My HP microserver build

Discussion in 'Networking & NAS' started by m0t0k0, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. m0t0k0

    m0t0k0
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    Due to the recent offer at ebuyer for the HP ProLaint Microserver for only £129.99 after cash back I was finally able to convince the misses to let me buy my own server.
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    This is my journey to server nirvana
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    As you can see it is quite small and not bad looking, even if it’s going to live in the cupboard
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    It has 4 HDD bays at the front but also has an e-SATA port and extra SATA header on the mobo bringing its total internal HDD support to 6 drives
    You can also see on the door there are spare screws and a torx bit allen key all contained and easy to access

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    It comes supplied with this HDD and 1GB of EEC memory, both of which are a waste of space and it could retail without these but a little cheaper.

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    The whole top panel comes off to allow access to the ODD bay which will eventually hold the two drives which don’t fit in the slide out bays.

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    Looking inside you can see the Mini SAS cable which leads to the 4 SATA sockets on the backplane
    A proper internal USB header to take a memory stick with unRAID on it or similar and the extra internal SATA socket which can be used to serve an extra HDD in the ODD bay

    [​IMG]
    To get the most out of this little server the internal and external SATA sockets have to be used to provide 2 extra HDDs data connection when seated in the ODD bay.
    Unfortunately by default some of the SATA sockets are set to run in IDE mode and a hacked BIOS is needed to unleash the full AHCI mode. Just look on google there are many guide and BIOS files available
     
  2. m0t0k0

    m0t0k0
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    If you slide the board out (to do this you will need to disconnect the Mini SAS cable for which you will need a jewellers screw driver as it is very stubborn) you will see it comes with.
    Four PCIe slots a x1, x4 and x16 unfortunately the x1 and x4 are right next to each other. This allows you to use HPs KVM hardware but means in reality we are limited to x16 and a x1 slot
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    As I have been a good little boy Santa bought me just what I wanted
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    Mmmmmm BlackGold 3650 quad DVB-t2 card so now I record 4 HD streams of HD rubbish!

    Some users have stated the fan is too loud (I think they are using it as a HTPC) but if you find the same then with the help of this guide the fan can be swapped! HP Proliant MicroServer | silentpcreview.com
    IT HAS A NON STANDARS PIN LAYOUT

    These are the drives which are going into the machine for now as HDD prices are just silly
    [​IMG]
    We have a 2TB Hitachi 1TB Samsung and 250GB drive which came with the microserver all of these will be for data and the OS will be dumped on some generic 2.5” drive I have somewhere

    I will be using a copy of WHS 2011 as it is just so cheap but also integrates very well as I have a almost completely windows centric network. It will back up my local PCs and even allow remote web access of my files.
    In fact I still have not bought my copy of this yet as I just installed a copy from usenet and keep resetting the trial period like you can in W7 so I have 120 of use before I have to buy a copy.

    WHS Install Guide
    You can find an install guide here http://www.informationweek.com/byte/...p-os/231000924
    And a video on how to setup user access to you server here
    Windows Home Server 2011 - First Time Setup of...


    Next up are some of my favourite programs I have ever used

    Using the programs below you will be able to autonomously download music, movies and TV series. The content will then be unpacked mete data added and place into the predefined folders of your choice

    You will need a UseNet provider which can be had for less than a tenner a month for unlimited downloads a good guide to UseNet can be found here
    All information about binary newsgroups and usenet | Binaries4all Usenet Tutorials

    • SABnzbd+ SABnzbd.org : Home of SABnzbd+, the Full-Auto Newsreader
    a Open Source Binary Newsreader written in Python.
    It's totally free, incredibly easy to use, and works practically everywhere.
    SABnzbd makes Usenet as simple and streamlined as possible by automating everything we can. All you have to do is add an .nzb. SABnzbd takes over from there, where it will be automatically downloaded, verified, repaired, extracted and filed away with zero human interaction.
    (UseNet is a bit like torrent but it will max your internet connection and you don’t have to seed)

    • SickBeard Sick Beard - Internet PVR for your TV Shows
    The ultimate PVR application that downloads and manages your TV shows
    Sick Beard is a PVR for newsgroup users (with limited torrent support). It watches for new episodes of your favorite shows and when they are posted it downloads them, sorts and renames them, and optionally generates metadata for them. It currently supports NZBs.org, NZBMatrix, NZBs'R'Us, Newzbin, Womble's Index, NZB.su, TVTorrents and EZRSS and retrieves show information from theTVDB.com and TVRage.com.

