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Windows Home Server Project

Discussion in 'System Builder's Advice' started by edgedemon, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. edgedemon New Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    Im looking at building a Windows Home Server NAS and could do with a reality check as I in two mind on which way to go

    The whole projects was inspired by this device below (and the need to put my 400+ DVD and 1600+ CD collection onto disk for my newly built HTPC)

    http://www.via.com.tw/en/products/embedded/nsd7800/

    I have been in contact with Via and this product, although released, is ‘project based’ so unlikely to appear soon. So I thought I would build my own!
    I have been unable to find the case that they used, but did find quite a nice Coolermaster case – The itower 930 which has 4 x hot swap SATA bays and if I purchase 2 x 4-in-3 5.25 to 3.5 converter kits I can have 10 SATA drives maximum in this case

    http://www.coolermaster.com/products/product.php?act=detail&id=6 - bigger than I would like, but at least I can fit lots of drives in
    http://www.coolermaster.com/products/product.php?language=en&act=detail&tbcate=65&id=2542 – the 5.25 to 3.5 converter.

    Unfortunately this case is ATX or m-atx, so my power draw is going to increase more than I would like, I have seen some 400W PSU’s with 9 x SATA connections so it is looking like that is the way to go. What would be the best PSU, mobo/CPU combination to use as I am looking to use a little power as possible for this. It will be on 24/7, so Im looking to keep the power down as much as possible
    Dont AMD have a low power line of CPU's and mobo's? How big a PSU do I need to power upto 10 drives?

    The other way I could go is the mini-itx route, tranquil PC’s do a nice line of barebones home server boxes, but they are pricey and only hold 5 drives. Reading up a bit, I know to get decent performance in WHS, it needs a large system drive, so that only leaves 4 drives for storage and I would lose even more storage as I do plan to have WHS replicating folders and laptop backups. I could extend the drives using e-sata, but how does it work, can I extend e-sata like usb, ie daisy chain barebone drive caddys off each other as I need more space, can I daisy chain more than one?
    Im worried that if I go down this route I will hit space issues in a month or two...

    Id be interested to hear what other people are using as their Home NAS solutions, any advice would be welcome

    Cheers – I await your advice
  2. IggSter

    IggSter

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    Have a look at Tranquilpc (sorry I'm at work atm and dont have access to the link)

    IMHO they offer the best WHS solutions for low power/high exandibility (Single or dual core Atom CPUs)
  3. edgedemon New Member

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    I've seen the link, I know that they can be extended via e-sata, but is this a one off thing, or can I add a 5 drive sata enclosure to the barebone unit and then add another 5 drive enclosure daisy-chained off the first enclosure?
  4. IggSter

    IggSter

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    IIRC the base server can take 5 x sata drives and you can add an external sata drive cage that will accept 5 more drives. I will double check and update this post.


    Update:

    Server

    HDD Extender

    That would give a total of 15TB of storage if 1.5TB drives were used.

    Update 2:

    Video Review-a bit dull but good info
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2009
    edgedemon says thanks.
  5. edgedemon New Member

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    Cheers, I will have a look at the vid when i get in from work. Im curious to see if I can also add an additional extender
    ie Server - HDD extender - 2nd HDD Extender
    I will email their tech support and see what they say...
    It might be the best option, but the thing is just so ugly..

    Thanks for the help
  6. IggSter

    IggSter

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    This server may be more suitable because:

    T2e300

    1. It looks better
    2. It can take 2 PCIe cards for esata connectivity

    On their site is also a live chat option to speak to their sales/tech people, that might be the best option for fast info.
  7. NastyHabits

    NastyHabits

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    You can find many ideas/guides for a DIY NAS box here
    lemonadesoda says thanks.
    Crunching for Team TPU
  8. edgedemon New Member

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    Ahh, the joys of research :D

    Will have a look and no doubt get back with more suggestions

    Found the VIA box from my first link, but at £570

    http://linitx.com/viewproduct.php?prodid=12296

    determined to do something myself at half the cost...
  9. IggSter

    IggSter

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  10. edgedemon New Member

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    Wow - the list gets longer, browsing through list of projects now :p
  11. edgedemon New Member

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    The problem with research is sometimes it increases your options rather than narrowing them!

    I have read somewhere that mini-itx boards will fit into m-atx cases just fine, which has me thinking that I can use a dual core atom set up with a PCI card...

