1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

A new home server

Discussion in 'Networking & NAS' started by Dan201, Dec 18, 2011.

  1. Dan201

    Dan201 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Messages:
    2,822
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +193
    Well a daily or weekly updated parity drive is fine for my needs, its just ripped movies really.

    Do you know if you can add different sized drives and if they show as a single master drive or seperate?
  2. eddkawasaki

    eddkawasaki Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2006
    Messages:
    182
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Ratings:
    +30
    from what i read you can use any sized drive and add it into the pool. in the guide they used 2 spanned drives for the parity drive as well. :eek:
  3. Dan201

    Dan201 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Messages:
    2,822
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +193
    I finally took a look at the guide. It looks simple enough. Does Flexraid use its own file system though? It says all data will be erased during the process?

    I assume WHS requires its own system drive and therefore takes up one of our drive slots?
  4. eddkawasaki

    eddkawasaki Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2006
    Messages:
    182
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Ratings:
    +30
    As far as i read it it does not touch your data it only wipes the drives that you select to be used as parity drives. Flexraid can also be uninstalled and all data will still be available. i need to get hold of the software and create a few arrays and then try to break them i find this is the easiest way for me to learn things. looking at the flexraid forum here realtime raid is available in beta for T1 engine (one drive failure) which is good news.

    See below taken from Herewith regard to existing data and reading drives outside flexraid.

    Unique features of FlexRAID Storage Pooling:

    Combine your drives as a single massive drive (JBOD like but safer)
    Automatic data management (write data without worrying about which drive has space)
    Supports drives with existing data (no need to copy off your data)
    Drives can be read outside of FlexRAID (you can remove FlexRAID and still access your data)
    Drives can remain spun down until their content is actually accessed (sleep mode)
    Supports automatic and manual merge modes
    Support for Virtual Views
    No performance impact – as fast as if you were reading or writing to the disk
    Independent from FlexRAID’s RAID features (you can use the Storage Pool without RAID’ing your data)


    Yes WHS will require a separate system drive of at least 160Gb which is partly why i chose the gigabyte mobo as it has 3 PCIe slots and 7 onboard sata ports. Which means with 3 cards i can get 31 drives in it which is 11 more than my case can take but means i even with the system drive i can still get 30 drives available (although 10 of them will have to be built into another case!! or do i go for the 24 bay one:devil:)

    In typing the above statement i came up with a question. there are only 26 letters in the alphabet does that mean you can only have 26 drives in a computer? Hmm one to mull over during the festive period with no drink in the middle of the north sea! Bah Humbug!
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  5. Dan201

    Dan201 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Messages:
    2,822
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +193
    Ha, No idea what happens after 26 drives! I imagine it goes to aa, ab, ac etc. Id have thought with 2tb+ drives theres no need for that many drives, even for bluray storage. But this isnt all about what we need, its about what we want!

    Have u seen the price of WHS on amazon? damn cheap for an OS and flexraid seems to offer everything unraid does but in a familiar format. I keep changing my mind but WHS is looking like my favourite just now.

    Im in abderdeen for christmas. It seems like everyone works in oil up here! Enjoy your dinner offshore, land be waiting with dry server components for your return. Ho ho ho.
  6. eddkawasaki

    eddkawasaki Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2006
    Messages:
    182
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Ratings:
    +30
    Mery Christmas Dan,

    I already have a copy of WHS 2011 and V1 that i bought about 6 months ago incase there was no replacements for drive extender. I think for the backup of the rest of my PC's it will be the best option for me. Plus its windows so maybe just maybe the wife will be able to work it if anything happens to her PC while i'm away.

    We just sailed out of Aberdeen yesterday! Its nice and bumpy out here today, soup might be off the menu :D

    Have a great christmas

    Edd
  7. Dan201

    Dan201 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Messages:
    2,822
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +193
    Merry Christmas Edd. I hope the meal was Ok on the rig, bumps and all.

    What did you pay for whs? Its £42 at the momment. A good deal. I guess the system drive isn't too much of a disadvantage as I was going to download torrents onto a cache drive with unraid anyway. I just need to decide if to try the live beta or the snapshot one. Probably go for the snapshot version as the write speeds will be faster.

