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writetomichael

SSD and RAM Home Server Upgrade

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writetomichael

Helllo, it's been nearly a year since I built my home server and i am thinking of a few upgrades to improve general performance/efficiency.

 

Setup:

i3 2100t

gigabyte GA-H67N-USB3-B3

4gb ddr3 (corsair xms3)

500Gb Western Digital WD5000AADS green (server backup)

1TB Western Digital WD10EARS green (60gb whs 2011 partition, another partition for data)

 

Video of build here:

 

 

Uses:

Video steaming to smart tv.

Video steaming to ipad via AirVideo (which runs on whs2011 desktop)

Video and music streaming to ipad via iTunes (using the iHomeserver add-in which runs iTunes as a service [ie constantly] on the server)

I remote into it from my ipad via Splashtop HD (which also runs as a service on the server)

I remote desktop via windows from my gaming rig too

I have a few accounts for friends to back stuff up to over the internet (rarely used)

I have Office 2010 installled on the server so that i can use Word and Excel remotely on the iPad

 

Questions:

A) when I remote in to the server, it's certainly not as zippy on the desktop as my gaming rig - for example, opening the dashboard, maximising/minimising things, dragging things, opening programs etc all seem a bit more sluggish.

 

Do you guys reckon that this is due to eiter 1. Low Ram, 2. CPU or 3. OS installed on a green drive?

 

At the moment I am presuming 1, and 3 and intend to buy another 4gb RAM and an SSD

 

B) Another reason that I am considering an SSD for the OS (perhaps a 128gb Vertex 4) is for power consumption. I figure that since the OS is installed on the 1TB green drive, it is always spinning 24/7 and uses much more electricity than an SSD would use. Also SSD would surely improve the overall experience for remote desktop, remote access over the internet etc...

 

What are your thoughts on this, has anyone seen tabgible performance/power consumption benefits from upgrading to an SSD?

 

All thoughts much appreciated.

 

Many thanks

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jmwills

Before you spend any money, have you tried defragging the hard drive?

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writetomichael

Hi, to be honest i haven't defragged my hdd since i built the server - would 9 minths of usage really cause that much fragmentation and therefore a noticable performance drop? either way I'll defrag just in case - thanks for the advice.

 

I should have mentioned that in both cases i am remote desktopping via wireless, and my router is the standard one that my isp gave me - presumably that would be the likely cause of the sluggishness...

 

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jmwills

For sure, get rid of the ISP router and yes you could and probably will see significant fragmentation in that drive.

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pcdoc

I would agree that dropping an SSD would help your cause. Since the OS lives in 60G, I would suggest getting that size. IF you are using air video allot you might want to increase your RAM.

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ikon

I should have mentioned that in both cases i am remote desktopping via wireless, and my router is the standard one that my isp gave me - presumably that would be the likely cause of the sluggishness...

 

I always have my Wireless Access Point(s) and internet router separate from the ISP-supplied modem/router. I then configure the ISP-supplied modem/router as a pure bridge. I find this really helps with performance and reliability. This configuration has also helped a number of colleagues and family members solve internet performance issues, particularly wireless connections mysteriously dropping at seemingly random times.

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writetomichael

Interesting...thanks for the info guys.

 

Ikon - I presume that you're saying you just connect a secondary router via ethernet to the isp standard router then connect all your wireless devices to the secondary router? Is it literally as simple as plugging in the "good" secondary router and connecting everything to that?

 

I must admit that with ivy bridge coming out in a few weeks I would prefer to avoid spending an excessive amount on the server, plus getting a decent router would benefit everyone that uses wifi in the house and no doubt the range and quality of signal.

 

So my questions are:

1. Can anyone recommend a good router in light of the above

2. apart from Airvideo, will the extra RAM also benefit the other services running like iHomeserver and Splashtop Remote?

 

Many thanks for the help

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jmwills

No on the router....only one DHCP server on the LAN. I would leave DHCP running on the primary, disable wireless on primary and then on the second router, enable wireless, add security, turn off DHCP and give it an IP address say of 192.168.1.254. That will effectively make the second router an Access Point.

 

If you are trying to stream video over wireless, that may be your issue in short. I would not advise it.

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ikon

Interesting...thanks for the info guys.

 

Ikon - I presume that you're saying you just connect a secondary router via ethernet to the isp standard router then connect all your wireless devices to the secondary router? Is it literally as simple as plugging in the "good" secondary router and connecting everything to that?

 

I must admit that with ivy bridge coming out in a few weeks I would prefer to avoid spending an excessive amount on the server, plus getting a decent router would benefit everyone that uses wifi in the house and no doubt the range and quality of signal.

 

So my questions are:

1. Can anyone recommend a good router in light of the above

2. apart from Airvideo, will the extra RAM also benefit the other services running like iHomeserver and Splashtop Remote?

 

Many thanks for the help

 

That's sorta what I do. I am forced to use the router given to me by my ISP because it's MAC address has to be registered with the ISP. But, I log into the ISP router and put it into bridge mode, so it doesn't do any routing, or wireless, at all. I remember a time a few years back when I had to fight my ISP to do this, sometimes having to search the net to find instructions on how to enable bridging-only mode on the particular router they gave me. Doing what I'm doing must have become very popular since those days because, these days, my ISP actually provides a card with the router that gives you all the info you need to enable bridge mode. They call it 'Advanced User' mode They have even gone as far as ensuring every make and model of router they provide has exactly the same default IP, username, and password, so they can give out the same card to everyone. :)

 

My ISP-supplied router is hardwired to my main 'router', which is an old computer running Untangle. The Untangle box is hardwired from a 2nd NIC to my Netgear 16-port switch. Everything connects to this switch. I have a D-:Link DIR-825 router that acts as my Wireless Access Point. It has all it's routing capabilities turned off.

 

This configuration means that each device only has 1 or 2 functions to perform - they seem to work better, and more reliably that way. Also, the Ethernet switches on routers are not known for being particularly good, hence the dedicated Netgear switch.

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jmwills

You can clone the second router to match the MAC of the first one.

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