Guide To Building A Media Storage Server - Page 16 - AVS Forum
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post #451 of 7891 Old 10-17-2008, 09:49 AM
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Yep, the ONLY thing missing from the last open-box I bought was the I/O plate. I can live w/o it for the $30-40 in savings.
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post #452 of 7891 Old 10-17-2008, 11:18 AM
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I figured you guys may know more about this than me. Do you guys have a recommendation for best "value" options for an appliance instead of building a server?

These are nice, but no network interace:

Rosewill RSV-S8 SATA

SANS DIGITAL TR8M-B

Here's a Great product:

Thecus N5200BR

Thecus N7700 is even better, but haven't seen it for sale.

Any Other options out there for full features NAS appliance at a reasonable cost?
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post #453 of 7891 Old 10-17-2008, 12:37 PM
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I have been tracking the Thecus 7700. It looks interesting because:

1) More drive bays than most "home" NAS appliances
2) Supports iSCSI
3) Includes ZFS
4) Ability to LINK multiple 7700's together

I suspect the price will be pretty steep compared to what you could build yourself in the way of a "file server".
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post #454 of 7891 Old 10-17-2008, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjavan View Post

Any Other options out there for full features NAS appliance at a reasonable cost?

ReadyNAS NV+
http://www.netgear.com/Products/Stor...NASNVPlus.aspx

I have one I'm about ready to drop on eBay, I outgrew it and it has been idle.
It's a great unit. Very stable, upgradeable with minimal fuss. Lots of embedded functionality and software. The only downside is it's not the fastest and it only has 4 disks... But it's really light on electricity.

Upgrading disks has been very easy.
Just swap disks and the system sort of takes care of itself..

I have the Thecus 5200BR too. I rarely use it. It's going on eBay also.
This is able to be extended too. I've been thinking of hacking it and putting unRAID on it.

I also have the Nordco DS-520G. This is sort of a mini-nas barebones PC. I like it allot, You load your own OS on it. I'm running unRAID on this.
http://www.norcotek.com/item_detail....odelno=DS-520G
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post #455 of 7891 Old 10-17-2008, 04:21 PM
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My 4 TB tower-based media server is full and I'm thinking of switching to the Norco case. What kind of rack cage are you guys using?
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post #456 of 7891 Old 10-18-2008, 07:13 PM
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Finally had the chance to unpack all the stuff that came in from newegg for the 3 server builds.

First up -WHS

The open box SuperMicro X7SBA was only missing the I/O plate. Everything else was all there. Other than that nothing else was opened and the board was still sealed.

Considering this is an Intel 3210 server board with 2 PCI-X, 1 -PCI-E x8, 4-PCI and dual Intel Pro GbE with onboard GPU this was a fantastic deal at $160.

Sorry for the pic quality, I grabbed these quick with my iphone





I unpacked, put it together and installed WHS within a few hours.
The hardest part was having to slipstream the ICH9R AHCI drivers into the WHS DVD. I could've just set the bios to IDE mode, but wanted AHCI for hotswap and health/temp status.

Here's what it's in this test build server for now.

Motherboard: SuperMicro X7SBA
CPU: Intel E8400 3.0Ghz Dual Core 6MB L2
Ram: 4GB Kingston DDR2 667 (2x2GB)
Case: CoolerMaster Centurion 590
Drives: 2 x Seagate 1.5TB
(for now I had 2 spares from my last shipment)
PSU: Corsair TX650W

Total cost before drives $587

Here's a 4GB ripped DVD transfer from workstation to WHS over GbE Lan
No networks tweaks or any type of adjustments, just out of the 'box' and we're hitting GbE speed.



Very pleased with this build so far
But still lots to do on this one and 2 more servers to build.
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post #457 of 7891 Old 10-18-2008, 07:24 PM
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Like I mentioned this was out of the box settings so I just noticed that folder duplication (backup) was turned on by default during the transfer I posted and was still getting speeds of 105-115MB/s





Here's another DVD transfer from the workstation with WHS folder duplication off


Seems like no difference. Not bad at all
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post #458 of 7891 Old 10-18-2008, 07:45 PM
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Hey i am a high end dealer outside Nashville and i am probably the youngest of the dealers (only 26 years old) so i big time into computers. I am considering building a Media Server for my customers to see and experience i have a PC i built that has nothing running on it now just a 500GB HDD a DVD burner and a wireless card... i am a semi familiar with Ubuntu, used to setup some Slackware systems in the old days, so what should i do? Windows? Linux? Step by Step would be nice.... thanks!

