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Build me a mATX server!

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Ok guys I need your help. I haven't built a server before and I need some help. First things first:
  1. The server will be used for file sharing for 3 computers and 2 xbox 360's.
  2. Price limit is ~$750
  3. Needs ~3T of HDD space. (I want to use 4 1T HDD in RAID 5, if i can?)
  4. Need a complete part list.
  5. Would prefer the server to be in mATX form to save space..
I did post my original build idea here but the few comments I got back made me realize that I dont have a clue what Im doing in the server side of things..

Thanks in advance
Edited by Gibs - 2/26/11 at 6:17pm
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post #2 of 19
For the operating system I recommend the free FreeNAS. I run it at home and it works great. As far as sharing goes you probably want to go with SMB/Samba, which is supported by default in windows, and afaik the xbox can also use it. Of course, FreeNAS does too.

RAID 5 sounds cool, but even RAID 1 would do the job. You can go with software raid without much of a performance impact, especially if you go for RAID 1.
    
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post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by citruspers View Post
For the operating system I recommend the free FreeNAS. I run it at home and it works great. As far as sharing goes you probably want to go with SMB/Samba, which is supported by default in windows, and afaik the xbox can also use it. Of course, FreeNAS does too.

RAID 5 sounds cool, but even RAID 1 would do the job. You can go with software raid without much of a performance impact, especially if you go for RAID 1.
Id prefer to use a windows based OS (WHS) to make it easier for me.

Also I want to use RAID 5 so that I have the added layer of data protection in the event of HDD failure.
In RAID 1 is one drive fails all data is lost. In RAID 5 if one drive fails then the "spare" drive takes its place, recalculating the data that was on the failed drive resulting in no data loss.
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post #4 of 19
Actually you are wrong...not in a mean way :=) Raid 1 is mirroring two drives to be exactly the same so if one dies the other is still running and you can rebuild your array. You are thinking of raid 0. The is a significant performance gain with raid 1 as well. Every time you write a file to raid 5, it has to rebuild the the whole array including the parity drive which can take much longer than raid 1.
post #5 of 19
since nobody in this thread seems to understand raid levels, I'll give a quick summary.

raid 0: striping. files are divided in between all drives for incredible speed boosts.
raid 1: mirroring. files are duplicated between all drives so if one fails, you still have an exact replica and no harm is done. similar in speed to single drive.
raid 5: striping with parity. files are divided among drives, but on the one of the drives, a parity block is written, so that in the event of a drive failure, all data can be recovered (minimum 4 drives) - faster than single 3 drives, slower than 4. more cpu intensive (especially on rebuilds, which only occur after failures)


as for recommendations, I would suggest a linux-based OS because of the cost (or lack thereof). Plus, it can be taken as a learning opportunity.

I haven't kept as up to date on hardware as I wish I had, but my server (which transcodes media to my ps3) I run an unlocked sempron 140, which costs ~$35 brand new, so it's hard to beat.
Edited by ZHoob2004 - 2/26/11 at 9:15pm
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post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZHoob2004 View Post
since nobody in this thread seems to understand raid levels, I'll give a quick summary.

raid 0: striping. files are divided in between all drives for incredible speed boosts.
raid 1: mirroring. files are duplicated between all drives so if one fails, you still have an exact replica and no harm is done. similar in speed to single drive.
raid 5: striping with parity. files are divided among drives, but on the one of the drives, a parity block is written, so that in the event of a drive failure, all data can be recovered (minimum 4 drives) - faster than single 3 drives, slower than 4. more cpu intensive (especially on rebuilds, which only occur after failures)
True, I confused RAID 0 and RAID 1. I had a brainfart. I do understand RAID but just switched RAID 0 and RAID 1. Still Id rather RAID 5 so that my 4x 1T drives become 3T total space + the failsafe drive.
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post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZHoob2004 View Post
as for recommendations, I would suggest a linux-based OS because of the cost (or lack thereof). Plus, it can be taken as a learning opportunity.
I can use basic linux based servers as I am Admin of the Oz-craft Minecraft server that is on a Dedicated server NOT a VPS. That server runs CentOS but I do not know how to make it a file sharing server?
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post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Sorry for having so many posts in a row, but Id rather not use RAID 1 as it will require me to have double the amount of HDD space for all files and backups. So to have 3T usable I would need 6T total space. Bit of a waste when I can just use RAID 5 and have 4T total space but 3T usable.
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post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZHoob2004 View Post
since nobody in this thread seems to understand raid levels, I'll give a quick summary.

raid 0: striping. files are divided in between all drives for incredible speed boosts.
raid 1: mirroring. files are duplicated between all drives so if one fails, you still have an exact replica and no harm is done. similar in speed to single drive.
raid 5: striping with parity. files are divided among drives, but on the one of the drives, a parity block is written, so that in the event of a drive failure, all data can be recovered (minimum 4 drives) - faster than single 3 drives, slower than 4. more cpu intensive (especially on rebuilds, which only occur after failures)


as for recommendations, I would suggest a linux-based OS because of the cost (or lack thereof). Plus, it can be taken as a learning opportunity.

I haven't kept as up to date on hardware as I wish I had, but my server (which transcodes media to my ps3) I run an unlocked sempron 140, which costs ~$35 brand new, so it's hard to beat.
Actually, RAID-5 requires a minimum of 3-drives, not 4. RAID-6, 10, and 0+1 have a 4-drive minimum requirement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gibs View Post
Sorry for having so many posts in a row, but Id rather not use RAID 1 as it will require me to have double the amount of HDD space for all files and backups. So to have 3T usable I would need 6T total space. Bit of a waste when I can just use RAID 5 and have 4T total space but 3T usable.
Using RAID-5 as an OS drive is not the best way to go due to all the small-file operations you'll be performing against the array.

Personally, in this situation, I'd specifically be looking for an Intel ICH9R or ICH10R motherboard and implementing Intel Matrix RAID. I would have a small (40-80GB) RAID-10 virtual disk across the 4x1TB drives as a boot drive, and then use the remaining space as a RAID-5 array for storage...
Edited by ComGuards - 2/26/11 at 10:51pm
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post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ComGuards View Post
Actually, RAID-5 requires a minimum of 3-drives, not 4. RAID-6, 10, and 0+1 have a 4-drive minimum requirement.

Using RAID-5 as an OS drive is not the best way to go due to all the small-file operations you'll be performing against the array.

Personally, in this situation, I'd specifically be looking for an Intel ICH9R or ICH10R motherboard and implementing Intel Matrix RAID. I would have a small (40-80GB) RAID-10 virtual disk across the 4x1TB drives as a boot drive, and then use the remaining space as a RAID-5 array for storage...
So to make it simpler Ill just get a small HDD or SSD for the OS
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