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Home server suggestions

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YankeesPwnMets
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#1

Posted 14 March 2012 - 02:46 AM

So something must have happened today to one of my PCs, cause the motherboard and hard drive were both dead. It was pretty disappointing because the dead PC has been with me the longest and therefore has most of my important files on it. Today, I decided that I wanted to invest money on a home server to prevent anything else like this from ever happening, because if my work PC dies one day, I will lose all my stuff from work and I will be f*cked over. I plan to use the server to storage and to back up all of my computers and regular intervals. I am expecting to spend $2000-$2500 on this, mainly for hard drives and storage (stupid floods -.-)

Heres what I got so far:

$196.99 Fractal Design Array R2 Black Aluminum Mini-ITX Desktop Computer Case 300W SFX PSU Power Supply
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16811352019

$169.99 Intel DBS1200KP Mini ITX Server Motherboard LGA 1155 Intel C206 DDR3 1066/1333
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16813121553

$294.99 Adaptec RAID 2805 2269600-R SATA/SAS 8 internal ports w/ 128MB cache memory Controller Card, Kit
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16816103218

$87.99 Intel Pentium G850 Sandy Bridge 2.9GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16819116397

$264.99 Intel 320 Series SSDSA2CW160G310 2.5" 160GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) - OEM
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820167055

$29.99 G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820231277

$1199.94 6x Seagate Barracuda ST3000DM001 3TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16822148844

$52.99 Microsoft Windows Home Server 2011 64-bit OEM System Builder - OEM
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16832416443

Windows Home Server 2011 has a 160GB minimum requirement, so I decided to get an SSD for reliablity. This machine will hold a ton of important information and I really want to try and minimize failure. I also plan to use a RAID, like RAID 50 or RAID 10 to help out just in case of failure.

So, can anyone give me suggestions to improve this build. Also, some tips on a good RAID configuration would be appreciated.

Wolf68k
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#2

Posted 14 March 2012 - 03:50 PM

So correct me if I'm wrong on this. You use the server to act as a backup system for all of your computers. So each computer has backup software on it and sends that to the server.
Is that the only thing you use the server for? If it is why not just get something that is nothing but a drive or bunch of drives that is on the network that you can back up to? Something like a Drobo? It's just a box that supports USB (in the model linked), Firewire/IEEE1394, eSATA and/or LAN (depending on the model). You can put in any size drives you want and yet it'll use 100% of the drives unlike your normal RAID, more like JBOD but not quite.
The base price is just for the device, you supply the drives, but they do offer it with drives included as well. The Pro up to 8 drive, which supports USB, Firewire800 and LAN (iSCSI), is $1500 base or $3000 with 8TB worth of drives. The FS up to 5 drives, which is LAN only is $700 base, no option to include drives.

If your router supports USB which would allow you to connect a shared printer or in your case a shared drive you can get the one of the cheaper USB units and that should work as well.


Side note: This is about the only time I'd be interested in getting "green" drives is for things like this; I mean as some part of a backup system.

Stinky12
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#3

Posted 14 March 2012 - 07:21 PM

Why go so complex with a back up system? A simple NAS box can get the job done.
So what happens if your back up server goes kaput, because of some component failure?

trip
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#4

Posted 14 March 2012 - 09:55 PM

QUOTE (Stinky12 @ Wednesday, Mar 14 2012, 15:21)
Why go so complex with a back up system? A simple NAS box can get the job done.
So what happens if your back up server goes kaput, because of some component failure?

Yes. I second the NAS suggestion. Get yourself a nice 2 bay nas and set it up for raid. You will have redunent storage and should feel safe that you wont lose anything.

Most of them include all sorts of apps as well as security configurations to play with.

I use a Netgear Readynas with two 2 terabyte drives and I'm totally happy with it.

leik oh em jeez!
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#5

Posted 14 March 2012 - 10:20 PM Edited by leik oh em jeez!, 14 March 2012 - 10:22 PM.

