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post #1 of 20 Old 04-01-2012, 08:02 PM - Thread Starter
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After realizing that getting more hard-drives for my htpc is a lost cause to my ever growing media collecting and limited bays, i realized i needed a big enclosure with a decent amount of bays (at least 8) and i can access over my wifi.

okay, so i have checked out the renethx and assassins guide to building media servers. I THINK i have a grasp on the terminology, like RAID eSATA and such. I have a budget of about anywhere inbetween 150-300 to build: "a box that has a bunch of hardrives that i am going to my my junk on"

whats the cheapest way to do this? The media servers in the guides cost more than my computer itself!

what about this guy? http://www.amazon.com/Sans-Digital-T...3325614&sr=1-2

is it better to build a cheap computer with a "lot of bays case"
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post #2 of 20 Old 04-01-2012, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by nicknacc View Post

what about this guy? http://www.amazon.com/Sans-Digital-T...3325614&sr=1-2

You would still need a computer for this to work. My server was $320 not including hard drives and Windows. It can support up to 15 hard drives with some additional sata cards. Using snapraid for my software raid.
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post #3 of 20 Old 04-01-2012, 08:21 PM
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You could just hook an enclosure like the one you linked up to your existing HTPC with esata and then use flexraid software for pooling and redundancy. I personally like having a separate HTPC and server, but you should be able to do it all in one box to save money. I think flexraid is on sale until april 15th.
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post #4 of 20 Old 04-01-2012, 08:33 PM - Thread Starter
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You would still need a computer for this to work. My server was $320 not including hard drives and Windows. It can support up to 15 2TB hard drives which is way more than I would ever need. Using snapraid for my software raid.

thank you so much for the reply!

when you say it needs a computer, you mean it perminatly need to be attached to one via usb? so it cant be attached to the router and accessed remotely? are there any other limitations to this guy?

oh and can you tell me what your thing is so i can make one too!?!
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post #5 of 20 Old 04-01-2012, 08:35 PM - Thread Starter
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NEVER MIND THE SPECS ON YOUR SERVER!!!! lol i found your sig
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post #6 of 20 Old 04-01-2012, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicknacc View Post

when you say it needs a computer, you mean it perminatly need to be attached to one via usb? so it cant be attached to the router and accessed remotely? are there any other limitations to this guy?

What you linked to is basically a case and power supply. It must be permanently attached to a computer using the supplied pci-e card, not USB. If you have never built a pc and not ready to trouble shoot problems then maybe building a server is not for you. You can buy or use any cheap pc with the Sans TowerRaid as long as the pc has an open PCI-E Slot.
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post #7 of 20 Old 04-01-2012, 10:12 PM - Thread Starter
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ok i understand a little more. Yes i built my htpc its just that servers and and networking is a different animal. Its like building a HTPC is biology and Servers is Chemisty

so in short, the thing sans digital doesnt need windows installed on it, it probably install its propierty software and its hooked into my htpc's motherboard via a pci card (i am assuming the connection faces outward )

is there a limit to the size of the harddrives i put in it? i plan on doing stickly 3 tb hdds.

overall, it seems like a good deal. The trade off of having it connected to my htpc and visible in my entertainment center doesn't seem so bad. its pretty sleek looking. also i wont be able to access it via wifi, which i guess is fine since i only have one htpc as of now to watch movies anyways?
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post #8 of 20 Old 04-02-2012, 02:44 AM
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You need to contact support because the specifications say it only supports 16tb maximum so thats 8 2TB hard drives.

You can share files through wifi with the Sans TowerRaid. Its as easy as setting a folder to share on your HTPC. Then any pc on the network can access that file.
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post #9 of 20 Old 04-02-2012, 04:35 AM
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I access my WHS 2011 box via 802.11n (300mbps from the HTPC, 150mbps from the laptop).

Has (2) 2TB drives now (about 1.6TB free between them).

28 series (TV Shows) and 24 Movies currently, all compressed format, maybe 500GB?

$50 Dell off lease found on CL (Craigslist locally)
$30 for DDR2 4GB (came with 512MBx2)
$60AR Hitachi 2TB 5900RPM "Green" drive
$60 WHS 2011

Original cost = $200

Recently added 2TB external for $106, total investment = $306

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post #10 of 20 Old 04-02-2012, 08:43 AM
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If you have an old PC laying around you can easily build a server out of it. Just get a case that will support your hard drive arrangement, and get a controller card.

I have a server that I built out of Pentium II 200 MHz. The PCI to SATA controller was $15 on newegg, gigabit NIC was $10 on Meritline, and I already had Windows 2000 server software.

