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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 23rd September, 2005, 10:28 AM
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Making a home server from scratch.

I'm looking to creating a home server from scratch as cheap as possible. I'm setting up my own home studio and basically need a PC that will host all my files (there's gonna be a hell of a lot of large files as i'm working with 24-bit 96khz sample rate raw audio files). So looking at a minimum storage of 500GB and have the ability to upgrade this size. Am i looking at a raid array to achieve this? If so tell me what i need. The pc needs to be fast enough to serve the files to any location i require them.

I have a wireless router for networking and quite comfortable with networking on windows. Would i be better off getting a server os? Or sticking with windows xp pro? It is purely based for serving files, no centralised log-on.

Or for security would i be better off getting a server os?

Any ideas?
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Old 23rd September, 2005, 10:51 AM
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The speed of the PC isn't really much of an issue. The speed of your network will have a much bigger impact on how fast you can work with your files than the speed of the PC! Wireless networks are very slow compared to wired networks. How big are the files you're working with?

500GB is actually possible on a single disk, but they tend to attract a premium price. A RAID array could be set up to give you some redundancy (RAID1/3/5) or lots of space (RAID0). However, a single disk failure under RAID0 will total the data on the array.

You don't need a server OS for what you're trying to do either.
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Old 23rd September, 2005, 02:31 PM
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Would be cheaper for you to buy a NAS drive if you have to. Can get a 500GB NAS storage boxes for relatively cheap now, I use one to do backups of all my network machines. You will never get anything faster really.
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Old 23rd September, 2005, 04:15 PM
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Cheapest 500gb NAS in UK, well, that froogle threw up anyway: http://www.savastore.com/productinfo...pid=45&tid=422
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Old 23rd September, 2005, 11:37 PM
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would getting a nas drive be the best option then? A wired network is not possible im afraid! As for filesizes we're talking at least a gig per song for a raw master depending on length.
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Old 24th September, 2005, 03:08 AM
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NAS drives are dedicated, completely stable, and faster than any server you will build really. I think its definately the best option.
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Old 24th September, 2005, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsio
NAS drives are dedicated, completely stable, and faster than any server you will build really. I think its definately the best option.
Having both, I'd disagree. NAS boxes are typically limited on memory for caching (often only have 16 or 32Mb of RAM), and a relatively slow processor. They often run VXWorks or Linux as the OS on the system. The other issue might be expandability, especially if you want to incorporate additional hard disks at a later date.

With wireless networking involved as well, the bandwidth is extremely limited. The Lacie that was suggested above will struggle to break the 4Mbyte/sec mark on reads. The IOmega NAS 200D range is much faster, and will hit the 10Mbyte/sec mark. However, on a 54Mbit/sec wireless network (802.11G), you'll find speeds are limited to around the 3-4Mbyte/sec mark. For comparison, IDE hard disks are able to deliver 50-80Mbyte/sec, so your access to data across the network will be in the order of 10-20 times slower.

If you're talking a GB per song, then at 4Mbyte/sec, it'll take nearly 5 minutes to transfer that GB.
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Last edited by Áedán; 24th September, 2005 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 24th September, 2005, 11:58 AM
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The one I use takes 168 pin SDRAM sticks in 4 slots for its cache, runs some sort of Pentium 3 processor, and was as easy to upgrade as slide the old disk in its carrier out, and slide the new one in. Perhaps a very different price range, but I couldnt imagine the lower end products being quite that crappy.

Second hand is your friend. Mine was made redundant by a set of Windows 2003 servers before I salvaged it.
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Old 24th September, 2005, 12:11 PM
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If you had a model with a P3 processor in it, you might well find it was part of Intel's midrange NAS Appliance design. Even current P3 based NAS devices typically ship for over US$1,000. Obviously I've no idea what your device cost when it was new!
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Old 24th September, 2005, 01:10 PM
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It isnt a bought new machine. The company I interned with built the things among others such as routers PABXs and switches. They just take a rack chasis, and build them from there. This particular one is a konnex package, which is just a P3 rack mainboard, an IDE controller board, a single CPU (Pentium 3 ULV 600Mhz), 4 slots for SDRAM (256MB only now), a NIC board, slots for 4 removable disks, and a 256MB PCMCIA flash memory card which stores the operating system (a custom linux OS).

The cost to build price is only AU$420 plus any hard disks you want.

They started making them at this company about 3 years ago, and the same model still goes for $1800, which inlcudes setup.

I assumed that the cheaper ones would be running some kind of XScale chip, with plenty of memory, since the stuff costs nothing these days. Even 32MB sounds extremely weak.
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Old 24th September, 2005, 05:57 PM
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I don't wanna be paying more than £300. Two 250GB seagate barracudas will set me back £155. Then a mobo, proc, memory, case, cables, cheap optical drive and psu won't exactly break the bank for what i want. Is it worth getting on of these NAS drives.

The thing that i want to be able to do most is just add drives as a want while retaining the original drives. Backing up a helluva lot of data to move onto another larger drive each time i run out of space does not sound appealling at all!
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Old 2nd October, 2005, 06:28 PM
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I'm not a very demanding user, but I use the slowest junk I can throw together for a server. As previously stated, you will find it very hard to build a machine that is slower than your network. Right now my server is a celery 667 running win2k pro on 192 meg of ram. Everything is onboard crap. I never have a problem with it. I built it out of junk I had lying around in about 40 minutes from screwdriver to windows. I had a cable installer comming and the machine the modem was supposed tp get connected to blew a PSU about an hour before he was to arrive. Not knowing the actual problem, and having no time for troubleshooting, I just slopped it together. It only gets rebooted when the power goes out. I use it for my e-mail, WinMX, and serving files from my aging raid arrays.

Invest your money in gigabit networking, not a server that is more than you need.
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