need help with home server build
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Author:  xtacbyme [ Sat Aug 06, 2011 11:06 am ]
Post subject:  need help with home server build

Looking to buy - ... 6816133047

i'm terrible with understanding hardware.

I would like to know what is all needed to get myself up and running.
Does this come with everything needed to get up and running?
I would like to buy this unit and make it as a server. does this come with a motherboard? or would i have to find a server unit?

Also i want to use this unit as single discs, Not raid or jbod. Is this possible in windows home server?
And last but not least i'd like to eventually buy one more of these unit's and use it as a backup for this one. Is this possible? can i get past the 26 letter drive limit, if only for backups 1:1 purposes?

I have $2000.00 in my budget, and i'm hoping i have enough money to accomplish my goals.
Thanks in advance!

Author:  Comp1962 [ Sat Aug 06, 2011 11:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: need help with home server build

Thats actually just a big enclosure with the hardware to connect to an existing unit so that you can expand your storage capacity.

If you want an enclosure like that you should look at the following:

This enclosure offers you 20 bays with a slim drive slot and 2 internal 2.5" drive mounts. ... 6811219033

This enclosure offer you 24 bays but has no options for internal drives or optical drives to be mounted. You would have to figure out how to get an internal drive mounted or use one of the drive bays for your system drive which is easy if you connect one of the backplanes to the motherboard. ... 6811219038

In addition to these enclosures you would have to buy:

- Motherboard
- Power Supply
- Controller Cards and cables

I am using the Norco RPC-4224 enclsure in my Highlander build and have yet to do my write up for it but you can see in my tag line below some of the hardware I am using. This will give you some idea of what you need to buy but if you want to see a similar build then check out Cavedivers Andromeda Build at the link below:


The hardware you end up chosing does not have to be exactly the same as what you see in Andrometa or Highlander but you will want to figure out exactly what you want for your server to do then build around that. Highlander was built for media streaming and v1 Server is not for file sharing, and backup to provide me some redundancy until a DE solution is available for WHS2011. I am quite happy with my build but its really too early to tell if I need to make additional adjustments to my system to reach my ultimate goal. For example if I am not convinced that the DE Solution is viable then I will move to a harware RAID solution using enterprise drives which comes at a very high cost but will provide the speed, performance and redundancy I desire. With a DE Replacement I may lose some speed and performance but till save a ton of money so there is a balance to be had. Currently I am enjoying the performance even though I know it could be better but I fully understood this going into this build.

So look at what others have built and see if what others have done is of interest to you. Remember what works for one person may work for many others but may not be the right solution for you so look at everything with an open mind and educate yourself and I am certain in the end you will build yourself a fine server because its not rocket science but it is finding the right balance of components which will work well together to meet or exceed your needs.

Good Luck and hopefully this will point you in the right direction........ :mss:

Author:  xtacbyme [ Sat Aug 06, 2011 1:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: need help with home server build

would you accept paypal, to help me get setup?
i have 2000.00 to spend.

what i want to do.. get a 20-24 bay SERVER that can handle large size drives (3TB) . that i can also connect another unit (same bay size) for backup purposes.

I want it to be able to share files on home network, and share files while i'm away from home/give access to family.

i want to use windows home server.
and want to do 1:1 backups. no raid ever. my data is to important to me to take any chances.

are you knowledgeable in helping get set up with what i've provided?

Again i will paypal you for your time.

i currently have a16 bay DAS hooked up to my system. i m going to sell it. and start fresh. and would like to move forward as soon as possible (we have a home business. and i'm constantly locking up, having problems. i need a server type solution, that is NOT connected to main pc (graphics/video pc). so that all network files stay up 24/7. and if other machines get bugs/go down. at least server is up so we can still access our files.

if you can help i'd be greatly appreciative! I've been researching a solution for over a yr. talked with so many people. i just want links, prices and swipe my credit card. (obviously i will research once provided.. but as far as knowing what to get hardware wise, i'm lost and don't know what a good deal is, or if it will even work with other parts i would buy. i can tell you this i'm DONE with ASUS products of any type. so if your willing to help me lets avoid them at all costs!

Thanks for your time, and hope i can get some headway here.

Author:  Comp1962 [ Sat Aug 06, 2011 2:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: need help with home server build

First I help others but seek no financial gain from doing so and there are others here who do the same. There is alot of discussion on using 3TB or larger drives and how to use them in a server environment that is limited to 2TB drives regarding backing up data which is a limitation of the OS and not so much the hardware. Just how this will pan out in future remains to be seen. Personally I am sticking with 2 TB drives but this is a personal decision based on the conservative approach I am taking.

Since your looking for a 20-24 bay enclosure and desire to match it with another similar sized enclosure to provide the 1:1 Drive backup solution and because your interested in a JBOD solution the first thing you need to do is select the enclosures then you will need to figure out which controller cards would be needed to provide connectivity to both. Once you know this then the trick is finding a motherboard which can fully support the compliment of controller cards you have chosen and still provide the ability to run the OS you have chosen, then the processor, powersupply unit and RAM to complete the entire package.

This is like one big jigsaw puzzle of sorts and the size of the project your looking at is way beyond the budgeted cost you have set. While you can build part of it today you I do not forsee you comming on or under budget for what you have in mind.

I do think you will need to impart evaluate the actual need for storage capacity to determine if you need such a large capacity or not. Wanting such a capacity and utilizing it are two different things but only you can determine this since you fully know what your requirements are.

