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Storage Server
bbjai 
8/9/08 12:21:20 AM
Overlord

yeh thats the thing its meant to be all automated I read alot about Windows Home Server and its sorta good in my opinion.

The case and PSU I chose for looks and efficiency. The CPU i chose for power consumption, From my readings, I don't remember where, for media streaming (HD video in particular which might be a possibility in the future) a Dual Core is probably better. The mobo there are cheaper ones, just not from IT EState lols.

The RAM and HD's I can change probably but WHS is what I'm hooked on at the moment. Still after all those savings I'm looking at around $500. I mean I do have a spare case and PSU lying around. But WHS is $187 :( and hard disk will be around $170 so all up I reckon my spend is going to be around $350. I wanted to get rid of my P4 cause its noisy and power eating scum.

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Dota Addicted

smadge1 
8/9/08 5:46:55 AM
Immortal

yeah, when I built my WHS, I ended up going Core2Duo.

I picked a E6750, but an E2xxx would have been fine.

I wanted to run VMs and do video encoding on it, which is why I picked the beefier processor.


Edited by smadge1: 8/9/2008 5:48:18 AM

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I broke my ass in a farting accident.
I have a bag of salty nuts.

[ .. The WHS Guy .. ]

http://geocline.net/
17938

The Tick 
8/9/08 8:54:03 AM
Hero
Titan


Ok, there are few things that haven't been covered.

You essentially have three cost effective options:

1. A system using Windows XP

Pros: Cheap, you have a license and great driver support.

Cons: Not really intended for what you are doing. No native support for RAID 5 so you will be reliant on what the hardware can deliver.

2. A system using Windows Home Server

Pros: Native RAID support especially for JBOD which it apparently handles well. Native backup support for some Vista version (I believe but you may want to check that up).

Cons: I have nfi about hardware support but it "may" be problematic on either really new or really old hardware. I have never built one so I am not sure. I would guess that few have so finding support may be problematic.

3. A system running a linux variant

Pros: Cheap. Can run on alot of older hardware.

Cons: Unfamiliar interface although I would have a look at freeNAS (see tantryl's thread) as once it's installed it's all web based so it should be easy for your mum.

The other thing you will need to consider is how you intend to backup the MAC. If your running 10.5 then you have access to Time Machine although there are some steps you need to consider in getting this to talk to a windows/ samba server. You should do a forum search in the MAC section as I know Zebra posted a good tutorial on how to get this working.

Lastly, do you intend to make offsite backups?

A good RAID will allow you to build a fair amount of space these days but it's all for naught if you start storing important documents (photos, movies) and you have a fault occur that the raid doesn't handle (power surge, component failure, fire, theft ...). You might want to consider putting in a removable SATA cradle with the ability to backup to a 1TB cheap SATA drive (weekly or monthly) which gets taken offsite (to a relative you trust). With this you may want to look at a way of encrypting your backup too in case someone decides they want to have a look at it.

I generally have two 1TB drives. One stays in my server for a month and then gets swapped with the second which is stored at my brother's place.

I built a Windows 2003 SBE server more for the curiosity of it than for really needing it but it runs a dedicated RAID 5 using a reasonably expensive Adaptec card with 4 x 400GB (one as a hot swap). I also built a second RAID using 3 x 500GB and the onboard controller more for dumping things that weren't so important if the RAID failed. This machine is hooked to a server grade UPS with shutdown software built in one of the full tower Coolermaster Stacker cases.

Further to storage it also handles VPN access, Bittorrent and Avast AV Server for the Windows clients on the home network. It's nice to be able to remote into the system to start, check or stop a download.

My home network runs a mix of PCs and Macs.

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Quote by plebsmacker
I don't care who makes what, I just want more toys.



smadge1 
8/9/08 9:09:09 AM
Immortal

Windows Home Server is built on top of Server 2003, so as long as the hardware is supported by 2003, you shouldn't have an issue (and XP drivers are often good enough)

In my WHS box, all the HDDs are accessible from the front of the case, can have up to 12 drives in the front with appropriate hardware (SATA backplane devices etc)

Making offsite backups with WHS is difficult unless you want to use external drives (manual share backups) or over the internet. (unless your service provider doesn't mind you uploading a lot)

Power Pack 1 was supposed to include a way to backup the backup database, but this never made it to final release, though you can still do it the tricksy way (MS have published instructions...)

