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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-11-2010, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
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Why have a server at home?

I'm thinking of putting in a server at my house. Really, just as something to do and something new to learn. But Im not really sure as to what benefits it would give me?

I currently have 3 computers at my house.

One main one that I call my "media" computer. This is my best computer, I use it to rip and play BluRay movies, store all my songs, pictures, etc. Its also my gaming computer I play MW2 on.

The other computer is my "work" computer. I do some graphic work and other stuff, so this computer has Photoshop, Corel, Quickbooks, etc and lots of files stored on it. It is in the garage where my workshop is and I do all my work.

The last computer is in my son's room. He is only 9, so he just uses it to browse the web and occasionally watch movies on it.

All 3 computers are on Windows 7 and I share certain folders that have pictures, movies, etc so that I can access them from any computer on my home network. So when Im in the garage I can watch a movie that is stored on my "media" computer with the big hard drives. Same thing goes for my son's room, he can watch movies..

id like to possibly get another pc or 2 for my bedroom and living room so I can watch these movies. (but Ill have to get new tvs first). The one in my "media" room is a 50" LCD that is hooked up via VGA cable. So its a tv and computer monitor in one. Id like to do that in the living room and bedroom also.

So heres my question, what would setting up a server give me? What advantages would it have over what Im doing now?
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-11-2010, 02:01 PM
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Dedicated media server not taking "power" away from your gaming rig, meager requirements, better opportunity for redundancy..... and you could also set it up to access anywhere you have interweb access also no risk of sensitive data being breached.





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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-11-2010, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
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well I also have a website that I host through godaddy, guess I could do that myself through iss right?

i thought about the redundancy and backup, but server hdd are expensive. I would need like 2 TB and if I did raid 1, that would cost a crap load
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-11-2010, 04:08 PM
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What kind of server?

I've got a rack/cabinet here and have a VM server for testing/running various apps

I also have a windows home server/file server

I'm using it for file/media share and does backups of all the kids/wifes/my pc's here @ home

Its a bit old now but I'm using an IDE raid controller and 4 x 500gb IDE drives in raid 5 for data storage then run a single drive for the OS.

I'm using an AMD 5050e, clocked down to 1ghz @ idle with 2gb ddr2 and its running nice and rather quiet.

I use the file server as a centralized repository and keep it on the ups/battery back up etc.

Its all in what you know or want to do with it. I work in IT so its easier for me to find deals and do all the work myself.

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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-11-2010, 04:30 PM
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I run multiple servers virtually on an old but bulletproof server platform. I keep all my documents, music, pictures and movies on the server through redirected folders and network drives. Since it's just me, I don't need a teraflop/sec performance or to run a commercial level datacenter in my house. But I can use the same concepts.

The onyl thing I have on my PC is the OS and programs. If I ever get a virus or malware I can't clean, I can easily nuke the client PC and then reinstall with no headaches.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-11-2010, 05:04 PM
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I only have a 4tb freenas unit at my house for storage. raid 5 as well.

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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-11-2010, 06:00 PM
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If you are looking to watch movie files on your tv's, then just get a Western Digital Live box. Its an awesome little player than can access networked files from all the shared computers. Its plays darn near every video based file (mpeg, avi, mkv, iso, etc), had youtube support and Pandora built in.

For $120, it rocks. You can use a wireless adapter (I believe) or the built in cat5, it has HDMI and supports 1080p resolutions across a network (streaming) and plays back just fine. Also uses a little remote like a dvd player. Also has a USB incase you have a file on a USB drive (thumb drive or portable hard drive).

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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-11-2010, 11:57 PM
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i have a dell poweredge 840 as my home server, runs esxi4 (server 2008 r2 (dc), server 2008 r2 (fileserver), windows 7 (office), windows xp (vpn box)). It did have 4.75tb but I have a drive fail so I kicked it out of the array and i'm down to 3tb now.

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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-12-2010, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StLfanatic View Post
So heres my question, what would setting up a server give me? What advantages would it have over what Im doing now?
hmmm, seems some folks are just bragging in this thread.

To answer your question and from what you said I'd probably not buy another PC for your purpose.
- I'd buy a NAS w/ plenty of drive space or fill it with drive space.
- Make sure NAS has media streaming abilities. Plenty of them out there from cheap and reliable to very expensive.
- Figure out a good backup solution. Remember to backup your backups. (Mozy is good for home)
- Offload everything to that NAS

This will provide better performance in theory and offload everything from PC(s) you actually use for other things. Also, you can then backup other things to this NAS as well.

