Jump to content
RESET Forums (homeservershow.com)

WHS 2011 Production Build


Lurker
 Share

Recommended Posts

My current WHS (HP MSS EX 475) has been unreliable lately. It has been randomly powering off and often fails to boot up properly. It is also sluggish at times to a point where the console will not even connect to the server. I have decided that I will be replacing this with a new WHS 2011 build rather then going through the headache of trying a server recovery or trying to figure out what the hardware problem is. This will by my production server going forward once it is RTM.

 

Case

After reading PcDoc’s article about his WHS v1 build I have decided to go with the Lian Li PC 354B case. It has a small form factor and as PcDoc pointed out it has seven 3.5 inch drive bays which should be enough for me for the foreseeable future.

 

CPU

Power efficient i3 dual core Sandy bridge processor, it is the cheapest on Newegg at the time of this writing. Couldn’t justify spending $30 more for a 3.1 to 3.3 GHz upgrade for a file server. This processor should have no problem dealing with anything I throw at it unlike the Sempron chip in the HP server.

 

Motherboard

Asus P8H67-M Pro Motherboard Micro ATX form factor, 6 SATA Ports, USB 3, Gigabit Ethernet, UEFI and support for the Sandy Bridge integrated graphics since it will run headless after setup.

 

Power Supply

Reliable 400w Corsair power supply from previous builds.

 

Memory

Cheap reliable Kingston ValueRam, 64 bit operating system gets 4GB 2x2GB

 

Hard Drives

2x Western Digital Caviar Black 500MB drives in RAID 1 (onboard Intel controller) for OS and possibly other critical data.

 

4x Samsung Spinpoint F4 2TB Drives

I have not decided exactly how I’m going to set these up. I could set them up in RAID 5 or just use them as simple volumes. I like the idea of RAID 5 for the redundancy but with the 2.2 TB backup limitations I would have to manually backup the files. This is something I will have to decide before I do the build,open for suggestions on this.

 

For server backup I have a Media Sonic Pro Box (4 bay external enclosure) with USB 3.0 connector. This will work nicely since WHS 2011 seems to prefer external USB drives for backup. This is also the reason I did not care about the lack of an onboard ESATA. If I need to expand my storage I will probably be moving to a different case and adding a RAID or SATA card.

 

I am still waiting on the delivery of the CPU, motherboard and case but if I have a chance I will try to take some screenshots and post them.

 

 

New Parts

• Case – Lian Li PC-354B

• CPU – Intel i3-2100 Sandy Bridge

• Motherboard - Asus P8H67-M Pro/CSM

• OS Drive(s) – 2 Western Digital Caviar Black 500MB

 

Existing Parts from Previous Builds

• Storage – 4 Samsung Spinpoint F4 2TB

• Memory – Kingston ValueRam 4GB DDR 3 1333

• PSU - Corsair CMPSU-400CX

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 22
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • pcdoc

    3

  • jmwills

    3

  • JediTim

    2

  • Lurker

    8

Dang, that case is out of stock again!! The processor will be more than capable of doing the job and the storage planning for data and the OS build is rock solid. You could use three of the drives in a RAID 5 array and the fourth as backup.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dang, that case is out of stock again!! The processor will be more than capable of doing the job and the storage planning for data and the OS build is rock solid. You could use three of the drives in a RAID 5 array and the fourth as backup.

I actually have 5 of the drives but I am not using the 5th for the build. I will use the other one for backup or as a spare If I go the RAID 5 route.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My current WHS (HP MSS EX 475) has been unreliable lately. It has been randomly powering off and often fails to boot up properly. It is also sluggish at times to a point where the console will not even connect to the server. I have decided that I will be replacing this with a new WHS 2011 build rather then going through the headache of trying a server recovery or trying to figure out what the hardware problem is. This will by my production server going forward once it is RTM.

 

Case

After reading PcDoc’s article about his WHS v1 build I have decided to go with the Lian Li PC 354B case. It has a small form factor and as PcDoc pointed out it has seven 3.5 inch drive bays which should be enough for me for the foreseeable future.

 

CPU

Power efficient i3 dual core Sandy bridge processor, it is the cheapest on Newegg at the time of this writing. Couldn’t justify spending $30 more for a 3.1 to 3.3 GHz upgrade for a file server. This processor should have no problem dealing with anything I throw at it unlike the Sempron chip in the HP server.

 

Motherboard

Asus P8H67-M Pro Motherboard Micro ATX form factor, 6 SATA Ports, USB 3, Gigabit Ethernet, UEFI and support for the Sandy Bridge integrated graphics since it will run headless after setup.

 

Power Supply

Reliable 400w Corsair power supply from previous builds.

 

Memory

Cheap reliable Kingston ValueRam, 64 bit operating system gets 4GB 2x2GB

 

Hard Drives

2x Western Digital Caviar Black 500MB drives in RAID 1 (onboard Intel controller) for OS and possibly other critical data.

