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PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:55 am 
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I'm restarting an old project again.

last year i bought a SUPERMICRO MBD-X7SPA-HF-O Mini ITX Intel Atom server board and a Chenbro ES34069 180w case to go with 4gigs of re-purposed memory, 2.5" laptop drive and a pile of 2TB i had leftover from another project.

the goal was to give WHS another chance buy making a low power, quiet media server.

Well, that project never quite happened. I ended up "borrowing" the mobo to test 8x2tb hard drives and burn them in while they still had New Egg 30day warranty before i had to do samsung warranty(terrible). The mobo came in the same order/box as the hard drives so I was also burning in the mobo. The build was so solid i used it for my backup server and putting it into a full sized server case with an areca raid controller on it. In the mean time I lent the Chenbro case to my dad for his media server and he put his asus itx board into it when his power supply died.

I still have a need that media server. My current media server is running on a quad core 9550 with a raid array on it. it is rock solid but it sucks quite a bit of power for a media server that gets used almost 18 hours a day. I honestly dont need raid 5 on ths box. The combo of an Atom and only 1 or 2 green drives spinning at a time vs. Quadcore and 4 (or more) 7200 rpm drives spinning at once should save a bit of power. In addition, I ran out of space on it last week. It has 4x1.5 in raid 5. Going to DE (dupilcation off) with 4x2tb would almost double the HDD space, 4.5TB to 8TB.

So I decided to restart this project.
money has been a little tight so i wanted to make this as low cost as possible.

So step one, order a new Chenbro case. I have no clue what happened to the price but they went from $165 to $199 +an arm for shipping. New plan.. it is a great case and i have 3 more of them, but that is a bit much for what it is. Especially considering I can pick an HP micro-server ready to run for $300. I thought to myself that i might as well just go that route. It looked like the solution and I am a geek.. er sucker for new toys. I hovered over the "add to cart" button for the last few days.

After lots of thinking, I decided that the 5 drive limit (4 plus one in the CD bay) will be an issue in the long run on either case. for a nas box/SOHO server 8TB is plenty IMO. For a media server, that's going to be an issue down the road.

budget in mind, I decided to keep looking. the Norco 20 and 24 bays look nice, but exceed the budget and noise level for this project (for now). I decided to do what I said i would never do, I looked to desktop cases. Now to find one in the $50 price range that is quiet, and will stay cool with 4-8 drives in it and can hold a Supermicro 5to3 bay for more drives that I wont mind pitching in the trash (or repurpose) in 6 months when my budget has improved.

So the project starts..

Step two, I reclaimed my Supermicro board from my backup server this morning and replaced it with a a spare gigabyte desktop board with a Q8600 chip and onboard video. It is not a 24x7 pc. In fact, it is only on a few hours a week. It is used to back up my NAS boxes and existing media server, my desktops are backed up by a mini 2 drive WHS box.

We are expecting 22" of snow today. Work is closed today and probably tomorrow with a "snow day", I'm off to Microcenter or Tiger Direct outlet and let the games begin.

I use 2008 at work, it is what I know. Because of that, all my home servers are 2008. WHS is more of a hobby OS to me. WHS is great for desktop back ups, one of the best things Microsoft released IMO.
Right now I'm still undecided for the OS on this build, but WHS and DE (thanks M$ for getting rid of that) seem like a good fit. It allows anyone in the house a single sharepoint with easy expansion options. I wanted to keep the same folder structure and share names as the raid array, this will allow that.
The biggest drawback will be the slower network transfer speeds. For a media server, once it is populated, that should be OK.

_________________
Servers:4x MSI 6676-003BUS
2x CHENBRO E8600 4Gig 1x2.5 4x1.5TB
1x CHENBRO MBD-X7SPA-HF-O 4Gig 1x2.5 4x2TB
1X Shuttle Q9550 4gig
1x i7-960 16gig
1x Norco 4220 E6550 2gig Areca w/16x2TB
1x SUPERMICRO MBD-X7SPA-HF-O 4Gig 1x1.5TB 5x2TB
Clients:11 PC 1 Mac


Last edited by JohnM on Sat May 21, 2011 3:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 10:39 am 
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Quick follow up..

between the many hours spent digging my house out several times in this snow storm, and relaxing around the fireplace, I got a ways into this. 29 inches of snow is the final count I think.