QUOTE (Wolf68k @ Wednesday, Mar 14 2012, 10:50)
it'll use 100% of the drives unlike your normal RAID

If you mean he'll have all of the drives instead of having some for mirroring, then that would be a bad thing for his purposes. If an HDD fails, then that data is gone and all the money put into that server was for nothing. Having an actual server gives him the ability to choose if he wants to use RAID, and gives him the ability to manage stored files. If the data isn't mirrored then his back up would be no more reliable than the systems that he's backing up. Not to mention a little "Seagate STXXXX: Failure Imminent" message that you'd get on a server can be the difference in your data still being there when you need it.

If you're dropping $1500+ on something just to back up data, it better be a whole hell of a lot more reliable than the PCs you're backing up. A dedicated server with a RAID setup is about the only way you'll achieve that.

YankeesPwnMets
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#6

Posted 14 March 2012 - 11:01 PM

No, I also want it for file organization. A lot of the time, I don't remember where I store important files since I have a bunch of computers and a bunch of flash drives. Putting them on a home server can let my access them anywhere. Also, it could probably save my own bacon if I leave an important presentation or something on a thumb drive that I didn't bring to work (trust me, it's happened to me more then once.) WHS can stream media as well, so that'll be a feature I'm going to be using.

Also, I can keep stuff from MSDN on the server so I don't need to waste time forgetting where I stored a download, which causes my to redownnload a several GB large file(s).

trip
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#7

Posted 14 March 2012 - 11:18 PM

Once again I really think a NAS device is what you are looking for. It has an answer to everything you mentioned. Some of them even include bluray burners for extra crazy backups.


Really. It will just be like the server you are looking for but smaller and cooler - and better. I had the exact needs you discribe and NAS was the answer. Heck. I could have a drive fail and replace it while never losing a single file. Oh and I could even be interacting with my files while I replace the faulty drive since it is hot swap.

Wolf68k
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#8

Posted 15 March 2012 - 04:27 AM Edited by Wolf68k, 15 March 2012 - 04:37 AM.

QUOTE (leik oh em jeez! @ Wednesday, Mar 14 2012, 16:20)
QUOTE (Wolf68k @ Wednesday, Mar 14 2012, 10:50)
it'll use 100% of the drives unlike your normal RAID

If you mean he'll have all of the drives instead of having some for mirroring, then that would be a bad thing for his purposes. If an HDD fails, then that data is gone and all the money put into that server was for nothing. Having an actual server gives him the ability to choose if he wants to use RAID, and gives him the ability to manage stored files. If the data isn't mirrored then his back up would be no more reliable than the systems that he's backing up. Not to mention a little "Seagate STXXXX: Failure Imminent" message that you'd get on a server can be the difference in your data still being there when you need it.

If you're dropping $1500+ on something just to back up data, it better be a whole hell of a lot more reliable than the PCs you're backing up. A dedicated server with a RAID setup is about the only way you'll achieve that.

No I mean that he can put in a 500GB drive and a 1TB drive but unlike in a normal RAID which will only use 500GB of the 1TB because of the smaller drive, the Drobo will use the 500GB like normal and the treat the 1TB like normal. Which is what a JBOD does, but that JBOD can't do mirroring only stripe
It still doesn't stripe and mirroring.



@Yankee
In that case have a look at the Pogoplug https://pogoplug.com/devices You supply the drives to connect to it, it'll do the work of server that you want to build, and it'll cost between $50-$100 depending on the unit you want.
Not the best video to get some understanding about it, but it is the funniest. http://twit.tv/dgw1223
Here's a article about someone that combined a Pogoplug and Drobo http://typicalmacuse...-on-cloud-mine/

leik oh em jeez!
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#9

Posted 15 March 2012 - 05:59 AM

QUOTE (Wolf68k @ Wednesday, Mar 14 2012, 23:27)
No I mean that he can put in a 500GB drive and a 1TB drive but unlike in a normal RAID which will only use 500GB of the 1TB because of the smaller drive, the Drobo will use the 500GB like normal and the treat the 1TB like normal. Which is what a JBOD does, but that JBOD can't do mirroring only stripe
It still doesn't stripe and mirroring.