 

4x Samsung Spinpoint F4 2TB Drives

I have not decided exactly how I’m going to set these up. I could set them up in RAID 5 or just use them as simple volumes. I like the idea of RAID 5 for the redundancy but with the 2.2 TB backup limitations I would have to manually backup the files. This is something I will have to decide before I do the build,open for suggestions on this.

 

For server backup I have a Media Sonic Pro Box (4 bay external enclosure) with USB 3.0 connector. This will work nicely since WHS 2011 seems to prefer external USB drives for backup. This is also the reason I did not care about the lack of an onboard ESATA. If I need to expand my storage I will probably be moving to a different case and adding a RAID or SATA card.

 

I am still waiting on the delivery of the CPU, motherboard and case but if I have a chance I will try to take some screenshots and post them.

 

 

New Parts

• Case – Lian Li PC-354B

• CPU – Intel i3-2100 Sandy Bridge

• Motherboard - Asus P8H67-M Pro/CSM

• OS Drive(s) – 2 Western Digital Caviar Black 500MB

 

Existing Parts from Previous Builds

• Storage – 4 Samsung Spinpoint F4 2TB

• Memory – Kingston ValueRam 4GB DDR 3 1333

• PSU - Corsair CMPSU-400CX

 

 

Awessome build. I do have a couple of comments. Since you are buying the OS drives, consider the mini Icy Dock docking station with a couple of 250-300 gig laptop drives. It will save the OS install complications, use only one sata port, not require drivers, and just make life easier in general. As for how you configure you drives, with only four drives you could go either way but just keep in mind that in a RAID 5 you will backup less frequently (though be it manual or use a sync program) than you will having to use four individual drives. Your motherboard supports IRR so you should be good to go. The break down of your drives would also be more challenging such as how you allocate the space. Allocating one large volume is always easier then deciding how to chop it up. Overall this is an outstanding build and I am sure you will be happy with it. Your price for this write up is you will have to update us and let know what you think of it. Good luck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As I wait longer and longer on the build I will probably consider a Sandy Bridge processor / MB for my planned WHS 2011 build. Since it will be on 24/7 I could use the power savings.

 

PC Doc:

I am still hung up as to using the IcyDock RAID versus MB RAID...what are the OS install complications? As I am still learing RAID I'm not sure....does the IcyDock avoid the installation of RAID drivers (F6) prior to installation...in other words the OS just sees the two drives as a normal drive?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not to answer for the Doc, bu yes. The OS sees just the one drive. The advantage to using the adapter is that you save one of the SATA connectors on the MOBO plus getting to the OS drives is much easier.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not to answer for the Doc, bu yes. The OS sees just the one drive. The advantage to using the adapter is that you save one of the SATA connectors on the MOBO plus getting to the OS drives is much easier.

 

Thanks...I guess this is the way to go and will plan it in my build list.

Tim

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks...I guess this is the way to go and will plan it in my build list.

Tim

 

jmmills hit it on the head. It sees it as one drive which means no configuration, no drivers, less power, less space, and only one port. You will not need to do anything special to install or restore your OS. It really is the easiest and most hassle free way to go. Using a couple of small laptop drives make sense anyway as once the computer is booted, your OS drive does not do much and your really do not want to store anything on it anyway.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

**Update**

 

I took pcdoc's advice and bought the Icy Dock 2x2.5" to 3.5" inch converter with the built in raid controller. and I updated my build so that it looks like this

 

New Parts

• Case – Lian Li PC-354B

• CPU – Intel i3-2100 Sandy Bridge

• Motherboard - Asus P8H67-M Pro/CSM

• OS Drive(s) – 2 WD Scorpio Black 250 GB drives in the Icy Dock converter set to RAID 1.

 

Existing Parts from Previous Builds

• Storage – 4 Samsung Spinpoint F4 2TB in RAID 5 (Intel ICH10R controller) and 1x 2TB WD EADS drive

• Memory – Kingston ValueRam 4GB DDR 3 1333

• PSU - Corsair CMPSU-400CX

 

 

PartsWHS2011.JPG

 

 

I put everything together and proceeded to the bios to set up the RAID and boot options. I then tried to install WHS 2011 via USB stick but it failed at installing files 30%. I thought there might be a problem with the USB stick so I then hooked up my external DVD drive. I would like to note that when I did this I got the option to do a UEFI install. I tried to do a UEFI install and it to failed at 30%. I then tried to do a MBR install and once again it failed at 30%. This had me worried that perhaps there was a Hardware problem with the Icy Dock converter. I then tried to install Windows 7 Ultimate and and installed without a hitch. My only guess at this point is its a problem with the WHS 2011 RC installation and some incompatibility with some of the newer hardware I am using (UEFI?). My hope is now that the RTM version will address this or I can find some work around to the issue. In the meantime I am going to do some benchmark and hardware testing while I have Windows 7 installed on the system.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share


×
×
  • Create New...