gif The monitor and keyboard are connected to the server and F1 via a KVM. You can see my externally mounted drives for the server's RAID. The server is the box behind the monitor.
attachment.php?attachmentid=187927&stc=1&d=1294011564




The case? It's a Supermicro server case that initially housed my AMD K6-2 3D Now! windows 2000 box that I used for my desktop at work from 2000 until ... 2004? 05? It's purpose is to hold the components and not cause me to have to stop working to work on it. I open it up and dust it out every year or two. Smily face is the power button. 3.5" drive is disconnected... Just didn't bother to remove it. Notice how thick the aluminum plate is. It was scrap laying in the shop at the time ... it happened to meet the dimensional needs we were looking for ... depth for HDD, width for 2 fans + 4 HDDs.
attachment.php?attachmentid=187928&stc=1&d=1294011469





Now for the good stuff... pretty decent motherboard that was part of a TigerDirect bundle (was around 2006 ... psu, PhII x4, board)... so was probably 6 or 8 months not current at the moment. Has integrated hdmi video (didn't even notice until this year). It's got 6G of DDR2 RAM. The two SSDs are in a RAID fed from the motherboard. The PCIe card is a raid controller. PCI card is a gigbit ethernet adapter; one cable is split out from the firewall, the other to our network. All the drives were inside the case until we noticed they are hot as hades. ... so we routed the cabling out the back of the case and have the drives bolted to an aluminum plate with fans blowing across them. Copper plates on top are for more cooling and extra stability. OS is ubuntu server. 9.04 I think...
attachment.php?attachmentid=187929&stc=1&d=1294011469




Sooooo... a "server" can be anything from an Intel Atom to the sickest gaming rig possible. And it's "rack" can be anywhere suitable (preferably ventilated, not on a desk, and away from people). The top of this cabinet has our 24 port gigbit switch and our core2duo firewall.


Note that the x4 ran a load of 0 0 0, (meaning under 1% utilization) ... so I have it folding. smile.gif So pretty much a server is about any piece of crap box that is configured for reliability with some thought about fail-safe applied to the whole thing.
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post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by unexpectedly;11866941 
RoddimusPrime, the idea of a "server" is about usage, not the hardware. Putting it in a rack is for convenience and packaging of multiple computers. Until you get to the enterprise level, a "server" is a typical desktop PC that serves the company with a shared RAID or an internal website.

Very lame computers make really awesome servers. They don't run desktop apps, so anything they're serving is really easy. I got unexpected praise regarding the server at my work. The server is pedestrian in some ways but well thought out in others. This server runs 2 active virtual machines and serves our RAID to the business. One of the VMs is our internal webserver (for employess and for development) as well as running a cron that is essential to our business process. Another VM hosts a postgres database that serves our accounting.

Here are pics of that server and the "rack" cabinet it's in... Yeah, that was an Ikea cabinet that was left abandoned in the business space that I'm renting now. In the bottom is my F1 dedicated folding rig. I learned the hard way not to put that on the same UPS as the server. tongue.gif The monitor and keyboard are connected to the server and F1 via a KVM. You can see my externally mounted drives for the server's RAID. The server is the box behind the monitor.
attachment.php?attachmentid=187927&stc=1&d=1294011564




The case? It's a Supermicro server case that initially housed my AMD K6-2 3D Now! windows 2000 box that I used for my desktop at work from 2000 until ... 2004? 05? It's purpose is to hold the components and not cause me to have to stop working to work on it. I open it up and dust it out every year or two. Smily face is the power button. 3.5" drive is disconnected... Just didn't bother to remove it. Notice how thick the aluminum plate is. It was scrap laying in the shop at the time ... it happened to meet the dimensional needs we were looking for ... depth for HDD, width for 2 fans + 4 HDDs.
attachment.php?attachmentid=187928&stc=1&d=1294011469





Now for the good stuff... pretty decent motherboard that was part of a TigerDirect bundle (was around 2006 ... psu, PhII x4, board)... so was probably 6 or 8 months not current at the moment. Has integrated hdmi video (didn't even notice until this year). It's got 6G of DDR2 RAM. The two SSDs are in a RAID fed from the motherboard. The PCIe card is a raid controller. PCI card is a gigbit ethernet adapter; one cable is split out from the firewall, the other to our network. All the drives were inside the case until we noticed they are hot as hades. ... so we routed the cabling out the back of the case and have the drives bolted to an aluminum plate with fans blowing across them. Copper plates on top are for more cooling and extra stability. OS is ubuntu server. 9.04 I think...
attachment.php?attachmentid=187929&stc=1&d=1294011469




Sooooo... a "server" can be anything from an Intel Atom to the sickest gaming rig possible. And it's "rack" can be anywhere suitable (preferably ventilated, not on a desk, and away from people). The top of this cabinet has our 24 port gigbit switch and our core2duo firewall.


