Media server....

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by baldrick, Mar 24, 2006.

  1. baldrick

    baldrick
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    I've ordered the bits for my HTPC using different bits of advice dotted around on here now I need to spec the media server so how does this sound?

    Case - Queenserver RM411 -Mass Storage Short Low Noise 4U

    Mobo - Gigabyte GA 8I945P-G-RH S775 PCI-E DDR2 SATAII GbE Lan USB2 7.1Ch Audio

    CPU - Intel Pentium 4 630 Socket 775 , Smithfield Core, 3.0 GHz

    OS Drive - 80 GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.9

    RAID drives - 300 GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 , SATA II

    RAID Controller - Supermicro 8 Port SATA 2 RAID Card (PCI/PCI-X)

    Graphics card - 256MB ASUS 6200 TurboCache

    Bay converter - Coolermaster Stacker 4-in-3 Module

    DVD - Sony DWG120AB 16x16x4 DVD±RW

    I need some advice regarding the PSU 400W/450W/500W etc..?

    Also will there be sufficient cooling with the products as they are? I'm not bothered about noise the server will be in a hub....

    Any comments would be greatly appreciated...
     
  2. Media-Man

    Media-Man
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    If it's just going to be a server then a uATX board with onboard graphics and built in RAID will do just as good a job, so no need to go to the expense of seperate cards.

    A good quality 400W PSU should be sufficient.
    Re cooling - it should be fine - jsut make sure your HDDs are kept nice and cool.
     
  3. owain_thomas

    owain_thomas
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    you might want to think of a different RAID card as I can't see that the supermicro one supports RAID5. I've built a similar server in the last few months and used a highpoint rocketRAID 2320: http://scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=298158

    I went for a Tagan modular PSU (530W): http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=241232

    I also went for a cheaper case (chieftec black large tower) which was about £40. I've currently got nine drives in it, though I did need an extra drive cage.

    hth
    owain
     
  4. baldrick

    baldrick
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    Will the built in RAID support 8 drives? I've seen mobo's with RAID controllers build in but they will only support 4 of their 6 SATA connections, plus £30 doesn't really make a whole lot of difference to a £1200 server!!! ;)
     
  5. avanzato

    avanzato
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    Why do you require RAID?

    OTOH does anyone know anything about the XFX Revo64 controllers that Scan sell?
     
  6. baldrick

    baldrick
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    Data protection! Trying to backup 2TB of data isn't the easiest thing in the world, but at least RAID 5 allows for a single disk failure without losing the data!!
     
  7. owain_thomas

    owain_thomas
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    Having ripped over 400 CDs myself I'll do all I can to stop myself having to do it again!
     
  8. avanzato

    avanzato
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    Have you got your RAID arrays backed up? If so how do you do it?

    I've chatted with a few people who do large scale storage and they said RAID was probably over complicating the situation with not much advantage. Separate drive shares with back ups was the way to go in their opinion, either backing up to other HDD discs or as you have the original disks re-ripping them if the worst happens.
    One made the point that the more discs you have in an array the more chance you have of any one of them failing.

    Are they talking rubbish?
     
  9. baldrick

    baldrick
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    The argument would be that if you buy 8 disks you have the same risk that one will fail whether you run them as 8 individual volumes, or a single RAID 5 array.

    The difference is that if 1 drive fails in a RAID 5 array you can recover the data that was on it from the other 7 disks.

    Now you do loose 1 disk in the array effectively so 8 300GB HDDs in RAID 5 will give you 2.1TB of storage. To get the same amount 'mirrored' (RAID 1) storage you would need 14 300GB drives!?!?!?

    Tape/optical backup solutions are too expensive for domestic use, especially as the biggest media you can get are perhaps 100GBs (21 tapes to back up 2.1TB) and you are looking at thousands of pounds.

    The 'cheapest' option would be to build 2 identical servers and copy the contents of one to the other.....
     
  10. mjn

    mjn
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    Utter rubbish!
     
  11. mjn

    mjn
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    You can get LTO2 tapes and drives, which are 200gb/400gb compressed, but the cost is erm, well, high!
     
  12. avanzato

    avanzato
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    Please expand on that. In what way?
     
  13. baldrick

    baldrick
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    so that's a minium of 5 x 'erm, well, high!' LTO2 'tapes' to back up a 2TB array!?!?!?

    Backup/recovery is going to be an increasing issue as more and more content is downloaded etc... especially with hi-def and the amounts of data required!

    People have asked why I want a 2TB server but at 30GB for a hi-def movie 100 movies = 3TB!!!!!!
     
  14. baldrick

    baldrick
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    Mirroring (making an identical copy) disks is RAID 1 so to say the RAID is 'pointeless' is a little inaccurate.