The server before this one had 12 hard drives, but as drive capacities increased, I was able to do more with only 4 storage drives and 1 system drive.

It is low power, it is on 24/7, and it is pretty capable.

6 TV's in the house on FiOS and we only pay $4.99/month to connect them all!!! Power to the CableCard and WMC7!!!
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post #11 of 20 Old 04-02-2012, 10:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by blueiedgod View Post

If you have an old PC laying around you can easily build a server out of it. Just get a case that will support your hard drive arrangement, and get a controller card.

I have a server that I built out of Pentium II 200 MHz. The PCI to SATA controller was $15 on newegg, gigabit NIC was $10 on Meritline, and I already had Windows 2000 server software.

The server before this one had 12 hard drives, but as drive capacities increased, I was able to do more with only 4 storage drives and 1 system drive.

It is low power, it is on 24/7, and it is pretty capable.


wow i did not realize how minimal of specs are needed! maybe i can just get that 20 bay server case for 60 something bucks i cant think of the name right now, and just find someones old pc! awesome idea man for some reason i felt like i should have new hardware in the server. what would you think the minimum requirements would be?
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post #12 of 20 Old 04-02-2012, 10:45 PM
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I built a new HTPC and took the old HTPC parts and built a server with them. I used the old case and PS for the new HTPC and bought a different case and PS for the server and placed the old HTPC components into it. That left me with a server running an Intel E8400 and a HTPC running an i5. I moved all my HDDs to the server and use only a 64GB SSD and WD Green 1TB HDD that I had laying around for RecordedTV in my HTPC.

The server is up to 8TB pooled together with StableBit DrivePool in WHS 2011. In the end I'm not sure how much the server cost, but it was less than $200. However, my new HTPC wasn't that cheap.

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post #13 of 20 Old 04-03-2012, 12:23 AM
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All you really need is a Atom or Zacate board with 5-6 SATA ports. RAID is overkill for a home server setup. Some people just like to complicate their lives...

There was an old post about some girl in the Bay Area talking about how long it too her to get the information over her other drives after two drives crashed in her RAID server. She went with WHS v1 after that and never looked back... Drive fails, replace it, continue on.

I will likely add drive pooling to my server before the end of the year. I want to get a mini-ITX setup. Now that I have software and drives, it will only cost about $200 to build this likely around one of the cheaper E350 boards, currently MSI's hotter E350 is $79.99 after rebate (Fry's or New Egg). Has SATA 6 ports and USB 3.0

The Toshiba external I just bough supports USB 3.0 -

The case is a mini server case, hold four drives not including the system drive which I will move to ssd as well, so maybe $270 total.

I want something small and quiet with TB's of disk space. There's still enough power to do Virtualization as well and even a x86 Router (just add another NIC).

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post #14 of 20 Old 04-03-2012, 02:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicknacc View Post

awesome idea man for some reason i felt like i should have new hardware in the server. what would you think the minimum requirements would be?

Just to give you an idea on whats needed, I'm using a AMD Regor 260 Dual Core 3.2ghz.

When I copy a movie from the server to a desktop (110MB/s) the cpu usage on the server is between 20-30%.
While I stream a movie from the server to a desktop, cpu usage is between 0-1%...practically nothing at all.
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post #15 of 20 Old 04-03-2012, 07:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicknacc View Post

wow i did not realize how minimal of specs are needed! maybe i can just get that 20 bay server case for 60 something bucks i cant think of the name right now, and just find someones old pc! awesome idea man for some reason i felt like i should have new hardware in the server. what would you think the minimum requirements would be?


You don't need much. NAS usually have very lower power CPU's and do just fine. It all depends on what services you are planning on running on the server. Yeah, if you wre going to be hosting virtual machine services on it, then you will need some beefy hardware. But, to use it as a NAS, you just need bare bones to run the OS.

Your choice of Os will determine the processor that you will need.

Look into FreeNAS or similar free Linux, or even Linspire that does not need to be compiled at all. It is all GUI, just like Windows.

As to the need of no need for RAID, as someone mentioned. It is totally up to you. If you like restoring from back ups, which can take hours or days, depending on how big a restore job is, then it is your choice.

Chances of 2 hard drives failing at the same time are half of the chances of 1 hard drvie failure. So, you have a better chance of not having to restore from a back up.

There is still a need for a regular back up, but if a drive fails in a RAID set up, you just replace the drive, and while it is being repopulated, the system is still functional.

And setting up a RAID 5 is no different in terms of difficulty than setting up a stripe. You just click a different button duting set up.