Note that the x4 ran a load of 0 0 0, (meaning under 1% utilization) ... so I have it folding. smile.gif So pretty much a server is about any piece of crap box that is configured for reliability with some thought about fail-safe applied to the whole thing.


Thanks for the advice. Also, you mentioned you had two drives running in RAID on the motherboard, but yet use Ubuntu. So are you backing up your files to this? And I guess you did not have to use any software to RAID as people mentioned in Linux (at least with yours)?
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoddimusPrime;11868062 
Thanks for the advice. Also, you mentioned you had two drives running in RAID on the motherboard, but yet use Ubuntu. So are you backing up your files to this? And I guess you did not have to use any software to RAID as people mentioned in Linux (at least with yours)?

We're not really backing anything up at the moment... The dual SSD raid on the motherboard is to try and have some redundancy with the OS running the server (Ubuntu).

I did some google'ing and logged into the server. We've got FakeRAID setup. mdstat is the ubuntu software raid... mdstat didn't show anything happening. So then I ran mount to see all the devices that are mounted. That showed something odd mounted on /. Normally that's /dev/sda1, etc etc. So then I google'd /dev/mapper and found the page above. My IT helped guy set up the raid for me, so I wasn't the one making it happen. I think he was so stoked when I handed over 2 SSDs that he just made it happen. /dev/sdc1 is the 1TB raid 5 and you see it is mounted at the quite original location of /raid. df -H then shows drive sizes and used/free space. Note that the -H option is to make it human readable.
Code:
21:52 unexpectedly@server ~$ cat /proc/mdstat
Personalities : 
unused devices: <none>
21:52 unexpectedly@server ~$ mount
/dev/mapper/server-root on / type ext3 (rw,relatime,errors=remount-ro)
tmpfs on /lib/init/rw type tmpfs (rw,nosuid,mode=0755)
proc on /proc type proc (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev)
sysfs on /sys type sysfs (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev)
varrun on /var/run type tmpfs (rw,nosuid,mode=0755)
varlock on /var/lock type tmpfs (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev,mode=1777)
udev on /dev type tmpfs (rw,mode=0755)
tmpfs on /dev/shm type tmpfs (rw,nosuid,nodev)
devpts on /dev/pts type devpts (rw,noexec,nosuid,gid=5,mode=620)
fusectl on /sys/fs/fuse/connections type fusectl (rw)
lrm on /lib/modules/2.6.28-19-server/volatile type tmpfs (rw,mode=755)
/dev/mapper/nvidia_bcbhcdef5 on /boot type ext2 (rw,relatime)
/dev/sdc1 on /raid type ext3 (rw,relatime,errors=remount-ro)
securityfs on /sys/kernel/security type securityfs (rw)
21:52 unexpectedly@server ~$ cd /dev/mapper
21:54 unexpectedly@server /dev/mapper$ ls
control  nvidia_bcbhcdef  nvidia_bcbhcdef1  nvidia_bcbhcdef5  server-root  server-swap_1
21:54 unexpectedly@server /dev/mapper$ df -H
Filesystem             Size   Used  Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/mapper/rock-root
                        61G   2.2G    55G   4% /
tmpfs                  3.1G      0   3.1G   0% /lib/init/rw
varrun                 3.1G   1.7M   3.1G   1% /var/run
varlock                3.1G      0   3.1G   0% /var/lock
udev                   3.1G   156k   3.1G   1% /dev
tmpfs                  3.1G      0   3.1G   0% /dev/shm
lrm                    3.1G   2.7M   3.1G   1% /lib/modules/2.6.28-19-server/volatile
/dev/mapper/nvidia_bcbhcdef5
                       239M   103M   125M  46% /boot
/dev/sdc1              985G   346G   589G  37% /raid
21:54 unexpectedly@server /dev/mapper$
The big RAID is striped so it has failure redundancy. It's set up in a RAID5. This has all of our business documents, etc, on it. I try to have everyone work from this shared drive instead of their desktops, so individual work lives here. So I'm relying upon the RAID not completely failing as my "backup". And this is a reasonable expectation for the short term (a few years). At some point, I'll figure out things I want permanent record of and put them on tape or DVDs.