    I think im going to have a cheaper mobo than the one you selected as Ill need 2 controller cards anyway so the extra onboard sata ports won't be used. Im still trying to decide if its worth getting the 2 ethernet board you found though. I need to read up on how hard/expensive it is to get them both working on a home network and switch.
  8. eddkawasaki

    eddkawasaki Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2006
    Messages:
    182
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Ratings:
    +30
    i got my WHS from scan where its £37.58 right now.

    I'm still investigating the 2 lan board too but i just bought a 16 port gigabit switch to put up in the loft about 3 weeks ago and i'm pretty sure it does not support lan teaming.

    That mobo was the cheapest one i could find with 3 PCIe slots that will function at x4 speeds to support the sata cards.

    I'm not going to order my case until i've got home though as i need to measure the hatch for the loft to make sure it will go through first.
  9. Dan201

    Dan201 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Messages:
    2,822
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +193
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2011
  10. Dan201

    Dan201 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Messages:
    2,822
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +193
    Am I right in thinking the backup facility and 2tb limit is for files from a PC such as user librarys? I.e my movies/photos/documents?
  11. eddkawasaki

    eddkawasaki Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2006
    Messages:
    182
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Ratings:
    +30
    I need a 16 port switch for my loft to accomodate all of the network connections from around the house. Having just bought one i think i'm going to give port teaming a miss for now. Given that once everything is migrated to the server there should be pretty limited writes to do.

    I assume with flexraid i could put one 1Tb drive into the hot swap bay on my desktop and then rip DVD/Bluray to it on my desktop then once full remove it and install it in the server and dump the data to the pool internally thus negating the need for massive network transfers? Another thing to test....

    As far as i'm aware the 2Tb limit is for server backups. i.e if you want to completely back up your server to external storage you need to limit partition sizes of the server data drives to 2TB.

    My plan is to have one or two 2Tb drive outside my flexraid pool for backup of client PCs and storage of photos, documents and music. and have these backed up by WHS to one of my drobos leaving flexraid protecting my dvd & Bluray rips via the parity drive. Worst case scenario then is if the flexraid craps out completely for any reason i have to re rip my movies/tv series. Sure its a chore but its not life threatening! whereas losing all my wife's photos of her trips to antarctica would no doubt cause me significant physical pain!
  12. Dan201

    Dan201 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Messages:
    2,822
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +193
    Your plan for having a 1tb drive to rip onto then stick in the server would probably work but why not just rip onto the server from your pc? i.e just have the output folder as somewhere on the server?

    I doubt ill be backing up the server externally, The parity drive is enough I think. But just so ive got this right, would I need the same size drive externally to backup the server? i.e if I filled 10 2tb drives id need the same for backup? seems crazy so i guess im wrong.

    Im going to give the teaming thing a go just because I can. I need a new switch anyway and I think ill get the supermicro board a shot. Any idea how id activate the gpu part of an i3? Ive never used graphics like that before.

    If you're wife is anythung like my girlfriend then she wont touch the techy stuff at home even when i reassure her that she can't damage with a harmony remote!
  13. eddkawasaki

    eddkawasaki Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2006
    Messages:
    182
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Ratings:
    +30
    you might be right with ripping direct to the server but this will have to wait until i get off my lazy butt and fish some network cables to the desktop.

    For the server back up i assume that you are correct with your asumption that you will need equal space in the external device to back up the complete server.

    For the Lan teaming i will give it a miss for now. I cannot justify the extra £150 it would cost me with another new switch and extra for the mobo. i cannot forsee any situation where i would need double bandwidth to the server. I see your point though and I'm sure i will manage to convince myself that its something i really really need :laugh:

    I have to bear in mind that i still need 3 clients to show the stuff on to the various tv's. this is starting to get very expensive
  14. Dan201

    Dan201 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Messages:
    2,822
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +193
    yep, this server stuff for media sharing is much more epensive than a bluray player... Im not even sure its that much better.

    Have u seen any good deals on 3tb drives?
  15. eddkawasaki

    eddkawasaki Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2006
    Messages:
    182
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Ratings:
    +30
    Tell me about it all this just to avoid having to change a disc!! does have the advantage of not having to store DVD's and Blurays on shelves though.