I managed to pick up a COOLER MASTER RC-P100-RKR1 for a case. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811119217

It was under $50 out the door at micro center along with 2 additional silent 120mm fans.
It came with a 550 watt eXtream power supply.
That shaved a few $$ off the project.

It is not that great of a case. I feels pretty sold for the price. The drives are mounted sideways for easy install with a 120m fan blowing right onto the drives. This might be an acceptible alternitive to pullout bays for now.

The front of the case has red mesh bays covers that feel like if i accidentally kicked the case, they would all bend and deform. Since I'll probably fill in the bays with pullout bays, I am not to worried at this time. the power switch feels a little flimsy, I don't plan to power it off. It is also slightly wider then most cases due to the sideways drive mounts. this was a temporary case.

The mobo and fans are mounted and wired in.

I have a 1.5 seagate 7200rpm drive for a system drive for testing installed. I might switch to a 7200rpm 400 gig WD drive for the final build.



Any suggestion what drive i might want to go with for the system drive in the end?

I don't plan to use the system drive for data, but we all know we run out of space eventually.
Since I'm not doing backups with this box, maybe it is not such a bad idea to have bluray rips on the system drive?
what are other peoples experience?

_________________
Servers:4x MSI 6676-003BUS
2x CHENBRO E8600 4Gig 1x2.5 4x1.5TB
1x CHENBRO MBD-X7SPA-HF-O 4Gig 1x2.5 4x2TB
1X Shuttle Q9550 4gig
1x i7-960 16gig
1x Norco 4220 E6550 2gig Areca w/16x2TB
1x SUPERMICRO MBD-X7SPA-HF-O 4Gig 1x1.5TB 5x2TB
Clients:11 PC 1 Mac


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 5:59 pm 
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It has been a while since I followed up on this Project.

The project was completed on time and under budget. It turned out almost completely silent. It is not noticable that it is turned on unless I get right next to it.

Oh.. and it got a name: "Leviathan"...
although with it being built from 95% re-purposed parts, Phoenix would have been more appropriate.

It has been running 24x7 for almost 2 months now.
It's current configuration is 11.5TB (10.46 TB usable space = 1 x 1.5TB and 5 x 2TB Drives).
The drives average temp is in the upper 70's (F) with this case when idol. Under heavy load (populating the drive array), they got to the upper 80's (F). The system drive is a little warmer.

Build specs With current prices:
Motherboard: SUPERMICRO MBD-X7SPA-HF-O Mini ITX Intel Atom D510 processor Server Motherboard $219
Memory: 4 gigs Kingston DDR2 SO-DIMM DDR2 667 (about $55)
Case: COOLER MASTER RC-P100-RKR1 Sale for $40 w/550 Watt PS
Fans: 2 X Kingwin CF-012LB (950 RPM 40CFM 19dB) Sale for $2.99 each.
System Drive: Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31500341AS 1.5TB $70
Storage Drives: 5 x Western Digital Caviar Green WD20EARS 2TB 64MB Cache $79 (Don't forget you'll need jumpers)

Price of build:
$390 with only system drive.
$785 with 11.5TB across 6 drives.
That's without Tax or Shipping costs and catching sales. Of course prices vary daily.

Remember, this project was to use up spare parts that I had and cost under $100 out of pocket at the time of build to create a "Silent(ish) Low Power Media Server".
The actual project cost on this was about $50 in new parts. hence the use use of cheap consumer case, PSU and fans.


After thoughts:This case is only OK for this application and has since been discontinued. That is probably why I got it at such a bargain. It looks like it was replaced with the "Scout 2". there are much better cases for this application. I was under a tight budget at the time.

