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Server Case or Chassis recommendations to replace HP MediaSmart Server?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I have officially outgrown the storage capabilities of my HP MSS X510. So I'm looking to build a new media storage server. It'll run WHS 2011 with Stablebit Drivepool for redundancy.

The main issue is that I need a case that is under 10" in height. The X510 fit perfectly in with my entertainment center and it's the only place for me to put the server. It can be wider and deeper, but no more than a hair under 10 inches high. Because of this, I assume I'll be building a mini-itx server

I'd also like external access to the hard drives if possible. And have them be hot-swappable. At least 4 drives. The ability to install a slim optical drive would be nice, but is nowhere near the priority of the height and hot swap drives. USB 3.0 would also be nice.

So far, it seems the best option is the Fractal Design Node 304. It's the right dimensions but it's missing the hot swap capability.

The Lian Li Q08 and Q25 are unfortunately too tall.

The HFX PowerNAS (http://www.hfx.at/store/index.php?page=shop.product_details&category_id=7&flypage=flypage.tp-ecommerce.tpl&product_id=197&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=54) fits many of the bills but it's really expensive.

The VidaBox CubeCase (http://www.vidabox.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=5_11&products_id=131) seems nice, but it only has room for 3 hard drives.

Anyone have recommendations for a server case that could fit the requirements that I'm looking for?

Thanks!
post #2 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by tlwizard View Post

I have officially outgrown the storage capabilities of my HP MSS X510. So I'm looking to build a new media storage server. It'll run WHS 2011 with Stablebit Drivepool for redundancy.

Are you doing pooling into a single drive and also redundency ? Have you considered FLEXRAID ?

My Server rebuild thread might have some good info you need. I would check it out:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1438027/planning-to-rebuild-and-upgrade-my-30tb-whs-flexraid-media-server-information-requested/0_100

I can honestly say I been there and done that. I started with a really cheap $250 build on H61 with a G630 CPU, then went to Z77 with G860, I swapped cases a couple times, then rebuilt the whole thing on a NORCO 4220 server chassis.

I was a noob when I started the thread and you can see me grow as it goes on. There's a reason why it's 20 pages long, and mostly because I kept re-doing it until I got it perfectly right.
Quote:
The main issue is that I need a case that is under 10" in height. The X510 fit perfectly in with my entertainment center and it's the only place for me to put the server. It can be wider and deeper, but no more than a hair under 10 inches high. Because of this, I assume I'll be building a mini-itx server

My Norco 4220 is less than 10" High, if you need less than 10" height but wider and deeper is ok- then check out a NORCO 4220 like the ones in my server thread. They hold 20 HDD's and are hot swappable and they are less than 10" in height. biggrin.gif
Quote:
I'd also like external access to the hard drives if possible. And have them be hot-swappable. At least 4 drives. The ability to install a slim optical drive would be nice, but is nowhere near the priority of the height and hot swap drives. USB 3.0 would also be nice.

Check out my server thread wink.gif I have all that.
Quote:
So far, it seems the best option is the Fractal Design Node 304. It's the right dimensions but it's missing the hot swap capability.

It's the ugliest little rat box I ever saw, but I guess a server case is not about how good it looks biggrin.gif
post #3 of 10
The Node 304 is one of the nicest looking mini-ITX cases out right now. You might need to clean your glasses. The again, looks are subjective.

OP
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811146075

with
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817121405
post #4 of 10
It's just personal preference I don't like the shape of ITX server boxes - and I see little point in trying to make servers small because it totally opposes everything I want about a server - great cooling, lots of drives, expand ability, flexibility, ability to accept and upgrade hardware etc...

Just my slanted approach and your right its subjective.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the responses.

I should have been a little clearer about width and depth as in my current setup those can be no more than 14" a piece. While the Norco or the ATX tower would server my purposes, they won't fit in the space I'm looking for. Once I'm in a new place and can dedicate a closet or back room to the electronics, something like the Norco will be my first step (I actually helped build out a Norco-based server for my girlfriend's father - but they have a back room behind their projector screen for electronics so it was easy.) As it is, this has to fit in my entertainment console and be pleasing for me, the girlfriend, and our guests to look at. (The giant APC UPS is frowned upon but has proven it's worth and so gets to stay.)

That's why I'd prefer something with a similar form factor to the Media Smart. Small footprint (but I can go a little bit bigger) and looks pretty nice. The Lian Li Q25 would be perfect if only it were an inch shorter.

Mfmusick, I've checked out the thread previously as well as the other server building threads. I'm aware of the unfortunate limitations of going the path I'm going but it's simply a path of some predefined parameters. If I had the room, the easiest thing would be for me to add an eSATA box to connect to the MSS but like I said I don't have the room. I did a lot of research before making the thread and the best options I could find I put in my original post, I'm just hoping that users with a lot more experience, like you and amarshonarbangla, might have come across an enclosure that I missed that better fits what I'm looking for.

amarshonarbangla, could a hot swap cage like that be added to an enclosure like the Node 304? I do agree, I think the 304 looks really nice, especially for its purpose to be seen in an entertainment center. Have you, or anyone else, seen anything with a similar form factor that does have a hot swap cage and is under 10" tall?
post #6 of 10
I thought you said the width and depth did not matter. My bad.

Given this new information- your on the right path.
post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by tlwizard View Post

Thanks for the responses.

