HTPC - Media Storage Options - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 01-20-2014, 06:34 AM - Thread Starter
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I have a question on what storage option to with in my new HTPC. I put it together a few weeks ago, but currently it has no storage (outside of the SSD that the OS is on). I am now at the point where I can pick up some storage for it and start throwing all my movies/music etc on there. I am not sure which option to take though:

1) Pick up a 3TB hard drive, and put it into my HTPC.
2) Pick up 3TB hard drive, put it in old Dell PowerEdge I have and convert that to a NAS.
3) Look for used NAS, hopefully find one with at least 2TB worth of drives currently in it.

Option 1 is probably the quickest/easiest way to go, but my case is fairly small and while it has room for 2 3.5" hard drives, I am worried about it becoming fairly cramped in there and causing excessive heat build up.

Option 2 is also a fairly easy option, but the old Dell only has 1GB of RAM, which I don't think is enough to even run FreeNAS on it. It also means I need to get on and hard wire the house (easy enough, just puts a delay on things while I get the wiring done). I am also not sure how efficient the old Dell will be (talking power consumption of something being left on 24/7 that was built in 2005/2006). If I go with this option, and it does not work out, it's at least fairly simple to move the drive into my HTPC and save for option 3, then move the drive there.

Option 3 would be a good way to go, but I cannot currently afford to pick up a new NAS, drives etc. There are a few on CL/eBay that I am looking at, but not sure if they are worth the money. For example there is a seller on eBay fairly local to me who is selling some Dell EMC machines with 15 hard drives in them, but I cannot seem to find a whole lot of info on the machines and am not sure if I can use them easily as a NAS, or if I can upgrade the hard drives as needed.

So, which would you go with? I want to try and get something this week, as currently my internet connection is garbage (1.5MB DSL, waiting on ISP's to improve service in the area) so the HTPC is not really doing a whole lot without my media accessible to it.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 14 Old 01-20-2014, 06:44 AM
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I'd probably just buy a drive and pop it in the HTPC for a stop-gap solution.

Then you can proceed with your wiring project, and if you decide to use the PowerEdge (which is probably less than ideal in terms of power consumption) you can just pull the drive and add it to the Dell. If you're just going to be pooling drives, then you shouldn't lose any data alrady on the drive. (If you're doing a RAID/parity setup, that might change)

Same applies of you decide to move to a NAS appliance later on down the road. (except get one that's not populated with drives, which lets you buy larger/cheaper drives later down the road as prices drop and you need them)
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post #3 of 14 Old 01-20-2014, 06:53 AM
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I agree with ajhieb ^

Just buy the drive and install it into your desktop and set up the sharing rights so your HTPC can use it. It's simple and easy and cost effective. No need to make it harder than it has to be.
If you have space for two drives, I would add a second one when you need it too. That is your best, cheapest, and easiest short term solution.

The good part of this is that you can re-use these drives when you decide to move in a more advanced direction like a server or NAS. The drives and money spent on them won't be wasted, and even if they are full of media you should be able to reuse them.

Your long term problem is finding a long term solution that will expand further and cover your for multiple years.

For this solution I would not use a 1GB poweredge. I would buy some time and save up some funds by only adding the hard drive for now and when the time comes I would suggest you do it right with new modern hardware. It will save you energy and frustration. You can buy a $35 Celeron CPU that's likely way more powerful, slap it into a $50 motherboard and use $25 stick of DDR3 and it's going to be a much better solution for you I think.

Then the time comes to build a server/NAS start a thread and do some research and you should get an awesome result you can be happy with for a long time.
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post #4 of 14 Old 01-20-2014, 06:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks both, I am leaning towards just putting the drive in the HTPC for now, then work towards building a new NAS later in the year, and at that point take the drive back out of the HTPC and move it to the NAS (along with any additional drives).
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post #5 of 14 Old 01-20-2014, 07:09 AM
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I would start with the 3TB drive, and then start planning for a Home Server.

You can put together a home server much cheaper than a HTPC/NAS to serve files, the exception being the storage drives. Storage you can add as you go.

Think of the most budget friendly PC you can build, using somewhat modern components, and it would be more than adequate to serve files. You wouldn't need the latest and greatest.

Ex:

CPU: $50 (socket 1155 Ivy Celeron/Pentium)
Mobo: $50 (socket 1155 H61, or B75) - with 2 or more PCIe 2x or 3x slots
RAM: $50 (2x2GB DDR3-1600 C9)
HDD for OS: $50 (at least 60GB) use the cheapest sata3 drive you can find or re-purpose one
OS: Free (Linux) - $40 for WHS2011
Case: $30 (NZXT Source 210 is a great starter case for a server as it holds (8) 3.5 HDD's, plus it has (3) 5.25 drive bays)
PSU: $20 (Corsiar CX430) can power (4) SATA drives, plus additional with adapters
Storage HDDs: 3TB $100-$110

You can slowly add/upgrade:
FlexRAID: $30-$60
HBA Cards for additional SATA: $50-$100 (IBM1015 or SUPERMICRO AOC-SAS2LP-MV8)
Rackmount Case: $80-$400
etc...
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post #6 of 14 Old 01-20-2014, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abcdefghi View Post

I know a few people on here are running HTPC's,
LOL

Like others have said, go with option 1
That old poweredge probably doesn't even support 3 TB drives
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post #7 of 14 Old 01-21-2014, 04:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy_Steb View Post

LOL

LOL!!! I originally posted this on another forum I am a member of with a computer section (not a computer based forum) and just copied/pasted the thread here. Really funny considering where it is now posted!!
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post #8 of 14 Old 01-21-2014, 07:00 AM
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+1 for option #1.

