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Home Server Build

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July 21, 2013 7:48:46 AM

Hey There

Just not sure what to do here and need some help making some choices.
I'm looking to build a home server/NAS thing.
The requirements for it is to basically to hold backups of everything I have. Whilst also remaining on full time to host a few websites and servers for games on different virtual machines. Mainly looking at using Xen to handle the VMs.

Probably do something along the lines of this:
Domain Host OS: Debian Wheezy to handle Xen
Guest 1: PFSense or Smoothwall set up as a firewall VM for the whole house and other virtual machines.
Guest 2: Debian Wheezy to handle Web stuff and probably game servers.
Guest 3: Some sort of NAS OS, maybe FreeNAS or just Debian again

Anyway rather than making three machines I'd prefer to use just one. But feel free to suggest or recommend otherwise.
I got a tonne of stuff ranging from work to movies and games that I'd like to have stored away just in case. As one should, at the moment I'm just relying on a few portable and external drives which I back up to every once in a while. (Not as often as I should).
Plus if anything goes down at my work I'll have a backup at home. I've got a repository there that's around 4TB.
My main machine has 4x1TB in a RAID 0 set up (scary I know but its only games and applications) if a drive fails there I can just get another one put in and shift over stuff from a backup. Nothing important will ever be stored there.
On the same machine I've got a single 3TB disk for all my work and important stuff. I've got another 2x2TB disks as backup external drives. I've also got another PC upstairs for my parents and they've got a 1TB disk of their work which is also backed up to my PC and externals.

Anyway I want to be able to stream content such as movies and possibly games to a HTPC and also have my own little cloud access point for my stuff when I'm out and about. But I'm not sure what to do here.

On the case I'm going to build a cabinet for a router/switch and like a server chassis to go into. I may be able to pick up an old Sunfire server for cheap and just use it as the chassis here. Else I'll probably buy a rackmount chassis, I would like fleet swap but that may be out of my price range. Suggestions here would be awesome.

My ideas are:
1: Build a whole new server probably something like this:
CPU: Xeon E3 1230 V2 (was thinking i5 3570 or something but not sure)
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-Z77-HD3 Motherboard (Dunno here, I want something with a fair amount of SATA ports, but I'll most likely buy a controller card for HDDs).
SSD: Samsung Pro 840 128GB
PSU: 650W Something undecided yet.
HDD Controller: HighPoint RocketRAID 2720SGL (I'd like a suggestion here on controllers, not sure here)
RAM: DDR3 1600MHz 16GB (4x4GB) Corsair XMS
HDDs: Probably 4 x 3TB in RAID 10 to start off with. May add another 4 x 3TB later on if I get full.

Second idea:
2: Use gear from my main rig. And get myself a new board and CPU.
CPU: i7 3820
Mobo: Asrock Extreme 9 X79 (I'm not a huge fan of this board as the Marvell SATA controllers don't support IOMMU)
SSD: Samsung Pro 840 128GB
PSU: 650W Something undecided yet.
HDD Controller: HighPoint RocketRAID 2720SGL
RAM: DDR3 1600MHz 16GB (4x4GB) Corsair XMS
HDDs: Probably 4 x 3TB in RAID 10 to start off with. May add another 4 x 3TB later on if I get full.

Then I'd probably get a new board for my main rig with Ivy Bridge E and go for a 4930K. I want to eventually have my main PC using a Linux as the main OS and just have Windows running in a virtual machine on with my graphics cards passed through. As of now I can do it, but I can't use any of my HDDs which annoys me so I still stick to dual booting :( 

Third idea:
3: Three different machines well maybe a decent router with dd-wrt for firewall and a NAS machine and a half decent cheapy website/game server PC.
NAS Machine:
CPU: AMD A4-4000
Mobo: ASRock FM2A85X-ITX (Recently built a PC with this board for a mate it has a nice amount of SATA ports)
RAM: No more than 4GB obviously. It's a NAS.
PSU: No more than 450W
HDDs: Probably 4 x 3TB in RAID 10

Web Machine/Game Server:
CPU: AMD FX-6000
Mobo: ASRock 970 Extreme3 R2 Motherboard
RAM: DDR3 1600MHz 8GB (2x4GB) Corsair XMS
PSU: No more than 450W
SSD: Samsung 840 Pro 128GB
HDD: 1TB for stuff.

But yea this would mean I'd need another chassis, but don't know if its more or less practical. I might even buy a prebuilt NAS if I go with the third idea.

Anyway I need some help deciding, or if anyone has other ideas that would be fantastic. Cheers for reading and thanks in response.

More about : home server build

July 21, 2013 5:56:15 PM

Also forgot to mention I wouldn't mind setting up a VoIP server as well.
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July 22, 2013 8:40:34 PM

Anyone have any thoughts or did I post in the wrong section?
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July 25, 2013 9:39:44 PM

Alright I managed to get myself a chassis, I'm thinking of going with AMD to save some money. I'm thinking of getting a FX-6300 as it has a TDP of 95W, but do they sell the FX-8300 anywhere? (The 8 core with a TDP of 95W)

Is it a good idea to go with AMD? I think some of the Opterons are probably overkill for this system but I don't know.
Or should I get an i5 3570 or i5 4670?
Need some help here.
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July 26, 2013 10:19:49 PM

iTz_Malevolence said:
Hey There

Just not sure what to do here and need some help making some choices.
I'm looking to build a home server/NAS thing.
The requirements for it is to basically to hold backups of everything I have. Whilst also remaining on full time to host a few websites and servers for games on different virtual machines. Mainly looking at using Xen to handle the VMs.