Remember though, in general a NAS is just a simple PC or otherwise known as an appliance. It has a single purpose. Why do I like a NAS over a built PC?

-Less power
-Central management
-Central warranty
-Usually very reliable since the OS/Firmware is simple
-Runs cooler

Disadvantages in general are cost. You know how to buy a chassis/enclosure and drives to do what you're already doing with a PC. Also, most are not the easiest to modify from an OS point of view. At least the lower cost ones are not.

I could go on and on, but do some research on NAS devices and get back with specific questions. At the end of the day *I* personally don't use dedicated servers for what you're doing. I do a NAS and use it for other things as well. I used dedicated servers for specific applications.

Also, make sure your NAS supports FTP, SFTP, SSH and NFS.

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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-12-2010, 11:18 AM
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The main benefit is it gives you a centralized point of storage if you just want to do a NAS implmentation.

If you want to put active directory out there you can even stretch it further with centralized accounts for the family instead of having everything in a workgroup and 3 or 4 different local usergroups. Just helps streamline everything out.

If you get adventerous and want to create your own email server and email domain, it's not too much further of a stretch.

It can snowball pretty easily though
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-12-2010, 11:31 AM
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Yeah, I've done all that jazz before, SBS server at home, blah blah blah.

I found it much easier to use a gmail account for personal email, a RAID1 NAS device for storage (easily upgradable), and a good desktop for everything else.

Then again, I'm single and don't have 3 people watching movies off the same computer. If I'm streaming a movie, i'm not gaming.

I run a Dell Precision Workstation T7400 as my desktop, Dual Quad Core Xeon 3.00GHz processors, 4GB of RAM (need to upgrade since I went 64 bit, It can handle up to 128GB), Dual Video Cards (8600GT-768MB and an FX3450-512MB - driving 3 Dell 24inch LCD's), I have 2 Hard drives in the Desktop (75GB - O/S, 1.5TB - Movies/Music/etc), then I have 2 portable drives (1 full size 250GB, and a 3.5 inch 500GB)

I backup what I need to, to the NAS device. But I really need to reload this box soon, and when I do, I'll probably mirror the drives, since it has an onboard SATA Raid controller.

Now you fucks have me looking for more RAM!

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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-12-2010, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StLfanatic View Post
The last computer is in my son's room. He is only 9, so he just uses it to browse the web and occasionally watch movies on it.
Computer in the kids room sounds like a bad idea...privacy + internet + boys...

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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-12-2010, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by mschmoyer View Post
Computer in the kids room sounds like a bad idea...privacy + internet + boys...
heh, when my kids get PCs in their room, I'm going to own their browsing experience.

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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-12-2010, 12:57 PM
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heh, when my kids get PCs in their room, I'm going to own their browsing experience.
Or just don't put a computer in their room...the kids of any generation are always going to find a way to rebel...

Are you going to block facebook? chat? Hell...dfwstangs? A kid could get quite an education on legit sites...

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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-12-2010, 01:01 PM
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maybe a better way to handle it is to educate your children, explain to them what is and isn't acceptable, then monitor them.

I grew up with a computer in my room, one of the first kids to do so (graduated in 1993). I had a PC in my room from the time I was 10, although there wasn't a ton to do on 8088's

But I was also around in the beginings of BBS's, Prodigy, AOL, etc. And my parents told me what was and wasn't acceptable behavior. Of course online sexual predators, porn sites, etc were just getting started

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post #16 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-12-2010, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mschmoyer View Post
Or just don't put a computer in their room...the kids of any generation are always going to find a way to rebel...

Are you going to block facebook? chat? Hell...dfwstangs? A kid could get quite an education on legit sites...
Believe me when I say I can own the network and audit any and all things that occur on my network.

When they get older they may learn other ways to accomplish things, but I won't be over their shoulder. I will at a minimum know everything single thing that goes over my wire and is typed into their PCs.

Yes, I'm that damned good.

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post #17 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-12-2010, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Big Matt View Post
maybe a better way to handle it is to educate your children, explain to them what is and isn't acceptable, then monitor them.

I grew up with a computer in my room, one of the first kids to do so (graduated in 1993). I had a PC in my room from the time I was 10, although there wasn't a ton to do on 8088's

But I was also around in the beginings of BBS's, Prodigy, AOL, etc. And my parents told me what was and wasn't acceptable behavior. Of course online sexual predators, porn sites, etc were just getting started
Yeah, Tandy 1000HX with the 3.5" floppy was my first.

