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OS Drive Options (Home Server)

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  • Power
  • Servers
  • Storage
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a b G Storage
August 31, 2010 4:57:50 AM

I'm looking for a lower power, reliable storage solution for the main OS drive of my home server. It won't need to hold much (just the base OS with a few small apps running, nothing more than a few gigs), but I'd like for it to draw as little power as possible, and not break the bank.

Right now I've got an old Seagate Barracuda 320gb drive that I think I'm gonna use just to fool around with. However, I'm not really wanting to use a mechanical drive for the OS, but it'll do for now. I was looking at SATAII to Compact Flash adapters, and these seem right up my alley. They're affordable, have no moving parts, and will last quite awhile. The only thing I'm worried about is read/write speeds, but I've read as long as it's 266X speed or higher, it should work just fine. Would something like this give me adequate speeds?

If not, the alternatives would be either a USB Thumb Druve, a 2.5" Laptop Drive, or an SSD. SSD's are quite expensive, so I'm not really wanting to go this route. If there was an 8gb/16gb or something SSD out there that didn't cost a fortune (1.8" or 2.5"), I'd be interested. I'm not sure if a USB thumb drive will give me the speed I need either, but it's an inexpensive option. Laptop drives would be my last resort.

Anyways, recap. The solution I go with needs to be low-power, reliable, and affordable.

Thanks,


- Jesse

More about : drive options home server

a b G Storage
August 31, 2010 9:17:36 AM

WD Caviar Blacks (which are not low power but are very fast, which you may need in your Server)

Samsung Spintpoint F3's

Or an SSD (which would be fast... real fast and real expensive)!
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a b G Storage
August 31, 2010 2:56:55 PM

So you want it to be low-power, reliable, non-mechanical, and cheap?

What OS are you putting on it? How much space will that take up? Are you doing something like FreeNAS? If so, I think you can run those from USB or CF...I've seen people running VMware ESXi on a CF card.

I'd think that SSDs may be an option, but they certainly aren't cheap.
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a b G Storage
August 31, 2010 5:04:51 PM

huron said:
So you want it to be low-power, reliable, non-mechanical, and cheap?

What OS are you putting on it? How much space will that take up? Are you doing something like FreeNAS? If so, I think you can run those from USB or CF...I've seen people running VMware ESXi on a CF card.

I'd think that SSDs may be an option, but they certainly aren't cheap.


As of now I was thinking of running Ubuntu Server. I did an install of it in Virtual Box last night, and the OS plus the few programs I need are under 2GB, so it'll be under 4GB for sure.

Non-mechanical is the least important of those 4 attributes, but it'd still be nice. I just like the thought of not having to worry about disk failure for the OS.

I would love to get an SSD, but they all seem to be $80+, even for the small capacity ones, and I can't really afford much of anything right now.
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a b G Storage
August 31, 2010 8:09:10 PM

Alright, well it's pretty much down to two options for me at this point in time.

Option 1:
Syba SD-ADA40001 Compact Flash to SATA II Adapter + Compact Flash Card (Haven't picked one yet)

Option 2:
Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD1200BEVT 120GB 5400 RPM 8MB Cache 2.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Notebook Hard Drive

Either way, it's about the same money spent. The laptop drive is probably faster, but it will be more susceptible to bumps, as well as general wear-and-tear, while the flash memory will last much longer.

Each have their advantages and disadvantages, so I'm having troubles choosing.
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