    Here is a good guide for SickBeard with explination of how to setup post processing
    How-To Turn Your Computer into a Supercharged TiVo with Sick Beard - How-To Geek

    • CouchPotatoApp CouchPotatoApp.com
    CouchPotato is an automatic NZB and torrent downloader. You can keep a "movies I want"-list and it will search for NZBs/torrents of these movies every X hours. Once a movie is found, it will send it to SABnzbd or download the .nzb or .torrent to a specified directory.

    Setting up CouchPotato can be quite daunting but there is a good guide found here
    Couch Potato Install, Setup, & Configuration Guide for Ubuntu & Linux Mint! : Ainer.org — Counter-technology Guides, Information, & News! Featuring Linux Mint & Ubuntu, SABnzbd+ & Sick Beard, Couch Potato & Headphones, XBMC & more!
    It is written on a Linux machine so the install is different but the configuration is very helpful

    • Headphones https://github.com/rembo10/headphones/wiki
    Headphones is a SABnzbd add-on that automates your music downloading. It's written in Python so it works on pretty much all systems, and it's easy to setup and configure.
    You can import all your favourite artists from iTunes, and keep an eye out for any new albums they might be releasing.
    It can be configured to work with a few search providers, including NZBMatrix, NZBs.org and Newznab servers. Just enter your account details and you're ready to go.

    Headphones requires Python to be installed to work you will be wanting the Python 2.7.2 Windows Installer which can be found here Download Python

    Accessing your programs WebUI over a network
    All of the above programs can be administered over you local network via a web browser.

    I won’t go into specifics as the wiki pages of each are very helpfull but there are a couple of things to remember
    • Each program will be assigned a port for access usually 8080 or 8081 each program needs a unique port. If you try to start a program on a port which is already in use it will not start. Please read the relent wiki for help with this
    • Each program needs to be allowed through the firewall on the local machine (your server)
    Use this guide if you don’t know how to allow a program through the firewall
    Windows Firewall - Add or Remove an Exception - Windows 7 Forums

    How to get you programs to auto start at boot up
    Now your biggest problem with WHS is the fact that it is headless so when you switch on the server no users get logged in. This means that any programs set to start automatically will not start up.
    But there is an easy way to get around this

    1. Remote Desktop into your server
    • On a client PC Click start and type “remote desktop connection” click enter
    • Enter the server name or IP address
    • Enter Administrator as the user
    • And the password for the servers administrator account (You entered this when you installed WHS)

    2. Install the programs you require on the server

    3. Click start Administrative Tools  Task Scheduler
    You will be greeted with this screen
    [​IMG]

    4. Click “Create New Task” the following pics will show you how to set SABnzbd+ to auto start but it can be applied to any of the programs
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    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]

    How do I pool a set of hard drives and or protect my data
    First thing to note is RAID is not a backup it can save you data if a disk dies. But it won’t restore a file because you accidently deleted it or you house burnt down!
    I suggest all you precious data like wedding photos and the like are backed up to somewhere off site crashplan Online Data Backup & Storage – CrashPlan – Backup Software, Disaster Recovery will give you unlimited backup for about $3 a month



    There a many ways to skin a cat here and ultimately you need to find which is best for you and your usage.
    But I will do my best to explain an little about what is out there and what I think is best

    Ok so the way I see it you have two options

    Hardware RAID
    For this on the microserver it supports (I think only in the 4 slide out bays)
    RAID 0 which has no redundancy and is used for speed but its effectiveness is debatable
    RAID 1 half your disks are used as an exact replica of the other half. Very easy to use and reliable as you have two copies of everything but it’s very inefficient as you lose half you data space to copies

    You could install a RAID card to give you access to more of the standard RAID levels but this will cost you money (quite a bit for a good card) and if you card broke your data would be lost until you can find an exact/compatible replacement (maybe not so easy in 3 years time)
    There is more info about RAID here if you interested
    RAID - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    So by looking at these options they are not very efficient and are dependant of specific hardware there must be a better idea right?