I should have been a little clearer about width and depth as in my current setup those can be no more than 14" a piece. While the Norco or the ATX tower would server my purposes, they won't fit in the space I'm looking for. Once I'm in a new place and can dedicate a closet or back room to the electronics, something like the Norco will be my first step (I actually helped build out a Norco-based server for my girlfriend's father - but they have a back room behind their projector screen for electronics so it was easy.) As it is, this has to fit in my entertainment console and be pleasing for me, the girlfriend, and our guests to look at. (The giant APC UPS is frowned upon but has proven it's worth and so gets to stay.)

That's why I'd prefer something with a similar form factor to the Media Smart. Small footprint (but I can go a little bit bigger) and looks pretty nice. The Lian Li Q25 would be perfect if only it were an inch shorter.

Mfmusick, I've checked out the thread previously as well as the other server building threads. I'm aware of the unfortunate limitations of going the path I'm going but it's simply a path of some predefined parameters. If I had the room, the easiest thing would be for me to add an eSATA box to connect to the MSS but like I said I don't have the room. I did a lot of research before making the thread and the best options I could find I put in my original post, I'm just hoping that users with a lot more experience, like you and amarshonarbangla, might have come across an enclosure that I missed that better fits what I'm looking for.

amarshonarbangla, could a hot swap cage like that be added to an enclosure like the Node 304? I do agree, I think the 304 looks really nice, especially for its purpose to be seen in an entertainment center. Have you, or anyone else, seen anything with a similar form factor that does have a hot swap cage and is under 10" tall?

I am not aware of a case under 10'' that can accomdate such a hotswap cage.

You could just attach a hard drive enclosure like this to your Node 304 server
http://www.amazon.com/Mediasonic-HF2-SU3S2-ProBox-Drive-Enclosure/dp/B003X26VV4/ref=sr_sp-atf_title_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1375470939&sr=8-1&keywords=mediasonic+4+bay+usb+3.0
Edited by amarshonarbangla - 8/2/13 at 12:23pm
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by tlwizard View Post

I have officially outgrown the storage capabilities of my HP MSS X510. So I'm looking to build a new media storage server. It'll run WHS 2011 with Stablebit Drivepool for redundancy.

The main issue is that I need a case that is under 10" in height. The X510 fit perfectly in with my entertainment center and it's the only place for me to put the server. It can be wider and deeper, but no more than a hair under 10 inches high. Because of this, I assume I'll be building a mini-itx server

I'd also like external access to the hard drives if possible. And have them be hot-swappable. At least 4 drives. The ability to install a slim optical drive would be nice, but is nowhere near the priority of the height and hot swap drives. USB 3.0 would also be nice.

So far, it seems the best option is the Fractal Design Node 304. It's the right dimensions but it's missing the hot swap capability.

The Lian Li Q08 and Q25 are unfortunately too tall.

The HFX PowerNAS (http://www.hfx.at/store/index.php?page=shop.product_details&category_id=7&flypage=flypage.tp-ecommerce.tpl&product_id=197&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=54) fits many of the bills but it's really expensive.

The VidaBox CubeCase (http://www.vidabox.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=5_11&products_id=131) seems nice, but it only has room for 3 hard drives.

Anyone have recommendations for a server case that could fit the requirements that I'm looking for?

Thanks!

Not totally DIY, but have you considered the HP ProLiant Microserver?

http://shopping1.hp.com/is-bin/INTERSHOP.enfinity/WFS/WW-USSMBPublicStore-Site/en_US/-/USD/ViewStandardCatalog-Browse;pgid=jDJwlVlq2W9SR0Yk2kO1Yuen0000JD-zUE8K;sid=zVTAWszDOAzAWp0_xOrc0xTMH1r4K0ahTOQ=?CatalogCategoryID=H20Q7EN5z88AAAEuEQIsTi_9
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by amarshonarbangla View Post

I am not aware of a case under 10'' that can accomdate such a hotswap cage.

You could just attach a hard drive enclosure like this to your Node 304 server
http://www.amazon.com/Mediasonic-HF2-SU3S2-ProBox-Drive-Enclosure/dp/B003X26VV4/ref=sr_sp-atf_title_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1375470939&sr=8-1&keywords=mediasonic+4+bay+usb+3.0
Thanks. I'll keep that in mind for future expandability. I'll actually measure my setup (to see if I have the space and available plug outlet) as that might be a good stop-gap before building out a new server.

Do you know if the ProLiant can boot to a 4TB system disk? I got a new 4TB drive that I was going to install as the X510's system disk to give me a temporary 2TB pool boost (current OS disk is 2TB) but because of the HP's bios it won't recognize anything above 2TB. I think it needs a UEFI bios to support larger than 2TB system disk.
post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by tlwizard View Post

Do you know if the ProLiant can boot to a 4TB system disk? I got a new 4TB drive that I was going to install as the X510's system disk to give me a temporary 2TB pool boost (current OS disk is 2TB) but because of the HP's bios it won't recognize anything above 2TB. I think it needs a UEFI bios to support larger than 2TB system disk.

The spec sheet shows max storage 12TB (4x3TB). I'm not sure what the significance is between 3TB and 4TB drives or why the cutoff capacity would be 3TB...
But doesn't having 4x3TB drives imply UEFI boot from one of them?
And given that they are new, I would assume UEFI support.

Side note: I don't have one. My server is DIY, no hotswap, and in a larger case than your specs. My first server was an HP EX495, and when I was looking to upgrade to WHS2011, I considered the ProLiant Microserver, but ruled it out due to the anemic CPUs offered and went DIY (Core i3-2100T). I boot my server off SSD (legacy mode) so no issue with size there. And it was just recent that I read a review of HP's new Microserver (with better CPU options), which I would consider if I wanted to downsize my server next time.
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