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 Post subject: Server ideas and help.
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 9:25 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 8:00 pm
Posts: 26
Location: Edmonton, AB
Hello all,

I am currently working on buying components for a centralized "do-everything" kind of server for our house. Specifically this server will store/host our distributed audio (controlled by static room remotes and with iPhones via software called CasaTunes (http://www.casatunes.com)), our distributed video (played on a variety of devices, WDTV Live, PCs, laptops...), host our backups, act as a torrentbox, print server and a few other small tasks.

In case it makes a difference, our new house (completion date early next year) has cat5e/cat6 cable just about everywhere and large cable conduits to key places (from our "server room" to my office, and behind both tv/audio set ups).

This is what I have picked out for server hardware thus far:

Mobo: an old MSI P6N-SLI that I have kicking around doing nothing (has two PCIe x16 (x8) slots and a x1)
CPU: Xeon X3220 - I got it cheap second hand and it runs really well
RAM: 4GB DDR2
RAID: Highpoint RocketRaid 3560 - just waiting for it to go on sale, wanted RAID-6 and expandability.
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816115067&cm_re=3560-_-16-115-067-_-Product
HDD: 8x SAMSUNG F4-EG 2TB - got them for $80 CDN each (on sale until the end of today with the e-mail flyer), seems like no TLER/head parking issues, only 3 platters, reasonable acoustics and power (as per SPCR)
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152245&cm_re=samsung_f4-_-22-152-245-_-Product
Other HDD: 2 x WD 1.5TB EADS, 2 WD 500GB Blacks (have these kicking around, will use for redundant backups)
Case: either Norco 4220 or 4216 (probably the 20)
Audio: CasaTunes audio switcher
http://www.casatunes.com/xli.html
Video: whatever is cheap, if anything at all

Feel free to make any suggestions on the above as well

There are a few things that I would also like this server to do, but I have never done anything with a server before so I do not not if these things are possible, it they are worth it, or how to do it. I am sure that there are people here with much more experience than I, and who would be able to help.

1) Host our windows 7 profiles - I would like to be able to log into any computer in the house and have the same access to my files/programs/account. Is this possible, or would I have to use something like the new Windows Server when it comes out to accomplish this?
2) Have a separate "host" for the video files - What I would like to happen is it to appear that a separate computer/NAS is hosting these files even though they are on my server. That way on the WD TV Live boxes (which I already own) it would be faster to navigate to the VIDEO share instead of having to navigate to SERVER-MEDIA-VIDEOS. I hope that makes sense.
3) Host my outlook calendar. Currently I have a convoluted scheme of syncing my desktop outlook calendar with my laptop and with my iphone. This involves using a dummy google account calendar and syncing them all together. It would be nice if I could host my own personal data within my walls. I think this would be setting up an exchange server?

Thanks in advance if you have any ideas!!


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 Post subject: Re: Server ideas and help.
PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:57 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:27 am
Posts: 1721
Location: Switzerland
I'm not the most qualified to answer this but nobody bothered so...

discopig wrote:
RAM: 4GB DDR2
RAID: Highpoint RocketRaid 3560 - just waiting for it to go on sale, wanted RAID-6 and expandability.

probably overkill (and the hardware RAID might mean trouble)

discopig wrote:
HDD: 8x SAMSUNG F4-EG 2TB - got them for $80 CDN each (on sale until the end of today with the e-mail flyer), seems like no TLER/head parking issues, only 3 platters, reasonable acoustics and power (as per SPCR)

16TB at home = backup nightmare
If you really need 16TB of storage that won't stop you and it's not my business but, really, what are you going to use 16TB for?

discopig wrote:
1) Host our windows 7 profiles - I would like to be able to log into any computer in the house and have the same access to my files/programs/account. Is this possible, or would I have to use something like the new Windows Server when it comes out to accomplish this?

You don't need Windows on the server to do this but it's easier. It's a shame Windows isn't free.

discopig wrote:
2) Have a separate "host" for the video files - What I would like to happen is it to appear that a separate computer/NAS is hosting these files even though they are on my server. That way on the WD TV Live boxes (which I already own) it would be faster to navigate to the VIDEO share instead of having to navigate to SERVER-MEDIA-VIDEOS. I hope that makes sense.

not a problem with free software (but you don't need a separate virtual server just to create a separate "video" share)... and hopefully not a problem with Windows either

discopig wrote:
3) Host my outlook calendar. Currently I have a convoluted scheme of syncing my desktop outlook calendar with my laptop and with my iphone. This involves using a dummy google account calendar and syncing them all together. It would be nice if I could host my own personal data within my walls. I think this would be setting up an exchange server?

I have no idea if it would work but Exchange is expensive anyway. You can do it with free software if you dump Outlook. What is it good for anyway?

Note that you will need a solid network as well as a server. Obviously you'd need a good gigE switch (or at least a switch with a gigE port and which is able to use it to serve multiple 100M at full speed). but it's not a given that the cabling will be adequate (see SPCR's home server article).


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