Do you NEED raid? No. Not at all. But... if you have no alternate storage, THAT's when the HD will just die prematurely. Why? Because that's how murphy and fate get together in my world... they don't like when I thumb my nose at them. Especially if I had a whole lot of downloaded videos and music. So, even software raid redundancy is great for a "leave alone and trust it" situation.

I'd suggest for you to get a couple 2TB drives. Get ubuntu working on one of them then follow the procedures and help to implement a software raid with error checking and then you can add the other drive. You can have the lone raid serve everything. This is what I would do for a home server setup. We might do it this year... get rid of cable TV and have a HTPC be file + video server + hdmi feed to the living room TV.

My situation is overkill where I've got a raid on a raid, but the point is that I can take that PCIe raid card and put it in any computer and our 1TB raid5 is there, ready to go. It has nothing to do with OS.

Case? ANY case. Really. Without gaming and GPUs, there's no heat. So get the cheapest free shipping case from NewEgg or Amazon. As long as your motherboard is typical mini ATX, you're fine. You get problems when you've got many many slots or really long GPUs. Then the case matters for space, cable routing, card placement, where hard drives go, etc etc.

One luxury you can look for are things to make the case as quiet as possible. That's a crap shoot with cheap-o cases. If you have a couple HDDs mounted to the frame, they can sometimes be heard outside the case. I've got 2 cheap-o cases that do that and 4 that are quiet.

smile.gif Chris
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post #19 of 20
@OP

If your looking for a cheap case, check out the one in my sig. I got it for £24 + delivery. It'll hold six 3.5" drives, and with an IcyDock 3-in-2 in the 5.25" bays, it'll hold another three, for a total of nine 3.5" drives. Assuming you booted it from a thumbdrive, it'll hold 18TB of storage with 2TB drives.


@unexpectedly:

Not meaning to thread-jack, but I can see your username coming back to haunt you. Are sure you don't want to put those hard drives in a nice IcyDock 3-in-2 hotswap bay? I can see them falling from the top of that case...unexpectedly...

...and you don't do backups either...would you consider getting two 2TB storage drives, putting them in the two 3.5" bays, setting them up in software RAID 1 and backing up the RAID 5 array to them?

Additionally, it might be an idea to have a hot spare as part of your RAID 5 array...RAID 5 will survive a single disk failure...but between that one drive failing and the new drive becoming a fully fledged part of the array, another drive might fail...unexpectedly...
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post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by parityboy;11953502 
@unexpectedly:

Not meaning to thread-jack, but I can see your username coming back to haunt you. Are sure you don't want to put those hard drives in a nice IcyDock 3-in-2 hotswap bay? I can see them falling from the top of that case...unexpectedly...

...and you don't do backups either...would you consider getting two 2TB storage drives, putting them in the two 3.5" bays, setting them up in software RAID 1 and backing up the RAID 5 array to them?

Additionally, it might be an idea to have a hot spare as part of your RAID 5 array...RAID 5 will survive a single disk failure...but between that one drive failing and the new drive becoming a fully fledged part of the array, another drive might fail...unexpectedly...

I've got new spare drive for RAID on shelf next to box. And pretty sure that plate won't fall off, too. tongue.gif

I do have 2x 1TB drives shipping to me and an eSata external dock so I can do nightly backups.

Thanks!
Chris
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7-4930k SABERTOOTH X79 NVIDIA Quadro K2000 Corsair 4 x 8GB 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
OCZ Revodrive 350 PCIe  Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 1TB 7200 rpm ST31000... Acer HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GH70N  Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
windows 7 professional 64 bit ASUS PB278Q 27-Inch WQHD PLS Monitor razer black widow ultimate Raidmax 630w 
CaseMouseOtherOther
TT Commander Snow Logitech M-U0007 (M500) NextEngine Laser Scanner Mobile Computer Desk 
OtherOther
3D Connexion Space Navigator Huion H58L Tablet 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
xeon 3440 Maximus III Gene GTS250 G.Skill 2GB F3-10666CL8-2GBHK 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
SAMSUNG SpinPoint P Series SP2004C 200GB 7200 RPM Zalman windows 7 64 bit Gateway FHX3200B 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Acer AL2216W Razer black widow ultimate CM 500w Coolermaster USP100 red 
Mouse
Logitech MX518 
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