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a home media server noob edition - help wanted

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May 8, 2013 8:20:01 PM

first the required Q&A and ill post my story after because if i look at myself,, and begin with the story first,,, then i get too bored before getting to the interesting part,,, (and if you your like me thennn heeeeyyyy waddup,,,, if your unlike me,,, then scroll down and read top part after)

Approximate Purchase Date: no idea yet, still figuring out all,, it depends on how much it meets my needs, and the price i guess

Budget Range: well, the cheaper the better i guess, i already know its going to be pricy

System Usage from Most to Least Important: this system is only going to be used as a media server

Are you buying a monitor: i want to have to use a monitor the least as possible, ideally only for installing os,,, so controlling it would b ideally from my gaming pc, but no,, i dont need a screen,,, i will find an other solution

Do you need to buy OS: yes, but i dont know which one yet windows media or freenas, or, …. my preference would be the windows, because i dont really want to go to the trouble of picking up a new OS, unless some of the advantages or disadvantages can swing my opnion in another direction

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: http://azerty.nl and if the dutch is a problem, just use your preferred one and ill find the parts on azerty
Location: belgium
Parts Preferences:
case: probably norco RPC-4224
HDD’s: 3Tb Barracuda’s

case choice is because i think it would meet my needs,,, and the drives is because i seen more then one place those would be best choice in this case (and case, not case :s im not trying to be confusing, i really dont)

Overclocking: no
SLI or Crossfire: no

Your Monitor Resolution: not important
Additional Comments:
ok now the story and situation and reason.

so last year i build my own gaming pc for the first time and, now im heavily considering another project..

i want to make a media server for all my music, video’s, movies, series, photo’s, files on one central place,, basically to have one really big external hard drive connected threw the network, where i put everything on threw my main PC. And from any device in the house I can play/listen/view whatever.

if i had to estimate the size of the space i need right now (well ‘need’, its going to take years before i finish putting it all there, the way i want) is a small 40 Tb and ofc,,, it always gets bigger lol, and i also want some room to expand, so thats why i am going for a 24 bay case

i want to be able to connect my pc’s, lap top and ps3 on there,,, to at most have 2 devices playing video and 2 music simultaniously. and i dont mind for the server to be offline while im upgrading/ configuring/ doing whatever with it,, although i rather not.

questions/remarks from myself

so the idea was to start with plugging in 5 or 6 drives in RAID5, and start putting data on them, and then slide in another drive, when they are starting to get full,, and starting to go to RAID 6 when im around 8-9
1)can you go from a RAID5 to a RAID6.?? or do you need to go offline, or completely shut down to do that????
2) and how for adding another drive?
3) do the drives need to be the same size and rpm????

im thinking that if im going to gradually expand it it would be good if i can use different drives. when i run out of space i just put in the largest HDD that i can buy at the time for around 100-150$. for right now I have read/seen/heard that for now the 3Tb barracuda’s are the best solution for me...
(i watched a lot of youtube and read a lot on google, about this all so i might be mesing up things)

but the biggest question is for last. since i am pretty much a noob in all of this, i hope that at least some are willing to help me from start to finish


4) i have seen raid cards taht can hook up 4-8-16 drives,,, but none higher,,, (havent searched for it) can you do a raid 5-6 with X drives on raid card A... and Y drives on raid card B???

5) is it advisable to have my OS on a SSD that i somehow fix inside the case with some zip tie’s or some other way so i get one extra HDD bay

6) what OS would you advise me to use,,, and why,???? and why you think that the person closest above you that has a different opinion is wrong???? (ok,,, maybe i wont get many replies, but its a fun game if it did,, and its the simplest way for me to learn the most :p )

6B) is there a list somewhere with the biggest benifits and downfalls of each OS?

7) there are lots more questions to come,,, there are a lot of questions i had since the 2 weeks i have researched this but have forgotten about ,,, and i have made a lot of additions and changes to this post im working on for the last 3 days..so a lot more will come or reappear.... so how long will it take till you all get sick of me?
May 8, 2013 10:02:51 PM

I just skimmed through your post, so forgive me if I miss something obvious...

