Forum Spotlight: “Andromeda” DIY Home Server

by Alex Kuretz on July 23, 2009

in Forum Spotlight

Long-time forum member “cavediver” was first spotlighted in my Massive Storage and the MediaSmart Server blog post, when he shared his 17-drive, 21 terabyte MediaSmart Server setup with us. A little while after he increased his storage capacity to 27 terabytes across 22 drives by adding an additional 4-drive Sans Digital storage enclosure. This led him to consider building a “more robust” server that could contain all the drives in a single enclosure. After much research (with a lot of good info gathered from the system builders/data storage gurus at the [H]ard Forums), he ended up deciding on a rack mount server built from the following components and stored in an Istar W022U open server rack.

  • Case: Norco RPC-4220 (20 – 3.5″ hot swap sata drive bays + 1 – 2.5″ drive bay)
  • Power Supply: Corsair HX750W
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-MA790GP-UD4H
  • CPU: AMD 5050e
  • RAM: 4 GB (2 x 2 GB Corsair XMS2 DDR2-800) (only 3.5 GB is recognized)
  • SATA controller cards: (2) – Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8
  • Optical drive: Sony AD7590S slim DVD RW drive
  • System Drive: Kingston SSDNow V series 128 GB SSD
  • Storage Pool: No drives yet, however, there will be 20 – 2 TB Seagate LP or WD GP drives or a mix of the two.
  • OS: Windows Home Server

Cavediver has this beast up and running, currently in a testing mode to make sure all the hardware is functioning correctly. So far he says the performance has been great, allowing him to simultaneously copy files to the server and stream high definition .m2ts files, something that he was unable to accomplish with the lower-horsepower MediaSmart Server. He indicates that the temperatures have also been very good, though he is building a custom fan board to support larger, quieter fans. We’re also anxious to see power consumption readings from the Kill-A-Watt once he’s farther along with the build process and has a large number of drives installed.

Here are some pictures that cavediver gave me to share, click on them for high resolution versions.

Disk Management view of drives

Disk Management view of drives

Andromeda mounted in the rack

Andromeda mounted in the rack

View of SSD system drive, optical drive, and motherboard

View of SSD system drive, optical drive, and motherboard

Motherboard and fan assembly view

Motherboard and fan assembly view

Thanks to cavediver for sharing “Andromeda” with us. You can read all the details and see more pictures in this forum topic, and you can ask him any questions about his build there. If you have built or plan on building a DIY Home Server, be sure to check out our fledgling DIY Home Server forum and talk with other members who are doing the same thing.





Article by

I'm Alex Kuretz, and I'm the founder of MediaSmartServer.net. I was the Lead Test and Integration Engineer at HP for the MediaSmart Server until April 2008 when I moved on to other opportunities outside HP. I've kept active in the Windows Home Server community, creating several add-ins and helping users make the most of their Home Servers.


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