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Time for a Hardware Upgrade, should i upgrade software too?


GeeBeeMTB
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Hi,

 

ive not really paid much attention to my server recently - its been happily chugging away in a home built box running V1 for a few years.

 

however, its showing signs of being about to collapse (cant view the console, either on another pc or via remote view). its time to add a bit more storage, and try and tack on a few more capabilities.

 

i view my content on a PS3 hooked up to my TV (via a gigabit hardwire to my switch / server). due to hardware limitations on the server, i currently have to run mkv2vob on my videos to convert them from .mkv to .mpg so my PS3 can play them.

 

QUESTION: what kind of spec would i be looking at to use ps3mediaserver to comfortably transcode 720 videos (my system just about does this, but it struggles and gets hot), to save me manually transcoding?

 

QUESTION: same for 1080 (my system wont touch them).

 

when server 2011 was released, i decided against buying it at the time, as i didnt fancy losing drive extender. i note that there are third party vendors offering a similar functionality now. i dont so much need the drive mirror capability, as i use MS synctoy to back up certain content to an external hardrive, and on top of this i use amazon cloud storage for photos etc.

 

QUESTION: do the benefits of 2011 outweigh the lack of drive extender?

 

my basic plan is to

 

1) buy a box from somewhere like scan, with a 3gb drive

 

2) install whs (either v1 or 2011).

 

3) hook it into my network and start copying content across from the current server.

 

4) as drives get emptied on the original box, drop them into the server.

 

 

any advice would be gratefully received, as although i used to be into homebuild some years ago (1993 - 2004), i havent kept current.

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Welcome to the Forums GeeBeeMTB! Be sure to introduce yourself http://homeserversho...e/page__st__120 and check out all the many sub forums as well as the library of Podcasts http://homeservershow.com/

 

what kind of spec would i be looking at to use ps3mediaserver to comfortably transcode 720 videos (my system just about does this, but it struggles and gets hot), to save me manually transcoding?

same for 1080 (my system wont touch them).

 

There are a number of people on this Forum who do transcode on their servers so they could better tell you what hardware you need but I think you’re looking at a minimum Sandy Bridge i3 or maybe even i5.

 

A very nice server that is an i3-2120 Sandy Bridge based is at http://homeserversho...-with-whs-2011/

 

I do my conversions only on my i7-930 or my Sandy Bridge i5-2500k -- then move to my Server

 

do the benefits of 2011 outweigh the lack of drive extender?

 

IMHO, StableBit DrivePool is better than Drive Extender and it provides the same protection that if you lose your drive and/or your system (and you have file duplication turned on) you can pull your drives and get your data off by plugging them into any Windows Machine. Nice!

 

I use DrivePool in my WHS2011 system and it has been rock solid. The N40L is a great Server but it is way underpowered for what I think you want to do. See above.

 

 

1) buy a box from somewhere like scan, with a 3gb drive

 

WHS2011 can see 3TB drives. WHS-V1 can’t without a hack.

 

 

3) hook it into my network and start copying content across from the current server. & 4) as drives get emptied on the original box, drop them into the server.

 

 

You need to maintain a 3-2-1 system:

 

3 copies (minimum) of your data (that could be the original plus 2 copies) (I double that for “critical” data)

2 forms of media – HD & DVD or HD & Cloud or HD & Tape or etc. (I use a variety of HD types and DVD’s and Hard Copy)

1 copy off site/location (I use a Bank Safety Deposit Box for Off-site)

 

And you need to back-up religiously – expect and PLAN FOR the worse contingency!

Edited by Joe_Miner
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thanks for the reply. i appreciate it. some good feedback there - looks like it will be 2011 then with stablebit drivepool.

 

only question now is the spec of the processor.

 

i have been looking at this on the ps3mediaserver forums, and am going to try installing ps3mediaserver on my desktop to get a feel for how the processor on that copes with a 1080p mkv. might give me a steer as to the power required.

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just tried streaming a1080p file from my desktop using ps3mediaserver. desktop is running an Athlon 7750 x2, and its not taxing the chip at all.

 

looks like i just need to buy a box with a similar chip, spec a 3gb hard drive and buy the OS.

 

nice.

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just tried streaming a1080p file from my desktop using ps3mediaserver. desktop is running an Athlon 7750 x2, and its not taxing the chip at all.

 

looks like i just need to buy a box with a similar chip, spec a 3gb hard drive and buy the OS.

 

nice.

 

Cool. Looks like a Sandy Bridge i3-2XXX would be plenty then too.

 

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/78?vs=289

 

A number of people in these Forums have built their own machines -- which could be an alternative to buying a ready made box. You may find it interesting to check out the various builds throughout the Forums.

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just a reminder; the better your CPU (i3 vs i5 vs i7) the faster your transcoding will go. There are all kinds of caveats with that, but it's basically true.

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Considering the minor price difference, go with a I5-2500 and a decent motherboard (Gigabyte or Asus). You will have an abundance of power with low power usage. Also, I would not port your old drives over if they are more than 3-4 years old. In my experience, WHS 2011 is faster and more stable than V1 so I would go with that. Depending on how many drives you have, you do not really have to use any kind of extender. If you do, I will leave that input to the guys who are using it. Welcome to the forums.

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jmwills - thanks for the offer, but ive been running V1 for some years, so im going to go with 2011.

 

 

pcdoc - the drives currently in the server arent the originals (its been upgraded over time), so i will be porting them over. ive got the important stuff twice backed up (plus once in the cloud), so if i lose a stack of videos its not the end of the world.

 

i was an early adopter of V1 and ran my system on the Beta with 4 No. 250 gig PATA drives at the time, buying V1 when it was launched (all thanks to Ian Dixons Media Center Show podcast as it was called at the time). it was reboxed into an old desktop about 2 years ago and the drives have been added since then.

 

the main reason for the upgrade as opposed to just reformat is that in the last two years i have hardwired gigabit to enable 1080p streaming to my PS3 and the server cant cope.

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