If you want a cheap home media server, forget about RAID. RAID is for much more heavy duty purposes and is a complete waste of time for a media server. Since this is just for storage, go and grab the cheapest motherboard you can for whatever processor you pick out. If you want Intel go with a Pentium, I'd recommend a g650, or g2120 if you want a little more power. AMD might be better since you'll have more cores to process more jobs. I'm not a big AMD CPU guy so wait for someone else to talk to you about AMD.

After you have a CPU, if you pick AMD I believe you'll also need a GPU. Again, wait for an AMD guy.

If you go with Intel, you won't need anything other than onboard graphics for a home server.

Also, I'm going to assume you're only using this for storage purposes.

Next, the OS. It seems to me like all you want is a gigantic NAS (network attached storage) so I'd simply download freeNAS: http://www.freenas.org/
and put it on one of your hard drives. Don't waste your money on an SSD for your NAS. SSDs aren't meant for this kind of stuff.

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May 10, 2013 5:35:04 AM

schulmanworks said:

If you want a cheap home media server, forget about RAID.


i like the raid because it gives me one big storage drive,, i dont like to split up my collection over seperate drives.And I like that i can have 2 drives fail and still dont loose any data.

But maybe there are other solutions that result in the same,

schulmanworks said:
Since this is just for storage, go and grab the cheapest motherboard you can for whatever processor you pick out.


ok, but i need a mobo with enough slots for the raid cards to connect to my 24 drives right?

and about the SSD: when i was researching, i came across an OS that had to be installed on a HDD thats not part of the raid, so i thought pick a SSd so i have 1 more bay to work with...

so this is my list so far

http://azerty.nl/winkelmandje/winkelmandje/?legen=1&pro...
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May 10, 2013 11:38:41 PM

Kristof Leyns said:
schulmanworks said:

If you want a cheap home media server, forget about RAID.


i like the raid because it gives me one big storage drive,, i dont like to split up my collection over seperate drives.And I like that i can have 2 drives fail and still dont loose any data.

But maybe there are other solutions that result in the same,

schulmanworks said:
Since this is just for storage, go and grab the cheapest motherboard you can for whatever processor you pick out.


ok, but i need a mobo with enough slots for the raid cards to connect to my 24 drives right?

and about the SSD: when i was researching, i came across an OS that had to be installed on a HDD thats not part of the raid, so i thought pick a SSd so i have 1 more bay to work with...

so this is my list so far

http://azerty.nl/winkelmandje/winkelmandje/?legen=1&pro...


My friend, I don't think you understand the concept of RAID. As long as you back up regularly (you can even set it to backup daily if I recall correctly) you won't risk losing any data. RAID is very expensive, and it is truly not worth it for your purposes. RAID was not designed to be used as a backup. From my understanding it is more meant for security purposes.

Also, you don't need more than 4gb of RAM. Remember, you're building a media server. Not a web server, and definitely not a business or security server.

For your OS, get whatever you want. Just know that an SSD is a complete waste of money. SSDs are good for boosting boot and loading times for very large files (video games). Servers don't boot up unless they crash, so you will receive no perceivable difference by using it as a boot drive.

Also, I'm not sure just how rich you are, but ~500 Euro is a lot of money to blow on a hard core rack mount for your basic server. I know this is American, but look for something like these: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168.... For whatever $60 converts to in Euro, you'll get ten open fan mounts with plenty of cooling to run ten 7200RPM hard drives.