I'm still not sure if the 1.5TB 7200 RPM drive was a great idea or not. I had it at the time and I thought it would be better then using another "green drive" or one of the 500GIG drives that I had laying around in my parts bin.

If I were to build this again, I might have picked up an Intel Core i3-2120 Sandy Bridge currently on sale at micro center for $99 with a Free Motherboard. Plus 4-8 gigs of DDR3 ram for another $40-$80 with the current sale. It would be better for encoding and ripping if i needed and lower my build cost by about $110. At this point, the supermicro build suits my needs best. that and I do really like the Supermicro board and it's features. Plus, I already had it.

The Future:
This server is far from done. I only have 4.2TB free and filling up at a fairly quick rate.

In the near future, I plan to pick up a SUPERMICRO AOC-SASLP-MV8 ($110) and a SUPERMICRO CSE-M35T-1B 5 in 3 Drive cage ($99) (plus a fan controller to put the loud cage fan in check). This will allow me to add another 16TB (with physical space for only 10TB in drives though). Most likely I'll just pick up a new case when I need those 3 Drives. Something llike a Nexus Edge Case ($199) and another 3 in 5 cage if needed. That should allow me to max out this drive and controller combo (14 drives) and not worry about heat and noise. I'll keep you posted on any updates.

While I am not new to WHS. This is my first time playing with DE in WHS. It was mostly meant to be a learning experience. I am quite pleased with the results. I can see how a WHS plus DE and "digital multimedia hording" is completely addictive.

Edit: Added links.


Attachments:
File comment: Start of Build and WHS install. Note only power and Ethernet. The Install was done over IPMI.
IMG_0315.JPG
IMG_0315.JPG [ 1.64 MiB | Viewed 7730 times ]
File comment: 6 Drives installed. Start of cable mgmt. That board is so small in that case.
IMG_0322.JPG
IMG_0322.JPG [ 1.41 MiB | Viewed 7730 times ]
File comment: Getting ready to move into its new home. Note: I installed the fan in the wrong side pannel mount to blow onto CPU/Mobo.
IMG_0447.JPG
IMG_0447.JPG [ 1.79 MiB | Viewed 7730 times ]

_________________
Servers:4x MSI 6676-003BUS
2x CHENBRO E8600 4Gig 1x2.5 4x1.5TB
1x CHENBRO MBD-X7SPA-HF-O 4Gig 1x2.5 4x2TB
1X Shuttle Q9550 4gig
1x i7-960 16gig
1x Norco 4220 E6550 2gig Areca w/16x2TB
1x SUPERMICRO MBD-X7SPA-HF-O 4Gig 1x1.5TB 5x2TB
Clients:11 PC 1 Mac


Last edited by JohnM on Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:09 pm 
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Nice build, glad it's working well for you and thanks for sharing your setup. That motherboard does look tiny in there! :)

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:51 am 
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Thanks.

I just noticed that the SUPERMICRO MBD-X7SPE-HF-D525-O dropped $25 in price on Newegg. It is priced at $225 now.

That is $5 more then the one I used. It is almost the same motherboard I used with a d525 cpu (1.8Ghz Dual-Core w/hyper-threading) and DDR3 memory (4 gigs is $44 right now) for a nice performance boost over my build. With the DDR3 Memory costing less, it will come out to be cheaper in the end.

You can add up to 14 drives to this board with a SuperMicro addon card AOC-SASLP-MV8 for an inexpensive enterprise class storage solution.
The board is slightly larger non-standard ITX. It might not fit in some ITX cases. For this type of build, it would be perfect.

You can save a few bucks by not getting the IPMI feature (KVM over IP). Although, that is one of the best parts of this board, never having to hook it up to a monitor or keyboard for a true headless build.

PS. these boards do come with Server 2003 and Server 2008r2 drivers for WHS v1 and V2.

