Home network server

Discussion in 'Networking & NAS' started by technique786, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. technique786

    technique786
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    Hi all,


    I need a home server to stream 1080p mkv files around my house and wanted to know what i would need to make it play seamlessly.

    I looked around and servers and hard drives come in so many different flavours with features i do not understand i couldnt figure out what i needed for my task.

    Also due to lack of finding a better product i am currently considering either the acer revo rl100 or the pulse box as my main product for streaming and wondered if these would be upto the task.

    Thanks
     
  2. charles_b

    charles_b
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    Having just replied to your other post about ports, I would amend my suggestion and buy a gigabit switch if you can, as streaming 1080p will stretch a 100Mbit network.
     
  3. technique786

    technique786
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    Thanks charles, i would have made a huge mistake and got the wrong one lol.

    would i replace my router to a gigabit router to accompany that aswell?
     
  4. lmccauley

    lmccauley
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    No need - just plug all your devices (including the router) into the gigabit switch, as charles described. Don't plug any devices into the router.

    So, something like this:

    Telephone socket -> router -> switch -> multiple devices

    You would only need a gigabit router if you were getting gigabit download speeds from your ISP!
     
  5. charles_b

    charles_b
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    It depends. The cost to replace router with Gigabit is quite expensive. I have a 100Mbit router, and then I have a Gigabit switch which plugs into the router solely for DHCP IP address allocation and access to the Internet.
    My NAS and streaming equipment is connected to the Gigabit switch. This (in theory I believe) means that because it is a switch, then the data is streamed at Gigabit speeds and doesn't touch the router.
     
  6. technique786

    technique786
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    thanks guys, so i would have gigbit home network(streaming) and mbit internet connection, that sounds perfect.

    In terms of the server itself do things like SATA and HD CACHE make a difference to my streaming? is there a something i should be looking out for?

    Are all servers the same? why are some £50 and some £500?

    sorry for the list of questions im just rubbish with this stuff and terrified of spending huge amounts of money on useless equipment.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
  7. lmccauley

    lmccauley
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    Spot on. The gigabit switch will be 1000Mbps, your router will be 100Mbps, and your internet connection will be at most 40Mbps (with something like BT Infinity) and probably nearer 10Mbps download, and lower again upload.
    To be honest, I just read the HP microserver threads and bought one of them, added 4x2TB HDD, 2GB RAM and WHS2011. I'm not in my new house yet (which has CAT6 cabling, a patch panel, and a gigabyte switch installed), so just access the server via wifi, or occassionally wired into a small gigabyte switch. I can watch DVD's ripped using MKMKV on the server from the laptops over wifi OK. I expect to be able to watch multiple blu-ray rips over the CAT6 cables to streaming devices when I'm in the new house.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
  8. technique786

    technique786
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    i have come across NAS (networked attached storage) this seems alot cheaper and im not sure what i gain by having a server.

    Is the nas not good enough for 1080p?
     
  9. lmccauley

    lmccauley
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    A server gives you extra flexibility, and extra complexity, over a NAS.

    e.g. my server running WHS2011 will automatically backup the other computers on the network, and notify me if there are problems. The chassis is large enough to hold 5 disks, so I have 4 x 2TB in a RAID 5 configuration to hold all my data.

    A NAS is basically a pre-configured server, and is much more plug-and-play.

    Both should handle 1080p.

    To be honest, I wanted a bit of a challenge, which is part of the reason I went the server route :) I may invest in a NAS in future, to back up my server onto. Also, the HP microserver worked out quite reasonably priced, with the £100 cashback offer. About £140 for the server, £20 for the RAM, £220 for disks, £50 for WHS2011 - about £430 in total for a 4-bay, 8GB populated "NAS".
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
  10. technique786

    technique786
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    ahh i think the extra complexity is where i have to let it go lol. i dont actually need my computers backed up the only important things (pictures, videos) will be on both PC's and the server so should be fine.

    the plug and play sounds great and much cheaper :).

    so do hard drives not matter? have seen 2tb range from £50 to £300 and feel confused about the whole thing.
     
