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Should I buy or build a home server???

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January 27, 2012 3:54:47 PM

Hello,

First I have a few questions about the possibilities and limitations of a home server:

1. Could I connect to the server using smartphones to pull documents, music, videos, etc. (Android and IOS)

2. Could I use this server as a game server (small games, only people I know, 16 people maximum)

3. Could I use this server as a File server and application server to serve devices in my home and in other homes (That I allow to connect)

4. Could the server perform all of these tasks, at once, for a total of maybe 20 people maximum.

If so to all of the above,

Would it be better (Cost vs. performance vs. upgrade potential) to buy a 1-2u server or build my own?

I saw a post on here about weirdstuff and I checked there stock. they have some cheap 1-2u servers, but I do not know if their storage capacity is up to par. It looks like it can only support 1.5Tb total and that is not nearly enough.

]http://www.ebay.com/itm/HP-DL140-G3-2x-Quad-Core-Xeon-X5355-2-66GHz-4GB-RAM-1U-Server-/300607417165?pt=COMP_EN_Servers&hash=item45fd992b4d#ht_3787wt_1110]


Could I build a better server that allows for better performance, upgrade potential, and doesn't break the bank?

Honestly if I could spend under $500 that'd be great. But I'd consider higher amounts.

More about : buy build home server

January 27, 2012 4:00:27 PM

I doubt you can get away with $500 for what you want this to do simultaneously, unless you buy one put together.
I would recommend building your own so you get exactly what you want (HD space, good CPU, etc). It won't be the easiest of choices and you'd need Windows Server at least, or a good Linux/Unix build at best.
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January 27, 2012 4:04:18 PM

Looking more at it, it's actually a decent little build, but no hard drive, no optical drive, you'd need more RAM to do the simultaneous stuff and 1U racks don't leave much room for HDs. The dual Xeons are nice, and can probably power what you want, if they were in a 2U case, it would be nicer...
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January 27, 2012 4:22:53 PM

+1 1U server rack, though those tend to be pretty loud.
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January 27, 2012 4:33:00 PM

you don't need xeons for that. Should suffice with a cheap midranged cpu. Only thing would be the kind of game servers you want to run but even then you should not have a problem.

you should have a quad core with as much ram as you can put in it, probably 16gbs. try to fit an ssd for the game server to run on and your hdds can be used for the file servers.

you can run linux for this and have no problem unless your game server does not run on linux.
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January 27, 2012 4:39:02 PM

you can save some money going with the opteron series, heard nothing but good things, and I also agree that you can save a lot of money going with a linux OS over microsoft server 2008, but for what your planning to do you can probably run it with microsoft server 2003. theres research to be done for sure, make sure the games you want to serve are compatible with the os you select.
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January 27, 2012 5:47:41 PM


Quote:
Looking more at it, it's actually a decent little build, but no hard drive, no optical drive, you'd need more RAM to do the simultaneous stuff and 1U racks don't leave much room for HDs. The dual Xeons are nice, and can probably power what you want, if they were in a 2U case, it would be nicer...


Hard drives and a spare optical drive I have. The RAM I would need to grab some, but the main issue for me is the lack of space (like you said). According to HP
"Internal Drive Support:
Supports up to two:
Non-Hot Plug Serial ATA (SATA) 3.5"hard drives; or
Hot Plug Serial Attached SCSI (SAS/Serial ATA (SATA) 3.5"hard drives
Internal storage capacity of up to 1.5TB (2 x 750GB Hot Plug 3.5" SATA hard drives), 1 TB (2 x 500 Non-Hot Plug SATA hard drives) or 600GB (2 x 300GB Hot Plug 3.5" SAS hard drives)"

So the max I could possibly have in it is 1.5TB? that's terrible. I have a 1TB and a 2TB that I can throw into it, but it doesn't look like that'd even work.


amuffin said:
+1 1U server rack, though those tend to be pretty loud.


Noise doesn't really bother me too much. Is there any specific reasons why you would recommend the 1U server compared to just building a small "server" computer? Is there advantages/disadvantages to either really? So far it seems that a homebuilt would provide me with more flexibility.


Quote:
you don't need xeons for that. Should suffice with a cheap midranged cpu. Only thing would be the kind of game servers you want to run but even then you should not have a problem.

you should have a quad core with as much ram as you can put in it, probably 16gbs. try to fit an ssd for the game server to run on and your hdds can be used for the file servers.

you can run linux for this and have no problem unless your game server does not run on linux.


That's pretty much what I read everywhere else. Single Quad core cpu with at least 16Gb would be just fine. I actually have a copy of Windows server 2008 that I was going to put onto it.



I would like to get an actual server other than building one, but for the amount of money I need to spend on an actual server to get what I can get out of a homebuilt is ridiculous.

The lack of Hard Drive bays and support in the 1U I posted is what kills that for me. everything else I am fine with, and could just add more RAM. But 1.5TB? really? Does anyone know of any rack servers 1-2-3 anything under 6U (the size of the cabinet I can get).

Thanks for all your help so far guys.


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January 27, 2012 6:10:49 PM

Personally, if you don't use a 2U, I'd do a whole new build in a regular case. And even with a 2U, you can run out of space fast compared to being able to stuff 6 or 8 HDs in a regular case as it grows. For all the sharing and stuff you want to put on, last thing you want to do is limit yourself to 1.5tb, ugh!

If you can get it cheap enough, I'd go ahead and do the dual Xeons (but not on a mobo that limits your HD space), and put them in a different case. Why not have the power available, especially if you can get a dual setup for the same price, or near to, that it would cost for just the CPU and low end mobo? Could you use the 1U setup, pull the mobo and CPUs out into a better case, put a RAID card in and bypass the mobo limitation? I don't think you're going to hit your $500 budget though, hehe...
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January 27, 2012 8:32:25 PM

scottiemedic said:
Personally, if you don't use a 2U, I'd do a whole new build in a regular case. And even with a 2U, you can run out of space fast compared to being able to stuff 6 or 8 HDs in a regular case as it grows. For all the sharing and stuff you want to put on, last thing you want to do is limit yourself to 1.5tb, ugh!

If you can get it cheap enough, I'd go ahead and do the dual Xeons (but not on a mobo that limits your HD space), and put them in a different case. Why not have the power available, especially if you can get a dual setup for the same price, or near to, that it would cost for just the CPU and low end mobo? Could you use the 1U setup, pull the mobo and CPUs out into a better case, put a RAID card in and bypass the mobo limitation? I don't think you're going to hit your $500 budget though, hehe...



I will do my research and look further into this 1U. If I can find a way to get past the measly 1.5TB limit, then I will do like you said. If not, I will be just building my own in a normal case.

Thanks for the help guys.
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January 27, 2012 8:32:47 PM

Best answer selected by sardonicjester.
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January 27, 2012 11:39:55 PM

Good luck, thanks for the Best Answer selection! I'd love to know how it works out, especially the Xeons (I've never had one). I've been thinking about doing something similar, right now my HTPC is doing dual duty as a NAS and iTunes and and and, but it's only a 4850 AMD and has been choking on everything I'm throwing at it.
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January 28, 2012 9:11:42 AM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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