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Building a server

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  • New Build
  • Monitors
  • Servers
  • Systems
  • Product
Last response: in Systems
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March 7, 2012 5:15:19 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: next week or so

Budget Range: $600-$800

System Usage from Most to Least Important: as a home server, so just storage
Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com

Country: U.S.

Parts Preferences: N/A

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: N/A

Additional Comments: I want to build a pc that will be used as a server, so I want something that can be left on all day and wont waste too much electricity. Also it will just be a home server so it doesn't have to be huge.
Thanks in advance! :) 

More about : building server

March 7, 2012 6:35:23 PM

what kind of storage are you looking for (i.e. 1tb or 8tb raid 1 or other or not etc)
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March 7, 2012 7:15:32 PM

Probably 2-3 tb.
And sorry but I'm not exactly sure how raid works? I'm pretty new to this but I would love to learn. Thanks for responding
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March 8, 2012 1:59:33 AM

I just finished building my first server. I wanted a central place to store all of my music/photos/files. Over the course of about 3 months I slowly bought all the parts to save as much as possible, but it looks like you have a decent budget. I did mine for $180 +/- this is the hardware I chose

AMD Sempron 140 ($29.99) (45w low power single core)
ECS AM3 880GM-M7 ($30.99)
Corsair CX430 ($16.99)
Seagate 160GB HDD ($38.99)
4GB DDR3 Patriot ($22.99)
Asus DVD ($12.99)
APEX TX-381-C Black Steel Micro ATX Tower Computer Case ($24.99)

I was patient and waited for rebates or sale prices. The only thing I wish I had gotten was USB 3.0 on the Motherboard. I've been up and running for about a week and my HDD is already full got about 5GB left so I need to buy another HDD soon hoping prices will start to drop. May eventually put put the OS on an SSD as it will be the only thing on it once I get a new 1.5T HDD for more storage. I was able to get Windows Server 2008 R2 free through my school so I'm using it for the OS and I'm learning as i go. Have it set up as my domain server. Busy with alot of other things atm so havn't had the time to expand its capabilities (roles) yet. I manually backup onto an external HDD for the time being. As stated a work in progress. It does exactly what I need and have my workstation, laptop, HTPC connected to the server. Now that its setup I use remote desktop from my workstation to manage it. Although I've learned alot the last few weeks I'm sure others with much more experience will be a better help, but thought I'd post anyway to show you a low cost/power server build (minus software). Good luck!
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March 8, 2012 3:59:49 AM

The Wikipedia entry for RAID describes it pretty well, but basically you want RAID 5. This will allow you to have a large amount of storage with some redundancy. I built my home server with 4x1.5 tb Samsung drives, a dual core atom board, 2 GBs of ram I had laying around, a 4 port pci sata card, and an old case and power supply. I installed FreeNAS to a 4 GB thumb drive. It works well for my purposes of severing media to the htpcs and pcs in my house. I suggest you read up on RAID and check out FreeNAS.
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March 8, 2012 1:23:50 PM

So does raid benefit me at all? If so how?
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March 8, 2012 5:45:56 PM

Let's take my server as an example. With 4 1.5 tb drives in raid 5 I have about 4.5 tb useable. If one of my drives fail my data is still safe. I buy a new drive and replace the dead one and the raid rebuilds itself. If two drives fail then I lose all my data, but the chances of two drives dying are very small.
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March 8, 2012 7:40:13 PM

Oh ok, I can see how that would be very handy. So do I need anything aside from the harddrives? Like a special accessorie?
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March 8, 2012 9:35:47 PM

If you are doing a software raid like I did you just need available sata ports. I would say the first step in setting up a server is to decided what operating system you want to use. FreeNAS 7 or 8, Ubuntu Server, Windows Server 2008 R2 are good server based operating systems. You can also use the RAID built in some motherboards and a desktop operating system like Windows 7. This is what my friend did. He stores data, runs TVersity, AirVideo, and I think a MineCraft server. The disadvantage is that if the board dies you are going to need the same or similar board.
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March 8, 2012 10:54:02 PM

Whats better freeNAS or Ubuntu server? Which one is more user friendly?
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March 8, 2012 11:26:06 PM

From my standpoint freeNAS is much more user friendly. After a quick install, all the software management is done through a webGUI. With Ubuntu server you will have to do everything through terminal.
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March 9, 2012 12:06:05 AM

What about windows home server 2011? I've heard it's pretty easy to use.
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March 9, 2012 1:44:45 AM

I have no experience with Home Server, but I have also heard good things. It's an option worth looking into and the price i saw on newegg, $52, doesn't sound too bad. You can schedule automatic backups from your windows computers to the server. FreeNAS wasn't very hard to configure, but I have a small amount of unix experience.
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March 9, 2012 1:55:56 AM

Here is a quick list of parts that would make a good base for a server:

CPU http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case is up to your personal preference for noise, cooling, and looks.
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March 9, 2012 10:14:57 AM

Best answer selected by Yogi6994.
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March 9, 2012 2:50:58 PM

+1 Very nice build
I would have probably gone this route also but in two years when its time for a new workstation I'll be swapping the Sempron in my server for the 6-core in my workstation.

I Have never used Windows home server 2011 but heard good things as far as low maintenance pretty much just set it up and it takes care of the rest. It's priced pretty well also for a pretty user friendly product.

I'm pretty sure Windows Server 8 "beta" is available for free atm....not sure how long your able to use it in beta form...but if there is no expiration might be worth checking out...just a thought.

I originally was going to use an old Sempron 1600 with FreeNAS or Ubuntu server but quickly realized I wasn't as familiar with the CLI as I needed to be. There is alot of good documentation for both products if you have Unix experience or are familiar with using the command line.
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March 9, 2012 4:00:10 PM

what is a good brand of hard drives? some that are reliable and wont give me too many problems.
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!