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Diskless Win7 MC -> 40TB ZFS server

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I am fortunate to have a 40TB Solaris/ZFS server for home storage (and other things), plus a switched 1000BaseT network throughout the house.

I'm finally ready to dump my Comcast DVRs (almost $40/m just for 2 DVRs!)...my plan is to build a new HTPC with the Ceton InfiniTV4 tuners...connect that do my main TV...then have two XBox 360 4GB as media extenders to drive two other TVs in bedrooms. Are these Core I3 builds spiffy enough to handle recording multiple streams and/or playback to 2/3 TVs simultaneously?

I suppose in the worse case scenario, I could be recording 4 streams *and* doing playback of pre-recorded streams to 3 TVs...thus 7 streams in total.

Since I already have a massively scalable, massively redundant storage server, I would like to iSCSI boot Windows 7 from the ZFS server (this I think will be pretty easy to do). But then I want to present a ZFS file system to Windows 7 either via NFS or CIFS. I like the idea of running diskless to keep costs, heat and power down.

I'm sure I can mount via CIFS pretty easily, however, I thought I read somewhere that WMC won't let you save recordings to a network share?

I googled for hours and can't find that discussion any more. Not sure if NFS might be a better solution...however, you apparently need Win 7 Ultimate ($$$) for NFS client support.

Anyone doing this?
post #2 of 13
Can't you just mount the NAS as iSCSI on your windows box and be done with it? Would essentially appear as a SAN type disk.

Recording 4 hd shows may stress your network a bit if its just cheap commodity hardware, but it sounds like you know whats going on there

I would core i5 to be more of a "Server" vs i3 unless energy saving is your thing.. heck the phenom II x4 and x6's are so cheap they're almost hard to pass up
post #3 of 13
I've read that an HD stream from cable is max 20Mbps. 7*20=140Mbps which should be fine for a gigabit network.
post #4 of 13
IMHO local boot the Win7 from a cheap SSD and mount the iSCSI as a secondary and set it as the record to location in 7MC.
post #5 of 13
I do this for my recordings, but I don't know if it will work for you (I'm not using CableCards): run the CableCard recording off a VM on the server. Put clients (e.g. xbox, htpc, etc) wherever needed. If there's traffic on the network, it'll only be from server to clients. Seems simpler and more reliable
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by hehe299792458 View Post

I do this for my recordings, but I don't know if it will work for you (I'm not using CableCards): run the CableCard recording off a VM on the server. Put clients (e.g. xbox, htpc, etc) wherever needed. If there's traffic on the network, it'll only be from server to clients. Seems simpler and more reliable

That would work with the HD Homerun Prime which is network connected but probably not the CETON. There is a possibility it can work in a VM with PCI passthrough though. But cards like this are not tested for VM use.
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeSM View Post

That would work with the HD Homerun Prime which is network connected but probably not the CETON. There is a possibility it can work in a VM with PCI passthrough though. But cards like this are not tested for VM use.

It works for Huppauge HVR-2250
post #8 of 13
W7 over Network? Sure! Do you have TechNet access?
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dj4monie View Post

W7 over Network? Sure! Do you have TechNet access?

Yes...and full MSDN if that helps....why?
post #10 of 13
My original HTPC setup was diskless XP booting off my storage server via AoE. But I ended up dropping the diskless booting, and went to a 5400rpm 20GB old laptop drive I had lying around. Network booting was just too flakey, HTPC's have enough issues themselves, adding network booting just added further complexity.
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by NetWatchman View Post
Yes...and full MSDN if that helps....why?
I thought there was some specialized software on their that you used to install from a server. But reading it again, I think you want to run the server itself without any OS disk at all, is that correct?
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dj4monie View Post

I thought there was some specialized software on their that you used to install from a server. But reading it again, I think you want to run the server itself without any OS disk at all, is that correct?

Yes, I want to run diskless, but I already know how to do iScsi OS booting using PXE/gPXE.

All I'm trying to determine here is what are my options for which WMC can store recording content...it seems like it *can* be on a Windows share? (which for me will really be ZFS shared using smbshare. It looks like NFS is NOT a viable option, unless you want to shell out the bucks for Windows Ultimate on your media server.

I do NOT want to store recordings via iScisi for the reasons I explained before....but I know I'd have to use a small iScisi partition to boot WMC.

I guess most people doing high volume WMC recording are using WHS which I have absolutely zero interest in as I'm totally committed to Solaris/ZFS for *storage* server.
post #13 of 13
I don't think you can record to a UNC share so if you really want network storage you will have to use iSCSI.

I would cut out a 1TB LUN from the zfs and mount it via iSCSI on the WMC server, booting to that and using that as the recorded tv directory.

Using 1TB you can have around 116.5 hours of HD recorded, that should be plenty.

Now every once and a while you can convert any recordings to x264 and archive them "so to speak" to a unc share or your main solaris box.

Add that share on the solaris box that is the archive to the videos library of WMC. (You can add network shares to your library)

This is the only way i can think of you achieve all of your goals.
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