Simple home server spec

Associate
Joined
3 Oct 2007
Posts
27
Hi There,

I consider myself a moderate PC builder/user and I've been thinking about setting up a home server/file server so people in my house can access their personal files (documents/music etc) from the shared file server.

We have 2 PCs and 1 Laptop in the house connected to a D-Link DIR-655 Wirless Router. Both PC's are connected using cat5e cables. The laptop uses a wireless connection.


I have listed my requirements below:

1. Must be low power (low wattage)
2. Must be able to handle gigabit speeds for transfer of large files i.e. video.
3. Each user's documents will be shared on the file server. Seperate user accounts are not required i.e. each user should be able to access eachothers data on the fileserver.
4. Fileserver must contain 1x2TB hardrive or 2x1TB Hard drives.
5. Files on server must be accessible wired/wirlesslesy.


Questions:

1. What Type and Speed of CPU, RAM, Mobo will be enough for my requirements?

2. Whats the max power I need from a PSU to run the above?

3. Which OS will i be best using?

4. Will I need a software firewall on the server/fileserver?

5. If I simple use windows XP as the OS will windows software firewall suffice? Which ports will i need to manually block off?

6. Is it a good idea to setup VPN on the server or should I not configure it to use the internet at all?

7. Can I use the fileserver to install my bittorrent client on? Is this a bad idea ie. point 6?

8. What other security implications do I need to consider?

9. What other implications do i need to consider?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 

RSR

RSR

Soldato
Joined
17 Aug 2006
Posts
9,140
I'd recommend looking at a HP Microserver, as I run one of these at home for a file server.
 
Associate
OP
Joined
3 Oct 2007
Posts
27
I've had a look at NAS solutions and the HP Microserver. Not inclined to go down that route yet as I'm looking to build something myself. give myself a little pratical building/learning. Something I'd like to build from scratch.
 
Soldato
Joined
6 May 2004
Posts
5,710
Location
Portsmouth
Built a system with a nice small case with integrated 4 bay hotswap for much the same purpose myself. I used an ITX board with a dual core Atom on it so power consumption is nice and low and I've got four 2TB drives in it. Does the job nicely. I'm running Windows 7 on it myself as this gives me the ability to do more or less whatever I want with it - usually involving Remote Desktop so I can kick off downloads from websites, usenet or whatever. Much more flexible than a pre-built NAS but then it costs more too. At the time (close to 2 years ago) the system cost about £200 without any of the hard drives.

Case was a Chenbro ES34069 - at the time this was about £100, comes with the external PSU brick too (mine is 120 watt but it will never draw that with only an Atom CPU in it). Motherboard is a Gigabyte GA-D525TUD costing around £70 and I just put a single 2GB stick of DDR3 in there. There's probably better solutions now but it gives you an idea. Here's the case:

nas.jpg


2 years on it's still doing everything I want of it and still remains more flexible than a prebuilt NAS. Also gives me decent speeds on the network transfers (100MB/sec plus which you will not see from any of the cheapo NAS solutions even if they're supposedly gigabit).
 
Last edited:
Associate
Joined
6 Aug 2010
Posts
488
Location
Aberdeen
I went for the microserver purely on cost.

If I were to build myself, I'd go for the case Phemo shows and an AMD E-350 Fusion ITX motherboard. Although the motherboard is probably more than what you need for purely filesharing. 150W PSU would be more than sufficient.

I run ubuntu server on mine with Deluge bit torrent client and serviio media streamer. Like you, I have no need for specific user accounts and I have a samba share of the 2TB hard drive with all the files on it.

I like deluge and serviio programs as they run as daemons on the server and I can control them with a client program on my PC. You can do this with transmission too. So each person can have deluge client installed on their machine but all downloads are to the server.

I chose Ubuntu server as it is free and wanted to learn a little more about linux.

I plan to add more hard drives and use zfs filesystem, although I can't decide between zfs on ubuntu or using Nexentastor. If you want purely filesharing then NexentaStor is very nice but if you want bit torrent, media servers, anything else then another OS is needed.

Lots of people with the microservers seem to use Windows Home Server which looks very easy to use.
 
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