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Raid1 server build

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September 2, 2010 5:54:53 PM

$105 - Intel Core i3-530 CPU
$190 - Supermicro MBD-X8SIL-F-O Intel 3420mATX Motherboard
$103 - Kingston 2 x 2GB ECC Unbuffered DDR3 1333 RAM
$60 - Cooler Master Centurion 590
$100 - Corsair 750W

This is my build so far. Any advice? I plan to mirror 4 2TB drives in raid1 giving me actual 4TB preformatted space.

Any suggestions of which of the $99 2TB drives to go with? Also any suggestions of which linux distro to go with. This server will be primarily hosting mkv & mp3/flac to my roommate and I.

More about : raid1 server build

September 2, 2010 6:26:10 PM

750W is probably overkill for your build. I'd think you could get by just fine with 500-550W.

I'm guessing you're actually planning on RAID 10, not 2x RAID 1 containers. If you were planning on straight RAID 1, take a look at RAID 10. :) 

I don't see any $99 2 TB drives, the cheapest 2 TB drive I see is $110. Maybe I'm not seeing a discount or promo code? Since you're doing RAID 1 (or 10), it shouldn't matter too much which drive you get. I've heard that people have problems with WD Caviar Greens in RAID (not as single disks), but I don't have a source for that, just rumors.
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September 2, 2010 6:38:03 PM

WD has been gimping some of it's drives so that they cannot be raided easily (or at all in some cases). People are saying this is because it would cannibalize sales from their enterprise level drives, which allow RAIDing.

I would also look into other raid configs, like RAID 5, where you can get 6TB of storage space using 4x2TB drives. RAID 5 is definitely slower than alternative setups for writes and random writes, but reading is just as fast. RAID 5 will allow for one drive failure without data loss.
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September 2, 2010 9:44:13 PM

I'd start out with this motherboard/cpu/gpu/case combo:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

It uses a SuperMicro D510/ICH9R server motherboard and server case with a 300W PSU and has room for 4 HDDs. You don't need a lot of power in a media server but since it's on 24/7 you should be thinking about saving power and this board with do just that. For $30 more you could get the version with the Matrox video and save even more power.

For "cheap" 2TB HDDs I would look at the SAMSUNG EcoGreen F3 HD203WI 2TB drives. They seem to get the best ratings of the cheap drives but beware they are not rated for RAID. Thats why on the reviews for a lot of these drives you see people complain they fail and then find out they were using them in RAID. There's a reason why there are desktop drives and RAID drives.

2GB of RAM is all you'll really need in a home server.

One Linux distro for a server that looks REALLY interesting to me is Amahi. Check this out: http://www.amahi.org/ -- the open-source answer to Windows Home Server.

Ask yourself why you really need hardware RAID. With something like RAID 5 if the hardware goes it's going to be tough to recover. Do you REALLY need high availability or are you just looking for data redundancy/backup? To do the latter you don't need RAID. For a home server I can't imagine why you really need the former. You definitely don't need performance RAID to serve video/audio files even HD 1080p files aren't going to saturate your network which is the bottleneck.
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September 2, 2010 9:53:06 PM

Thanks for the replies.

@coldsleep
I was planning on two separate raid1 containers. Therefore if something happened to container1, container2 can still function.

Ok I'll look for a good 80plus 550W.

Ya you can find 2TB drives on sale pretty easy. Last week newegg had the wd green for $99 now they have the Seagate Barracuda LP for $99 with discount code EMCYXYN37. Both have bad ratings.


@neo
I had considered raid5. I'm worried about loosing a drive then loosing another drive while rebuilding the raid with these large drives. If I'm going to go raid5 I should get a hardware raid card and I don't want to drop that amount of cash right now. What do you think?


Any suggestions on linux distro software?
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September 2, 2010 9:58:52 PM

dblur said:
Thanks for the replies.

@coldsleep
I was planning on two separate raid1 containers. Therefore if something happened to container1, container2 can still function.

Ya you can find 2TB drives on sale pretty easy. Last week newegg had the wd green for $99 now they have the Seagate Barracuda LP for $99 with discount code EMCYXYN37. Both have bad ratings.


Fair enough. It's not like you need the speed of RAID 0 (or 10) for a database or anything.

Although I haven't used it as a server OS, if you're unfamiliar with Linux, Ubuntu is incredibly friendly and easy to use. (It's also easy to use if you're familiar with Linux.)

I got a 2 TB Caviar Green + a DVD burner with a newegg shellshocker this week for $110, just didn't see anything current.

Not to be overly obvious, but especially with hard drives, you do usually get what you pay for. (SSDs are a totally different story, though.)
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September 3, 2010 12:58:01 AM

@Dougie

I did look at the D510 and there are some good reports on their processing capabilities. I was worried they couldn't handle large rar extractions? I don't know how much I like the sodimm memory and bus speed.

I'm only going raid1 for redundancy and convenience since everything is automatically backed up. I have been reading reports that hard drive manufacturers are short circuiting their drives to not work in raid to force enterprise drive purchase. I believe hitachis are still working great for raid?

I agree with you concerning raid5 which is why I am avoiding it unless i get some $500 hardware raid card.

I'll look into that distro you recommended.
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