  11. charles_b

    charles_b
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    The problem is that there is too much choice!. I spent 6 months deliberating and then decided that I wanted a budget option, so I bought a Netgear ReadyNas Duo. I don't have much 1080p material, so I wasn't that bothered by speed.

    In terms of options, well I was seriously looking at the Synology 211J and the QNAP TS-210, as contenders, they seem to be the main players in this price area.

    Total price is going to be somewhere around £350 for a 2TB x 2 drives in a 2 drive cage NAS.

    Horses for courses. Work out your budget and what you want to do, then decide on a couple of contenders

    smallnetbuilder.com is a good place to start researching.
     
  12. happhhitachi

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    WHS2011 isnt actually that complex to install and run. Once up and running the user interface is quite simple.
     
  13. lmccauley

    lmccauley
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    No shame in that - I'm the same on car forums when they talk about "simple" work :)

    There were a number of hard drives recommended by people on here for filling the server - I opted for 4 x Hitachi 2TB 3.5" Deskstar Coolspin SATA-III 6GB/s Hard Drive - 5900rpm 32MB Cache @ £55 each in June 2011. I don't know if there is a replacement version. They were recommended as being fast enough, but lower power than faster RPM drives.
     
  14. technique786

    technique786
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    Thanks for that i knew there would be something relating to speed lol, ill get on atleast 5900rpm and 32mb cache and that should do it :clap:
     
  15. technique786

    technique786
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    i have just found out its not only the drives but the server itself that has implications on the speed( and here was me thinking this isnt so hard)

    I have looked through some comparisons in this forum but they all seem to be about a year old and wondered if the market has changed.

    I am leaving this in a non viewing room but it is a bedroom so not hugely noisy would be good and ofcourse i want my 1080p streaming with 5.1 audio.

    could someone recommend a server please. looked at Synology DS411J(newest model i think) but with 128 ram am worried about my hd videos stuttering ect.

    also looked at QNAP(better spec i think??) model but didnt want to commit the extra money without being sure it would help.

    thank you all for your help i honestly would have been lost without this forum.


    EDIT: This thig looks a bargain
    http://www.gadgetovo.com/products.php?19769
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
  16. Mr Incredible

    Mr Incredible
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    Just to add my $0.02 to the streaming discussion.....

    I had used a PS3 to stream 1080p MKVs over a 100Mb wired connection. If you just want to stream to a single media player (PS3, Boxee etc) then 100Mb is fine. Wireless G is a :nono: for HD content. I now have a Boxee happily playing 1080P MKV's that I serve up from my Desktop, or from my WHS Home Sever v1 set up. This is a modest P4 3.2 GHz PC with 2GB ram and 2 x 1TB drives. Although the WHS is connected to a GBit switch, the LAN to the lounge is branched off the 100Mb ports on the router. I have no issues streaming at all.

    Oh how I wish 2TB prices were what they were in June! Back then you could pick up a "Today Only" special from Scan with 2 x 2TB for about £105. Now you're lucky to pay that price for one. And the rumour is that supply won;t be back to normal until next year. Not the best time to think about building a NAS / Server with adequate storage! :(
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2012
  17. lmccauley

    lmccauley
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    No problem. I got loads of good advice when I was looking into my server in the summer, so it's nice to give a little back.
    I didn't realise quite how bad prices have got until I looked at setting up a backup NAS! So glad I stopped umm-ing and ahh-ing and bought the server and disks back in the summer.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2012
  18. Mr Incredible

    Mr Incredible
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    For some strange reason an email I got back in September had got itself marked as unread and had popped into my filtered email folder view. It was from Saverstore.

    [​IMG]

    Saverstore today on the same drive:

    [​IMG]
     

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