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Old April 21, 2012, 01:55 PM
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Default Building my 1st Server - Need Advice!

Hello, So I have taken interest into building a server for home/personal use to back up and store my files for ease of access when I need them. I was hoping you guys could tell me the basics of what I will need, both software and hardware wise. I am familiar with Windows Server 2008 and how to set it up, because I learned this in school. However, I have no idea how the physical connections work and when I was told that internal network speeds are not based on my ISP, and that they are insanely faster ... I got very excited.

My goal is to pretty much access any file/files I need from 2 Different computers in my home. I have Rogers Extreme Plus so I usenet quite a lot, and have a lot of files that I hate to delete considering they can range from 10 to 20gb in size (I pay for this considering I am capping the 50 dollars over limit bandwidth charges almost every month) .. so I don't like deleting my .mkv files and such when "ripping movies from original blu ray sources that I own, for back up purposes!"

Anyways, I was wondering what some possibilities might be, and if my ISP router will interfere with my internal network at all, oh and a big question of mine is .... would it be possible to join the internal network through wireless (so I can stream movies on my smart TV from the actual server) . . that would be so convenient! I know wireless speeds aren't going to be near as fast as wired speeds but if I can watch movies off my server with a wireless connection with no choppiness etc then I will probably do this.

I am a total nub at this stuff so I just want a basic understanding of what I will need. This is my first time doing this but I know with some help that I'll figure it out. I been building computers for 10 years and know how to setup a regular network to get internet connectivity but have never messed with servers, so I'll have some knowledge and understanding of what I am getting myself into based on responses. (so yes I'll know what a router is etc.)

Once I set it all up I'll probably have more questions, but for now ... just the basic physical configuration and what I should consider to avoid conflicts. I really appreciate any advice, I am pretty excited about getting this going!
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Old April 21, 2012, 02:56 PM
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Well you'll want to use Gigabit Ethernet in your network for optimal speed. Probably a good idea to get a small Gigabit switch to connect everything together using Cat5e or even better Cat6.

For your server, if its just files and videos served internally, nothing too big required. I often use nice AMD bundles that are on sale, low end quad cores are even overkill. Just get a good amount of RAM, have 4GB in both my servers, never had a problem. Make sure your motherboard supports Gigabit Ethernet and check how many SATA ports are available to see how much storage you'll be able to throw in there.

I have a Win2008R2 server and a Linux server and I prefer by far my Linux one, I find it a lot more flexible and easier to set up the way I want. It hosts all my videos and tv shows for the house.

For the wireless tv, you will need some for of small media player to decode everything for your tv. This small media player could be wireless, but if you can get a wire there easily, avoid the headaches and enjoy the high performace.
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Old April 21, 2012, 04:18 PM
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simple file server you say? I'd just pickup a QNAP. Unless you are dropping a $500 raid 5 card into your win/nix server the QNAP will run faster, more reliably, cheaper, quieter and use less power. Unless you want to get into Active Directory and stuff... then i'd still suggest a QNAP for home file sharing ;)

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Old April 21, 2012, 04:20 PM
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A home server doesn't need to be anything special. It can be any old computer running pretty much any OS. My server has always been a Windows 7 machine. It runs my downloading applications. Then I just have the drives shared. Map the shared drives on your other computers. Profit.
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Old April 21, 2012, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowfat View Post
A home server doesn't need to be anything special. It can be any old computer running pretty much any OS. My server has always been a Windows 7 machine. It runs my downloading applications. Then I just have the drives shared. Map the shared drives on your other computers. Profit.
Same.
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Old April 21, 2012, 05:29 PM
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Almost the same, still using windows XP ...
It's been running for years.
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Old April 21, 2012, 05:44 PM
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I used to use XP back in the day, now I have a MSDN so I use what ever my fancy is when I am building/testing... but I would put a vote in for Home Server 2011 if your not going to go the QNAP or like NAS product. People will bash it for not having the drive extender capability, but honestly it sucked in 2008 and was a giant fail. 2011 you can use onboard RAID if you want that ability. AND its $50... half the price of windows 7 for a crippled server 2008 thats better suited for this kind of stuff. The Desktop backup feature is also pretty lazy and fool proof.
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Old April 21, 2012, 08:03 PM
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Hmmm interesting stuff. The mapping of drives sounds good. Honestly I didn't even know you could make a server on a windows 7 machine. I been using Windows Server 2008 at school on VMware and know how to work with that and how to setup an Active Directory / add users / map drives etc. It's also good to know I don't need any expensive equipment.

No I am not going to use RAID cards or nothing like that. Probably just 2-3 Hard drives to start, around 2 or 3 TB each and look into RAID and how it works because I don't know much of that either but I would like to learn. The hard drives will probably be the most expensive part. I was going to use my old computer for my server considering I will be fully upgrading by the end of the summer to a Z77/Ivy setup, but now that I have read these comments I think that be a waste considering my current computer is a X58 EVGA 3 way Classified with 6GB of Dominator GT ram and a 920 D0 quad core. Quite a waste of potential gaming components if that's the case.

Also, I am thinking I will use Cat5 Cables for the connections but what exactly would give the server internal connectivity? A router ? I was told a "small gigabit switch" in the comments but I didn't know a switch alone could connect everything. and yea I'll make sure the motherboard is gigabit along with the router/switch or w/e I need.

I also need to make sure I can connect using a wireless connection so I figure I will need some kind of wireless device that will connect to the server.
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Old April 21, 2012, 08:31 PM
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You can get gigabit capable routers (w/ wireless) cheap enough these days. $26 right now @ NCIX. Can even install DDWRT or Tomato AFAIK.
Valet by Cisco M20 Valet Plus 4 Port Gigabit Wireless N Router 2.4GHZ Easy Setup Key *Refurb - Linksys - M20-RM
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Old April 21, 2012, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowfat View Post
You can get gigabit capable routers (w/ wireless) cheap enough these days. $26 right now @ NCIX. Can even install DDWRT or Tomato AFAIK.
Valet by Cisco M20 Valet Plus 4 Port Gigabit Wireless N Router 2.4GHZ Easy Setup Key *Refurb - Linksys - M20-RM
Interesting. Thank you for the links.
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