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RESET Forums (homeservershow.com)

  • Dave
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    Hi Dave,

     

    In response to your request for information on readers’ systems I thought I would pass on details of my recent home server build. As it was my first venture in to the server field, despite having built a number of desktops in the past, I decided to stay with a simple Shuttle configuration, just to be safe and as a proof-of-concept!

     

    The primary outcomes I was looking for were:

     

    •    effective back-up of my desktops

    •    solid media storage and distribution throughout the house network to two media centre PC's, an Xbox 360 and a wireless Windows Mobile device.

    •    low power consumption and noise emissions. As someone who works in energy efficiency, I wanted a relatively ‘green’ unit.

     

    After a bit of research, my purchased components for the build were as follows:

     

    image

     

    I feel pretty confident I got a good deal on most things and some of my buying was led by having vouchers for specific sites which impacted on my options! I went with a 2gig processor and 1 gig of ram to give the system some grunt.

     

    I added the following existing components to the mix from my home supplies:

     

    Monitor

    Mouse

    Keyboard

    DVD-Rom drive

    USB drive

    Network cable

     

    Happy with my purchases and confident that I had all the necessary kit, I dove in to the build phase. With only a CPU, cooler, ram and hard drive to permanently install it didn’t take much time, however, the seating of the cooler fan did take a few tries to secure it to the mobo. I did try the option of a USB drive install of the operating system first but this failed to elicit a recognition of the drive in the BIOS so I switched to a temporary DVD-ROM drive addition and this worked first time. Ugly, but it got the job done!

     

    Thankfully, the USB key hitch would prove to be the only hiccup in the entire process. The o/s install off the DVD-ROM was relatively painless and did not appear to take as long as I had expected from reading of other people’s builds, leading me swiftly in to the user account creation/pc link-up stage. Again this all went beautifully so I was able to neatly cable tie and lock down the server box.

     

    After several days ‘product testing’ with the server located next to the media centre pc and Xbox 360 in the lounge, I then moved it to its final location – the inimitable cupboard under the stairs! This was to ensure its safety in a house with a 4 year old and security from fire and theft! I then hooked it in to my wired network after a bit of under floor crawling, reminiscent of scenes from The Great Escape (!).

     

    With the system built, sited in its final location and the relevant PC’s now recognized and linked with the server, all was well. The initial backups took a while but I am now enjoying the peace of mind this offers and, most impressively, the Xbox connectivity flat out worked right from the start! The 360 automatically found the server on the network and now my movie, photo and music collection is centrally located for all to enjoy on the HD television. I am looking forward to adding MyMovies to the server to enhance the experience further. The Shuttle system is very much in keeping with the high standards of other systems they have produced – classy, glossy and solid so would strongly recommend it to anyone looking to self-build.

     

    Whilst I realize that this may constitute a small toe in the water of home servers compared to many veteran builders, this suits my current needs. I will probably need to look at some form of port multiplier/desktop e-sata arrangement so I can add a larger number of drives in the future so am very keen to hear suggestions from everyone on how to add storage space but not vast bulky boxes to my server solution! Something of similar size to the Shuttle would be my preference and probably via e-sata rather than USB.

     

    All in all, great fun, easy to do and even easier to use…Microsoft have definitely created a winner in WHS in my opinion! Don’t hesitate to either build your own server or buy one readymade – it’s worth it!

     

    Photo – the server, squared away in the cupboard under the stairs!

     

    nick clark_whs

     

    Best wishes and keep up the terrific work!

     

    Nicholas Clark

     

    Note from Dave:  I love the carpet!  Under the stairs is a great spot for a WHS.  Thanks for the submission and keep us up to date with any additions.

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