The other thing worth looking at is how many people will you actually be sharing the server with and how many computers do you antisipate the server to backup. This will impact which OS you chose and if its over 10 then you will not be able to use WHS v1 and WHS2011 but would have to use the Small Business version of WHS2011 but I believe thats limited to 25 clients. Then the restrictions to just how many drives can actually be supported come into play. To be honest this part I have not given much thought too but then again its my hope to stay with 20 drives but should I need to go further I do have a plan to add additional drives but my feeling is by that time I may be running another OS as these things do change over time. If your looking at WHS v1 it has a storage pool limitation of 32 drives more than enough for the average person but your goals are much higher.

So you have much to consider so I would start with the enclosures and see if you can build around those first.

Author:  xtacbyme [ Sat Aug 06, 2011 2:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: need help with home server build

thanks for reply, and detailed info

wouldn't my storage size be only 20/24?

the backup unit could just be put onto another pc, and only ran for backups(through the network)... solving the drive size limit correct?

this guy makes it sounds like it is possible to use as server (just not sure what parts i would need/ or if there is a better/cheaper solution)

2tera is fine.. right now i have all tera drives and my total is 18Tera with everything, so a 20/24 drive bay with 2 tera each gives me lots of room for expanding... perfect!

10 people accessing server would be more then enough - i was thinking 5 tops.

This is like one big jigsaw puzzle of sorts
exactly why i'm here, i need guidance in regards to what to buy on hardware side, model numbers, etc.

Author:  Comp1962 [ Sat Aug 06, 2011 10:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: need help with home server build

The guy in the video is pretty cool. I have seen that video before. That is one of the cases I pointed out earlier and placed a link for you to review. I actually considered that case but I really wanted an optical drive in the enclosure so that it would be there when needed elliminating the need for connecting an external optical drive so I went with the RPC-4220 which actually can house 23 drives.

For my system drive I am using a WD Scorpio Black 320GB drive which I had on hand. Later I had another 2.5" drive I placed in the server to provide backup for the system drive. I only used 2.5" drives because they fit in the enclosure but I am not clear how well they will work in the long term. If the cost of an SSD were not so high I may have opted to put one in but then again I have the belief that the technology needs to mature more.

So I would continue looking at enclosures but I have to tell you no one will beat Norco on the cost of those 20 and 24 bay enclosures. The other thing as I found out recently is that Norco does have good customer support so if you do run into an issue they will take good care of you.

If you feel those enclosures are a good fit for you then pick one and we can then begin to look at controller cards.

Author:  xtacbyme [ Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: need help with home server build

sorry for late reply.. so much going on here. i've never been so stressed.

Anywho... RPC-4220 $355.00 from Amazon sounds good. (as long as i'm in my $2,000 budget and im up and running)
Next step please?

Thanks again for helping.

Author:  Comp1962 [ Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: need help with home server build

FYI: There are different revisions to the RPC-4220. There are 2 versions of the backplanes and the fan boards are different.

What is not different are the SFF-8087 Mini SAS connectors on each of the backplane. You will need to chose the drive controller cards to make those connections. I like many others are using the Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8 board to connect my backplanes. There are other boards available with a wide range of pricing. While the board I chose is popular it doesn't mean its the best just that it works and is popular with an attractive price. These boards are PCI-x4 you can use 4 of them and with the right cable you can connect the last backplane to the SATA ports on your motherboard or you can purchase 3 of these cards as I did but this was a personal choice.

Here are some links on the MV8 Card:

Newegg: ... -SASLP-MV8
Supermicro: ... LP-MV8.cfm

Here is a sister card to the one above for your review: ... LP-MV8.cfm

Here is a sampling of various cards to look at: ... =BESTMATCH

This will get you started in selecting a controller card which best fits your needs. Be certain to read the reviews and be certain to read reviews from multiple sites so that you can educate yourself about them.

Going back to the Norco Enclosure. These are fine enclosures but if you do buy one check all the pins on every connector to make certain they are seated properly. I found some were not and had to reseat the pins after having to open up the locks on them so they would properly lock into place. I believe the original fan board actually screwed the fans to the houseing the fan board in my unit is pretty cool it has quick release tabs which make replacing the 80mm fans which cool the drives a very simple process. The space for working with the backplanes is very tight so removing the fans is necessary to prevent any damage to the backplanes. Actually just unscrewing the fan board and backing it out and removing the fans is a better solution to making the cable connections to the SFF-8087 and power connections. The backplanes have two power connections on each backplane but you only need to connect power to one of them the 2nd connection is for a redundant PSU so that if one fails you will still have power supplied to the backplanes. This is something you may want to consider but it will add cost to your server.

The last thing about the enclosure your looking at is the noise level so the location where you place the server will be important. Some have opted to change out the fans to reduce the noise level but keep in mind when doing this you want fans that will move enough air to keep things cool. I have to say that I am pleased with the enclosures ability to keep things cool so I am using stock fans although I did have to replace one of the fans but fans are cheap but can be very costly if they do not keep things cool. Noco also has an option to add 120mm fans much like Cavediver did with his server. Who knows maybe they got their idea from him. At this time I see no reason from me to change the fans as the server is in another room making noise with my ProLiant Server but the ProLian Server is actually at times louder than my new server in the Norco enclosure.

So right now you have to chose which controller cards you will want to use with your server then you can start looking at Motherboards. This is where you will have to start balancing things out like support for various card compliments, CPU, RAM, do you desire on board video or will you chose a video card and the same is true for the NIC. Then you have to figure out future expansion should your need for storage capacity increase so having eSATA ports that support port multipliers is nice too but not all eSATA ports support port multipliers and then other external connectivity devices like USB2 and USB3 and how many expansion slots are available to you and will they be of any use to you as your server grows. Again its a balancing act.

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