Home Server?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by gregstaten, Jul 1, 2002.

  1. gregstaten

    gregstaten Supporting Actor

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    I'm gradually beginning to realize that putting a home server in is beginning to make sense. Here's what I'm looking for:

    RAID 1 or RAID 5
    At least 200 to 300 GB (what can I say - I have a lot of music and video I want to keep online).


    I don't need support for lots of users. In fact, I would imagine that most of the time (while I'm at work or asleep, for example) the number of users will be zero. Most of the time there will be one or two users and occasionally three.

    Cost is certainly a consideration - I don't need a heavy iron server - just one with lots of drive space and RAID support. I'm not even tied to any particular OS as long as it is easy to manage.

    Anyone put something together or found something worth looking at?

    Thanks!

    -greg
     
  2. ChrisLee

    ChrisLee Stunt Coordinator

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    Do they even make 200GB hard drives? Because as I understand RAID, you are restricted by the size of the smallest HD in the array. So to have a 200 GB RAID you'd need 2-3 200GB HDs. That wouldn't be cost effective at all (especially if 200GB HDs haven't been released yet...).

    The majority of the people I know say that RAID ain't worth it in the first place. Just get SCSI. At least the data is a little safer there then in a RAID 1.
     
  3. Greg Rakaska

    Greg Rakaska Stunt Coordinator

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    Chris, methinks "the people" you know are not very knowledgeable about RAID. Also, RAID and SCSI are not mutually exclusive, nor related other than being drive technologies.

    RAID 1 (drive mirroring) is one of the better ways to protect data, SCSI is just an interface spec, though a good one.

    It is also quite possible to have RAID configurations larger than the smallest physical drive. Actually, it is quite commonly done. For example, you could achieve 200mb of RAID 1 storage on a SCSI hardware RAID controller by using 8 x 50 mb drives. You would simply mirror the drives in pairs, then using RAID config software, you logically join the four pairs of 50 mb into one 200 mb drive.

    I setup my Oracle servers like this all the time. Probably a bit expensive for home use though, a good RAID controller can set you back a couple of grand (or more) quite easily.
     
  4. Tim Kilbride

    Tim Kilbride Stunt Coordinator

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    Greg,
    I have a home server setup...3 HDD (1 OS/programs, 1 for MP3 storage, and 1 for copies of CD's that came with my hardware (so I don't have to keep using cd's if I update anything)). I am running Win2k and I love it...I also have 1 desktop, 2 laptops (mine and the wifes) and I am adding a 4th pc in the home theater (I'm gonna try my hand at building my tivo box). I use a Abit VP6 dual proc mboard and it supports raid arrays on board. I got the mboard for $120 with shipping....I know there are other mboards that do the same...
    My .02
    Tim K.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. ChrisLee

    ChrisLee Stunt Coordinator

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    DOH! I was thinking of RAID 0.
     
  6. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    Take a basic PC, tower model with at least four 5.25 inch slots free in the front fascia (5 slots free would be perfect since you can use one for DVD or CD(-RW))
    Buy two 3-drive hotswap IDE drive cages from 3ware (http://www.3ware.com) or just one now and save two 5.25 inch slots for later addition of another.
    Buy one 3ware Escalade 7850 IDE RAID card.
    Buy three 160GB 5400 rpm drives from Maxtor and configure them as one RAID 5 array (160x3-160=320GB of storage; you lose one drives worth for parity data).
    Presto, a home server with a secure RAID5 disk array, easily expandable when you run out of space by slotting in drives in the second drive cage (if you do get one).
     
  7. Danny R

    Danny R Supporting Actor

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    I'm putting together a terabyte server, as I'm looking to begin saving HDTV captured video.

    Same escalade card that Kimmo mentions ($500).

    Ten 120gb maxtor 5400 drives. Speed isn't a necessity, cheap storage is, and this drive has the best price point as I can get it for $135.

    I'm putting eight of the drives together as a raid-5 array. (no hot spare, no hot swap cages). My goal is storage, not staying up 24/7. If I have to take the server down to replace a bad drive, no big deal. Raid 5 insures I retain my files.

    One drive will stand alone as the boot drive holding the OS and applications. The last drive is the spare (but not installed).

    I'd prefer the server to run a novell netware OS, as I've left my novell servers at work running over a year without problem, and they aren't usually targetted by virii, but 3ware doesn't appear to have a driver for the escalade card. Thus I guess I'll have to go with win 2000.
     
  8. Dave E H

    Dave E H Supporting Actor

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  9. gregstaten

    gregstaten Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for the info, guys. I looks like I'll try to roll my own. RAID 5 is probably where I'll go as it makes the most sense from a cost/security standpoint. (Note - protection against data loss security.)

    Do you all think it is worth looking at a linux server?

    -greg
     
  10. Danny R

    Danny R Supporting Actor

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    Do you all think it is worth looking at a linux server?

    Depends on your technical ability. Linux certainly is a good stable option, but it can be difficult to work with if you've never done so before.
     
  11. Greg Rakaska

    Greg Rakaska Stunt Coordinator

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    Kimmo,
    Glad to see your reply. I haven't worked with RAID in a home environment. I knew it could be done much less expensively than the Oracle servers I build at work, but I could not offer Greg S. real practical advise.
    I may have to build one of these thingies for my wife and I to store our stuff on. I am ashamed to say we don't always keep our backups as current as they ought to be. While RAID is not a substitute for backups, it does help us lazy folks keep our stuff a bit longer [​IMG]
     
  12. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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  13. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    A linux server makes a lot of sense. You can use a nice journaling file system on the array that way, further increasing your security and speed.

    File sharing can be done with Samba.

    Obviously, this is more work-intensive to get working but is pretty much hands off once its up and running.
     
  14. Dominic Ryan

    Dominic Ryan Extra

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    I just finished putting my 300GB server together. Cost me about $2100AUD, which is equal to about $1100USD. It's a PII 350 with 512MB RAM, 10/100 NIC, 2 X 8GB drives for system, and 3 X 160GB Maxtor drives for storage, each with a HDD cooler. Using Windows 2000 Server as the OS, the system drives are configured under software RAID 1, and the storage drives are configured under software RAID 5, giving me around 305GB of RAID 5 storage all up.
     
  15. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    Sounds like a good solution financially, but I would definitely invest in the hardware raid card. Should give massive speed improvements as well as being more secure.
     
  16. Dominic Ryan

    Dominic Ryan Extra

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    Yeah, I was planning too, but at the time of buying the equipment, I couldn't find a IDE RAID 5 controller that supported ATA-133. I've got a 40GB DDS-4 tape drive as well, so I should be covered.
     

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