    Can someone here confirm if that is true?

    many thanks

    Martin
  12. edgedemon New Member

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    I have managed to source the mobo I want, and I think it will fit in the Chenbro NAS case :D

    What a little beauty!

    http://www.habeyusa.com/datasheet/MITX-6852.pdf

    I am having problems sourcing an ULV celeron CPU (socket 479), can anyone point me to a site where I can get these as all I am finding is embedded systems or laptops, I just want the cpu!
    Are there any other options for socket 479 that are really low voltage? As long as it powers Win Home server Im happy
  13. edgedemon New Member

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    any ideas anyone?
  14. lemonadesoda

    lemonadesoda

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    Yes, you can. I have been putting mini-ITX boards into mATX cases for years now. Many of our PCs at work are such systems.

    Nice board. If you are just using this thing as a NAS, then you have more than enough power with a (cheaper) Atom 330 board. In fact, the Atom 330 has enough power for running some server services too.

    The MITX-6852 is overkill (and a lot more expensive). Only do this route if you want the NAS to do a lot of work. But then, that's not a NAS anymore but a server. Complete overkill for a NAS device. Very nice as a platform running W2K3 server or higher.

    Note that I recently commissioned an Atom 330 server on W2K3 and am more than satisfied with the performance. Details here: http://forums.techpowerup.com/showthread.php?t=82785
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2009
  15. edgedemon New Member

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    the atom is OK, but not enough SATA ports and this has 4 + 2 e-sata for external NAS enclosures. The only problem is finding a low voltage cpu to fit the socket.
    I did seriously look at the atom boards, but e-sata is a biggy for me, especially as I want to use the Chenbro NAS case, 1 drive for OS/storage, 3 for data and a 5 bay NAS off the e-sata port:D
  16. edgedemon New Member

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    I have double checked, but the atom mobo's that I can find only have 2 sata ports..

    Have I missed the boat and it is too late to buy ULV processors?

    Via have some nice mobo's, but using the IDE slot disables the sata hotplug and raid functions :banghead:
  17. lemonadesoda

    lemonadesoda

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    If you are happy to use mATX mainboard then there are more options. However, seems that most Atom based boards have limited SATA ports, HOWEVER, you could add a SATA controller with internal and external ports. In fact, why not a SATA RAID controller http://geizhals.at/deutschland/a101005.html for extra data robustness...or JBOD?

    http://geizhals.at/deutschland/a378655.html << this one with RAID controller would be my choice.
    http://geizhals.at/deutschland/a267338.html
    http://geizhals.at/deutschland/a345566.html (dirt cheap, but probably not good enough)

    Perhaps your first suggestion wasnt so bad after all.

    Also, check todays QNAP marketing news: http://forums.techpowerup.com/showthread.php?t=84103 it might do all you need. If you want you could also put Windows on there.
  18. edgedemon New Member

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  19. lemonadesoda

    lemonadesoda

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  20. DanTheBanjoman Señor Moderator

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    If the VGA port works properly, with the 509 it didn't. It didn't mind a keyboard though. Also you require a larger flash disk to install Windows on.
  21. lemonadesoda

    lemonadesoda

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    ^^ thanks for the warnings.
  22. edgedemon New Member

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    After going around in circles with so many options and just not being able to find a solution that will let me use the Chenbro case and have e-SATA at a reasonable cost I am now looking at a m-atx case such as the antec mini P180 or maybe either antec NSK4480 or foxconn TLM-436, which I can stuff with drives. This will lower the cost, increase the choice at the expense of having a tiny very quiet solution
    I have a few questions and a request for some mobo's

    If I am going down this route I can either go with a
    mini-itx atom with multiport e-sata port expansion card
    any mobo with a decent amount of sata ports and a e-sata card with a CPU that I will underclock/undervolt

    what is the best solution for me with the lowest power draw?

    Also, if I buy a mobo with 5/6 sata ports, will I hit any bandwidth issues, can each port hit the 3Gb/sec limit of SATA2 at the same time?

    Can anyone give me some good mobo's/CPU's that are ideal for underclocking?

    Im nearly there now, now that I have abandoned the Chenbro and picked a case, I just have to chose mobo/cpu and a multiport aware e-SATA card and I begin my build :)

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