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New & Building WHS2011


chris4851
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Hi everyone. I am new to WHS2011 however I am not new to the HTPC world. I have already built my windows media center PC. I want to add a WHS to the mix now for backup as well as central storage capabilities. I have put together, what I think is a budget friendly yet powerful WHS system. Also, all the hardware/software is available at my local Micro Center store. Please take a look and comment as necessary. Also, the system will be located in my basement “IT” closet so I’m not concerned much with noise or lights.

 

NZXT H2 Case - $79.99

WHS 2011 Software - $49.99

Gigabyte GA-H67MA-USB3-B3 Motherboard - $109.99

Intel Core i3-2100 CPU - $99.99

Corsair DDR3-1333 8GB Dual Channel Memory - $49.99

Cool Master eXtreme 600W Power Supply - $57.99

 

Total - $448

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Looks pretty good to me. The other thing I would watch out for when thinking about moving media from your HTPC to 2011, is your network. I ran into issues when I had too many ethernet switches in the path, which lead to skipping and jerkyness. I'm in the midst of switching over to nothing but home-run cabling to 1 central switch. Wireless can also be an issue for streaming, but some people here seem to have got it to work, although I'm not sure if they have blu-ray working over wireless, and if they have, which kind of wireless.

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Hi everyone. I am new to WHS2011 however I am not new to the HTPC world. I have already built my windows media center PC. I want to add a WHS to the mix now for backup as well as central storage capabilities. I have put together, what I think is a budget friendly yet powerful WHS system. Also, all the hardware/software is available at my local Micro Center store. Please take a look and comment as necessary. Also, the system will be located in my basement “IT” closet so I’m not concerned much with noise or lights.

 

NZXT H2 Case - $79.99

WHS 2011 Software - $49.99

Gigabyte GA-H67MA-USB3-B3 Motherboard - $109.99

Intel Core i3-2100 CPU - $99.99

Corsair DDR3-1333 8GB Dual Channel Memory - $49.99

Cool Master eXtreme 600W Power Supply - $57.99

 

Total - $448

 

Hardware selection looks great and you will be able to do anything you want with this server. As jmwills asked, what is your thoughts on storage as that is critical.

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Hi guys. My network consists of one central 24 port gigabit switch. Cabling in between computers/switch is a high performance category 6E. In theory my cabling can support 10 gig, however I am not going to buy a 10 gig switch or network cards so for the foreseeable future i have a gigabit network.

 

As for storage my initial thought is to purchase one new 320GB 7200rpm HD for WHS main drive. I currently have two WD green 2GB 5400rpm in my HPTC that I want to use in the WHS since all my storage will be there. In the future I would like to keep adding 2GB HD as required.

 

My idea is to have a HD for WHS, HD for critical files (movies, recordings, shows, itunes library, PC backups) and a HD for other less critical files (pictures, etc). Some questions I have on storage is the following:

 

Is it useful to utilize raid setup? My motherboard can support raid 0/1/5/10. If so would you raid WHS HD as well as the critical HD? What raid level,1 for WHS HD and 5 for critical HD?

 

SATA 3Gb vs 6Gb. My motherboard has 4 3Gb and 2 6Gb. What drives would benefit the most when connecting to these ports? I know the HD would have to support 6Gb, but if there is a major benefit to utilizing 6Gb then I would look into purchasing HD's for this.

 

Storage is not my strong side. I always use to just buy storage based on size/price with no redundancy built in. Since I am building a WHS which will store a whole range of media (itunes, PC backups, WMC recorded media, and so on) it's time to look into proper storage/redundancy.

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Your network is solid in whta you have to use. No issues there. Your storage plan has no plans for redundancy. If it were mine, I would get another 320 GB drive for the OS and mirror those in a RAID 1 array. For storage, you need two more 2 TB drives of which one would be used to build a RAID 5 array (3 x 2 TB) and one for backups.

 

The RAID 5 array for storage can either use the MOBO or a dedicated RAID card.

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Adding on to jmwills' post, I would not worry about getting SATA III (6Gb) drives. This is a server, not a video editting station, so drive performance isn't that important. A RAID setup would give you a performance boost anyway, so I would save the money and get SATA II drives.

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Hi guys. My network consists of one central 24 port gigabit switch. Cabling in between computers/switch is a high performance category 6E. In theory my cabling can support 10 gig, however I am not going to buy a 10 gig switch or network cards so for the foreseeable future i have a gigabit network.

 

As for storage my initial thought is to purchase one new 320GB 7200rpm HD for WHS main drive. I currently have two WD green 2GB 5400rpm in my HPTC that I want to use in the WHS since all my storage will be there. In the future I would like to keep adding 2GB HD as required.

 

My idea is to have a HD for WHS, HD for critical files (movies, recordings, shows, itunes library, PC backups) and a HD for other less critical files (pictures, etc). Some questions I have on storage is the following:

 

Is it useful to utilize raid setup? My motherboard can support raid 0/1/5/10. If so would you raid WHS HD as well as the critical HD? What raid level,1 for WHS HD and 5 for critical HD?

 

SATA 3Gb vs 6Gb. My motherboard has 4 3Gb and 2 6Gb. What drives would benefit the most when connecting to these ports? I know the HD would have to support 6Gb, but if there is a major benefit to utilizing 6Gb then I would look into purchasing HD's for this.

 

Storage is not my strong side. I always use to just buy storage based on size/price with no redundancy built in. Since I am building a WHS which will store a whole range of media (itunes, PC backups, WMC recorded media, and so on) it's time to look into proper storage/redundancy.

 

 

What you have planned sounds pretty good but I do agree with all the recommendations from ikon and jmwills with one exception. Stay on your present path till you need the extra storage and when you are ready for raid, stay with a controller and not your motherboard. What I have seen in the last 6 months in terms of stability, ease of use, and reliability will force me to say without hesitation to do yourself a really big favor stay away from the MB. Just my two cents.

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My 2 cents would be to stay away from RAID-5 unless you don't mind spending some $$ on a controller card AND if you're comfortable with setting it up and maintaining it. If you have room in that box (and motherboard) for another couple of drives, I would just use WHS"s built-in server backup and dedicate a drive or 2 as backup drives. It can be scheduled to run twice a day if you wish, and is dead simple.

 

As for RAID-1'ing the main system drive, that's a reasonable solution that will give you better availability. (if 1 fails, you'll be back up and running quickly) If you want to do that, I'd recommend just using software RAID-1 in Windows. (using diskpart or the server manager GUI tools)

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