    Software RAID
    Just like with hardware RAID there are many implementations here and you can find a couple of the main attractions here
    SnapRAID

    My choice here is FlexRAID FlexRAID Wiki | Rethinking storage data management

    • Data centric, not Drive/Device centric (any data, any size, anywhere)
    • Supports both Snapshot and Real-Time parity data protection
    • Supports creating and expanding a storage pool with volumes/devices containing existing data
    • Provides massive energy saving features (**)
    • Multi-platforms support: FlexRAID runs on Windows, Linux and WHS
    • Provides the greatest data safety possible and the lowest risk of data loss (*)
    • Its FREE!
    • Allows me to see my drives as a single pooled drive
    • The data on my drives stays as it was before it entered the array so if I pull my drive out I can read it like normal in any machine
    • I can have redundancy from any number of disk losses
    • Has support for SMART monitoring
    (*) Failure beyond the tolerance level will result only in partial data loss unlike all other solutions in the market which would result in complete data loss
    (**) Allows drives to spin down: only the drive/device containing the accessed data will need to be activated when reading/writing to a storage pool

    So what can you do?

    FlexRAID works very differently for other RAIDs

    I can pool a set of drives
    I can protect a set of drives
    I can protect and pool a set of drives

    So say I have in my server 4 x 2TB drives
    • I can assign 3 of my drives to be DRUs (data risk units) where all your data is held
    • Assign 1 of my drives as a PPU (parity protection unit) where the information to recover a dead drive is stored
    This gives me
    6TB of useable data space
    Redundancy from one lost drive

    Alternatively I could assign
    2 x DRU
    2 x PPU
    This gives me
    4TB of useable data space
    Redundancy from 2 lost drives

    You can have as many DRUs and PPUs as you wish but what is you drives are not all the same size?

    What if I had 2 x 500GB drives and 2 x 1TB drives?
    • I can group the 2 x 500GB into one PPU
    • Have the two 1TB drives as DRUs
    This gives me
    2TB of useable data space
    Redundancy from 1 lost drive (In fact I would have to lose both 500GB drives to lose my whole PPU)

    It has so much functionality and can be fine tuned to your liking so read the wiki and get on the forum if you’re interested

    Mapping your shared drives/folders to other PCs on your network
    Coming soon
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2011
  3. m0t0k0

    m0t0k0
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    reserved
     
  4. ArcAngel78

    ArcAngel78
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    Really interesting thread. Subscribed.
     
  5. toastedone

    toastedone
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    Nice read :thumbsup:
     
  6. spyder viewer

    spyder viewer
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    Very good, is the Blackgold going in there? What software will you use to drive it Mediaportal? Will the cpu be able to handle the 4 streams of high definition rubbish (at least you'll be able to see clearly it's rubbish). Where's the forth pci-e slot?
     
  7. m0t0k0

    m0t0k0
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    Thanks guys!

    Yea the BG is in the x1 PCIe slot (the x4 slot is next to this on the right in the picture)

    Yea MediaPortal TV server can be installed very eaisily on WHS have a look at this site TV4Home - The all-in-one TV solution!

    Can it manage 4 simultaneous HD streams? I don't know I was under the impression the card does all the demodulating and just pumps out a TS stream on to the hard drive. This will then be played back on a HTPC with an i3 2100.

    I'm going to try get some coax from the ariel to the server today and get it going
     
  8. Maniac618

    Maniac618
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    Sounds like FlexRAID is amazing. I want to ultimately use it with 4x 2TB drives for data and 1x or 2x 2TB as Parity. I'd be using FreeNAS I think, although I wonder if it is safe to use FreeNAS 7 instead of 8 so I get to use iTunes server / DAAP.
     
  9. m0t0k0

    m0t0k0
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    FreeNAS unfortunately is not supported as they move back to FreeBSD
    but Open Media Vault is a debian port of FreeNAS and as such will be supported
    But I think as of yet there is a OpenMediaVault FlexRAID user base of 1 :( but as its debian bast it should be pretty to setup
     
  10. IanW1977

    IanW1977
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    Are you using sab remotely ?
     
  11. m0t0k0

    m0t0k0
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    Yes SAB is running on the server and I administer it over my LAN using the WebUI
     
  12. liamcooper

    liamcooper
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    Interesting read.

    I decided to go with OpenMediaVault because I prefer a linux OS for machines like this (and similarly my Acer Revo). Just thought I'd point out that the server comes with 2GB RAM, not 1GB as stated in the first post.
     
  13. railfrog

    railfrog
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    It all depends which model he has.

    The N36L comes with 1GB, the N40L has 2GB
     
  14. m0t0k0

    m0t0k0
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    Yep I have the N36L just posted a link to the new version as the old link I have was inactive

    Mine is also clocked at 1.3Ghz which I'm currently trying to find out if I can adjust!
     
  15. deadmeat30

    deadmeat30
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    Where did you get the bay converter set from? i cant find one that slides in like that as there no mounting holes in the chassis?
     
