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Thread: Advice needed on Server/Desktop build

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    Advice needed on Server/Desktop build

    Hi guys, need a bit of help here with a build of a server. A parts list will follow, but first let me tell you what the needs are.

    My plan is to build a home server that will enable the access of files and other media that can be streamed wirelessly to my other devices.

    What I need though (as im a bit straped for cash) is a build that can act as desktop for regular computing, a bit of graphic design and video editing but also as a server using WHS. Im trying to keep the costs down as much as possible for such a build so thats why I was thinking to just try and fuse both ideas into one machine instead of two seperate builds. I would also like the server to be controlable by who ever is using it - i.e say for instance, when the server has been left idle it should shut down but when needed to turn itself on again by the client. Sound feasible?

    Im also open to other options such as NAS. But I would really like to use WHS as Ive heard good things about it!

    Cheers guys
    Last edited by KalC; 28-02-2010 at 11:34 PM.

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    Re: Advice needed on Server/Desktop build

    An atom based WHS would set you back £200 tops, not sure about the power but streaming should be possible

    The requirements are very different, the video editing/WHS is very different, you would need a server OS also as you wont be able to have 2 users logged on at the same time. Then you have issues with software compatibility.

    Have you looked at a cheap 2nd hand computer to use as the home server instead?
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    Re: Advice needed on Server/Desktop build

    Quote Originally Posted by finlay666 View Post
    An atom based WHS would set you back £200 tops, not sure about the power but streaming should be possible

    The requirements are very different, the video editing/WHS is very different, you would need a server OS also as you wont be able to have 2 users logged on at the same time. Then you have issues with software compatibility.

    Have you looked at a cheap 2nd hand computer to use as the home server instead?
    So basically to save a headache, it would be better to be looking at two seperate builds here instead of one? Not that it's a problem, as long as my budget allows. Im looking to spend roughly £400 -£500 max (already have a monitor and peripherals)

    Would an atom based build be able to stream 1080p content though? Would I have to buy WHS seperately or would that come as a package with the build? All the server requirements would be just to store data and stream content. Also, what about network speeds? (speed of streaming and moving files across the network) Does that depend on my router or network card?

    Sorry for all the questions! Im a bit new to the server side of things

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    Re: Advice needed on Server/Desktop build

    Quote Originally Posted by KalC View Post
    say for instance, when the server has been left idle it should shut down but when needed to turn itself on again by the client. Sound feasible?
    Yeah, Wake on LAN

    An Atom's strength is its low cost and low power. If you are going to be using that PC for other things it might make sense to use a meatier CPU.
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    Re: Advice needed on Server/Desktop build

    I have an Atom in the form of a D945GSEJT with an Intel SSD to make it all fanless & perhaps less likely to suffer from drive failure. It works fine with WHS, aside from the initial install being painfully slow. I used it for a month without any problems, until I tried to do other stuff with it, at which point the HS aspect broke and it just became a W. WHS is very delicate - once it's set up, don't touch it. Note that WHS is normally only supplied by OEMs as part of an appliance, but you can get it online on its own for about £80. A ~£213 TechNet subscription also includes it, for "testing."

    It now runs Server 2008 - note that it can't run R2 as the CPU doesn't have 64bit extensions. It can stream 1080p fine - 1080p doesn't really demand much in terms of network speed.

    For a full & incremental backup system, in place of WHS, I intend to use ShadowProtect when I eventually get around to it.

    If you go for a NAS, remember: RAID is not by itself a backup system.

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    Re: Advice needed on Server/Desktop build

    Quote Originally Posted by smargh View Post
    I have an Atom in the form of a D945GSEJT with an Intel SSD to make it all fanless & perhaps less likely to suffer from drive failure. It works fine with WHS, aside from the initial install being painfully slow. I used it for a month without any problems, until I tried to do other stuff with it, at which point the HS aspect broke and it just became a W. WHS is very delicate - once it's set up, don't touch it. Note that WHS is normally only supplied by OEMs as part of an appliance, but you can get it online on its own for about £80. A ~£213 TechNet subscription also includes it, for "testing."