I'll build you a mock up of what you'll really need for the server internals, but I need to know:
1) How many machines (phones, laptops, tables, desktops, etc.) will be accessing this server at once?
2)How much data do you plan on downloading/uploading daily? This can be very rough estimate. Just try and guess within 25gb upload and download daily.
3) What is your actual price range including the hard drives?
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May 10, 2013 11:41:22 PM

Also, I wouldn't go over 2TB per hard drive. You'll run into compatibility issues.
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May 10, 2013 11:49:57 PM

Actually, I think you'll be alright with 3TB.
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May 11, 2013 12:18:21 AM

Ok, so I built you something that I think wills suit your needs. First, I threw out your enclosure. You can grab extra hard drive racks that will work just as well for your purposes for $30. The setup I'm giving you now has room for 13 hard drives with 15 SATA ports, and you can add more in 5 slot block for $30 a piece. Essentially, you're going to have something that looks like a regular computer (but it will still run fine as a server) with some SATA wires running out of it as you add more hard drives and to power the fan.
Here's the list:


**CPU** | [Intel Pentium G2120 3.1GHz Dual-Core Processor](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/intel-cpu-bx80637g2120) | $77.72 @ Amazon

**Motherboard** | [ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP ATX LGA1155 Motherboard](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/asrock-motherboard-h77pro4...) | $82.55 @ Newegg

**Memory** | [Crucial Ballistix sport 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/crucial-memory-bls4g3d1339...) | $27.98 @ Outlet PC

**Storage** | [Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/seagate-internal-hard-driv...) | $120.99 @ NCIX US
**Storage** | [Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/seagate-internal-hard-driv...) | $120.99 @ NCIX US
**Storage** | [Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/seagate-internal-hard-driv...) | $120.99 @ NCIX US
**Storage** | [Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/seagate-internal-hard-driv...) | $120.99 @ NCIX US
**Storage** | [Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/seagate-internal-hard-driv...) | $120.99 @ NCIX US
**Storage** | [Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/seagate-internal-hard-driv...) | $120.99 @ NCIX US
**Storage** | [Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/seagate-internal-hard-driv...) | $120.99 @ NCIX US
**Storage** | [Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/seagate-internal-hard-driv...) | $120.99 @ NCIX US
**Storage** | [Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/seagate-internal-hard-driv...) | $120.99 @ NCIX US
**Storage** | [Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/seagate-internal-hard-driv...) | $120.99 @ NCIX US

**Case** | [NZXT Tempest 210 ATX Mid Tower Case](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/nzxt-case-catp21001) | $44.99 @ Newegg

**Power Supply** | [Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/corsair-power-supply-cmpsu...) | $29.99 @ Newegg

**Other**| Hard Drive Rack| $30.00

**Other**| 4 port SATA controller| $60.00
| | **Total**
| Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available. | $1583.13


Also, please tell me you know that 1TB = 1024GB. I don't mean to be condescending, I just want to make sure you know that that's a ridiculous amount of data for some movies, music, and regular media. To put it into proportion that's about 250,000 full length songs with normal quality per TB.
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May 28, 2013 7:27:42 AM

ok,, first of all sorry,,, but i lost track of this thread for a bit, thats why it took so long for a reply, , ,

A) yes, i knew that RAID was expensive. and ok,, its too much performance for my needs,,, but i thought that was the only way you can hook up that many hard drives

B) I know that with 10+ 3Tb hard drives you have a rediculous amount of storage space... but with some rough calculations i can populate around 30-40Tb ATM

C) i picked the rackmount case because i didnt think about mounting a cage outside the PC... and i have seen cases with 15 bays max, and with raid 6 (which i though at the time was the way go to) thats 13 usuable drives, and that would be just about enough for now, but not if i plan to keep this system for years and years.... so still not sure what im going to do about that though. because i like more to have it all in one case. On the other hard, a normal case will probably be much quieter. but thanks for giving me the option to think about

1) i would guess that eventually about 4-5 devices at once will be playing music and/or blue rays, while one PC uploads data

2) well at start i plan on uploading a lot to put away all my data, but when that will eventually finish,,, i probably have a day where i upload 100Gb-200Gb, while 2 devices play about 6 hours of video (amount depends on quality), and 1 device that plays 24/7 music,,

3) i was already expecting a 1500 price tag or more without the drives

question though,

-you say that setup has 15 SATA ports. i see that the motherboard has 8. and with the 4 port sata controller you have 12.. Or am i wrong somewhere?


-in this setup, is it possible to have all those, lets say, 10 HDD's to be viewed as one big giant drive of +-30Tb?, or is that something you can fix in the OS? because i really really dont want to see 10 seperate disks
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