Isn't he getting all drives the same size? So that doesn't really matter. And like I said, for something he's putting so much money into, anything without mirroring would seem like an utter rip off to me. I get the feeling he's looking for a bigger feature set and best possible data security, not simplicity. Hell, there's nothing overly complicated about a file server anyways.

Why sacrifice the features you want to simplify something that's not too complicated?

Stinky12
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#10

Posted 15 March 2012 - 05:28 PM

Seagate has a external hdd called GoFlex Home.
It connect to your router with ethernet and has a remote software that allows users
to access their files even when they're not at home.

http://www.anandtech...-2tb-reviewed/1

Wolf68k
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#11

Posted 15 March 2012 - 07:36 PM

How in the hell do you know it doesn't offer data security? You're too damn lazy to look it up yourself?
Yes the Drobo has data security. No it doesn't mirror but it does use a redundancy and you don't have even configure the single drive redundancy. You can just plug it in and go just like a standard USB drive. If you want more features which includes dual drive redundancy then yes you will have to install the software on 1 system, Mac or PC. While it doesn't support Linux directly there are ways that you can make it so it will. So if at any time a drive fails you can swap it out for a new one, give it time to do the recovery and you're good to go. Dual drive redundancy is if 2 drives fail at the same time you can replace both at the same time. A simple series of lights tell which drive needs to (or should) be replaced and why; failure or to replace the smallest drive to add more storage.

Look I'm just trying to offer him another solution to his problem that just maybe he didn't already know about. Fine I get it, you build servers like this in your sleep. I'm willing to bet he doesn't, because if he did he sure as heck wouldn't be coming here for suggestions and help.


@Yankee
It you're money, spend it however you want. If you want to spend the time and money on build a server from the ground up then by all means do so. If you want something that's little easier to set up, then get my suggestion is give a Pogoplug a try at the very least, you can connect any USB drive (even a USB stick), and it'll be seen by your network as well as over the internet. You want add to that something simple that will do data protection but no it's not mirroring yet has been proven to work just as well, then give a look at the Drobo.

The pros and cons as I see it are this....
Server: You're looking at building it yourself; so you have to spend the time to fine the parts, put it together, hope that it works the first time you power it up, install the OS, configure the OS, configure the RAID. I've never build one or dealt with one, so when I drive files how do you know which one? And don't forget to update the OS each month which most likely will cause for a restart. Since it's Windows you'll be safer installing an anti-virus because you never be too safe.
Pogoplug + Drobo: Drobo as I said, you install any size drives you want even mix and match if you want, no software has to be installed but can be installed if you want to get at all of the features. Simple set of lights tells you wants going on; how much of your total space is being used (blue lights across the bottom, 1 light = 10%), which drive has failed or which drive you should replace for a bigger one to add more space. Pogoplug is firmware, so updating is pretty simple and to me seems more secure. Set up from what I've seen is very simple and straight forward. You can even stream movies and music over the internet to your mobile device; iPhone, iPad, Android, even to another computer. The stream is only only limited by your ISP. Again with your mobile device you can also send the data from your phone to your drive(s) back at home via the Pogoplug. No software needs to be installed to set up the Pogoplug, other than a web browser; you login to my.pogoplug.com, create an account, it'll do the rest. Yes you can mount the Pogoplug as a drive and from what I can tell does require a download (Google is your friend).
I have no idea if a server could any of that. Let's say it can, most likely it'll take third-party software which there is likely a bunch of different ones and each has it's own pros and cons and price.
There are a bunch of videos and articles that will better explain the Pogoplug and Drobo, how to set them up and how to use them.
Last pro/con:
Server replacing a drive; 1) after you've figured out which drive to replace, shut down the system, 2) open the case, 3) get out your screw driver and take out the drive, 4) put in the new drive, 5) put the case back together, 6) start up the system, 7+) check with whatever software that the new drive is getting formatted and set up correctly and ready to use the new drive.
Drobo replacing a drive: 1) look at the lights to see which one needs to be replace, 2) take out the old drive, 3) slap in the new drive, 4) watch the lights to see that Drobo is doing its work. Oh did I forget about the part of shut down and starting back up, oh right because you don't need to. And step 4 is more or less optional, hell you can make step 4 be 'go have a sandwich' or 'watch a movie' or whatever, come back in let's say an hour and look for the green light on the new drive which mean Drobo is done doing whatever magic it needs to do and the new drive is ready to go as if nothing happened.