  16. m0t0k0

    m0t0k0
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    It is a mixture of two
    The first being the C shape metal brackets which were just the cheapest 2.5" to 3.5" adapter I could find
    The second is 4 x anti vibe rubber mounts I just bolted it all together to fit it in there. (cant remeber where from just had the in my box of bits!)
    The microserver is supplied with 4 special bolts which protrude enough to be guided along the slots in the bay.
     
  17. deadmeat30

    deadmeat30
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    Ah yes, there in the door, so any 5.25" to 3.5 adapter will do then? :D
     
  18. whiskers

    whiskers
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    @m0t0k0 ,

    I have a very similar build to yours:
    Microserver 40 L
    Blackgold BGT3650
    WHS 2011
    Mediaportal - Server and Client for now
    MSI GT 520
    8GB Ram
    Connected to my tv via HDMI

    Have you tried to play the HD streams yet? Try as I might I cannot get the audio to work -standard def audio is fine. There is a tip ( No Audio on DVB-T2 HD broadcasts - BlackGold ) on the blackgold site for MCE but obviously this doesn't apply. does your hd audio work?

    Thanks,
    Whiskers
     
  19. m0t0k0

    m0t0k0
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    Hi whiskers I have had no problems with the audio just with the picture being bloacky and covered in artifacts. I made a post about it on the mediaportal forum and have had quite a lot of help.

    I was shown another post where a revised TsReader.ax file is shown to help with the HD broadcasts vid and audio (it helped my picture) which you can find here [Bug] 1.2.2 TV sound problems - Page 3 - MediaPortal Forum

    And finally the epg for the HD stuff is garbled (this is due to compressing apparently) and this thread helped me combat that What DVB-T2 Freeview HD Card UK - Page 4 - MediaPortal Forum
     
  20. m0t0k0

    m0t0k0
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    I imagine so the bolts are designed to go into a optical drive which you can then slide in.
     
  21. RSRAVI

    RSRAVI
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    Hi mate how have you setup sab did you use windows install ????? From your link

    Are you connecting to it sorry for questions am new to this server stuff am
    Learning ......

    Are you using any anti virus or malware protection thanks
     
  22. m0t0k0

    m0t0k0
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    Yep I just used the standard widows installer. You then need to follow the wiki pages on how to setup SAB. You can then follow the link in my guide on how to allow SAB through your firewall and follow my giude on how to set a scheduled task to auto start SAB every time your system is booted
     
  23. RSRAVI

    RSRAVI
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    Have you done whs remote connection from the internet ...

    I cant seem to get thru all setup domain and every things ...

    but when i go to web address i get

    There is a problem with this website's security certificate

    then

    403 Forbidden
    403 Forbidden.

    what does that mean
     
  24. m0t0k0

    m0t0k0
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  25. RSRAVI

    RSRAVI
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    Hi mate yep correct address from what I can see its too do with port forward on the router but I can't see any options on my netgear router DNG 3500
     
  26. m0t0k0

    m0t0k0
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  27. vx_paul

    vx_paul
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    guys, i am tring to do similar but media servers and streaming is all new to me...
    The blackgold BGT3650 is abit too rich both $$ and function for me - can you advise on another freeview HD pci card with 2 tuners?? Do you get a remote control with these???
    I also have a sony surround sound unit - so i take it the GT520 HDMI goes to that then my TV??
     
  28. m0t0k0

    m0t0k0
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    Cant really find any other cards from different manufactures but BG also do a BGT3600 the price on these at the moment is hugely inflated because of a shortage of components
    But it used to cost about £70 and was a dual not quad tuner

    I has no remote

    You are correct the amp sit in between the HTPC and TV

    You will want you HTPC to bit-steam HD audio to your amp as it can handle all the formats

    STR-DH820 (STRDH820, STRDH820.CEK) : TV & home cinema : Sony
     
  29. whiskers

    whiskers
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    Hiya vx_paul,

    I never considered a dual tuner so wouldn't know. One of the key tasks for my setup is to replace a Humax dual tuner - hence the step up to quad.

    You don't get a remote, I bought separates from ebay:
    eBay - The UK's Online Marketplace
    eBay - The UK's Online Marketplace

    The above are working fine with win7 - media center.

    My sound is straight tot the tv via hdmi - so I can't help there either.

    Whiskers
     
  30. Mdre83

    Mdre83
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    Excellent read OP :smashin:
    Seriosuly considering one myself. For the price, I think it would be rude not too :thumbsup:
     

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