Hello everyone. I’ve been debating between expanding my system via USB expansion boxes (esata already used) or building my own, and despite the fact that it’s over 6x the cost, I think I want to DIY a new WHS, especially after reading about several users' builds on here. I see that Newegg has “deactivated” the TR8U enclosures, and even Sans Digital shows the TR8U-B as discontinued (leaving only the silver). While I'm not a novice at building pc's (have built my last 3), I've never taken on a large project like this or dealt with SAS cards, multiple NICs, etc. But what the heck, it’s only money, blood, sweat, and tears, right?
That said, I’ve read through some threads, tried to understand a few things, and have come up with a tentative build list and a few questions. Nothing fancy for me here, just planning to use JBOD and let WHS DE do its thing (trying to keep it simple, stupid). First, the initial specs:
Case Norco RPC-4220
Motherboard Supermicro X8ST3-F
CPU Intel Core i7-950
RAM 4GB, 240 pin, DDR3 PC3-8500 (CT51272BA1067)
SAS Cards Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8 (3)
Power Supply Corsair HX750
BD Drive LG CT21N
OS Drive Scorpio Black 500GB
OS Windows Home Server Power Pack 3
Cables (5) 1.64 feet Norco C-SFF8087-D SAS cable
Storage Drives (20) 2TB drives
UPS Existing APC J10?
And yes, I know the processor is overkill for WHS, but it a good selection for the board, which is one that is really nice and recommended for this type of build by at least one of you. Now onto the questions:
(1) Anyone see any concerns with the components chosen above (preferences aside, I’m only interested in hearing about “real” problems - such as "that board won't work", "your power supply is inadequate", etc.)?
(2) I recall reading on one of the threads (or on another forum) that one user was able to flash his Supermicro board to allow JBOD on the SAS or SATA ports (instead of raid). Can someone confirm this is possible? That might save me a SAS card, but if not, it’s only $110. Part of me wants to only use the onboard ports for OS drive and BD drive anyway to avoid any potential issues. Any thoughts on one way or the other?
(3) Did I read correctly somewhere that the SAS cards require a floppy to install the drivers? I’m sorry, I’ve read so much over the last 3 days that my mind is a fog with all the data in it. Just trying to nail down all the potential issues with this build and layout the plan ahead of time.
(4) I’ve also read about slipstreaming the SAS board drivers to make a server recovery disk. I know what slipstreaming is, I’ve never done it and really don’t want to get into it (yes, I’m chicken – I’m a CPA, not a Server Admin). Would I be as safe regularly backing up the OS drive to another drive, or setting up a RAID array for the OS drive (2-500gb drives)? Or will I need to do the slipstream regardless? I plan to keep the EX470 for pc backups, photos, music and dedicate the new build to video only - would it be possible to backup the new WHS to the EX470 like a regular pc? That way I could "restore" from the EX470 in case of a failure.
(5) Finally, I have an APC J10 in the designated a/v rack (1 of 2) that is supporting a dvr, Aviatrix whole house component distribution system, and a Nuvo whole house audio system. There are also 3 Sony megachangers tied into it, but they are coming out when the WHS goes in. Any thoughts on whether the J10 would be sufficient as a power conditioner/battery backup? I know, it’s not server grade, and I wouldn’t have the nice features such as remote access, just thinking about cost at the moment. If not, can you recommend a good APC (or other brand) rack mount UPS to use with the WHS?
Thanks in advance everyone. I'm sure I'll have more questions, but these are the ones I've accumulated to date. I've learned a lot from many of you over the last few days of reading and appreciate any help/feedback you can give.
HP EX470, WHS1, 2GB ram, 16.2TB storage (production - moving to decommissioned end of 2013)
Norco 4220, Supermicro board/SAS cards, 4GB ram, WHS 2011, Stablebit DrivePool, 64tb storage (production)