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I need to expand my storage space, so I plan on building a server. I purchased the Norco 470 case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...pk=norco%20470


That has room for 10 drives now, and can be expanded to 15. I've been reading all the threads on servers I can find here at AVS, but I still have some questions. I have three primary requirements for my server:


1. Serve at least two htpcs at once (I only have one now, but that will change in the future).

2. I don't want RAID but I would like parity protection (I also have backups of everything on external drives).

3. Must support Wake on Lan so the server is asleep most of the time not wasting power.


I have seen a lot of praise for UnRaid, so I thought I was going to go with that. However, I just found out it costs $120 and that is a pretty steep price for an OS. I'm debating between UnRaid and WHS 2011 plus FlexRaid. My drives are currently NTFS formatted. Would I have to reformat them to use them with UnRaid? I assume UnRaid uses ext4 or some other Linux file system. If UnRaid is worth the price premium over WHS plus FlexRaid then I'm willing to purchase it. Also, WHS 2011 has the downside of needing to be installed on a hard drive as opposed to UnRaid's flash drive, so WHS will either take one of my drive bays or I have to spend the money on a solid state drive. If I go the solid state route that eliminates the cost difference between WHS and UnRaid.


My other question is about the processor and motherboard. I have a core2duo that is currently in my gaming PC. I could repurpose that for the server and upgrade my gaming pc or buy a new motherboard/cpu for the server. Buying new for the server would let me get a processor that uses less power for the server, but if I get wake on lan working I don't know if that will be a big deal. Thoughts?


Thanks for reading this long post and for any insight you guys can offer.
 

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I would say that if all you need is expanded storage then unraid is the way to go because it just works.


In the past few years I have run both versions of whs and an unraid server. Currently whs 2011 and unraid are running. I use the whs to run windows only tasks like my HA software and showanalyzer. Almost all of my storage is in the unraid server and it works flawlessly. I use an atom board that takes very little power and unraid spins down the drives when they are not in use. Configuring shares and users is a snap through web interface.


There is a free version that only uses three drives that you can test with and then upgrade if it works for you. Your drives will be formatted when added to the array
 
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