_________________
Servers:4x MSI 6676-003BUS
2x CHENBRO E8600 4Gig 1x2.5 4x1.5TB
1x CHENBRO MBD-X7SPA-HF-O 4Gig 1x2.5 4x2TB
1X Shuttle Q9550 4gig
1x i7-960 16gig
1x Norco 4220 E6550 2gig Areca w/16x2TB
1x SUPERMICRO MBD-X7SPA-HF-O 4Gig 1x1.5TB 5x2TB
Clients:11 PC 1 Mac


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yakuza
PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 2:53 pm 
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Well, a sad day came from my WHSv1 media server.

I laid to rest my experimental WHSv1 DE media server "Leviathan".
pointing back to the beginning of this the project, this was an experiment and learning experience for me and DE in WHSv1.
I was not satisfied with the results i was getting for performance. I made a drastic move and decommissioned my WHSv1 media server...

Now before we get all sentimental and shed any tears...
I will say that "Leviathan" is still serving up files at home and running even stronger then ever.

I took an extreme turn. I split it into 2 servers....

I took the V1 server and upgraded it WHS2011.
To get around the DE, it has an Areca raid controller with 8 2TB green hard drives.
i am running RAID6 for a total of 12TB of double parity storage.
I also added a Supermicro 5in3 drive cage to allow me to keep the drives cool.
I also added a single hotswap generic caddyless drive bay.
It is now in full production and the energy use is less then i thought it would be. Especially now that i have it sleep when not in use.


But!!! I still wanted a low power media server.
To meet those needs I built a new server (at first from leviathan's parts) in a Norco 4224 Chassis with a 40TB potential.
it is running unRAID 5.0 (beta6a).
this was a big step for me to leave a windows operating system in the home.
Originally my plan was going to be WHS2011 with Flexraid.
When i went to download flexraid, I was unable to access the the website for several days.
I then gave up on Flexraid, if that was any indication of how the support would be...
I still wanted everything that the original WHSv1 media server was to be.
Plus i wanted some sort of data redundancy.
The unRAID pool with a parity drive for preventing data loss when I have a drive die looks like a solution.
I decided to give it a try.

I built the media server on a Supermicro 204 server board with an Intel I3-2100, 8 gig of ram and a crapload of recycled drives. including those from my original V1 server.
If you're interested in my unraid build, it is here http://lime-technology.com/forum/index. ... ic=12822.0

For now, I have both servers quieted to near silent running in a spare bedroom until I can get a new drop run to the basement.
They both share a UPS. If the power goes out, the unRAID server will shutdown the WHS box and then itself.

While unRAId may not the perfect solution for me.
it seems to be doing exactly what i need for now.
time will tell...
For now, this is a nice solution for my needs and I get to play with new toys.

As far as WHS2011. it is nice solution for being a Home Server.... It performs much better then WHSv1 ever could.
In addition, the $99 price point is very nice for the home enthusiast.


Attachments:
File comment: Levithan2011 With WHS2011 and Raid array.
It still has the portable dvd drive I used to install 2011 sitting on it.

IMG_0521.png
IMG_0521.png [ 1.59 MiB | Viewed 7366 times ]
File comment: An attempt to get a shot of the inside without powering it down.

You have the Areca card, the other 3 2TB drives and the crapatastic system drive.

IMG_0527.png
IMG_0527.png [ 1.38 MiB | Viewed 7366 times ]
File comment: New media server.

The second MV8 and PCIe 1x cards are not yet installed in this photo.

zNRwm.jpg
zNRwm.jpg [ 132.59 KiB | Viewed 7366 times ]

_________________
Servers:4x MSI 6676-003BUS
2x CHENBRO E8600 4Gig 1x2.5 4x1.5TB
1x CHENBRO MBD-X7SPA-HF-O 4Gig 1x2.5 4x2TB
1X Shuttle Q9550 4gig
1x i7-960 16gig
1x Norco 4220 E6550 2gig Areca w/16x2TB
1x SUPERMICRO MBD-X7SPA-HF-O 4Gig 1x1.5TB 5x2TB
Clients:11 PC 1 Mac
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