    I'm not even looking at HDD prices at the moment. the 2 Tb ones i have are now £50 more than i paid for them so my current 13 Tb will have to do for now.
  16. MikeK

    MikeK Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2004
    Messages:
    2,231
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings:
    +320
    No, you're right!

    Backup programs and/or backup devices such as tape drives, often try to compress data in order to save space on the backup medium - however this type of data (AV media) is already compressed (often heavily), so it can't really be compressed any more (at least not losslessly and on the fly anyway).

    Well, it's your money so it's up to you how to spend it! :)

    However, you may actually be better off implementing two networks rather than doing link aggregation (ie half your clients on one network with the other half on the other network, with the server on both), should you find that your streaming demands are swamping a single gigabit link (unlikely in the average home though TBH).


    As for the Supermicro board - it looks OK, even if it is over twice what I'd pay (also, check CPU compatibility carefully before taking the plunge).

    Personally I'd probably be looking at something like a Gigabyte GA-H67MA-USB3-B3 or similar, or perhaps something like an Asus P8Z68-V LX if your case can accomodate a full sized ATX board (or an AMD alternative). As ever though, homework req'd! ;)
    For a server, I'd also probably be looking at the Pentium G620T/630T if HD transcoding isn't needed, rather than the i3.
    If HD transcoding is needed, then probably a quad core such as the i5-2500T or i7-2600S (or AMD alternatives).
  17. Dan201

    Dan201 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Messages:
    2,822
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +193
    Thanks for the tips. Those components would save me around £150, a good saving if I go with them. The reason im leaning towards the more expensive choice though is that the hard drives r so pricey that another £150 doesn't seem that much if it means a quicker system.

    The pentium is cheaper but uses the same low voltage as the i3 I have chosen. I assume both offer plenty of power for server usage?

    Thanks again.
  18. MikeK

    MikeK Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2004
    Messages:
    2,231
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings:
    +320
    If you aren't doing any transcoding, these Sandy Bridge CPUs will spend 99% of their time doing next to nothing - they are overkill TBH, so I'd just buy the lowest power model available at the cheapest price - it's still more than enough.

    Of course, in the end it'll all depend on what you want your server to do - if it's just there to share files via SMB and sort out parity for a raid array, then you really don't need that much CPU power - just look at some of the higher end off-the-shelf NAS units which get by quite comfortably with very weedy CPUs relative to Sandy Bridge standards!
  19. Dan201

    Dan201 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Messages:
    2,822
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +193
    And transcoding means playing a video file rather than just sending it over a network?
  20. Dan201

    Dan201 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Messages:
    2,822
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +193
    A faster cpu must make parity disk creation faster though.
  21. MikeK

    MikeK Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2004
    Messages:
    2,231
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings:
    +320
    And transcoding means playing a video file rather than just sending it over a network?

    It means decoding it and then re-encoding it, usually on-the-fly

    You may need to do this for several reasons

    - the device you want to stream to cannot play the file in it's current form
    - the network (eg wifi) can't sustain the bitrate required to play the file in it's current form


    For instance, suppose you have a movie on your server in 1080p VC1 with TrueHD audio in a .M2TS container and you want to play that on your iPad.
    AFAIK, the iPad doesn't support M2TS files, VC1 video or TrueHD audio, and it's not unfeasible that wifi might struggle to meet the sustained bitrate required anyway.
    In such a case, you'd either have to transcode the file offline and store a seperate copy for playback on the ipad (could get tedious and disk space hungry if you have a lot of movies) or else transcode it on-the-fly.
    If you choose the latter, you need a pretty beefy CPU - depending on what you are transcoding from and to, you may find that a dual core may not cut it!



    A faster cpu must make parity disk creation faster though.

    With modern CPUs, and typical home servers, probably not - the performance limiters are elsewhere in the system (usually the disks and/or controllers/IO busses).

    Try it yourself - download a copy of DisParity - disParity

    and try it with some test folders.
    There's no install, and you just delete the folders later
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011
  22. Dan201

    Dan201 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Messages:
    2,822
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +193
    In which applications would people instal the Xeon cpu's? They are pretty expensive!
  23. MikeK

    MikeK Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2004
    Messages:
    2,231
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings:
    +320
    Usually it's Xeon for multiprocessor applications, and, along with the accompanying motherboard, you get some server-centric features such as ECC memory, IPMI, and sometimes better IO etc.

