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Old September 19, 2011, 07:28 AM
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I also have a dual-bay 5.25" to 3x 3.5" rack
Which one? I've been looking for one. Does it have a fan?
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Old September 19, 2011, 08:49 AM
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that is a nice list of hardware for your server.
what are you running for an OS?
Server 2008 R2 Enterprise. I get it for free since I'm enrolled in an IT-related college program via MSDNAA.

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Which one? I've been looking for one. Does it have a fan?
It's an Evercool one. Has an 80mm fan with filter. Not the greatest of quality, but it does the job.
EverCool Dual 5.25 in. Drive Bay to Triple 3.5 in. HDD Cooling Box - Black Products Model: HD-AR-B [HD-AR-B] : Performance-PCs.com, ... sleeve it and they will come
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Old September 19, 2011, 09:18 AM
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I plan to use Ubuntu Server.

If you plan on storing your files using a journaling file system such as XFS (strongly recommended) then you'll want to pack in as much RAM as you can. The rule of thumb is 1GB of RAM per 1TB of storage. Note - this is used storage, not available storage space. But keep in mind your future data requirements.

Another thing I would recommend looking into, particularly if you are not going to be using a hardware RAID controller with BBU, is ECC RAM. It's been estimated that between 1-10 out of every 1000 writes suffer from some level of memory error. If your data is important to you, an ECC-enabled system will remove the risk of in-memory data corruption.

Now, you usually need server hardware for ECC RAM, but modern AMD components can utilize unbuffered/unregistered ECC RAM and they feature the necessary BIOS implementations to do so. Something like this would do the trick. Combined with this and 8GB or more of this, and you'd be good to go.

One last suggestion I would make is to use a pair of Intel NICs that you can "team" or "bond" together to either increase bandwidth or provide failover protection (or both). Intel NICs are preferred for their reliability and compatibility.
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Old September 19, 2011, 12:34 PM
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Continuing on the above, you should also have a UPS connected to the system as well if the data is crucial to you so that the OS can be shutdown properly and all the writes can be finished to the drives.

And if it's only being used for file storage, maybe checkout FreeNAS instead of a full-blown OS like Ubuntu Server.
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