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Build a Starter Server - Collaborative Build Project 1


Dave
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Personally, I think uATX is ideal for a starter server.  There are some very nice boards for home server use, that have 4 DIMM slots and enough PCI-E slots available, and have a decent Intel NIC (albeit one that needs a bit of tinkering to get working in Server).  Hint: check my .sig for my favourite current uATX board.

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I haven't bought a new case in ages, and I'm pretty much buying Lian Li these days, which I think are a bit on the pricey side for a starter server. However, I think a mid-tower is a nice compromise: large enough to hold some drives, but small enough to fit many locations in a typical home.

 

I also think uATX is a good form factor. It's a server, so I don't feel it needs tons of expansion slots. I'm not particular about the location of the PSU: top or bottom is good for me.

 

Since it is a starter server, I think a chassis that comes with a PSU might be a better option. Spending around $50 on a chassis, and then another $80 - $100 on a PSU really starts to eat into the budget.

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What about the Norco S4-ITX case?

http://www.amazon.com/Black-mini-ITX-computer-storage-ITX-S4/dp/B00HX7HS5I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1422807514&sr=8-1&keywords=Norco+S4-ITX&pebp=1422807516692&peasin=B00HX7HS5I

ITX board, no PSU... and it requires a Flex ATX PSU (aka a 1U PSU).

However, it's a very small form factor, and hot swappable drive bays. I have one and love it.

 

As for pricing... with or without an OS? That's anywhere between $100-400 (or more for Server Standard). NIX based OS's being free for the most part.

 

If you include the OS, then ~$1000 is a good ballpark. Otherwise, $500-600.

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As others have said much hardware decision will be based on the use case and the capacity required,

Build versus buy is the next question, as this is the BYOB forum I will stick to build.

I tend to see first servers fall into three categories: small/simple-small/swappable-medium/growth.

I would try one of these for small and simple:

http://www.coolermaster.com/case/mini-itx/elite110/

this for small and swappable:

http://usa.chenbro.com/en-US/products/TowerServerChassis/Mini_ITX_Server/SR301

this for medium and growth:

http://www.xigmatek.com/product.php?productid=134

 

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That's one of the questions: is this for a HomeServerShow type or person, or a more general public person. I was going with the latter, mostly since I don't think most HomeServerShow people even bother with starter servers :)

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So I used a mini-ITX chenbro case with hot-swap bays when I built a v1 server... Good idea that was but the itx board only had a couple sata's and the RAID card options were limiting.  A couple years ago I rebuilt a WHS for 2011 - I didn't want to blow up the bank so I used an Antec mini-P180 I had in the attic.  So far I've only had to do a full dust blow out once and the thing is super super quiet.  I dunno if its still available but I would definitely recommend going micro ATX for a home server build to give yourself flexibility.

 

 

I was eyeballing a Fractal case at the time I did a 2011 build but I cant remember which. If I had to build today - this fractal define looks pretty nice for a home server...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811352011

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