Probably do something along the lines of this:
Domain Host OS: Debian Wheezy to handle Xen
Guest 1: PFSense or Smoothwall set up as a firewall VM for the whole house and other virtual machines.
Guest 2: Debian Wheezy to handle Web stuff and probably game servers.
Guest 3: Some sort of NAS OS, maybe FreeNAS or just Debian again

Anyway rather than making three machines I'd prefer to use just one. But feel free to suggest or recommend otherwise.
I got a tonne of stuff ranging from work to movies and games that I'd like to have stored away just in case. As one should, at the moment I'm just relying on a few portable and external drives which I back up to every once in a while. (Not as often as I should).
Plus if anything goes down at my work I'll have a backup at home. I've got a repository there that's around 4TB.
My main machine has 4x1TB in a RAID 0 set up (scary I know but its only games and applications) if a drive fails there I can just get another one put in and shift over stuff from a backup. Nothing important will ever be stored there.
On the same machine I've got a single 3TB disk for all my work and important stuff. I've got another 2x2TB disks as backup external drives. I've also got another PC upstairs for my parents and they've got a 1TB disk of their work which is also backed up to my PC and externals.

Anyway I want to be able to stream content such as movies and possibly games to a HTPC and also have my own little cloud access point for my stuff when I'm out and about. But I'm not sure what to do here.

On the case I'm going to build a cabinet for a router/switch and like a server chassis to go into. I may be able to pick up an old Sunfire server for cheap and just use it as the chassis here. Else I'll probably buy a rackmount chassis, I would like fleet swap but that may be out of my price range. Suggestions here would be awesome.

My ideas are:
1: Build a whole new server probably something like this:
CPU: Xeon E3 1230 V2 (was thinking i5 3570 or something but not sure)
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-Z77-HD3 Motherboard (Dunno here, I want something with a fair amount of SATA ports, but I'll most likely buy a controller card for HDDs).
SSD: Samsung Pro 840 128GB
PSU: 650W Something undecided yet.
HDD Controller: HighPoint RocketRAID 2720SGL (I'd like a suggestion here on controllers, not sure here)
RAM: DDR3 1600MHz 16GB (4x4GB) Corsair XMS
HDDs: Probably 4 x 3TB in RAID 10 to start off with. May add another 4 x 3TB later on if I get full.

Second idea:
2: Use gear from my main rig. And get myself a new board and CPU.
CPU: i7 3820
Mobo: Asrock Extreme 9 X79 (I'm not a huge fan of this board as the Marvell SATA controllers don't support IOMMU)
SSD: Samsung Pro 840 128GB
PSU: 650W Something undecided yet.
HDD Controller: HighPoint RocketRAID 2720SGL
RAM: DDR3 1600MHz 16GB (4x4GB) Corsair XMS
HDDs: Probably 4 x 3TB in RAID 10 to start off with. May add another 4 x 3TB later on if I get full.

Then I'd probably get a new board for my main rig with Ivy Bridge E and go for a 4930K. I want to eventually have my main PC using a Linux as the main OS and just have Windows running in a virtual machine on with my graphics cards passed through. As of now I can do it, but I can't use any of my HDDs which annoys me so I still stick to dual booting :( 

Third idea:
3: Three different machines well maybe a decent router with dd-wrt for firewall and a NAS machine and a half decent cheapy website/game server PC.
NAS Machine:
CPU: AMD A4-4000
Mobo: ASRock FM2A85X-ITX (Recently built a PC with this board for a mate it has a nice amount of SATA ports)
RAM: No more than 4GB obviously. It's a NAS.
PSU: No more than 450W
HDDs: Probably 4 x 3TB in RAID 10

Web Machine/Game Server:
CPU: AMD FX-6000
Mobo: ASRock 970 Extreme3 R2 Motherboard
RAM: DDR3 1600MHz 8GB (2x4GB) Corsair XMS
PSU: No more than 450W
SSD: Samsung 840 Pro 128GB
HDD: 1TB for stuff.

But yea this would mean I'd need another chassis, but don't know if its more or less practical. I might even buy a prebuilt NAS if I go with the third idea.

Anyway I need some help deciding, or if anyone has other ideas that would be fantastic. Cheers for reading and thanks in response.


I like the idea of a NAS build and a separate server build. It'll keep less clutter on the server and that'll probably increase performance.
If I were you, I'd go with that Xeon but get an ASUS workstation board (-WS suffix), or if you can afford it, an Intel server board. Your first build sounded good, but I don't know a whole lot about servers. While you're at it grab yourself some ECC RAM (only works with server boards or ASUS workstation boards) for that Xeon.
Go with the 840 Pro/840 Evo when it comes out, and let the NAS handle other data. For example, have the server run off the 840 Pro but have non-essential data like backups stored on the NAS.
For a NAS build, you don't really have to go high-end, just throw some parts together, maybe an i3/i5, chock it full of hard drives and install FreeNAS.
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August 6, 2013 12:38:21 AM

Going with two systems wouldn't be a bad idea, but I think I might stick to one to do it all. I still haven't decided yet but I was looking at the Opteron 4300 series of processors and this board: http://www.asus.com/Commercial_Servers_Workstations/KCM...
I also want to get another virtual machine set up to run an analysis program for my work. Users for my business can remotely access my machine and use the program. We've currently got a machine doing this but its an aged Dell Poweredge 840 server and it takes a while to get anything done.

Would anyone recommend me going with the above board and two 4300 Opteron processors like the 4334? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Or should I just stick with Intel go with a Xeon E3 1230 V2 and an ASUS Workstation board?

I don't think I should be looking into anything high end like the Xeon E5s and/or Opteron 6000 series.
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