    My company uses EMC Symmetrix storage, but it costs £26 per GB per month. You do get realtime mirroring of your drives to an offsite facility via a fibre optic link, but for most people/companies this is unrealistic. They also perform overnight tape backups!!!!!

    To that end the only real option is utilising RAID to minimize the impact of a disk failure.

    The 'rubbish' comment may have been linked to the statement that more disks in an array = greater chance of failure!?!?!
     
  15. owain_thomas

    owain_thomas
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    heres how I do it:

    RAID5 array for all my DVDs, CDs and documents (photos, word stuff, excel stuff, etc). I do a weekly shceduled backup of the central "my documents" folder onto another PCs hard disk. I have all photos also backed up onto CD and kept safe. The CD rips are backed up onto another PCs hard disk from time to time.

    Now I know this is not absolutely failure resistant but is about the best way of doing things for me.

    the points baldrick makes about RAID5 are exactly the reasons why I chose it. I don't want multiple directories with all my films in, I want one. therefore RAID is the only way to go for me, since RAID5 is an economical way of doing it thats what I chose.
     
  16. baldrick

    baldrick
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    What happens once you fill your array?
     
  17. avanzato

    avanzato
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    No one said it was pointless just that I didn't need it. Which having an idea now of what's involved, I think is true. I've ripped my CD's to 2 drives so they're safe'ish, I'll not bother with ripping my DVD's and just continue to put discs in the machine.

    Probably just sit and wait for the fabled Holographic Storage to come along.
     
  18. baldrick

    baldrick
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    What you've got to think about though is what will happen as more and more content is downloaded rather than bought on disk!?!?

    As soon as you log onto 'iFilms' and download a film you're going to want to think about backup.

    All you need for RAID is a RAID controller and a number of hard disks. The controller does all the work and you just see 1 big volume....
     
  19. mjn

    mjn
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    RAID 5 will protect you against 1 hdd failure in your array. So quite simpley you buy a 8 channel controller with 5 drives, and configure 4 in RAID5, with an online spare. So if you have a hdd failure, the online spare will automatically take its place and rebuild itself into the array. When you start to run low on space, simpley add another hdd into the RAID and use the online capacity expansion/extenstion (depending on RAID controller) function.

    Some of the High Point cards can actually be connected/duplexed together, so you can mirror an entire RAID sub system.
     
  20. owain_thomas

    owain_thomas
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    the highpoint card I have allows OCE (online capacity expansion), so, as I currently only use 4 of the 8 ports I can just bung in some extra drives.

    when that gets filled the card also allows you to span an array over 2 contorllers so I could buy another highpoint card and add another 8 disks, this will give me nearly 7TB. after that I think I'll be looking for a new type of technology to store my media files!
     
  21. baldrick

    baldrick
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    More importantly though I can switch to the HighPoint controller and drop 3 or 4 drives off the intial order!?!?
     
  22. baldrick

    baldrick
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    I've just noticed that the Highpoint RocketRAID 2320 is PCI-E so one needs a mobo with multiple PCI-E slots, any takers?
     
  23. owain_thomas

    owain_thomas
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    here's my full shopping list (prices ex VAT):

    1 HighPoint RR2320 8CH SATAII 168.00
    1 AMD 64BIT SEMPRON 2600 S754 38.16
    1 Cmaster Hyper48 S754/775/478/9 23.74
    1 Cheiftec Black Large Tower 34.49
    1 530W TAGAN MODULAR T530-U15 2F 59.79
    1 Gbyte K8NE s754 nF4 43.95
    4 300GB MAXTOR SATA 6L300SO 278.72
    1 40GB WDig. WD400BB ATA100 HDD 28.48
    1 Pioneer 110D Black x16 DL 24.07
     
  24. mjn

    mjn
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    seems just the thing, i don't know that case, but large HDD's can be very hot, and need ample cooling. Also check out some of the hot plug sata caddies, as they enable you to install 4 x HDD's in the space of 3 x 5.25, which can be very useful.
     
  25. baldrick

    baldrick
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    Any reason why you went for the Sempron?
     
  26. baldrick

    baldrick
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    You will need a graphics card though....
     
  27. mjn

    mjn
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    Find the cheapest you can! I got a couple of Matrox G400 Dual Head's of Ebay for £10. Superb quality, dual outputs, what more do you want?
     
  28. owain_thomas

    owain_thomas
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    saw no reason for anything more expensive really. very little processor power needed as all it does is serve files to one or two places.
     
  29. The Dude

    The Dude
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    NAS is fast becoming the sensible alternative to building 'It'll never happen' RAID5 servers IMO...


    If you're gonna put all your eggs in one basket, just remember to check in on each of the eggs on a daily basis, 'cos 2 rotten eggs... and your basket is history. :devil:
     
  30. mjn

    mjn
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    Except that NAS boxes still use a flavour of RAID for their storage.
     

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