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Old July 27, 2010, 06:03 PM
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Default In need a of NAS/Backup suggestions

So my uncle asked me to build him a server like the one I frankensteined out of old computer parts. It's going to be for his office. It would need to act as a NAS and auto backup server for 4 hardwired computers and a wireless laptop.

Problem is my server runs Ubuntu Server Edition and he has no clue how to use Linux. I'm not an expert myself and I won't be around his office to help out if something goes wrong. (not to mention it would be big and power hungry) So a custom built option is off the list right off the bat for a large number of reasons and I could use some suggestions.

There's some features he would like to have for said server though:
1. It should be able to automatically keep 2-3 copies (so 2-3 hard drives) of his network data. (there's a wireless laptop on the network)
2. One copy (hard drive) must be easily removable for a non tech. (I guess either an external drive or a hotswap will do)
3. Capacity does not have to be large, as he only typically has about 80 gigs of data. (not including OS/programs)
4. Should probably run something fairly user friendly like Windows Home Server.
5. It should be in a fairly small enclosure. (no bigger than ~20x20x2T0)
6. Power consumption must be fairly low. (so probably an Atom or something)
7. Budget is under $800 CAD.
8. Print server functionality would be a bonus.
9. Fax server functionality would also be a bonus.

So far I've been looking around and have these 2 on my list:
NCIX.com - Buy ASUS Ts Mini Server Intel Atom 1GB 1X500GB GBLAN 2X3.5IN Windows Home Server - TS MINI/1.66G/1G/500G In Canada.
NCIX.com - Buy Acer Aspire Easystore H340 Home Server Intel Atom 2GB 1TB GBLAN 4 Bay Hotswap Windows Home Server - PG.T170W.007 In Canada.

The Acer seems to be a better fit for his needs but size is a bit of a concern. The Asus would require a manual backup to an external drive.
Also, is there any way to get print/fax server functionality on WHS? A bit of research says there's no support for it, and I was wondering if anyone's done anything like that before.
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Old July 28, 2010, 09:09 AM
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I actually just completed my latest home server build.

Intel D510M Motherboard (Atom D510 ITX Motherboard) {$87.79}
1x 2GB DDR 800Mhz {$47.99 Kingston ValueRam}
2x 2TB WD Caviar Green, EADS series, hard drives
Lian Li PC-Q07 ITX Case {$79.99}
PC Power & Cooling Silencer 420W ATX Power Supply {$40-$50}

The power supply is mucho overkill for this build but it's what I had in excellent condition lying around being unused & since the server will be on 24/7 quality is important. This server is ultra quiet with a small footprint, not to mention it just looks cool. Being a server an optical drive was not needed being used, via a usb adaptor, for OS installation only.

Except for the 2x 2TB hard drives, which you won't need according to what you have stated, this build works amazingly as a server. Your lesser storage needs would drop the price considerably, 500GB hard drives can be had now for $40. I'm a big fan of "Build It Yourself" and don't usually consider "pre-builts" but it's your call.

I run Linux, CentOS 5.5, as my sever OS but this setup can easily run Windows Home Server if that's what you wish. A build like this falls far short of your budget btw which is always a good thing.

One of the big advantages of a DIY project, other than the great satisfaction you will have after the build is done, is unlike the Acer listed which has a 1year warranty, by choosing my own components I can take advantage of for example, the 3year warranty on my hard drives, 2years on the motherboard, ect.
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Old July 28, 2010, 12:50 PM
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windows home server is the most cost effective microsoft method to use. However keep in mind that the current version of windows home server is not able to backup itself though. So if the boot drives blows you are reinstalling the server. The acer ones are nice. Load it up with 4 2TB drives and turn file duplication on and you've got around 4TB of duplicate file storage. On the other hand you could just build one from parts. it would make a much more professional looking solution. here is one thing you can use.

Atom based Board
Norco RPC230 Chassis (2u Chassis)
Antec Earthwatts PSU
1GB DDR
4 hard drives
sata cdrom
WHS

Depending on the atom board you may need a sata card as some atom boards only have 2 sata ports. And here is my current WHS i am updating today with some hotswap racks.

Norco RPC450 (4U Rackmount Case)
Supermicro 5 in 3 mobile rack x2
8x 1TB WD Black
1x 80GB Seagate
Asus Am2+ Mobo
AMD X2 64 7550
2GB DDR
PATA DVD-Rom
WHS
Antec Earthwatts 500W PSU

I am planning on removing the DVD Drive and putting in another mobile rack there so i can install up to 15 hard drives giving me a max of around 28TB of storage.

One word of note though on WHS you need at least a 60GB boot partition otherwise the installer will not install. But using an 80GB drive is a bad idea as the larger the remainder the better performance you will get. Also when you turn file duplication on your amount of space you can use is cut in half.
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Old July 29, 2010, 09:52 AM
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Hey, thanks for the suggestions. I'll probably get the Acer for my uncle, since I don't think I'll be able to fit multiple hotswaps into a small enclosure. But thinking this over I think it's time to revamp my own server into something that doesn't guzzle a ton of power. WHS doesn't seem to have print server functionality and that's something he wants, I might set up a dedicated fax/phoneline/printer server for him since I'm well under budget with the Acer.
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Old July 29, 2010, 10:10 AM
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Yep the atom board is great for a nas/backup and you wont have to spend nearly as much as you think. My no longer being used atom board has wifi, wired, and 3 sata slots. Never had any issues streaming from it or manually backing files up to it (i dont trust auto back ups). Definitely recommend it. You can go with the older generation such as mine (which is for sale in bst) or you could go with the new generation (though there isnt much difference between the two really, just chipset)
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Old July 29, 2010, 12:04 PM
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i second atom boards. I love mine. Going to br turning it into a monitoring server for my network since i don't think it has the power to be a open vpn AS server. Also the supermicro mobile racks are freaking amazing.
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