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Cheap file sharing server build help!

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March 29, 2010 5:38:02 AM

Hey guys, I am planning to build a file sharing server in my home. I have built a few computers, never once attempted a box for file sharing. I plan on using it between at most 3 computers in my home. My brothers, my gaming rig, and my moms laptop which will be wireless.

I hope it to be as cheap as possible, as this is more of a learning experience for me. I am wanting to learn more about network administration and I thought a good way to get started is setup a small server of your own. That way I can get use to using terminal access to maintain the server.

What I want to use it mostly for is music, and (if a good idea) backups of HD's and Documents, and if possible act as a print server?

The only thing I have an idea of what to use is obviously linux as an O/S.
March 29, 2010 8:46:54 AM

Any of those three computers can act as a file sharing server, simply by making the desired drive publicly available ...

... But that system needs to be "ON" to be available ...

Any old computer (even a 933MHz P3) can act as a JBOD server .... there are many ways to skin this cat and I like routers that have usb ports for print and NAS file service.

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March 29, 2010 10:45:18 AM

If you want to go down the Windows server route have a look at Windows Home Server.
It's not free but is reasonably priced as an OEM license and is based on Windows server 2003.
It also has an excellent bare metal client backup and recovery system.
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March 29, 2010 12:41:12 PM

Google is your friend.

Google "build nas".
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March 29, 2010 12:58:26 PM

I highly recommend checking out FreeNAS. It is a free, open source, Network Attached Storage operating system that is stable, flexible, and requires minimal hardware to run. I've been using FreeNAS for over two years to store data, mp3's, ripped DVD's, documents, photos, etc and have had absolutely no issues. FreeNAS just works. The computer I built that runs FreeNAS is like furniture, it just sits there, and aside from the occasional shut down to clean out the dust bunnies every couple months, I don't ever touch it.

FreeNAS is so light and small that I actually have it installed on a 1GB compact flash drive!

Here a list of the parts for my NAS machine...

ASRock Conroe1333 motherboard (using onboard gpu)
Celeron 420 (single core @1.6GHz)
256MB DDR2 667
CF to IDE adapter with 1GB CF card for OS
3Ware-8506 with 5-320GB WD drives in RAID5 (1.2TB)
Corsair 550w psu
cheap Rosewill case.

You don't necessarily have to use a hardware RAID controller, that was just my choice, you can simply just plug drives into and go.

Again, I highly recommend checking out FreeNAS!

Good luck!
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Best solution

March 30, 2010 10:33:50 AM

For freeNAS servers, Intel Atom board are really great.
They usually are on 24/7, so an energy-efficient server is great.
A whole atom build only uses ~50-75 Watts.
Just get some dual-core-atom board from zotac (get one with tons of features for upgrades later on) (~$100), plug in an 1tb hdd (~60$), add 1gb of ddr2-ram (~$20), and put it inside a cheap mini-atx case (~$30).
Tardaam theres your ~$210 server.
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March 30, 2010 3:47:52 PM

Best answer selected by jrel209.
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March 30, 2010 3:49:31 PM

dmen said:
For freeNAS servers, Intel Atom board are really great.
They usually are on 24/7, so an energy-efficient server is great.
A whole atom build only uses ~50-75 Watts.
Just get some dual-core-atom board from zotac (get one with tons of features for upgrades later on) (~$100), plug in an 1tb hdd (~60$), add 1gb of ddr2-ram (~$20), and put it inside a cheap case (~$30).
Tardaam theres your ~$210 server.


Thanks, will that setup even run freeBSD or Fedora though?
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March 30, 2010 6:19:19 PM

jrel209 said:
Thanks, will that setup even run freeBSD or Fedora though?
FreeNAS is based on FreeBSD but tailored as a NAS OS.

From the FreeNAS website...
Quote:
FreeNAS is an embedded open source NAS (Network-Attached Storage) distribution based on FreeBSD, supporting the following protocols: CIFS (samba), FTP, NFS, TFTP, AFP, RSYNC, Unison, iSCSI (initiator and target) and UPnP.

It supports Software RAID (0,1,5), ZFS, disk encryption, S.M.A.R.T/email monitoring with a WEB configuration interface (from m0n0wall).

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