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post #459 of 7891 Old 10-18-2008, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiBz View Post


The first few hundred MBs of the file transfer with WHS go great (RAM caching), it's when DE kicks in that things go south.

Show me a screenshot of a 5GB or bigger file transfer, "almost finished" and see if that's still at 100MBps.
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post #460 of 7891 Old 10-18-2008, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kapone View Post

The first few hundred MBs of the file transfer with WHS go great (RAM caching), it's when DE kicks in that things go south.

Show me a screenshot of a 5GB or bigger file transfer, "almost finished" and see if that's still at 100MBps.

That no longer happens as of PP1 as DE isn't doing anything. The data goes straight to it's final destination and doesn't hit the "landing zone" anymore. Before it did hit that and was then moved off of it by DE. PP1 made alot of improvements.

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post #461 of 7891 Old 10-18-2008, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archer75 View Post

That no longer happens as of PP1 as DE isn't doing anything. The data goes straight to it's final destination and doesn't hit the "landing zone" anymore. Before it did hit that and was then moved off of it by DE. PP1 made alot of improvements.

Ahh...my bad. I pretty much gave up on WHS, and never tried the power pack. I'll try and play with it some, at some point.
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post #462 of 7891 Old 10-18-2008, 09:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kapone View Post

The first few hundred MBs of the file transfer with WHS go great (RAM caching), it's when DE kicks in that things go south.

Show me a screenshot of a 5GB or bigger file transfer, "almost finished" and see if that's still at 100MBps.

Just curious. Not saying that you're wrong but wouldn't another measly $60 (4GB) total the cache to 8GB ?
And why would I need more than 8GB of ram cache at any given time for netwrk transfers ?
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post #463 of 7891 Old 10-18-2008, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiBz View Post

Just curious. Not saying that you're wrong but wouldn't another measly $60 (4GB) total the cache to 8GB ?
And why would I need more than 8GB of ram cache at any given time for netwrk transfers ?

It's not that. The way WHS worked "pre power pack", until the network card buffers filled up, the transfer worked great, but as soon as it started writing to the physical disk (landing zone), DE would kick in and start moving it to the actual target disk (decided by DE). That just killed the performance.

There is no way to "tell" WHS/Windows 2003 to keep caching the network transfer in RAM until the transfer is finished, and most network drivers limit the RAM cache to about 500MB.
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post #464 of 7891 Old 10-18-2008, 09:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WeeboTech View Post

ReadyNAS NV+
http://www.netgear.com/Products/Stor...NASNVPlus.aspx

I have one I'm about ready to drop on eBay,

Don't buy these POS NAS boxes. They are fine for file storage and streaming of one HD stream in your house. Good luck with Jumbo frames. I tossed mine away a long time ago and bought 2 Thecus 1U4500 NAS. Streaming 1080p blu-rays (5 different movies) to 5 rooms at the same time. No hiccups. You can even aggregate the Ethernet ports for 2gbps performance if your network can support it. Jumbo frames are working flawlessy; again if your NICs/network can handle it. Recommend Intels server NICs for best performance I've seen yet.
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post #465 of 7891 Old 10-18-2008, 10:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kapone View Post

It's not that. The way WHS worked "pre power pack", until the network card buffers filled up, the transfer worked great, but as soon as it started writing to the physical disk (landing zone), DE would kick in and start moving it to the actual target disk (decided by DE). That just killed the performance.

There is no way to "tell" WHS/Windows 2003 to keep caching the network transfer in RAM until the transfer is finished, and most network drivers limit the RAM cache to about 500MB.

It's improved quite a bit since PP1.

Here's a 6.5GB file with ~4GB completed.
Remember that I've done absolutely squat with optimizing network drivers here.



The disk management addin is pretty neat.
You can create a wire grid of your drives. It also displays temps and drive activity.