Like I said, it's up to you. While leik might want to give me crap no matter what I say and start in asking 20 questions, which I'm not going to do any more.

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#12

Posted 15 March 2012 - 08:51 PM

Sorry, I just have to...
ReadyNAS

Get an enclosure, 2 same size drives, snap 'em in, attach to your network, power it up, create a base configuration. You will be up and running in 10 minutes.

Why over complicate things when in today's world they are making things easier for us? I swear - just check the link I included and read for yourself.

Stinky12
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#13

Posted 15 March 2012 - 10:05 PM

Setting up in RAID only protects the hdds itself. If the controller dies, then you won't be able to grab the data out when you
hook it up directly to a computer. This is because, the drive will only work on the controller it was initially setup with. If it happens, then you will have to buy another of the same external box, and pray the controller it uses is the exact same as the one before. If not, then you're screwed... moto_whistle.gif

leik oh em jeez!
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#14

Posted 15 March 2012 - 11:55 PM

QUOTE (Wolf68k @ Thursday, Mar 15 2012, 14:36)
How in the hell do you know it doesn't offer data security? You're too damn lazy to look it up yourself?
Yes the Drobo has data security. No it doesn't mirror but it does use a redundancy and you don't have even configure the single drive redundancy. You can just plug it in and go just like a standard USB drive. If you want more features which includes dual drive redundancy then yes you will have to install the software on 1 system, Mac or PC. While it doesn't support Linux directly there are ways that you can make it so it will. So if at any time a drive fails you can swap it out for a new one, give it time to do the recovery and you're good to go. Dual drive redundancy is if 2 drives fail at the same time you can replace both at the same time. A simple series of lights tell which drive needs to (or should) be replaced and why; failure or to replace the smallest drive to add more storage.

Look I'm just trying to offer him another solution to his problem that just maybe he didn't already know about. Fine I get it, you build servers like this in your sleep. I'm willing to bet he doesn't, because if he did he sure as heck wouldn't be coming here for suggestions and help.

Single drive redundancy offers protection from from read/write errors and lost blocks, but still doesn't do a thing if the the drive fails. Which with having all those drives, one of them is going to fail sooner or later. With the amount of money he's dumping into this, I'd imagine he'd be willing to learn how to setup a RAID array if it means complete protection from a drive failure. Oh, and his server could also be made to support hot-swap drives. Though if he were to do that, I would recommend a different case.

I'm not giving you sh*t, I'm just stating what's logical to me. I don't understand the need to further simplify a file server. I don't know if you've ever used Windows Server, but as long as you're semi-fluent with Vista you're going to be fine using Server 2008 or 2008 R2. There's really not much to learn to use the server. License it as per device, and setup your RAID array. Most other stuff, like setting up a share folder or network drive you'd have to do either way.

@stinky: RAID can be controlled by a controller on the motherboard, a controller on an add-in card, or by software. I don't see any of those options being too hard to fix.

