Originally Posted by shepP
Time to rebuild the server and I'm looking for some hardware advice.
I'm looking at the Norco 4224 case.
I want to go with an intel nic
I would like to go with 2-3 ibm105/dell/whatever cards. I will be buying additional 3TB drives for the server sooner than later.
I will need at least 2 USB 3.0 ports
No idea what motherboard, cpu, PSU and how much ram to get.
I'm currently using flexraid.
I want to reuse all of my data drives (12 and counting) and 2 USB 3.0 drives for parity.
I have 2 dvd-r drives I could use but with this case I don't see the point as I don't burn anymore
I have a 60 gig SSD drive I can use
Needs would be:
Playing a 3D bluray ISO over the network from my HTPC or media player and ideally at the same time being able to:
-Have 2 Kids with ipods being able to watch media
-Have 1 person with an ipad watching media or using a set top box media player to access media
I would also like to have quickpar and unrar'ing going on in the background if possible
I will be running Mediabrowser 3 Server and Plex (until mediabrowser can chromecast)
On a side note, although this server will be headless, I also need a good wireless keyboard/mouse combo with good range through walls to use with my HTPC.
Lots to talk about.
First, I love the Norco case. I have the 4220 and love it. The 4224 is basically the same but without an optical drive bay built in, and an extra row of hard drives (24 total versus 20 total). Since you specifically say you have an optical but not sure you would bother using it- then this is your decision. If you want to use it get the 20 bay version with the optical bay. If you don't think you need it and would rather the 4 extra hard drives then get the 4224.
I like the idea of the Intel NIC. I bought one for $24 from Newegg. I got the x1 slot version and it works great. But, you can get an INTEL NIC built into a motherboard like the Asrock Extreme 4 so you might save the $25 by doing this (which more than makes the motherboard a good deal versus something $25 cheaper also).
You likely will want something like the Extreme4 or Extreme 6 because you will want enough x8 slots to run all those SATA HBA cards (DELL or IBM or whatever). If you won't run a GPU card, then this makes it easier since you don't need the extra x16 slot at top for that.
Here is how I would do it: Look for a motherboard with 8-10 Sata ports ) and then add 2 SATA cards (8 sata ports each of two SAS8087 ports). That would get you 24 bays full. Your choice would be if you want to fill all 24 bays, or not. You might come up 1 or 2 bays short in some common situations because of the SSD for OS taking up one. If you don't want this you could add a cheap 2 port sata 3 card ($20) instead, or look for a motherboard with a couple more ports. Otherwise you will need 3 cards - but that increases costs and wastes about 7 motherboard sata ports. So in such a case an Extreme6 with 10 motherboard board ports + 16 more only two cards makes sense I think. Or extreme4 and give up one HDD bay.
They also make the Extreme 6 (and extreme 9 and 11) with fast speed wireless AC built in, which might be cool in a media server. But you can get it without it ($159) which keeps it pretty affordable too, and sometimes the external wireless solution makes more sense. I would build this with the idea your kids will upgrade ipods and ipads in future during the life of this server. Those things only last a few years, but your server should last a few more.Compare the boards
I ended up with an Extreme 3 (I am cheap) because the 6 mobo ports was enough. 1 for SSD. 1 for optical. 4 for one row of drives. Plus 16 more from two cards = 20 bays.
The 4220 made sense to me for this reason too, I kept finding it harder or more expensive to figure out all 24 bays plus have spare for SSD and optical. If you don't need optical then I guess wiring 23 bays is ok, or get the 10 port motherboard Extreme6 (even better)
All modern motherboard like Asrock extremes will have USB3.0. You should be fine there.
Is there a special reason why you want your parity drive external USB ? With a 24 bay server I think it makes sense to bring all that stuff inside. The cooling and noise is better, as is the performance and reliability. You could "shuck" them and use as data drives and buy two new drives for parity is how I would do it.
MB server or PLEX server sounds like what you want. (both probably ??) MB server will do chromecast soon I think
Just a hunch