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Building a home server

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July 25, 2009 5:05:47 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: August 2009. BUDGET RANGE: $400-500

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT:
* File server - It will have all the client's: Music, Picture and Videos.
* Torrent box - It will be 'always-on' downloading/seeding .torrent files.
* Subversion server - It will hold shared configuration files between my laptop and my desktop and from my programing projects.
* Personal web-server / FTP - Just for testing web related stuff even when I'm not home.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED:
* Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse, CD/DVD-drive, OS, HDD (already have two 1TB 7200RPM HDDs [SATA]), video card (already have a 7600GT [PCI-E])

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: www.newegg.com, or any site that ships to Puerto Rico.

PARTS PREFERENCES: No particular preference.

OVERCLOCKING: Highly unlikely. SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: N/A, gonna be accessed remotely.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:
I want a... (for the tasks above):

* CPU (Low power consumption? Best bang-for-the-buck? Intel vs AMD? Server CPUs vs Normal-Desktop CPUs (Xenon vs Core2, Opternon vs Athlon/Phenom)?)

* Motherboard (Good brand, editable BIOS settings, supports various SATA HDDs)

* RAM (Good brand, how much will I need?)

* PSU (Good brand, how much power(watts)?)

* RAID setup recommendation? (will I need a controller card?)
I was thinking of adding on a smaller HDD and running a script so it can keep a backup of irreplaceable files, such as pictures, personal documents, etc. And running the the two HDDs in RAID 0. For increased performance. Since I'm not really worried about losing movies and music. Would setting up the two HDDs in RAID 0 be worth it, or would there be a bottleneck in the network connection? The network connection would be 1Gb. I would also like the possibility of adding on aditional HDDs in the future.

* Windows Server 2003 (I already have it) vs Ubuntu(or any other distro) Server?

* Clients: 3-4

More about : building home server

July 25, 2009 12:51:27 PM

Checkout the FreeNAS project, its an OS dedicated to a NAS. Getting rtorrent to work on there might not be too difficult also. When choosing for a non-Windows OS, you do not need to buy a controller card so the NAS becomes alot cheaper. If you want to use Windows, you probably should buy a RAID controller like Areca and a BBU (Battery Backup Unit) for data security. You don't need both if you pick FreeNAS for example. FreeNAS can use strong journaling for safety, which i recommend. You can use your disks in any RAID config you want, except RAID6. Disk expansion is not supported here! So if this is a must you need a controller anyway.

As for the hardware, a system like this would do fine:

AMD Athlon X2 250 3.0GHz (dualcore)
Socket AM2+ motherboard - preferably with AMD 740G/760G/780G or nVidia GeForce 8200/8300 chipset
2GB RAM minimum recommended

FreeNAS can use Rsync for remote syncronisation of files, which is very useful because this is something you can automate so it backups your data every night or whatever you want. svn would need to be manually installed i guess.

Another option would be either Linux (ubuntu is fine) or FreeBSD/OpenSolaris. This is the real deal and will allow maximum flexibility, but you're more on your own and you will encounter several issues which you must face. So its not the quickest solution but offers the most potential. Also here you don't need a RAID-controller. You may even run ZFS although you should read up on that first before using it, since its still considered to be experimental.


!