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#15

Posted 16 March 2012 - 04:21 AM

Having raid on a motherboard isn't hard to fix as you can easily find a board with the same type or brand of raid controller. I used to run raid 0 on my system beginning on the
P5LD2 Deluxe, it uses Intel raid, then upgraded to P5K Deluxe (Intel raid) and finally Rampage Formula which you guess it, RAID still ran on the Intel controller.
By having boards with the same raid controller, upgrading from one board to the next wasn't a hassle as the raid drives never notice the board has been changed.
On a external enclosure, it's difficult to tell which raid controller it uses. When the controller board fails, connecting the hdd directly to the computer will result in
either a blank hdd or something else. The data is still there, but there is no way to access it. Possible way of making it work again is to get the same exact external enclosure and
installing the drives to that and hope it will recognize. If the raid controller is updated such as original uses Marvell and the new uses Adaptec, then it may not work as the
each RAID controller is different from one to the next.

Wolf68k
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#16

Posted 16 March 2012 - 04:48 AM

The people that make Drobo say that single drive redundancy means, 1 drive fails you can replace it and still have data recovery, however only 1 drive at a time. Dual drive redundancy means you can replace 2 drives at the same time.
That might not seem logical to you, but trust me when I say that logic has little to do with how things works with technology.
My 560Ti with the Windows HDMI audio drivers installed, 3-4weeks after they were installed, the display drivers screw up. The fix: disable the HD audio listing in the Device Manager.
Years ago I had an external SCSI drive, it was working just fine it was never moved. Big ass rocker switch on the back for the power, impossible to confuse it for the SCSI port switches which were not the easiest thing to press and change the port number. Then suddenly one day (after several months of perfect use), nothing had changed, the OS doesn't boot. My dad and I tried everything possible at the time and still nothing. The only way to fix that was to reinstall the OS. From that point on we had to turn on the system first and then once at the desktop could mount the drive. Because of a later conflict with a new SCSI device, a printer, we were forced to change the external drive's port number. I accidentally had the drive powered on when I turned on the system and it boot just fine, the printer wasn't even connected much less powered on at the time. Do this day experts that I told this to still can't figure it out and 1 got to see the FUBAR happen seeing as how I was going to reinstall the OS anyway.
So screw logic.


There is nothing wrong with simplify a file server. I use to stick with converting DVDs to AVI or MPG using several programs; first DVD Decrpyter to rip it, then another to demux it, followed by another to convert the video part that was made during the demuxing to a format that another program could use so it could join the video and audio together then still had to convert that with yet another program to AVI or completely different one to make it a MPEG1 or 2 and if I did go with MPEG1 or 2 I used yet another program to make it VCD or SVCD compliant then if it was going to be SVCD complaint I could (optional) use yet another program to make it so it had actual chapters. Now if I was do all of that, there are a few dozen programs that make it a pretty simple few step process, including the chapter points for SVCD. And yes I'd much rather use a program that makes it simple over going through 4 or 5 or more different programs to do the same thing.
Yes setting up a server and ripping a DVD then converting it to a video file are 2 different things, but that's not the point.
Just because it's simple doesn't mean that it's a bad thing. Don't knock it until you actually looked at it. I thought the Pogoplug was kind of pointless at first. I looked into it more and more and I saw it had a lot of uses and many of the same uses that full on home servers could offer and in some cases more to offer plus it was easy to set up. For me and my usage, no I don't need it. If I ever did find a need for something like that, I would look at it more but that's not to say I wouldn't look at normal home server as well to see what all I can do with it and how to make that happen and then I'll decide.
You on the other hand seem to want Yankee to completely ignore all other possibilities and stick with something you know. Give him the chance to know what else is out there before cramming your way down his throat.

I'm done. You've got nothing to do with this. I'm not going to answer any more of your questions about something you're not the one spending someone else's money on.

@Yankee
If you have any questions about my suggestion, please feel free to ask and I'll find out what I can as best I can or at the very least point you toward someone/site that can.
Apparently if you want go with your original plan and build a home server then leik knows it all and knows how, logically, it will work.




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