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 Post subject: The Beast is HERE!
PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:50 am 
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You may have noticed I am updating past post with relevant updates.
Rather than posting new posts.
I want to keep the thread concise and less a wall of text so glance over the whole thread once in awhile, and I left in the parts that cover the decision making process.
And mistakes, hopefully helping others to avoid them.

****Original first post****************

Well I guess you guys corrupted me.
I have been debating on building or purchasing a ex490 and tweaking the stuffings out of it.
Until this morning when I ran accross a deal on a pair of twin AAR-21610SA Adaptec 16port sata cards. (32 total not including the mobo) = approx 40 drives

I couldn't stop myself I adopted them rather quickly as they were just so precious.
I will post info and shots as I build their new habitat.
So far it looks something like this.

Lian Li PC-343B case (18x5.25 external bays) + unknown number of internal 3.5" depends on configuration.
$349 at FrozenCPU
***I went with Norco RPC-4220 cases, as the Lian Li's price jump to nearly $1000 when you add the backplanes that come with the Norco, and 40drives vs ~30***
6 x 5>3 drive bays (18/3*5=30) before I ever touch the internal bays.
I have not selected a brand yet.

asus 6T WS Pro as I need 2xpci-x slots
***Changed to an Asus P6T7 as it has seven PCI-E slots, seems to be a common lament of other DIY'rs not enough pci-e slots***

core I7 920 or better (i know over kill for WHS but not what I have in mind)
Thats all the bits and pieces I have thought of so far, it should hold 30 drives.
maybe more with a custom tweak, I know whs can only support 32 devices in DE.
However I also know drives not included in the DE storage pool, but shared out by the os do not count toward that limitation.

And I'm not 100% stuck on WHS yet it could end up a 2008 server, with some tweaks.
I just can't leave it alone.
***Sticking with WHS, as I want the best possible clean upgrade path once vail is available.***


Hmmmm is it just me or is there a sucking sensation on my wallet? :crazy:
***I'm feeling a bit drained by now...***

_________________
Current DIY server DL380 G6 2xquad core 2.8ghz 32GB rdimm ram 512mb 2xHP 410 raid with 2x sas expanders (2 X norco RPC-4220) 48 slots stacked with room to grow.
30TB (Movie/File/Music)Win 2012 essentials 64bit Storage spaces
Ex490 E6400 4gb ram


Last edited by Chasrobin on Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:48 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Yet un-named Monster
PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 12:07 pm 
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That will be a true monster, have a look at the xclio 5 in 3's I got a great deal on mine, I saw them at newegg. I'm just putting mine together now only 13 disks, but maybe more got a lot of space inside the case due to using a MATX, the dremel and rivet gun may come out to play again,

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 Post subject: Re: Yet un-named Monster
PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 12:15 pm 
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ARRRGGGG! this will teach me to not be impulsive.
My intended sata cards are limited to 1TB physical drives.
So I just learned a very expensive leason to ask way more questions.
Luckly they will not be wasted as two family members want to adopt them for smaller configs using cheaper drives.
***An Adaptec support engineer told me they had a physical limitation of 1TB, he was wrong! But they are limited to Sata I performance, I could have made them work but I would have risked lackluster performance.***

Ok, so a bit of change.

I now plan to use the same AOC-SASLP-MV8 cards as everyone else as they are a proven deal.
I will need atleast three of them. (if I use the Mobo sata ports) otherwise make that four.
***As you will see later I ended up using ARC-1300ix-16 a controller with 4xSAS port that plug directly into the backplane of the RPC-4220 case, greatly reducing the number of cables in the system.***

Which means I will need to change the Mobo to the P6T7 SuperComputer asus board.
Which has 7 X pci-E x16 slots, I know the cards are X4 but you can plug an X4 into an X16 slot.
This will leave me plenty of room for tuners, video, whatever may come down the road.

Estimating system cost at $3500 not including the hard drives.
Or the network upgrade I think I will do to allow for teaming/trunking the two Gigglebit ports to the switch. ***I always call them Gigglebits cause they make me smile.***

I want to be able to do a full speed file dump, a local rip and stream Blu-ray movies and RDP into the box without lag.
Not to mention Record TV.
Oh did I mention I hate LAG!!!!!!