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post #466 of 7891 Old 10-18-2008, 10:24 PM
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Certainly looks like that! That's pretty good for a single disk transfer, although I think the 1.5TB are just excellent drives and offer amazing performance. They will perform great pretty much in any system.

But it's good to hear they improved WHS with PP1 as far as the performance was concerned.

Now, if they would just add UnRaid like parity protection...voila!
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post #467 of 7891 Old 10-18-2008, 11:48 PM
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OK, so I'm ordering RPC-4020 with MBD-X7SBA and CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX.
What additional power cables do I need to make all the hard drives work?
Do I need longer, or replacement SATA cables to reach the MoBo or the SUPERMICRO AOC-SAT2-MV8 ?

What about cables (power & SATA) for O/S drive or the DVD drive?

Which DVD drive do you normally slap in this thing?

Thanks,
Mario
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post #468 of 7891 Old 10-19-2008, 02:56 AM
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Guys, in getting a media server, I figured I should also upgrade to Gigabit network.
2 of my MoBos already support it, I can upgrade the other two with a NIC, but which one?

Also, what do you guys thing about this: TP-LINK TL-SG1024 24-Port Rackmount Unmanaged Gigabit Ethernet Switch for about $140 ?

All I need right now is an 5-8 port, figured if I can get 24 port for $140, then it would be worth it. If for some reason TP is crap, how about any of those?

NETGEAR GS116, 16 port for $145
D-Link DGS-2208 8 port for $36
NETGEAR GS108 8 port for $39
NETGEAR GS608 8 port for $40

Why are 8 port ones so much cheaper than 16? Seems you can almost buy 4 8 port ones for the price of 1 16port model?
Also, if I'm missing anything on features, please let me know. My needs are simple, rip BD or HD-DVD on office PC and move it to storage server. I know that I can get away with my current 100Mbps setup, but if I can buy one of the sub $40 switches and connect the few PCs that can use the extra network speed, than its worth it.

As always, thanks for all the advice.
Mario
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post #469 of 7891 Old 10-19-2008, 07:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kapone View Post

Certainly looks like that! That's pretty good for a single disk transfer, although I think the 1.5TB are just excellent drives and offer amazing performance. They will perform great pretty much in any system.

But it's good to hear they improved WHS with PP1 as far as the performance was concerned.

Now, if they would just add UnRaid like parity protection...voila!

I agree, the 1.5TB Seagates are excellent. Quiet, superfast and huge.

Here's the reverse:
6.4GB file transfering from WHS to the workstation. Both reads and writes are pretty much GbE speed., which I'm very pleased with.



Honestly I don't think parity is something you want for this type of server.
Unraid is as slow as molasses for writes (20MB/s). And there' still a lot of things that can go wrong with parity based/raid storage so you still need a backup anyways. You can always selectively enable folder duplication, but I think even that is not a good idea.

Considering this entire WHS build (without drives) cost less than a 12 port hardware raid card you can afford to spend that savings on a 2nd machine.

Personally I've rethought my strategy and think I've come up with a good solution for my purposes that should offer the redundant protection I need.

Next setup is a P45 Asus P5Q-E & quad core cpu using my Areca 1261ML with Windows Server 2008. This system will be used basically as ripping/transcoding media entry point. Eveything starts/gets ripped and stored here and then copied to WHS when it's ready to be shared on the network. I take advantage of the fast R5 spindle speed for ripping and transcoding and can shut down this machine when not is use and the data is safely in duplicate on 2 seperate systems.

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post #470 of 7891 Old 10-19-2008, 07:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mariomp View Post

OK, so I'm ordering RPC-4020 with MBD-X7SBA and CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX.
What additional power cables do I need to make all the hard drives work?
Do I need longer, or replacement SATA cables to reach the MoBo or the SUPERMICRO AOC-SAT2-MV8 ?

What about cables (power & SATA) for O/S drive or the DVD drive?

Which DVD drive do you normally slap in this thing?

Thanks,
Mario

Both the corsair TX750 & TX650 are great.
They have a total of 16 drive power connectors, 8x SATA + 8 x 4pin
If you need more SATA power, these are handy to convert 1 4pin to 2 SATA

The X7SBA came with 6 SATA cables and the MV8 also comes with 8 cables. They're 2ft cables so should be fine for the 4020 case.

