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New WHS Build - appreciate feedback


doc
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Just joined your forum and making my first post after reading many similar posts about WHS Builds from others.

Hope I put it together in some reasonable shape.

There always appears to be lots of great feedback given and am looking for the same.

 

After having WHS v1 running on an old Dell Dimension desktop I re-purposed as a server some years back, it bit the dust and I am looking to build a new WHS 2011 box.

 

I'm looking forward to doing the build but would love to be well prepared and would appreciate any input and suggestions about different options, any mismatched components, etc.

 

After plenty of research my current build list is:

  • Intel Core i3 2100
  • Gigabyte GA-H61M-USB3-B3 Motherboard
  • G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 SDRAM
  • HighPoint RocketRAID 2680 SGL PCI-Express x4 SATA / SAS Controller (plus the 2 x Mini SAS to 4x SATA Breakout Cables needed)
  • 2 x Seagate Barracuda 500GB ST500DM002 (for OS in Raid 1 array)
  • 2 x existing WD 1TB Green drives from old WHS Box (for valuable Photo, Home Movies and Document storage in Raid 1 array)
  • 3 x Seagate Barracuda Green 2TB ST20000DL003 (for storage of Movies, Music and Client PC Backups in Raid 5 array)
  • Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
  • Antec Neo Eco 450C
  • Microsoft Windows Home Server 2011 64bit OEM

My major needs are as a media server streaming movies to a WDTV Live, nightly back-ups of two PCs, a must-have backup of all Pictures, home movies and documents.

Also want to run SABnzbd and Sickbeard on the server instead of on one of the PCs as I do now.

 

Some questions I still have are:

  1. Like my old server this will sit in my garage and on very hot days the old server's fans used to run constant and loud and I used to shut it down just to be safe. I've never dealt much with cooling other than stock fans so any reasonable suggestions to keep this one cooler would be great.
  2. Is the Raid 1 mirror on the OS unnecessary? I see lots of talk about using smaller drives for this - what's the benefit?
  3. Can I actually run 3 separate Raid arrays successfully with the controller?
  4. Power supply enough for all those drives?

Really appreciate any feedback.

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Here is my input:

 

1. Should not be a problem as long as the case has adaquate venting. Personally I would not buy an Antec case and go with something a bit better for not much more. With that many drives get something with vib mounts for the drives such as the Fractal Arc(http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811352007)

 

2. I used to run a mirror on my OS and personally it is a matter choice. I ended up removing it and going SSD.

 

3. Absolutely. also, consider the 2720 which is the 6 gig version on the 2680 for future proofing.

 

4. PS should be no problem in terms of wattage.

 

Your component selection looks good.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the comments pcdoc. More research done and now a few more questions:

 

OS Drive:

  • Seems many use IcyDock with laptop drives in a mirror here. I guess this is mostly to use one 3.5" bay instead of two? Can you tell me which model IcyDock people use as I cannot seem to find the right one on sites here in OZ that seems to fit the bill?
  • Looking at the SSD option too, specifically an OCZ Vertex 3 120GB SSD Max IOPS. The price of this compares favourably with the 2 HDDs but what do you do about a restore option for the OS then? If I read correctly pcdoc, do you use Acronis to make an image of the OS for this? How often do you do this - guess the OS files don't change too much over time?

 

Case

  • I like the Fractal one you linked me to (great little video) and now have it ahead of the Antec one I had selected - many thanks.
  • However I'm now also considering a rack mount case, like a Norco thinking it may give me easier storage expansion options down the track. Any general comments on dealing with a rack mount case vs a tower case. I've never had a rack case before.

 

Raid Controller - I'm going to go with the 2720 that you suggested I consider, actually I can almost get it for the same price as the 2680 so a great idea - many thanks.!

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Yes, I am using Acronis to back up my main rig in addition to WHS 2011. Good luck and remember to post pictures.

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No pics = it didn't happen ;)

 

Oh it will happen, it's about 6 months overdue as it is!

Almost starting ordering the components last week when someone posted a link to a good deal on the Crucial M4 on a local forum.

BUT coming out of a contract this week and still need to firm up the next one...so it is likely to wait for a couple of weeks.

 

I'll be sure to post pics when it's done...

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... a link to a good deal on the Crucial M4 on a local forum.

 

Actually the deal on the Crucial SSD I mentioned is this one Crucial 128 GB m4 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive SATA 6Gb/s CT128M4SSD2 (comes in at about AU$181).

 

Any thoughts on this instead of the OCZ Vertex 3 120GB SSD Max IOPS I had listed last (available at AU$215)?

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Actually the deal on the Crucial SSD I mentioned is this one Crucial 128 GB m4 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive SATA 6Gb/s CT128M4SSD2 (comes in at about AU$181).

 

Any thoughts on this instead of the OCZ Vertex 3 120GB SSD Max IOPS I had listed last (available at AU$215)?

 

Depends on what you want. The V3 max IOPS is significantly faster than the crucial especially in write performance. I have both and you would have to pry the Max from my hands. For a sever the M4 is a great choice if you get a good deal on it as read performance is more critical on a server. For a desktop, go with the V3 Max IOPS as it is still the king of performance. The V3 is an overkill on a server.

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I have both and you would have to pry the Max from my hands.

 

That's the sort of review I like to read - really committed :)

After reading all the comments about SSDs now I am thinking about one for my main desktop machine also so it may be the V3 in that and the M4 in the server.

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Just came across this new offering from Tranqil http://www.tranquilpcshop.co.uk/riley-server/ and wondering what the thoughts are on these.

 

I quickly looked at the options they offer for what I need and it would look something like this:

  • Riley Server CP30 Processor unit (i3) - inside is Core i3 2100T, 4GB DDR3 RAM, plus WHS 2011 and I would add the 2 x Intel 80GB SSD option
  • Riley Server SU8 Storage Unit - inside is JM393 RAID controller, 4 x 2TB HDD (unknown type)

These modular units look great for sitting in the lounge, claim to be entirely fanless and supposed to be near silent.

Has anyone any experience with these or other Tranquil units?

 

We do not get the range of pre-built WHS boxes in Oz that seems to occur in the US and UK and I certainly doubt these ones have made it here as yet.

Much more expensive than my own build - including delivery, after currency conversion and taxes applied would be $1000 more!!!

It is likely I would not see the value for this much extra but interested in other's thoughts...

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