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First server and some questions


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Sorry about the formatting of this post. My questions are all over the place.


Now that I have my server (almost) built I am trying to understand and plan some things. I was going to use FreeNAS or Nas4Free as the OS but I am now leaning more toward WHS2011 because I was just reading that in order to use the FreeNAS and its ZFS it is strongly recommended to use ECC ram. I don't have this nor does my mother board support it so instead of doing this the proper (I realize I don't HAVE to I just don't want the worry) way in FreeNAS and buying different ram and motherboard I am thinking of buying WHS2011 and using a drive pooling software.


I have 6 2tb Western Digital Red hard drives for primary storage. I was thinking of using just 5 disks and save one for a backup in case of a bad drive. 2 120GB SSD drives for whatever 1 Western Digital 3TB Red Hard Drive for whatever.


Should I get a 1TB WD Red for the operating system or something else? OS Specs say it needs 160gb so that is to big for my SSD drives.


I have the HighPoint 2720SGL card but will it work with drive pool software?


Does the pool software create a redundant disk like Raid so instead of 12TB of storage I would have less because of the raid taking a disk?


I plan for this server to be a SABnzbd downloader and a file sharing media server.


I am not entirely sure how I want to do backups yet. I looked into Crashplan but I really don't have a need to copy my entire desktop computers hard drives. If my desktop computers go bad I am ok with a reformat and just reload the OS and software. I only need to save certain files and so far I have been using Dropbox for that. I guess when I start to fill that server I will need to back up that data so I am uncertain of a cloud solution or just get a Synology and backup to it. Getting a 4 bay Synology and filling it with hard drives is very costly so are there other options I should consider?


What drive pool software is recommended?


I did an impulse buy of Drive Bender but is Stablebit better or anything else out there? I still have a lot to learn.


My build list in case it is needed:


HighPoint RocketRAID 2720SGL

AS Rock LGA1155 Intel Z77 PRO4-M

Intel PRO/1000 Pt Dual Port Server Adapter


G.SKILL Ares Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600

Western Digital 2TB Red NAS Hard Drives x 6

Western Digital 3TB Red NAS Hard Drives x 1

Kingston 3k SSD 120gb x 2

Fractal Design Define R4 Case

Intel Core i3-3225 Ivy Bridge 3.3GHz

Edited by Opiy
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  • jmwills


  • Renny


  • Joe_Miner


  • Opiy


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Not going to try and answer all your questions, but just offer this advice:


Use one of your SSDs for the OS (there is a thread on here about installing 2011 on a drive less than specified and it can be done)


Rather than use a proprietary drive pooling solution, just use RAID 5 (or 6) depending on your data requirement for absolute storage requirements.


Perhaps use the 3TB drive as a backup drive for clients


Crashplan will let you tailor what you back up (I only backup photos, home videos and docs) to Crashplan which is the best product out there as they have servers in Australia.


Otherwise, the hardware should make for a great server, good luck

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^^ A second to what Renny said.  My main server uses a dedicated RAID card (RR 2720) and the server that backs up to uses Drive Bender.  Get the SSD for the OS and a spare drive for the clients.


One thing to consider that if your clients never leave home, why not just put the data on the server and be done with it?  You can still backup the OS for the clients and the backup for the server plus the redundancy of the RAID can handle the data protection.

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I just found bit.ly/q3g0xh for the Install WHS 2011 on less than 160gb SSD in case someone else comes along with the same questions. I assume this is the same post you were talking about.

I have WHS 2011 coming and will be here Tuesday.

I think now my biggest question in my mind is backup software. I am curious how it works. Crash plan, for example, does it make a duplicate of every file or is it compressed? I guess what I am trying to figure out is how the software works to get an idea of how much storage I need for backups. If I use this computer for example which is my gaming rig, it has a huge amount of storage just in the games alone. If I make a complete backup of everything on this computer it would be over 1TB. I guess the one 3TB I have would be plenty even with the tiny amount needed for the other computers. I guess I will study on Crash Plan some now and if anyone wants to suggest I look at another option please do.

I hope Tuesday I will have everything put together and the OS installed, then I can really start seeing how everything will work out.



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I got everything put together on the test bench and working. The OS is installed and updated and things seem to look good.

After I was satisfied with that I placed everything in the server case, connected the wires, and tidied things up a bit. Today after work I will have to get the RAID setup. I just got a new 1TB WD Red because for the cost of it and what I hope is a good longevity since it is a NAS drive I figure it would last longer.


Some of my questions so far are:


Do you guys run any kind of firewall or anti virus on your server? I was thinking of putting Malwarebytes and Webroot on it but I wasn't sure.


Can you think of any software that I should think of getting?


I don't know how to setup RAID so I will google that later today.



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It's a Windows OS, it has it's own firewall.  AV has been a back and forth discussion here.  Since I never use the server to download anything but Windows updates, I do not use an AV solution.  All data is coming form the clients which run Malwarebytes so I fell as secure as I possibly can.


How are you going to setup RAID with just one drive?

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Since I am thinking of running sabnzbd I may need to run some AV. Plus the other people in the house are the kind that don't know what something is so they will install or click ok. I trust me but they are the ones that make concerned. I do have AV on their computers. I should have said but I have 5 2tb reds for the storage. I was going to use the SSD for the os but I changed my mind and used the WD red instead.

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You can check the AV threads in WHS2011 to see what other's are using http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/forum/52-security/


Here's a write-up that installed WHS2011 on a 60GB SSD http://homeservershow.com/installing-windows-home-server-2011-on-a-ssd-in-a-hp-microserver-n40l.html


OR you could install WHS2011 on a spinner and clone it to a SSD smaller that 160GB http://homeservershow.com/running-an-ssd-on-whs.html

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I wish I could edit my post #5. I see an error that it made it look like I just had the one 1TB hard drive and that is it. I meant to say I need to setup the RAID today which I think I have about got. I went into the control card and setup the raid but I guess I need to go into the motherboard bios and configure something else? I will poke around some and try to figure it out.


Also the 1TB hard drive was the OS drive that I put WHS2011 on. The cost of it compared to the SSD and having to bother with all the steps above, it just seemed much easier to get the spinner. Setup was super easy that way.


I have to figure out this sharing thing and how to gain access easily. I thought I set sharing up but then I had to set sharing on the individual folders also. I'll figure this thing out though : )


Thanks for the links Joe

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