_________________
Current DIY server DL380 G6 2xquad core 2.8ghz 32GB rdimm ram 512mb 2xHP 410 raid with 2x sas expanders (2 X norco RPC-4220) 48 slots stacked with room to grow.
30TB (Movie/File/Music)Win 2012 essentials 64bit Storage spaces
Ex490 E6400 4gb ram


Last edited by Chasrobin on Sat Feb 20, 2010 10:34 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Yet un-named Monster
PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:12 pm 
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***This was a HUGE waist of time, yes it does work, and would fill the need, but with vail likely 1yr or so out I must make sure the upgrade path is as close to a native MSS as possible or risk a massive nightmare. So I will be sticking with Vinilla OEM WHS***

I just finished an experiment that has left me confused.
I realy like the simplicity of the WHS platform, however I'm not happy that to include Mediacenter functions I have to Butcher the thing introducing possible issue's.

The main roles I have for the WHS, is to provide a portal to my home remotely.
Provide a drop box and basic file sharing around my home for files I forgot.

However it will not do a few things I really want.
Such as greater flexability with it's storage, I love the simplicity of DE but it has stimied me a couple of times. (a 2TB physical drive limit when 3TB drives are coming out soon, 32 device limit, performance drops as pool gets larger, limited to just one storage pool)

WHS itself can hold a lot more drives, but then you would have a bunch of 2tb volumes that would only be visible on you home network.
Why can't I share non-pool drives through the web interface, that's just a silly road block.
I want to see my non pool drives.

And of course I've had the odd data loss, and one smoked drive, somehow it didn't damage my MSS great hardware I guess.

So I did an experiment I setup Vista Ultimate x64 threw about 6X2tb drives on it and formatted them GPT dynamic then striped them. (not on the OS drive, left that NTFS)
End result one large volume with similar redundancy to DE (without duplication) but much better performance. (its also expandable)
And I gained all the media center integration.
Tempted to try a large raid set so if one drive failed it's no harm no foul and it should only cost me
one extra drive depending on spread and if I go with a hot spare.

So then from the WHS I pointed the MyMovies monitor at the shared folder and on each of my HTPC's I mapped the share of the same name on each as it appears in Moymovies and doggone if it didn't work.

It let my WHS handle the my movies database while the Vista handled the drive management.
Vista/win7 also allows for 10 client connections same as WHS.
Of course this could have been a 64bit 2003/2008 sever setup, and if I use the vista box as my workstation I get double duty out of it.

Not that I'm going to leave it that way, but its a viable solution.
I would if I could mimic the web interface and portal functions.

I wish MS would get the hint we want full media center integration in whs and more flexability in DE.

I'm not bashing MS or HP both products are awesome, but it's long past due for a real refresh instead of patching the same old handme downs.
Server2003 X32/SBS2003 dressed up and renamed,
DE stripped down, I saw a demonstration in the late 90's of a MS/Compaq Nas device that had practically the same thing,I actually think it was even named the same but it was better.
Of course it never saw the light of day.

Please just sell me a version of x64bit W2k8 with Mediacenter, 64LBA support, and a better version of DE, and keep the web interface simple but allow non pool drives to be shared and used normally.
OK I'm done BEEOTCHEN.

BTW I want world peace too!

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Current DIY server DL380 G6 2xquad core 2.8ghz 32GB rdimm ram 512mb 2xHP 410 raid with 2x sas expanders (2 X norco RPC-4220) 48 slots stacked with room to grow.
30TB (Movie/File/Music)Win 2012 essentials 64bit Storage spaces
Ex490 E6400 4gb ram


Last edited by Chasrobin on Fri Feb 12, 2010 6:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Yet un-named Monster
PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:57 pm 
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Windows Home Server Premium (Vail) has already been "accidently" released, it is a very early trial version, and is hardly ready for prime time, but it is based on Windows Server 2008 R2, I have it running, but it lacks any type of documentation, so I can't really do much with it. I can tell you it uses all of the WS2008R2 drivers, and that the code base is based on Windows 7, so the ATI 4670 video drivers are working, and it is even supporting the Aero interface, it is supporting the ATI HDMI audio on the 4670 as well... I am betting there will be a way to get Windows Media center on it as well...

We just have to be patient, it will probably be released sometime this year.

Mitch


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 Post subject: Re: Yet un-named Monster
PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:31 pm 
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Ok, So I purchased the first parts for the beast.
Attachment:
P6T7.jpg
P6T7.jpg [ 31.64 KiB | Viewed 27993 times ]

Mobo = Asus P6T7 WS SuperCumputer.

Model
Brand ASUS
Model P6T7 WS Supercomputer
Supported CPU
CPU Socket Type LGA 1366
CPU Type Core i7 / Core i7 Extreme Edition / Xeon 3500 Series / Xeon E5502/E5504/E5506
FSB QPI 6.4GT/S
Chipsets
North Bridge Intel X58
South Bridge Intel ICH10R
Memory
Number of Memory Slots 6×240pin
Memory Standard DDR3 1866(O.C.)/2000(O.C.)/1800(O.C.)/1600(O.C.)/1333 /1066 ECC,Non-ECC,Un-buffered Memory
Support Intel Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)
Maximum Memory Supported 24GB
Channel Supported Triple Channel
Expansion Slots
PCI Express 2.0 x16 3 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (@ x16 or x8)
3 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (@ x8)
1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (@ x16)
*4 x PCIe 2.0 x16 or 7 x PCIe 2.0 ( 6:@x8, 1:@x16)
Storage Devices
SATA 3Gb/s 6
SATA RAID 0/1/5/10 Matrix RAID
Onboard Video
Onboard Video Chipset None
Onboard Audio
Audio Chipset ADI AD2000B
Audio Channels 8 Channels
Onboard LAN
LAN Chipset Realtek 8111C
Second LAN Chipset Realtek 8111C
Max LAN Speed Dual 10/100/1000Mbps
Rear Panel Ports
PS/2 1
USB 1.1/2.0 6 x USB 2.0
eSATA 2 x eSATA 3Gb/s
S/PDIF Out 1 x Optical, 1 x Coaxial
Audio Ports 6 Ports
Onboard USB
Onboard USB 3 x USB connectors support additional 6 USB ports
Onboard 1394
Onboard 1394 1x 1394a
Physical Spec
Form Factor CEB
Dimensions 12.0" x 10.5"
Power Pin 24 Pin
Features
Features NVIDIA nForce 200 X2
CUDA Parallel computing supported
ATI CrossFireX & NVIDIA Geforce SLI Support
Ext Marvell 88SE6320 SAS controller
- 2 x SAS (RAID 0,1)


And I also paired it to an Intel Core I7 940... :banana: :chicken:


Attachments:
13-131-390-S02.jpg
13-131-390-S02.jpg [ 1.35 KiB | Viewed 28009 times ]

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30TB (Movie/File/Music)Win 2012 essentials 64bit Storage spaces
Ex490 E6400 4gb ram
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 Post subject: Re: Yet un-named Monster
PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 3:51 pm 
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Yowza! :shock: An i7 940 seems like overkill (to put it mildly) for a WHS machine. You planning to do some other high horsepower activities with that thing?

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 Post subject: Re: Yet un-named Monster
PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 5:20 pm 
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I'm hoping it will have the same effect on my nerdy friends and family as a bug zapper to flies.
They will be drawn in by it's awsome beauty, only to go down flaming..

Yes I'm planning a monster.

Over 40 drives when complete.

Here's how it's shaping up so far. (many thanks to Erail, Cavediver, Dbone)

I want to ge the same open rack and case as CaveDiver, with one exception.
I want two, for a total of 40 hotswapable drives.
I plan to remove the bottom of one case and the top of the other and stack them.
***This is going to be scary taking cutting tools to this case***
Attachment:
Beast.jpg
Beast.jpg [ 56.48 KiB | Viewed 27779 times ]

I will use a single 1600W power supply, CaveDivers silent fan mod.
Attachment:
1600W.jpg
1600W.jpg [ 13.8 KiB | Viewed 27779 times ]

The Asus Mobo P6T7 has two SAS ports so I will add two Areca ARC-1300ix-16 controllers. (40 ports total all sas)
Attachment:
arc-1300ix-16.jpg
arc-1300ix-16.jpg [ 3.65 KiB | Viewed 27779 times ]

The mobo also has an additional 6 sata for the other drives OS/DVD/Bluray.

I will only be putting 4GB ram for now as WHS only recognizes 3.27GB till Vail comes along.
***got the 6gb Kit***
I will be modding an OEM ver of WHS to add mediacenter 2005 in.
I will also add a video (TBD) that supports HDMI with trueHD audio.

I will also be purchasing a new Managed 1GB network 24 port switch that allows trunking.
And if I cannot get the realtek 8111c nics to behave well I will add in an intel multi port nic probably a quad port.
Bond them all together to give me 4GB to the switch to prevent any single system from saturating the server. (Yes I have done this already on a DL380 with full GB nics)

I just wish I had one PCI port I would add a RiLo Card for fun.

I also plan to use Either pci-e tuners or get a couple duel tuner HDhomeruns.

And if I can figure out how add my HDslingbox pro in there too.