That's my thinking as well. Educate and monitor. Then if they refuse to be compliant, "crack down" as needed.

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post #18 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-12-2010, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Big Matt View Post
Yeah, I've done all that jazz before, SBS server at home, blah blah blah.

I found it much easier to use a gmail account for personal email, a RAID1 NAS device for storage (easily upgradable), and a good desktop for everything else.

Then again, I'm single and don't have 3 people watching movies off the same computer. If I'm streaming a movie, i'm not gaming.

I run a Dell Precision Workstation T7400 as my desktop, Dual Quad Core Xeon 3.00GHz processors, 4GB of RAM (need to upgrade since I went 64 bit, It can handle up to 128GB), Dual Video Cards (8600GT-768MB and an FX3450-512MB - driving 3 Dell 24inch LCD's), I have 2 Hard drives in the Desktop (75GB - O/S, 1.5TB - Movies/Music/etc), then I have 2 portable drives (1 full size 250GB, and a 3.5 inch 500GB)

I backup what I need to, to the NAS device. But I really need to reload this box soon, and when I do, I'll probably mirror the drives, since it has an onboard SATA Raid controller.

Now you fucks have me looking for more RAM!
What kind of ram do you need, seriously. I can get anything Dell FB, ECC Reg, oem shit at dirt cheap prices.

srsly

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post #19 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-12-2010, 01:19 PM
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DDR2 PC2-6400 or 5300

I'd prefer 6400

I technically work for Dell, but I haven't priced any upgrades via the Dell Employee plan.

Let me know what you can do.

I have 16 slots, and they have to be installed in pairs. I think i have 4-1GB chips now.

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post #20 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-12-2010, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by The Big Matt View Post
DDR2 PC2-6400 or 5300

I'd prefer 6400

I technically work for Dell, but I haven't priced any upgrades via the Dell Employee plan.

Let me know what you can do.

I have 16 slots, and they have to be installed in pairs. I think i have 4-1GB chips now.
Well you want to fill it, or how much ram did you want to upgrade to?
I'm sure I can beat the epp prices. I always do, even on servers.

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post #21 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-12-2010, 01:33 PM
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what's the price on 2x2GB and 2x4GB

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post #22 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-12-2010, 01:37 PM
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what's the price on 2x2GB and 2x4GB
Cheap! i'll shoot you a pm, when I stop by the office so I can double check my inventory. I know you said you wanted 6400, so let me check.
It will be around 4 before I head out that way.

What I can't sell locally I put on ebay, shame plug! http://shop.ebay.com/roliath/m.html?...&_trksid=p3686
I for the most part, always have fb ram in stock. 4 and 8gb dimms rarely 2gb. all are tested with our ram tester and we use gen 3 2950's to do further tests on them.

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post #23 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-12-2010, 01:43 PM
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Cheap! i'll shoot you a pm, when I stop by the office so I can double check my inventory. I know you said you wanted 6400, so let me check.
It will be around 4 before I head out that way.

What I can't sell locally I put on ebay, shame plug! http://shop.ebay.com/roliath/m.html?...&_trksid=p3686
I for the most part, always have fb ram in stock. 4 and 8gb dimms rarely 2gb. all are tested with our ram tester and we use gen 3 2950's to do further tests on them.
cool, I manage about 200 servers. But I'm pretty sure since the merger with Dell, we won't be buying anything used

But I will pass your name/ebay on to some old customers of mine.

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post #24 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-12-2010, 01:49 PM
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cool, I manage about 200 servers. But I'm pretty sure since the merger with Dell, we won't be buying anything used

But I will pass your name/ebay on to some old customers of mine.
Yeah, most of what I sale is oem pulls or brand new. I don't sale used equipment that often. Unless of course it pays the bills.

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post #25 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-13-2010, 09:05 AM
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Hey, you guys who sell hardware PM me some information. We can sell hardware with no problems, but it is usually high end stuff. We recently did an RFP and had a couple hundred servers we know we could get at cheaper rate.

Problem is when doing RFPs, you typically never have enough time. It's nice to offload hardware quotes to others. Even with a small markup so everyone profits, everyone makes out. We make a little, get the quote taken care of and the end customer gets it cheapers. (Cisco branded servers are pricey) For most of the applications we deal in IBM is preferred, but several of our vendors support other type servers with no issues and that's where we can have room to play.

To the OP, one thing I forgot to mention is VMWare. If you can build a server spec'ed to run VMWare ESXi, now this is a very powerful advantage over a standard NAS. Even for what you're doing. It's a very efficient way to use one decked out peice of hardware.

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