    In the case of the SuperMicro board you are looking it, it seems to only support the lower end i3 and Pentium ranges from the desktop class processors (dual core), while the Xeon E3-1200 range are mostly quad core. This might make the Xeons look pretty expensive in comparison (it also specifically mentions no i5/i7 support).

    The price gap for Xeon CPUs used to be a lot bigger than it is these days, but personally, for a home media server on a single socket platform, I don't think a Xeon is necessary, though it'd certainly do the job!


    IMO, you need to decide what exactly you want from your server, and then spec it accordingly.
    It's very easy to over-spec, especially if budget isn't a major concern, but you may end up with an overpriced power hog with little real work to do - sort of a sledgehammer/nut situation...... :)
  24. Dan201

    Dan201 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Messages:
    2,822
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +193
    I had decided on specing the server as a simple NAS but thanks to the info on here im finding out a server can do much more than that.

    At the momment my nas is used to simply stream media around my home. If I had a cpu that can transcode my bluray rips would I be able to view my films while away from home via the internet? I guess that would depend on my upload speed though, which isn't great.

    Ive been reading up on ecc memory, would this only work with a xeon cpu or is it just the mobo that needs to support it?

    How did u come to learn alll this btw? Server school? U should charge for all this info!
  25. HugoFJH

    HugoFJH Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2007
    Messages:
    2,268
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +95
    I was also wondering about this kind of thing as well ( I believe as someone above was suggesting, drive letters would go aa, ab, ac, etc) but what got my head in a twist was;

    Lets just say you have 10 drives in a seperate case, for neatness you would therefor want a seperate psu in the 2nd case (would you really want anything like 26 drives powered by the same psu lol?). Im thinking it would be necessary to have a pcie sata card in each case linked by external esata ports , therefore 2nd mobo is required (for the pcie card)........ at this point it wasnt just the cost of the drives that was scaring me about this idea :D

    Maybe (or even probably lol), Im making this far more complicated than it needs to be, but for all the potential headaches that could be caused, its getting towards the point of going for a complete 2nd server lol
  26. Dan201

    Dan201 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Messages:
    2,822
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +193
    I don't see a problem with 26 drives powered by a single PSU. You're basically talking about a seperate server. If you want to go down that route then take a look at the micro servers, u could stack these up.

    This mobo looks like another contender:
    Intel Server Board S1200BT Micro ATX LGA1155 Socket (S1200BTS) - dabs.com

    It doesnt have the IPMI control though. No idea if id actually use that if I had it. I read it can be used to send alerts to the owner of problems in the server which would be handy.
  27. eddkawasaki

    eddkawasaki Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2006
    Messages:
    182
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Ratings:
    +30
    I kinda gave up thinking about it as its unlikely that i will ever get to 26 disks anyway. but still it would be interesting to know the answer. i guess it could be tested by mapping a bunch of folders to network drives then try to add one more?

    I've stopped looking at parts now i'm settled with my list and will have to live with it. if i keep looking i will keep on changing my mind and never acually order anything! I'm not sure that the IMPI thing is for me though if it sends me a message once i go offshore then what exactly can i do about it? i'm best not knowing really.
  28. Dan201

    Dan201 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Messages:
    2,822
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +193
    If i got an error message while i was away then at least i could tell my girlfriend to shut it down before more things went wrong.
  29. Dan201

    Dan201 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Messages:
    2,822
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +193
    Ive been reading about 5400rpm drives vs 7200. Most people say 5400 is the way to go for storage as performance isn't that important. Id like to be able to max my gigabit lan out. Are both these drives faster than the connection? The price difference of them isnt too much of a problem but the running costs could add up with 15 of them!
  30. eddkawasaki

    eddkawasaki Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2006
    Messages:
    182
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Ratings:
    +30
    Scan have 3Tb Drives for £137 and 2Tb Sata 2 for under £100 in their today only offers (ends about 2pm ish). not sure how this stacks up but the 2Tb drives are aproaching what i paid for mine a while back now.

Share This Page