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What are the best parts for a Windows Home Server 2011 build

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Last response: in Components
October 15, 2011 1:25:25 PM

Hello,
What are the best parts for a Windows Home Server 2011 build

More about : parts windows home server 2011 build

October 15, 2011 1:49:41 PM

if you want best, as in real best just find the most expensive of everything and your pretty much set.

otherwise we need way more info like whats your price range? intended uses?
what size of a computer do you want it to be? full atx, mini itx, tower, desktop, etc.
how loud can you tolerate?
do you already have any of the parts? like monitor.
do you need specific ports? e-sata, usb 3.0, displayport, etc.

just need more info.
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October 15, 2011 4:16:15 PM

Dear farrengottu

Thanks for your fast reply. I've purchased a Corsair 800D box. I'm happy to "copy" someone's system that is actuallly stable and reliable. Price range is up to say, $4,000

1. I want big, say 10TB (should I use 2TB or 3TB HDs?) Should the system drive be on SATA III or SATA II? Should the storage drives be SATAIII or SATAII? Also am having a hell of a time with the Marvel AHCI SATA III drivers for the system drive - are there any for WHS? Should I use AHCI?

2. Fast CPU (is an I7 overkill?)

3. Compatable stable Memory? 8GB or 16GB?

4. I hear WHS 2011 has issues w/ USB3 drivers?

5. MB? I do not necessarily want the "latest" - I want reliable and stable
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October 15, 2011 5:40:49 PM

I wouldn't bother with particularly fast drives, they'll saturate GBe really easily and there any wireless connections will also be saturated.

Not much of a Cpu is needed either, it only needs 2GB so 4 will be fine.

Lots and lots of SATA ports on the mobo.

Now because there is no drive extender in whs2011 it'll see seperate 2-3Gb disks unless you raid them up in raid5/6 so that you can afford failures.

i've got a 5Gb WHS (previous version) all in I reckon it cost about £400-500, using a matx amd board and a 245/255 llano, it performs well, and is nice and cool and quiet. i'll be able to add another 3GB before I run out of ports. But that board with 4 3GB drives in Raid 5 (9GB) and 2 3GB drives for backup. would be fine.

Its caused me problem in that all of the boards i want for my gaming machine have far too many ports now, as I only need 2-3 drives.
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October 15, 2011 6:01:45 PM

core2duo/quad, i3,i5, 4gb of ram, keeping it power efficient is key for any server, if your going to have 4+ user accessing video while transcoding media then you might need to beef up on processor and ram. If your just accessing windows file shares then the requirements can be really low (I'm talking AMD duron Pentium 3 low with 256MB Ram (WinXP,Win2k,Ubuntu6.xx,Freenas)).
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October 15, 2011 6:27:01 PM

So what are you going to do with it?
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October 22, 2011 7:35:01 AM

13th monkey:
I am going to store business files (about 2 TB) in a small business environment. Several people will access newer business files and have their own accounts on the server. As room permits, I will stream media (video and music) from the server, remotely access, service and automate backups of my other computers and workstations, have workable active server redundancies and backups running.

I'm clear on the limitations of the 2 TB automated backup limit, so my "3rd party" backup strategy will start with the best redundancy I can get - RAID 5/6.

1. Should or can I use a separate RAID 5/6 controller or on board controller?

2. To that end, should I use 1TB, 2TB or 3TB drives?

3. What brand(s)? Lately I'm favoring the Hitachi 2TB drives over Seagate, Samsung or WD.

4. How about the system drive? Should that be the same size? Should I include the system drive in the RAID array? (Careful here, in WHS1 RAID did not work well because of the conflicts with DE). Does anyone know the RAID limitations of the WHS 2011 system drive?

5. SATA III raid vs SATA II raid. Is SATA III RAID 5/6 even available?

6. Finally, the big question - If I keep the system drive separate (which I will probably do since there is no DE and the storage RAID 5/6 data may accessed from Win7 in a dual, virual boot), may I run the system drive in a separate dual 2TB HD RAID1, SATA III AHCI, or SATA II AHCI?. Before answering this most important question be aware that the latest (August 11, 2011) SATA III AHCI Marvel "mv91xx" drivers DO work EXTREMELY well with WHS1

In short words, I'm trying to to it ALL with fast reads/writes, reliability and some upgradeablily. With the aforementioned in mind, it looks like I'll be shopping a motherboard with at least two SATA III ports, processor, memory, SATA III RAID6 controller(?). I will use the two SATA III ports for the system drive and a second drive, both as 2 TB? Running in AHCI or RAID1??

So if you were me, what would you build:
Motherboard model?
HDs How many, size, and model?
Memory?
RAID controller?

Thanks so much for the advice so far


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October 22, 2011 8:37:22 AM

are you using whs orginal or 2011? I've got 4 disks merged to a just over 5GB disk using the disk extender technology, (but not in 2011 unfortunatley), so if you can find an old license its great, you can just add disks as required, not raid rebuilding required, every file can be automatically stored on two disks, so if one disk fails you remove the failed disk and it re-distributes everything, or add another disk and it redistributes things. And you can backup the whole extended disk to a seperate disk.
Thats vs a raid solution where to have to backup, destroy the array, rebuild the array and restore the backup if you want to add a bigger disk. Replacing a disk is less of an issue admittedly.

BTW buying disks now is going to be tricky/expensive, some etailers are talking about rationing here in the UK due to the Thai Floods.
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October 22, 2011 8:43:14 AM

I'll try streaming videos to multiple machines later on today, i've only got a little athlon II, and some 5900rpm disks, but it'll copy files at 60+MB/s over Gbe, which is getting close to saturating the Gbe and getting close to saturating my write speeds on my desktop. It might help you to be happy that low power is enough.

Have you looked at small business server, it'll do a lot more, probably too much more.
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