Server Questions

Discussion in 'Newcomers Forum' started by JJayzon, March 7, 2012.

  1. JJayzon

    JJayzon Portal Member

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    Hey guys,



    I currently run MEPO 1.2 on a dedicated HTPC I built a few months back. I currently only use it to watch ripped movies, music, stream video/audio from Hulu and Netflix and Pandora. I don’t use it for TV because I have DIRECTV; I was however looking at switching to Comcast so I could use something like the Ceton Infinitv 4. However these cards are not supported by MEPO and everything I have read is that the Infinity 4 card is not as reliable as a dedicated DVR.

    I think I want to build a NAS server to store all of my media so I can access the media from more than one Computer and other HTPCs (when I build them for other rooms in the house). I also want some kind of redundancy in case of a hard drive failure. So should I build something like an Unraid, or a Windows Home Server? Would a Windows server provide other features I might need in the future?

    Thanks

    Jayson
     
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  3. JJayzon

    JJayzon Portal Member

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    So no one has an opinion?
     
  4. Sh4nn0w
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    Sh4nn0w MP Donator

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    Personally I have used WHS, Synology NAS (too slow) in the past, but in the end when I did a rebuild of my server I just put Win 7 on it and use that; works great. I have TV server running on it, iTunes, 10TB of storage (TV, Music, Videos, Pics, doc storage), SABnzbd, Deluge, Sickboard, Couchpotato and other stuff; all runs smoothly. I chose that because of the straightforward flexibility to change anything / add prograns etc, which I missed when using a NAS / WHS. I spend very little time administering it.

    Personally I didn't bother building redundancy for the videos; I just have all my important stuff set to backup weekly to an external drive and also setup a RAID1 mirror for OS / critical data. But you're free to choose. I did use the duplication feature in WHS v1, but pretty sure the current version of WHS has lost the Drive Extender capability, which was the main reason I liked it.

    You could spend a lot of time reading about RAID and at the end of the day it doesn't replace a backup; but comes down to what you think you need.
     
  5. JJayzon

    JJayzon Portal Member

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    Thanks Sh4nn0w for your response. With your setup you are able to have your other HTPC as clients and access all the media on your Windows 7 "server", if so how many clients do you have? As far as redundancy I have just spent alot of time ripping dvd & blu-rays to MKVs (and to me these are important files)and I am just affraid of a hard drive failure. I see your point about external harddrive that could be a solution for me. Can you run your server Headless? what would be the minimum system spec you would suggest?

    Sorry for all of the questions, I am new to the whole server setup. I now have three PC running and I think I would like to have one location for all my media, and serve it up to my other PCs.

    Thanks again

    Jayson
     
  6. Sh4nn0w
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    Sh4nn0w MP Donator

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    I have my main HTPC and desktop running as MP clients as well as another laptop; not noticed any issues, although generally not been using more than one client at a time. I've got a gigabit network, not had any issues with speed since I set that up.

    I run it headless, although as I've now moved it into the lounge next to the TV (Baby arrived and took our spare room :)); I have it connected to the TV just in case I need to access it directly, but only ever done that once. I just RDP into it (had to use a hack on windows as Win 7 premium stupidly doesn't allow RDP server by default).

    With regards to redundancy, came down to money for me, I didn't want to spend a lot on harddrives in one go. Now as I replace/upgrade the server ones I just use the old ones to backup (I got an eSATA caddy and just swap them out as needed - I just haven't got round to doing it for a while) and stick them in the cupboard. If you want to go the RAID route, you can use motherboard SW raid or a dedicated card, but it will cost you more; but depends exactly how much space you need.

    You could also use linux, I did have it running ubuntu for a while, but I got fed up with having to sort things out plus I wanted to have a dedicated tv server; which is why I went back to windows and tried Win 7 after reading an article.

    Given what you want to do I'd recommend building yourself a server rather than an NAS, as speed is generally better and its more flexible; you don't need high end hardware . Too be honest its probably overkill with what I have in my server at the moment, but it was fairly cheap and I didn't spend much more than what I got for selling my old parts.

    Ultimately the best thing to do would be to test it out if possible; I originally had an old spare pc someone didn't want, so I spent a while trying out with that before I bought dedicated hardware.
     
  7. JJayzon

    JJayzon Portal Member

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    Can you point me in the direction on how to set up Windows 7 as server. I like your setup and I think it would work well for me, I want to be able to run a torrent client on this machine because it will be on all the time.
     
  8. Sh4nn0w
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    Sure, I'll try and write up what I did over the weekend.
     
  9. JJayzon

    JJayzon Portal Member

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    Thanks you are so much help.
     
  10. JJayzon

    JJayzon Portal Member

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    Sh4nn0w:

    Ok, so after reading about your setup and reading other stuff on the web I think I know what I want to do. I think I want to build a PC/server with Windows 7 (I assume professional?). I want to install the OS and the other programs on an SSD HD, then I want to use 2 or 3 2TB HDs in RAID 5 for redundancy. All my media would be stored on the array and served up to the clients (2 HTPCs & 1 PC). I believe I would need to setup shares (not to sure how to do that yet).

    This PC/server would be on all the time and I would want to run this headless. Would I need to install MEPO on the PC/server?

    How does this sound? I look forward to reading your write up about your system and getting your opinion.

    Thanks

    JJayzon
     
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