I don't know how many drives you're starting off with, but I would wait until your intial parts come in and then order exactly what other additional cables you might need from here dirt cheap and fast.
http://www.monoprice.com/products/se...p?keyword=SATA


I personally never put a fixed DVD drive in a server. There's no point.
You'll only need it to install the initial OS after that it's just sucking power for nothing. Suggest to pick up an external USB DVD +RW that you can use on any system you're building.
I use one of these and it works great.
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post #471 of 7891 Old 10-19-2008, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiBz View Post

... Considering this entire WHS build (without drives) cost less than a 12 port hardware raid card you can afford to spend that savings on a 2nd machine.

The speed of WHS is impressive. Does it concatenate its storage into a single logical drive letter -- so if you pop in a dozen 1.5TB drives you don't have twelve different letters?

Quote:


... Next setup is a P45 ... This system will be used basically as ripping/transcoding media entry point. Eveything starts/gets ripped and stored here ...

How are you storing your DVDs (.TS folders; AVI; H.264; etc.) and what program to you use to transcode them? Also, what program do you use to manage/access them? I'm still looking for a good way to organize the collection so it's really simple (great WAF) to browse/select/play.
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post #472 of 7891 Old 10-19-2008, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garycase2001 View Post

The speed of WHS is impressive. Does it concatenate its storage into a single logical drive letter -- so if you pop in a dozen 1.5TB drives you don't have twelve different letters?.

Essentially you add a drive to the system and the OS sees it as a seperate drive. Then you go into the WHS console and add that drive to the total storage pool. You don't need to deal with any drive letters. The nice thing is drives added can be any size, type whatever. It just grows as you need.


Quote:


How are you storing your DVDs (.TS folders; AVI; H.264; etc.) and what program to you use to transcode them? Also, what program do you use to manage/access them? I'm still looking for a good way to organize the collection so it's really simple (great WAF) to browse/select/play.

I rip everything to it's native VOB (TS folders) using DVDFabPlatinum saving only the movie and 5.1 audio which is very easy, just point and click with DVDFab.

DVDFab can also transcode to many formats like for your ipod/iphone/xbox etc.
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post #473 of 7891 Old 10-19-2008, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiBz View Post

Essentially you add a drive to the system and the OS sees it as a seperate drive. Then you go into the WHS console and add that drive to the total storage pool. You don't need to deal with any drive letters. The nice thing is drives added can be any size, type whatever. It just grows as you need.

Do you configure WHS to make the the storage pool either redundant or not?
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post #474 of 7891 Old 10-19-2008, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiBz View Post

I agree, the 1.5TB Seagates are excellent. Quiet, superfast and huge.

Here's the reverse:
6.4GB file transfering from WHS to the workstation. Both reads and writes are pretty much GbE speed., which I'm very pleased with.


MiBz, what are the specs of your workstation (e.g. CPU/RAM/Network Adapter)? And what kind of gigabit switch are you using? Thanks.
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post #475 of 7891 Old 10-19-2008, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
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Do you configure WHS to make the the storage pool either redundant or not?

You have the option to enable or disable folder share duplication. Further you can enable it only on some specific folders and not others. Look in the 4th column.



For example some people might want their family photos duplicated but not DVD movies. It's as simple as going to the WHS console, right click on the folder you want and check duplication on or off.

There doesn't seem to be a speed penalty for folder duplication as far as I can tell. In fact I didn't even know it was on by default when I ran those network speed tests. It seems to duplicate when the system is idle and pauses when there is user activity. Quite smart actually.

With how I'm setting up my schema, I doubt I'll need folder duplication since the workstation I'm building will actualy have the original file already stored there and then transfered to WHS to put on the network.

I like things to be as simple as possible and easy to manage.

The other benefit to WHS is the client backup utility which you can install on all your laptops, desktops etc. Then within the WHS console you can automate and control image backups for each of these clients. It will even wake a client, update the image and put it back to sleep in the middle of the night. You set the schedule. Very neat stuff.
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post #476 of 7891 Old 10-19-2008, 10:54 AM
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I would like to order a 4020 this week and set up a WHS and have a ton of questions but I'll start slowly.

