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Building a Home Server

Re: Building a Home Server

Postby tWeaKmoD » Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:42 pm

c0ldfyr3 wrote:i prefer the use of a raid 0/1 of two high velocity drives for OS, and separate RAID 1/5 drives for storage/backup.
so if something does happen to the OS ( Microsoft updates have killed my OS in the past, due to hardware incompatibilities. ) and you have to Format and reinstall of even reclone you dont have to worry about your data getting lost in the process.


That's what I have always done with my desktop computers and thus why I was thinking about doing it for the server as well.
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Re: Building a Home Server

Postby mnemonicj » Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:25 am

When I finally bought a server in 2005, I hunted around for a good hardware RAID card. I found a good card, but sadly I can't use it anymore because it is an IDE card that fits in a PCI slot, none of which are accessible for a card this long in my current server. The card worked great with a RAID 5, but now I don't think I would be using a RAID 5 unless I could get another card that did a hardware RAID.

If you are really into computers and tech, you may not be able to stop tinkering with your server and spending extra money on upgrades when you can.

My current home server setup:
Intel 2.53 GHz Quad Core Xeon with Hyperthreading
8 GB ECC DDR3 1333 MHz memory
Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise (Domain, DNS, DHCP, file, print, FTP, web, etc)
2 - 500GB SATA drives in a RAID1 (OS, Virus and Update files, etc)
4 - 500GB SATA drives in a RAID10 (backed up data)
2 - 320GB IDE drives in a RAID1 (DVDs to stream to my HTPC)

Even with as much storage as I have, I need to upgrade. Since my motherboard only has 6 SATA ports, I need a SATA RAID card, so I am thinking of getting an 8 port RAID card, 2 - 1TB SATA drives in a RAID1 for my DVD movies, my 6 500GB SATA drives in a RAID10 for backed up data, and a 60GB SSD for my OS. We'll see when I have the extra $500 it will cost to do this.
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Re: Building a Home Server

Postby tWeaKmoD » Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:40 am

Nice setup mnemonicj. I have never used a raid card before. Is that a PCI card or what? Is there any speed decrease when using a card vs the port on the Mobo?
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Re: Building a Home Server

Postby mnemonicj » Thu Jan 20, 2011 3:03 am

Since PCI speeds max out at 133 MB/s it is possible to have a RAID card max out the PCI bus especially if other cards are in other PCI slots, like a gigabit network card, or USB 2.0 card. IDE drives are are supposed to be able to transfer at rates of up to 100 MB/s (ATA-100) and 133 MB/s (ATA-133), but I am not sure that any real world single IDE drive can come close to those sustained speeds. You would need to have the drives in a RAID to be able to reach speeds like that.
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Re: Building a Home Server

Postby c0ldfyr3 » Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:28 am

the best thing about having multiple servers is just that... you have multiples. you can start to explore concepts you have never thought of looking at prior to having 3 or 4. the problem with upgrading your one server often is you miss out on the idea of clusters, clouds, data centers, and advanced networking...
Of course you would have to be into that kinda thing to start, eh...

mnemonicj, you need a SAN ,bit more expensive then $500 but well worth it if you have a collection like mine... (66TB).
SASII card is your fastest and mores secure option, though the drives are expensive.

Serial attached SCSI
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Re: Building a Home Server

Postby tWeaKmoD » Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:31 pm

Thanks everyone for the feedback. You all convened me to use my older P4 to run my home server (which saves me good money). I picked up two WD SATA 1 TB hard drives and a PCI-E to SATA converter to run RAID 1 - this will be for my files. I am going to run two WD 250GB in RAID 1 also for the OS + some other files (I already have the RAID card and hard drives - these are IDE hard drives. I will let everyone know how it goes...
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Re: Building a Home Server

Postby mnemonicj » Sat Jan 22, 2011 7:51 pm

tWeaKmoD, have a good time setting everything up. I am a big fan of servers because they involve a lot more hardware and configuration than a desktop or a laptop. The only problem I have though is that I am always upgrading and tinkering, which ends up costing me money. Speaking of costing me money...

c0ldfyr3, I think a SAN is a good long term solution, but I can't afford one right now. My server can physically hold 9 hard drives even though there is only enough SATA ports for 6. My next step is not to add a lot of storage space, but to make it easier to expand. This includes getting an 8 port SATA PCIe card and some SATA fan out cables. So, that already puts me back $200 without adding any storage, but makes it much easier to add storage in the future.

Since I like RAID 1 and RAID 10 on my server, it would be optimal if I had space for 10 hard drives so I could pair them. I considered getting a couple SSD drives and putting them in this 3.5" to 2x 2.5" converter, but I would need 60GB SSDs at about $130 a piece. I can't afford $260 for a small OS drive right now, so I thought about getting a couple 250 GB Western Digital laptop drives at $50 each. What do you think about using laptop drives in a RAID 1 for a server OS drive with a partition for virus and update files? I will have a fan constantly pulling air across them, so heat shouldn't be an issue.

Altogether, this setup (RAID card, cables, 2 laptop hard drives, and converter) would cost me $312, and would greatly allow for future expandability by allowing me to have 10 SATA drives instead of my current 6 SATA drives and 2 IDE drives. It would also free up the two 500 GB drives that my OS and virus and update files are on and use them in a 6 drive RAID 10.
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Re: Building a Home Server

Postby tWeaKmoD » Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:54 am

Well I thought I would post a quick update. I got the home server and everything set up but haven't done anything with it. I can't really figure out how WHS sets up hard drives. I haven't put too much time into it, but I was expecting it to be a little more straight forward. So that is where I am at right now, not much further than what I was a month ago.
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Re: Building a Home Server

Postby shreader » Sat Feb 19, 2011 3:11 am

If you get stuck, there is always the:

Getting Started Guide for Windows® Home Server 2011
(January 2011)

Abstract
A Getting Started Guide introducing the new features, providing installation instructions for the beta software, and providing a detailed overview of the features and functionality of Windows® Home Server 2011.


@ Connect w/ the WHS 2011 RC download
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