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Store Bought vs Home Built


lmlavinjr
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I assume from the name of this conference I know the answer but... I am trying to figure the pros and cons of buying from a proprietary company versus creating my own home server...

 

 

I want something upgradeable, supported, able to be expanded if necessary. It will start with basic storage and backup duties but more could be added as we go along...

 

 

Opinions and sample builds would be appreciated. I have been putting this off for ever...

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You have to be more specific about what you mean by upgradeable.  Are you talking about memory? CPU? number of drives? PCIe slots for RAID cards?

 

I think you will find that off the shelf can be simpler but the tradeoff is usually flexibility and expansion unless you pay for it up front.

 

With home built you need to decide up front what your future plans would look like and make sure you have a path to where you want to get to in the future.

 

Remember in both cases that technology continues to evolve so spending money for something to allow for future expansion may be a waste if the expansion doesn't happen for a couple of years and the technology is becoming obsolete (or uses more energy).

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What you are asking is kind of like saying "I want a vehicle that has a engine.  What should I get?"

 

What will it be serving, how many will it be serving, are size & power issues, what is the budget, do you have OS preferences, is just some of the information needed to help get you on the right track and for us to help you.  There are TONS of great posts showing off different setups here.  You might want to look at the MicroServer links & info and see if that is something that might fit the bill and go from there.  

Edited by FiLiNuX
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I agree with cskenney. particularly about the 'upgradeable' part. A typical server is really viable for around 5 years IMHO. The technology has changed so much by then that it's time to upgrade.

 

Also, I would be careful about wanting your server to do too much. The more roles you ask a server to fulfill, the greater the chance for problems. I don't think the KISS principle applies anywhere more than with servers.

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Well, I am going to say that you should build your own and the main reason is the case design.  "Most" systems in a given price range have the same memory and CPU upgrade options, however, drive capacity, case desgin, noise, and air flow are a different thing.  For that reason, I would build my own if you think you will want to add more drives.  Otherwise, look at something like the G8 Micro server for basic needs.

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Even with my simple needs for a homeserver, the amount of drives necessary quickly 

negates a microserver. Have built or repurposed machines since WHS1 Beta and the

biggest disappointment I had was the MediaSmart prebuilt line. 

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If you really want to get all the drives inside the chassis then I agree with awraynor. I went the route of using 2 Lian-Li EX-503 external enclosures.

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I really liked the EX-495 as a piece of hardware, but the performance was pretty poor. Also the lack of video out was a big problem.

 

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the new N54L/G8 have processors akin to my currrent i3-540 and I know I wouldn't want anything

less than that for sure. I think the microservers offer a lot, but I'm sticking with homebuilts.

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Thanks all.. I want to be able to add 32GB or more memory, be able to use the latest Intel processors, room to expand to at least 6 drives. Have the ability to run Raid 0/1/5 at least...

 

I am thinking I won't get that with a microserver...

 

 

Build Ideas requested... Thanks

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