    It now runs Server 2008 - note that it can't run R2 as the CPU doesn't have 64bit extensions. It can stream 1080p fine - 1080p doesn't really demand much in terms of network speed.

    For a full & incremental backup system, in place of WHS, I intend to use ShadowProtect when I eventually get around to it.

    If you go for a NAS, remember: RAID is not by itself a backup system.
    I see, so an Atom build for WHS is perfectly fine so long as its just essentially used for file sharing? How many SATA connections do you get on an Atom board? Also, if you dont mind me asking how much did your build cost you?

    Quick question about WHS: On the client devices, what needs to be installed software wise (if anything) to communicate with the home server? Baring in mind they have Windows OS installed.

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    Re: Advice needed on Server/Desktop build

    (77.70 + 18.90 + 36.75 + 9.98) +VAT = £168.41 plus whatever hard drive
    board: http://linitx.com/viewproduct.php?prodid=12472
    case+psu: http://linitx.com/viewproduct.php?prodid=12488
    riser card: http://linitx.com/viewproduct.php?prodid=12492

    It only has two SATA ports, but you could use a SATA PCI card.

    There are some mini-itx Atom boards which do have six SATA ports, such as the Zotac H55-ITX WiFi, but it costs £102 from CCL and will need a comparatively bigger case as it uses the two huge standard ATX power connectors. Still looks good though.

    WHS combines, via software, all storage into one huge drive letter. Don't mess with it. WHS is great for backing stuff up centrally and automatically, but not much else. There are some nifty-looking addons for it though, but I didn't try them.

    Browse AVS Forum for some ideas: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=26
    Last edited by smargh; 01-03-2010 at 01:42 AM.

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    Re: Advice needed on Server/Desktop build

    Quote Originally Posted by smargh View Post
    (77.70 + 18.90 + 36.75 + 9.98) +VAT = £168.41 plus whatever hard drive
    board: http://linitx.com/viewproduct.php?prodid=12472
    case+psu: http://linitx.com/viewproduct.php?prodid=12488
    riser card: http://linitx.com/viewproduct.php?prodid=12492

    It only has two SATA ports, but you could use a SATA PCI card.

    There are some mini-itx Atom boards which do have six SATA ports, such as the Zotac H55-ITX WiFi, but it costs £102 from CCL and will need a comparatively bigger case as it uses the two huge standard ATX power connectors. Still looks good though.

    WHS combines, via software, all storage into one huge drive letter. Don't mess with it. WHS is great for backing stuff up centrally and automatically, but not much else. There are some nifty-looking addons for it though, but I didn't try them.
    Thanks for that. Its actually quite within budget so thats good I guess seperate builds it is then.

    TBH, thats all im going to be using it for. The backing up of PC's and to store music, pictures etc so that its accessible wherever need be.

    What about security? Would I just install an Anti-Virus program on the server?

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    Re: Advice needed on Server/Desktop build

    Quote Originally Posted by KalC View Post
    What about security? Would I just install an Anti-Virus program on the server?
    Personally, I don't bother - as long as it uses a different password than every other PC [to protect against worms], and it's kept up-to-date with patches [again, worms], and you don't plug untrusted USB sticks in to it [autorun malware], and you don't browse the web on it [drive-by malware/spyware], then it'll be fine. AV is just another thing which can break it.

    Other people will have a different opinion on this aspect.

    Edit: I forgot to include memory in my prices earlier, which adds £35.24 for the maximum of 2GB. http://www.crucial.com/uk/store/list...odel=D945GSEJT - plus HDD will take you a fair bit over £200 unless you already have a spare 2.5" drive.
    Last edited by smargh; 01-03-2010 at 02:04 AM.

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    Re: Advice needed on Server/Desktop build

    Quote Originally Posted by smargh View Post
    Edit: I forgot to include memory in my prices earlier, which adds £35.24 for the maximum of 2GB. http://www.crucial.com/uk/store/list...odel=D945GSEJT - plus HDD will take you a fair bit over £200 unless you already have a spare 2.5" drive.
    Hmm I cant really go over budget though that would probably leave me with not enough for the desktop build

    Would a dedicated NAS serve me better?

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