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Current DIY server DL380 G6 2xquad core 2.8ghz 32GB rdimm ram 512mb 2xHP 410 raid with 2x sas expanders (2 X norco RPC-4220) 48 slots stacked with room to grow.
30TB (Movie/File/Music)Win 2012 essentials 64bit Storage spaces
Ex490 E6400 4gb ram


Last edited by Chasrobin on Sat Feb 20, 2010 10:38 am, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 3:52 am 
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Your issue, from my experience, won't be the gigabit connections. I have two NICs running in my Norco 4220 WHS - with load balancing - on a new installation of cat6 throughout my home. My challenge has been drive speed on the 5400 rpm green drives.

I would rather have two WHSs running independently than one super WHS right now. I am going through the process of determining if I should buy an EX495 (sold my EX470) or build another WHS myself, but in a smaller 2u chassis that uses less power, to manage backups and media center integration.

As another FYI, in case it helps, I have 4 HD Homeruns on my network right now. No impact to the network when all eight tuners are in use to different machines.

I could be missing something on the drives, if I am let me know - willing to try anything to speed this thing up a bit more. The drives are all WD eads models.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 4:48 am 
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Your absolutely correct, I have seen this in San/Server setups for years.
but rather than looking into building multiple machines look to your controller.
In a previous post in this thread you will notice I was going to use some Adaptec cards.
I actually bought two of them.
When I contacted Adaptec for latest firmware and HDD compatability their engineer told me they capped out at 1.5g.s total bandwidth per HBA, and could only expect 80mbs per drive max with the wind at it's back runniing downhill.
That just wont fly, I want a sustained 300-400mbs per device.

This is where you must do your homework.
I would rather spend a few extra bucks to have better through put.
Raid controllers pick up some performance as they usually hit several spindals at once agregating each drives bandwidth to acceive a higher total.
In the case of WHS though (Jbod) it all comes down to a single drives performance and if you have A setup that doesn't jive well it can fall back to sata one speeds.

I am doing the whole network piece not for the movies side of stuff, I also use my server for other things like.
Security camera server,
(15 frames a sec X 6-10 cameras gets heavy) that can and does induce latency causing stutter in movies.)
I also have an always up VPN to some other family members networks, and with a 16m business class link it adds a little. (they like to leach my collection)
Not to mention I also want to try to do a PXE diskless boot for my HTPC boxes and make them diskless.
Ya want a quiet HTPC take away the hard disk.
Looky Here http://www.kegel.com/linux/pxe.html

And I have a crazy house with four HTPC clients usually all running at the same time, and more than half my collection is in blu-ray.
So I have already had atleast according to MRTG a network monitoring tool very high utilization on my servers 1gb link not that its caused any issues but why wait till it does to double down.

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Current DIY server DL380 G6 2xquad core 2.8ghz 32GB rdimm ram 512mb 2xHP 410 raid with 2x sas expanders (2 X norco RPC-4220) 48 slots stacked with room to grow.
30TB (Movie/File/Music)Win 2012 essentials 64bit Storage spaces
Ex490 E6400 4gb ram


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 7:22 am 
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Chasrobin, you might just want to get those 2 Norco 4220 cases welded together at the seam, would make it sturdier.

I think I would just use that 50 drive Chenbro case that Cavediver posted (it looks to be at least 10U though, and probably very pricey), or have a BackBlaze 45 drive case made up, the backblaze is only 4U, but you give up the hot swapping of drives.

P.S. Found that 50 drive Chenbro Cavediver mentioned in another post, what a huge 9U monster:
http://usa.chenbro.com/corporatesite/pr ... php?sku=45

Mitch


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:28 am 
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I think we are talking the same numbers, unless you had a typo. I'm getting 50MBps (400Mbps) sustained rates on a drive - its simply not enough for us - maybe your setup won't max that. We have maxed out our WHS licenses (another reason to get another WHS). However, no sata II drive gets 400MBps sustained rates, beyond the sata II spec - the card you mentioned is sata II.

In my opinion, the challenge is that even if you have 32 drives in a pool, you can't guarantee where the data is located won't be the same drive or that WHS will distribute it properly across multiple drives without causing a hiccup. If you start pulling information from the same drive, and multiple data going to the same drive you end up with problems.

While we don't often have issues in the house, when they happen they drive me nuts. I hope you have a perfect experience, for me it has been the drives, not the network. Offloading some of the duties to another WHS makes sense for us.

Throwing in my 2 cents. Good luck! I'll keep reading to see how big this bad boy can get :)


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 1:06 pm 
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Walkabt, I agree 100%.
That has been my dilemma this whole time.
Do I stick with WHS and it's drive limitations?
Do I run a 64bit faster host OS with Raid 5 And plunk a virtual WHS ontop to handle the Web,backup,and standard add-ons junk.
Also see this http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/device/storage/GPT_FAQ.mspx
It may be ok to do GPT volumes on WHS just not for the system drive.
This may be a way around the 32 Physical drive issue. (using unsupported raid sets)

With the controllers Im getting I can go either way of course the raid functions will be software based. (hence the overkill on the CPU/Mobo)
Here's the thing, obviously if you go raid 5, you will have decent performance but your drive cost just went up.
You will need to buy at least three drives at a time create the raid set then format them GPT dynamic and extend your existing volume to use the new amount.

Of course I forgot to see how hard it was to shrink that volume to recorver those drives
when building a new volume.

On SANs we create a ton of smaller volumes and stripe them together to get as many spindals involved as we can. this preserves your redundancy but boost your readback performance greatly.
Write performance drops to a level comperable to a reasonably good standalone drive.

Lets see a 2TB (1.8TB) drive is running around $170 can sustain 300-400 on a god day.
3 x 1.5 at an est $99 ($300) = ~ 2.6 TB and sustain around 800-1000 on a good day.
But if you blow a drive it keeps running just at a slower pace.
But now you need 30% more physical space for the same volume size.
Not to mention the more controllers you spread your volumes across the better your performance.
3 drives on the same HBA will max out theoretically at 3GB, same three drives spread across three HBA's = 9GB max.
Of course you will NEVER see these numbers.
At work I get to play with a full "EMC CX3-40"
15TB made up of a ton of 146GB Fiber channel drives spinning at 10k rpms all interconnected and dual 4GB fiber cards going to each host server.
Theoretical max 8-10gb the highest sustained throughput I've ever seen was just over 2gb.

BTW I love that Chenbro case $4K is a bit much compared to $650 for a 40drive box.
Attachment:
NOWAY.jpg
NOWAY.jpg [ 24.69 KiB | Viewed 27797 times ]
:beerme: :crazy:

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30TB (Movie/File/Music)Win 2012 essentials 64bit Storage spaces
Ex490 E6400 4gb ram


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:59 am 
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So my WHS was something similar. i7 920 w/ 12GB DDR3, P6T7 Supercomputer in a Norco RPC 4020 + Norco RPC-470. Using Server 2008 R2 as base with WHS in a Hyper-V VM. It works pretty well.

One thing you can do (obviously) is just run Raid 6 underneath on an Adaptec 31605. I did this on my old WHS and it has worked well for the past year. Running Server 2008 R2 is just one more layer that you have to get through to expose your drives to the WHS, but it is worth it if you have an i7. Bandwidth wise the new WHS is running a Intel Pro/1000 PT Quad and the two Realtek on-board NICs are being used for management.

Here's the quick build pics and info if you need some other ideas with that motherboard: http://www.servethehome.com/?cat=62

After about a month of burn-in, I'm probably going to switch to a Supermicro board with IPMI and onboard Intel NICs this week. The Asus P6T7 has been nice for the past month though, and has plenty of room for expansion. I will say this weekend's Fry's deal of a core i5-650 + the Gigabyte H55M-UD2H is a great $200 WHS platform. I was able to add two Intel Pro/1000 GT's, an Areca 1680LP, and a HP SAS Expander card for a pretty sweet little server!


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 2:36 am 
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Thanks, Im glad to see others have blazed a trail for me.
My setup will not be revolutionary, nor should it be.
I will gladly plagerize whomever was brave enough to drop that first bunch o money on this sort of project.

I don't think I will be using 2008 as my host though, leaning towards Win7 Ultimate 64bit.
With vmware workstation 7 to a WHS guest.
Then when Vail comes along I will have a second guest and migrate to it.

But I have not Decided if I will have the A large pool on the WHS, or simply share out a GPT volume from Win7.
I'm having trust issue's with DE...And I want MediaCenter functions.
Alternately I may just remove all the storage from my MSS, and keep it online just for the web/backup/RDP/MyMovies/etc.. functions.

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Current DIY server DL380 G6 2xquad core 2.8ghz 32GB rdimm ram 512mb 2xHP 410 raid with 2x sas expanders (2 X norco RPC-4220) 48 slots stacked with room to grow.
30TB (Movie/File/Music)Win 2012 essentials 64bit Storage spaces
Ex490 E6400 4gb ram


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