-----

I broke my ass in a farting accident.
I have a bag of salty nuts.

[ .. The WHS Guy .. ]

http://geocline.net/
17938

Master_Scythe 
8/9/08 1:44:40 PM
Titan

Quote by The Tick
Ok, there are few things that haven't been covered.

You essentially have three cost effective options:

1. A system using Windows XP

Pros: Cheap, you have a license and great driver support.

Cons: Not really intended for what you are doing. No native support for RAID 5 so you will be reliant on what the hardware can deliver.



Just as a heads up, a quick 1 line hex edit can enable RAID5 in XP.

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4200+X2 939, ASUS A8N-SLI-D, Ati HD3850, 1gb,1tb total HDD, 109 DVD, LG DVD-rom.
Quote by Girvo
I've got a wicked tiny one that is ridiculously sensitive.



The Tick 
8/9/08 4:38:36 PM
Hero
Titan


Quote by Master_Scythe
Quote by The Tick
Ok, there are few things that haven't been covered.

You essentially have three cost effective options:

1. A system using Windows XP

Pros: Cheap, you have a license and great driver support.

Cons: Not really intended for what you are doing. No native support for RAID 5 so you will be reliant on what the hardware can deliver.



Just as a heads up, a quick 1 line hex edit can enable RAID5 in XP.



Really? Wow I actually wasn't aware of that.

Have you ran it? Is it stable?

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Quote by plebsmacker
I don't care who makes what, I just want more toys.



Master_Scythe 
8/9/08 4:39:48 PM
Titan

yes i have.

yes it is.

allow me to find you a link.

here is one way:
http://www.windowsreference.com/windows-xp/how-to-add-software-raid-5-support-for-windows-xp/

and another way

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/windowsxp-make-raid-5-happen,925-2.html


and a nicely laid out way

http://www.fnode.com/forums/tips-tricks-time-savers/14-setting-up-xp-raid-5-a.html



Edited by Master_Scythe: 8/9/2008 4:44:25 PM

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4200+X2 939, ASUS A8N-SLI-D, Ati HD3850, 1gb,1tb total HDD, 109 DVD, LG DVD-rom.
Quote by Girvo
I've got a wicked tiny one that is ridiculously sensitive.



bbjai 
8/9/08 6:41:38 PM
Overlord

I'll look into Linux, but WHS seems the simplest to use. Please bear in mind that my router is a Airport Extreme.

Looks like which ever way I go the Mac will have to be backed up by itself against a external USB.

I'll have a look with my parents over the options and prices and make a decion. Thanks all for the help!!

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Dota Addicted

Master_Scythe 
8/9/08 10:27:37 PM
Titan

If you find a mac program that can image your disk, while in use (eg. while mac OS is booted) then it should be as simple as pointing th ebackup location to a network share.

its basic stuff and if it sounds hard, a quick google will lead you right.

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4200+X2 939, ASUS A8N-SLI-D, Ati HD3850, 1gb,1tb total HDD, 109 DVD, LG DVD-rom.
Quote by Girvo
I've got a wicked tiny one that is ridiculously sensitive.



eckythump 
10/9/08 2:19:49 AM
Champion

You need to decide what it is specifically you want.

If you want a fileserver, then sure, RAID is a good idea.

If it's a backup server, RAID is a luxury.

This may sound counter-intuitive, but these are going to be backups. If the drive dies, you lose backups. Replace the drive and re-backup immediately.

If something happens that manages to take out both machines, RAID isn't going to save you.

And there's nothign stopping you underclocking your P4 and putting a quieter CPU cooler on it.

If you find you want to do live streaming that invovles real-time transcoding, then when you get to that point, then is a good time to upgrade. You'll get a better deal then.

I think the offsite backup is a good idea, though.

Get a $45 80gb HDD, or use a drive you already ahve for the OS. Have a hot-swappable drive bay and cycle 2 1tb disks like described above. That's a good and sensible approach without being over-the-top.

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My mind is a swirling miasma of scintillating thoughts and turgid ideas.

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