First, thanks for all the info, I have learned so much, yet I know so little...
This will sound stupid, but just to confirm if I go the UnRaid route than I loose running apps like DNS updater, ORB, slingbox or small front page web hosting out of my server box, right? UnRAID is an OS and SW Raid Ctrl and nothing else.
Basically NAS, not a server.
Also, when weighting between SW based solution like UnRAID vs. HW based solution like RAID Ctrl Card, I need to figure in the $150 pro license if I want to run more than 3 HDs; that money should be figured in as savings if we go with HW Raid Ctrl card, although I don't think we found any 16+ cards for under $800+.
I want to have 1 machine on 24/7 that besides primary duty as a data server for DVDs- BD-TV shows-music library, etc, would also update my Dyn DNS (for my DVR, HAI system, maybe Orb or slingbox etc) and allow to run those services from server. Don't know how much WAN steaming I'll do as I'm limited to 600Kbps upload thru my cable ISP provider, no I'm not willing to pay $299 to get enterprise solution.
I also am looking for fault tolerance (RAID 5 or 6 type), so WHS is a no go unless I go with FlexRAID or with HW RAID controller card, right?
Now with all of that, can I still use what WeeboTech recommended, or do you recommend something else? :
* Abit AB9 PRO ~ $90 (9 internal sata, 1 external sata)
* Celerom M 440 2ghz ~ $50
* 4g Ram ~ $70
* Centurion 590 if I limited myself to 9 drives or NORCO RPC-4020 (with 1 8 port SATA card) would give me max 17
* If 8 port card, which one?
* Either Corsair-TX650W or PC Power & Cooling 750Watt Power Supply
* No video card (headless) - save power, or can you recommend cheap card that wouldn't suck a lot of power as any system maintenance would be done thru remote desktop?
* Windows XP or Vista, unless someone knows of a good reason to step up to Win Server 2003 or 2008.
Don't know that I care about hot swappable. While is sounds cool, I don't expect my HDs to fail ever, but if they do (alright, when they do) I don't mind pressing power button to swap the bad drive.
Ultimately I want to set up a server on the cheap, that will let me grow in storage as I backup more and more BDs and HD-DVDs (have a bid for 60 disk set on eBay, there goes 2+Tb. I see streaming from 2 up to 5 HD feeds to TVs throughout the house. Nothing extreme.
Thanks for any and all suggestions.