I made an HTPC out of an Asrock Z68M motherboard, i3 2120 processor, 4 GB RAM, a 160GB 2,5" HD as system and 2TB WD Caviar Green drive as data. It runs MediaPortal over W7 64 bit.
Because it's the least power hungry computer at home other than the laptops, I've resorted to use it as a server. The data drive is a Windows share. It also runs utorrent and emule which I access through the web interface. Last week I also installed Filezilla and MySQL Community on it because I'm making a database.
I was thinking of installing FreeNAS on a Virtual Machine (whether by VMWare or VirtualBox) with dedicated access to the data drive. Later on I may make a dedicated server out of a Raspberry Pi or similar, but I wtill have to wait for it to be available
I'd be happy to read any suggestions / opinions about this.
FreeNAS is a great option if you are running this for home use. Approximately how many files are being accessed at once? when running UTorrent, what type of internal network are you running? What type of switch/router
A cheap alternative if you are running Windows 7 is Windows Home Server 2011 which goes about $50 @ Newegg. The nice thing about WHS 2011 is the small learning curve and compatibility with a Windows environment. You can still set up a VM to protect your server box.
Thank you. It will be for simple uses. Perhaps no more than 5 files accessed at once, including the ones locally (from the HTPC). My main concern is the stability. I would make it the other way around (virtualized media center over a server OS), but I'm afraid I'd lose some audio/video capabilities.