If it's just for a file server and backup then does anyone want to recommend motherboard/CPU combination's. What specs should I be looking for? 2 PCI-X slots and six SATA connections I take it but what else? Would a low-power AMD processor (4850. 4050) be the way to go?

Should the OS drive be as large as possible?

I will be using the Corsair 750TX power supply
2 X Supermicro SAT2 MV8 SATA controllers
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post #477 of 7891 Old 10-19-2008, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiBz View Post

You have the option to enable or disable folder share duplication. Further you can enable it only on some specific folders and not others. Look in the 4th column.

...

For example some people might want their family photos duplicated but not DVD movies. It's as simple as going to the WHS console, right click on the folder you want and check duplication on or off.

There doesn't seem to be a speed penalty for folder duplication as far as I can tell. In fact I didn't even know it was on by default when I ran those network speed tests. It seems to duplicate when the system is idle and pauses when there is user activity. Quite smart actually.

With how I'm setting up my schema, I doubt I'll need folder duplication since the workstation I'm building will actualy have the original file already stored there and then transfered to WHS to put on the network.

I like things to be as simple as possible and easy to manage.

The other benefit to WHS is the client backup utility which you can install on all your laptops, desktops etc. Then within the WHS console you can automate and control image backups for each of these clients. It will even wake a client, update the image and put it back to sleep in the middle of the night. You set the schedule. Very neat stuff.

Very interesting. I think I've got a legal copy of this that I could throw onto Virtual PC and play around a little. Thanks!

One more quick question: Can the storage be USB? I like to take my backups offsite, so it would be nice if the client backup app would pause until the USB drive was present.
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post #478 of 7891 Old 10-19-2008, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyFunBoater View Post

Very interesting. I think I've got a legal copy of this that I could throw onto Virtual PC and play around a little. Thanks!

One more quick question: Can the storage be USB? I like to take my backups offsite, so it would be nice if the client backup app would pause until the USB drive was present.

Just to further the point and demonstrate what it does with duplication. You'll see in the pic that it copies the files to 2 of my 4 drives. right now, I'm only duplicating our pictures, with off site backup for them using jungledisk.

Storage can be USB. WHS has a backup feature now that can use an external drive
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post #479 of 7891 Old 10-19-2008, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eklee View Post

MiBz, what are the specs of your workstation (e.g. CPU/RAM/Network Adapter)? And what kind of gigabit switch are you using? Thanks.

I put together the workstation yesterday morning, built WHS in the afternoon. So the ws isn't quite finished yet but it's runing; here's the parts;

Mobo: Asus P5Q-E
CPU: Intel X3350
Ram: 4GB Corsair (2x2GB) DDR2 800 + another 4GB somewhere in a box I haven't found yet.
OS drive: WD6400AAKS shortstroked as 100GB OS + balance D: drive for scratch & temp downloads
Case: Lian Li PC A17B
5in3 Hotswap: 3 x Athena SATA3051B
PSU: Corsair TX650W
OS: Windows Server 2008 x64 - with Hyper-V installed


Storage:
Areca 1261ML - 16 port hardware raid + BBU
Raid 5 Array 8 x Seagate 1TB 7200.11

The tests I posted yesterday were using the P5Q-E's onboard Marvel GbE nic.

GbE switch is a Dell 2716 - 16 port web managed switch (I haven't turned management on yet) so it's native out of the box.
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post #480 of 7891 Old 10-19-2008, 12:44 PM
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If I understand this correctly, WHS is automatically distributing a folder among the various disks in its storage pool -- e.g. a "DVDs" folder might be spread across a dozen disks.

... Do you simply share that folder (e.g. "DVDs") for other PC's on the network to access?

... and is it correct that you can simply add more disks to the storage pool without any user intervention needed in terms of assigning the disk to specific folders? (i.e. WHS just uses what it needs)

And if duplication is NOT enabled for a folder, what happens when one disk fails? Does it maintain replicated directory info so it can show you which files were lost, etc.

This is looking like a very good option

If duplication IS enabled and a disk fails, how does WHS let you know WHICH disk failed?
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