By installing storage into the HTPC you're allowing yourself time to research a more robust server/NAS solution. Even if you're just delaying the purchase decision by a couple of months, you're bound to find cheaper and better solutions when you're actually ready. Not to mention having a wired home will make the whole system a little less prone to stutter and other undesirable issues.

Best of luck!
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post #9 of 14 Old 01-21-2014, 08:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MightyGeekMan View Post

+1 for option #1.

By installing storage into the HTPC you're allowing yourself time to research a more robust server/NAS solution. Even if you're just delaying the purchase decision by a couple of months, you're bound to find cheaper and better solutions when you're actually ready. Not to mention having a wired home will make the whole system a little less prone to stutter and other undesirable issues.

Best of luck!

This is exactly what I am doing, ordered a 3TB drive this morning, hopefully it arrives before the weekend. I also ordered a bunch of keystone wall plates/RJ45 jacks and coax jacks. I had started work on it last weekend, then realized I had mis-labelled my phone wiring in the garage, and discovered I had yanked out the one sending a signal to the DSL modem. Cue much cursing and re-punching down of phone cable until i got it up and running again. I think this weekend I will relabel everything.
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post #10 of 14 Old 01-21-2014, 08:47 AM
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I'f I may make one suggestion; since you're running wires anyway, it might be a good idea to run wires to opposite walls of some rooms where furniture may change position in the future, like bedrooms and living rooms. That way, if you ever decide to rearrange the room you won't need to lay wire around the baseboards to reach the new computer location. Good luck!

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post #11 of 14 Old 01-21-2014, 11:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MightyGeekMan View Post

I'f I may make one suggestion; since you're running wires anyway, it might be a good idea to run wires to opposite walls of some rooms where furniture may change position in the future, like bedrooms and living rooms. That way, if you ever decide to rearrange the room you won't need to lay wire around the baseboards to reach the new computer location. Good luck!

A good suggestion, but no need. I am not actually running the wires as they are already there, I helped build the house in 2009 and each room already has 2 (the living room I believe has 3) run's of Cat5e already on opposite sides of the room for this exact reason.
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post #12 of 14 Old 01-21-2014, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by abcdefghi View Post

A good suggestion, but no need. I am not actually running the wires as they are already there, I helped build the house in 2009 and each room already has 2 (the living room I believe has 3) run's of Cat5e already on opposite sides of the room for this exact reason.

Then I applaud your forward thinking! Good luck and enjoy!

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post #13 of 14 Old 02-09-2014, 01:33 PM
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I would/will be taking a different approach.

 

If I'm going to create a server for media storage then:

 

1)  It needs to be available over the network to store media for all users (family members).

 

Solution = NAS = Open Media Vault (OMV).

 

2)  It needs to be protected from data corruption, destruction, theft, accidents.

 

Solution = SnapRaid + Offsite storage (Amazon S3, CrashPlan, etc).

 

3)  Expandable.

 

Solution = Greyhole or aufs for drive pooling.

 

4)  Efficient.  I don't want all my drives spinning all the time, even for the small files that exist on one drive.  This is a bigger issue for many drives, might not be a big issue if you only have a few drives.

 

Solution = Greyhole/aufs and SnapRaid.

 

5)  Simple.

 

Simple UI or command line.  SnapRaid for windows is extremely simple.  OMV has a plugin.

Must have simple recovery.  When SHTF with my data, I don't want to panic and worry about losing it when I have bad checksums.

I like the idea of swapping out a drive and using in another system.  I may not like working with the provided tools of OMV, SnapRaid, or whatever; being able to remove and plug into a system I'm familiar with is a huge benefit.

 

FlexRaid might be another option, but I didn't want to deal with licensing issues if I reconfigure my system too much.  FlexRaid doesn't offer a NAS platform either like OMV+Aufs/Greyhold+SnapRaid does.  I don't know enough about Windows Storage Spaces and ReFS, and the cost to experiment is to much $$$ for me.  The dead Windows Home Server + some sort of parity redundancy and pooling would be ideal.

 

When dealing with my data, I don't want to be quick and cheap.  I've been there, done that, and not worth it.  Spend the money and time and do it right.

 

Jake

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post #14 of 14 Old 02-09-2014, 07:48 PM
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Why not take the guts from your PC and put them in a nice case with plenty of physical storage space?
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