As to getting a miniITX board, if you are thinking of a system with more than 4 drives, you will just be paying extra for the mini-ITX format, even though you will be putting it into a full ATX case.

6 TV's in the house on FiOS and we only pay $4.99/month to connect them all!!! Power to the CableCard and WMC7!!!
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post #16 of 20 Old 04-03-2012, 08:11 AM
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Just think about building a PC with the capability to easily install and connect multiple hard drives = home server. Pick a Fusion E350 board with 4 or 6 SATA ports and a PCIe x16 slot for future expansion. Then, pick either a tower case with some 4 x 3.5" into 3 x 5.25" drive adapters or a rackmount case with some hotswap bays and throw it together.

As for software, I would recommend you look at something that puts a seperate complete filesystem on each drive. FlexRAID and unRAID are likely the 2 most used in this regard. There are 2 main reasons. #1 is because some type of bad failure will cause complete data loss in any striped RAID system. #2 is because having individual drives allows you to just have the drives in use spinning and the others not in use spun down which will save you some energy.
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post #17 of 20 Old 04-04-2012, 01:41 AM - Thread Starter
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So I was looking for cases and found them all to be around 300 bucks and I was like woah f this crap! But then I realized I was always searching for "nas cases" I turn tried Ist searching for regular cases with around 10 internal 3.25 bays and found some luck! Some really cool unassuming (how I feel a server should look) cases for around 150 bucks. Is there an even cheaper alternativ guys? I want something below 100
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post #18 of 20 Old 04-04-2012, 06:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicknacc View Post

So I was looking for cases and found them all to be around 300 bucks and I was like woah f this crap! But then I realized I was always searching for "nas cases" I turn tried Ist searching for regular cases with around 10 internal 3.25 bays and found some luck! Some really cool unassuming (how I feel a server should look) cases for around 150 bucks. Is there an even cheaper alternativ guys? I want something below 100

If cost is an issue, buy sheets of plexiglass, cut them to size and glue together to make a server case that will be tailored to your requirements.

I have built a case out of plexiglass. It was quite popular to do that in the 90's. I think it only cost like $20 in plexiglass from Home Depot.

6 TV's in the house on FiOS and we only pay $4.99/month to connect them all!!! Power to the CableCard and WMC7!!!
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post #19 of 20 Old 04-04-2012, 02:03 PM
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http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811219030

If you like DIY, you can customize a standard case to fit 10 hard drives. Just make sure you find a case with lots of 5.25" bays.
http://lime-technology.com/forum/ind...?topic=10452.0

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811103040
9 5.25 bays = 15 hard drives.

You can buy 3.5-5.25 bay converters but are kind of expensive.
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post #20 of 20 Old 04-04-2012, 11:48 PM
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How much space do you really need?

The biggest file hogs on my HTPC were .wtv files over 2 hours (NASCAR, F1, ALMS Races) and races from around the world (WTCC, BTCC, F1, FIA GT, FIA GT3, Blancpain, Aussie V8's and International GT Open) usually in h.264 or xvid hd.

However, Motorsport.tv has all this available for streaming now, no need to archive it locally.

Example. I used to have Pole Position on the HTPC, but since I have found it now on Hulu, deleted it.

What's on the server is basically anything TV Show, Animation or Movie that isn't currently in rotation on DirecTV (Hooper, Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors, Kolack: The Nightstalker). I plan on adding more older movies from the 70's, 80's and 90's, even some B&W Blurays. I will also continue down memory lane with 70's and 80's Anime including US properties animated in Korea or Japan (Transformers G1, Spider-man 1981, M.A.S.K, etc) plus newer stuff like Gundam 00 which is bomb!

I'll wait until I get a third 2TB/3TB drive before I rip Outlaw Star, SD Gundam, Zoids, Big O, etc.

Other big file hogs are PS1 games on average about 600MB per disc.

As I said, current free space on the 2nd drive stands at about 1.6TB. I will next move all my music files over to the server (45-50GB) and access them via Virtual DJ and only use one USB port instead of two. I have three tubs of CD's and my other to re-rip, likely to high bit MP3/WMA. This will likely grow to roughly 60-70GB.

The case I am going to purchase is this one - http://www.mitxpc.com/proddetail.asp?prod=6600&cat=185

While I would love a CFI Mini-ITX server case with four removable cages, it drastically bumps the price of my build up ($140).

This one holds 3 drives and one optical drive. Its likely I can get an adapter to put a drive in the optical drive space to give me (4) 3.5 drive slots.

I say use old hardware to get you off the ground and then upgrade to low power or depending on all you want to do (run Virtual Machines) low TDP, multi-core CPU.

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