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Media Server / NAS

Discussion in Hardware Hangout started by ::1/128, May 10, 2011

  1. Oct 27, 2010
    So I am going to build a media server / NAS drive this summer for the new apartment I'm moving into and I thought since so many people on this forum are technologically incline I might ask the community a few questions about the planned build and see if they have any suggestions. My main computer has a large amount of media files: 50,000+ songs, movies, tv, and lots of other shit that most people don't care about (approximately 1.5TB). This is all stored in RAID 5 and there is a very old, very out of date backup of the media... somewhere, I lost the drive. I need to make another back up of this stuff. I would like to make a NAS drive that serves not only as a backup of all this, but also provides access to the media so that it can utilize a WD TV Live Hub Media Center to connect the TV and stereo. I realize I could just us the WDTV hub for this but it is nowhere near big enough as I would like to allow the 3 people I live with to also utilize the NAS for their backups as well. I have setup up NAS before but I have never set up a media server before so I have a few general questions about that part of the project. Here is what I am thinking for a build:

    AMD E-350 APU (1.6GHz, Dual-Core)
    AMD Hudson M1 Micro ATX Motherboard
    5 X WD Caviar Green 2TB
    2 X Crucial 2GB DDR3 1066
    KINGWIN 550W PSU (80 Plus Platinum Certified)
    Rosewill ATX mid Case

    These are my concerns:

    - I've never used the AMD E-350 so I don't know how capable it is of the task I want it to preform... Do you think it would be capable of running FlexiRAID basic in RAID 1? I assume it is capable of streaming 1080p video, do you think this is true? Would 2 people be able to utilize the server at the same time without too much trouble (Say one streaming media, one backing up)?
    - Is this as power efficient as it could be? I want the server to be able to run 24/7 so that backups can be performed in the early morning thus limiting the demand on the box when people are watching stuff off it.
    - Do you think I would be better off buying a barebones NAS with a cheap RAID controller? I know a good one would cost more but is it worth it?

    Thanks all. :biggrin:
  2. Dec 7, 2010
    Your plan sounds good to me. My server is 8 years old now but still works great fine so I haven't had the need to change anything. Its been running 24 hours a day for 8 years without hardware failure which means something.. :razz:

    Yes its a Pentium 4, 3.2 Ghz HT
    - 2GB RAM
    - Promise RAID 5 IDE Controller
    - 6 x 250GB WD IDE Drives (Back then these drives were rated at 100,000 MTBF, so around 10 years of continuous use)
    - 6 x 80mm fans to keep the server cool (not until after 2008 did 120mm fans really become popular)

    Its running Windows 2000 Server with the following services:
    - HTTP
    - FTP
    - SNMP
    - SMTP
    - POP
    - NNTP
    - File Services
    - Print Services

    I have a WDC TV Live as well and even with this old configuration it can support dozens of users from this old system meaning that your configuration should work just fine.

    With proper ventilation/cooling your system can last for 6+ years as well. Keep in mind that today's hard drive technologies MTBF is in the millions so it will probably out live us all.. :razz:
  3. Oct 27, 2010
    I was going to use something like Ubuntu server but perhaps I will invest a little more and use Windows 2008 server just because I want to try and get my MCSA later this year. Would you recomend a dedicated RAID controller for my situation or do you think the speed provided by softRAID would be sufficent?
  4. Dec 7, 2010
    SoftRAID sucks don't even bother. Use a fully dedicated RAID controller especially if you are looking to go RAID 5 as its dedicated XOR processor makes a world of difference.
  5. Oct 27, 2010
    Well I don't need RAID 5 for this project, I only want RAID 1 under FlexiRAID basic which doesn't provide constant parity so it seemed like it wouldn't need that much power and still give me a level of redundancy in the system. But if you feel softRAID is the plague then perhaps i should stay away from it :razz:. The problem is I don't think i would have the budget to fund both the RAID controller and Windows 2088 server, I might have to make a difficult choice :/
  6. Dec 7, 2010
    If you're only doing RAID 1, SoftRAID is sufficient. It will add less than 10% overhead so software should be fine. Remember that since it is software based, any apps you plan on running on the server will impact disk I/O.
  7. Apr 9, 2007
    What are you going to do to feed this Media server with data? If it's anything P2P related, Windows is the worst choice you could make. Ubuntu is the second worst. You'll get blocking i/o which will result in disastrous media playback.

    Don't bother with the 2TB drives anymore. The 3TB ones are extremely fast. I'd avoid RAID and run each drive separately (Music/Television/Films). It's a lot cleaner this way, and if a drive does go bad you don't lose everything (there's still the possibility to recover). Unless of course you're in raid for parity.

    I'm running on some donated hw at the moment. P4 Dual Core 3.0ghz (Some Dell shit). Random Intel Motherboard. Mixed sticks of Ram (Accounting up to 4GB, 3.2 is only recognized due to the bios). Fans zip tied/tapped on.

    Serving files is incredibly cheap, it's all done in the Kernel. You could accomplish this with a 200mhz box (I've run vsftpd on my router, seemed to work alright......).

    You're going to need a lin distro or flavour of BSD that allows you to optimize for your system. If you're looking for suggestions, ask.

    Also, use Samba to make your life easy. There's no need to re-encode your files on the fly. Your WDTV Live should play anything you can throw at it (Look into wdlxtv, runs fine on my Plus).

    Not true. His CPU will be used instead. Since he only has 1.6ghz, this is a terrible idea and will result in exactly what he wants to avoid.

    Here's what my system looks like (Decoding 1080p). Serving my WDTV, PBO and my desktop with SNL (It's an 8GB file). Also concurrently serving Music to my Wii and Desktop (80mb 5minute song). In the past, this would result in freezing, this is no longer the case.
  8. Oct 27, 2010
    What distro would you recommend? I'll stay clear of softRAID then as it seems like nothing but trouble and while i think it would be really fun to have a dedicated RAID controller :blush: perhaps i can't really justify the cost of one when individual drives would probably make the whole thing more efficient in the end. I don't plan to run any p2p on it, I have other machines for that. Thanks again guys I appreciate your help in this matter :razz:
  9. Apr 9, 2007
    Arch is nice for graphical environments (X11 in specific). Gentoo is nice for tty consoles (Don't use a GUI for this if you're just serving files). Why run P2P on your other machines if you're just going to be serving them from the one server? If you're just using this for static storage, or manual additions, it's kind of a waste :unsure:
  10. Oct 27, 2010
    I have faster internet connections elsewhere. But truthfully I will probably do some p2p on the new server on occasion.
  11. Apr 9, 2007
    Oh. I thought you were doing it in home. Depending on your client, on completion have it write a blank file to a dir with the file/folder name of your choosing. Then have an FTP client watching a dir, or have it send mail.
  12. Apr 9, 2007
    I know this is Loopback's thread, I didn't feel this deserved it's own thread.


  13. Mar 20, 2011
    Wow Harvey Windows 2k server FTW, I liked Windows NT server better, too bad it did not support USB officially :tard: