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Parry
22-07-2009, 07:44 PM
Hi all, just wondering what people have done to create a high-end home media server that I can connect to my TV. I've estimated that if I rip all my DVD's and music I'll probably need about 8TB of space. I would like to mirror the drives for safety as I wouldn't want to lose all that data, so looking at 16TB in total with room to add more HD's later.

So I need something that can manage a large number of hard drives so have been thinking about a standard tower with 4 or so bays and then connected to some server type arrangement in some way. I have come across a thing called a rackmount but have no idea whats involved with this - see an example http://www.ascent.co.nz/productspecification.aspx?ItemID=347029. Looks as though you may be able to use standard SATA drives but not sure if it needs a server O/S (presumably so) and whether you could lay this on a floor or needs a server rack. I don't really want a huge server as my home isn't that big so if it can hide behind the TV that would be great. Something this big may be quite noisy as well as it needs heaps of cooling - not sure if that's a likely issue.

Wondered if some audiophile or PC officianado has undertaken anything of this magnitude and what my options are.

Many thanks,
Graham

nofam
22-07-2009, 08:39 PM
You'd probably be best to separate your HTPC function out from the storage of your media; as you say, all those HDD's are going to be noisy, and the key requirements for a HTPC are that it runs cool and quietly. Actually, the quietness is the reason cooling is so important, as you may want a passive graphics card (no fan). Splitting your media off from your O/S is a much better option all round as well, as you may (for example) want to use Windows 7 for your HTPC O/S, and something like FreeNAS to store everything on your media server.

Just out of interest, how did you arrive at 8TB? Is that storing all your DVD's as ISO's? Because if you convert them to .MKV's using the H.264 codec, you can get no appreciable loss in quality, but a fraction of the original size.

Cabling your house is really quite easy (and reasonablycheap) provided you can get under the house etc, and 802.11n wireless is fast enough to stream most media too.

Chilling_Silence
22-07-2009, 09:31 PM
Give the guys at ProCafe.co.nz a buzz and ask them to put you together something, William from there's pretty good :)

Parry
22-07-2009, 10:02 PM
Cheers thanks guys. I have a lot of stuff so 8TB would be compressed video + mp3's not just the ISO's. I live in an apartment building so unfortunately cabling is out which would have been ideal in a house as I could then have the server in another room etc. No spare room I'm afraid, all open plan so HTPC would need to be in the lounge.

I would like a minimum of combined 10 x 3.5" bays between a PC and server so I could expand to 20TB using 2TB drives. HP MediaSmart Server looks pretty cool but hasn't come to NZ yet and doesn't appear to support 2TB drives yet so thats why a rackmount looked interesting.

Chilling, I couldn't find a web site ProCafe.co.nz. Would be good to speak to some experts. Are you able to post the URL?

cheers,
Graham

somebody
22-07-2009, 10:05 PM
Cheers thanks guys. I have a lot of stuff so 8TB would be compressed video + mp3's not just the ISO's. I live in an apartment building so unfortunately cabling is out which would have been ideal in a house as I could then have the server in another room etc. No spare room I'm afraid, all open plan so HTPC would need to be in the lounge.

I would like a minimum of combined 10 x 3.5" bays between a PC and server so I could expand to 20TB using 2TB drives. HP MediaSmart Server looks pretty cool but hasn't come to NZ yet and doesn't appear to support 2TB drives yet so thats why a rackmount looked interesting.

Chilling, I couldn't find a web site ProCafe.co.nz. Would be good to speak to some experts. Are you able to post the URL?

cheers,
Graham

One thing to be aware of is that rackmount servers (those intended to be servers in a server farm, rather than the ones designed for home-theatre use) are larger than they look in photos, and can have noisy fans in them.

CYaBro
22-07-2009, 10:40 PM
No way you gonna want to have something sitting behind your TV with 8-10 HDDs in it.
It would be way too noisy with all the HDDs running plus fans to keep them cool plus fan in PSU to run them all.

I have access to the Colorado vNet (http://www.coloradovnet.com/video/intro.rails) products and they have a distributed video system that allows you to keep adding storage as required.
But the biggest storage server they have is 4TB so you would need 4-5 of these to get the space you want. They are in a RAID5 configuration and they have the option of being a desktop box or rack mount.
They are not cheap though :xmouth:

Chilling_Silence
22-07-2009, 10:50 PM
Sorry, Procase.co.nz ;)

beeswax34
23-07-2009, 01:31 AM
I think the best option would be to split the functionality and the storage as said previously. Have your HDD's in one place and simply stream it to a HTPC. That way you cut down on the noise and heat issues while giving you more room to expand.

Gobe1
23-07-2009, 10:19 AM
Check out drobo on google. Smart nas, not available in nz yet but you can get online from oz i think. Keep adding drives as needed and it has multiple raid setups that configure as you add drives. Need to wait for 4Tb drives :)

CYaBro
23-07-2009, 10:38 AM
Check out drobo on google. Smart nas, not available in nz yet but you can get online from oz i think. Keep adding drives as needed and it has multiple raid setups that configure as you add drives. Need to wait for 4Tb drives :)

These (http://www.lucidsystems.org/) guys are selling it.

nofam
23-07-2009, 03:46 PM
Cheers thanks guys. I have a lot of stuff so 8TB would be compressed video + mp3's not just the ISO's. I live in an apartment building so unfortunately cabling is out which would have been ideal in a house as I could then have the server in another room etc. No spare room I'm afraid, all open plan so HTPC would need to be in the lounge.

I would like a minimum of combined 10 x 3.5" bays between a PC and server so I could expand to 20TB using 2TB drives. HP MediaSmart Server looks pretty cool but hasn't come to NZ yet and doesn't appear to support 2TB drives yet so thats why a rackmount looked interesting.

Chilling, I couldn't find a web site ProCafe.co.nz. Would be good to speak to some experts. Are you able to post the URL?

cheers,
Graham

You cold still put the Media server as far away as you can from where you sit to watch TV; connecting them both with a crossover cable can give you a gigabit connection, and CAT5 can be run up to around 100 metres with no trouble.

BTW, did you want to watch TV/use the media centre as a PVR, or is it purely for watching DVD's/Bluray and listening to music?

Barnabas
23-07-2009, 04:07 PM
I think you need a Netapp Fibre Channel SAN????

Thats a hell of a lot of storage for home use..I thought I was extravagant with 4 Terabytes.

Parry
23-07-2009, 07:06 PM
Hi all, thanks very much for all your input. There are certainly a lot more options out there than I had thought. I will go the low tech route at first and simply have unraided HD's on a PC and then have separate backup sources to a NAS or something similar.

Many thanks.

SolMiester
27-07-2009, 02:31 PM
Cheers thanks guys. I have a lot of stuff so 8TB would be compressed video + mp3's not just the ISO's. I live in an apartment building so unfortunately cabling is out which would have been ideal in a house as I could then have the server in another room etc. No spare room I'm afraid, all open plan so HTPC would need to be in the lounge.

I would like a minimum of combined 10 x 3.5" bays between a PC and server so I could expand to 20TB using 2TB drives. HP MediaSmart Server looks pretty cool but hasn't come to NZ yet and doesn't appear to support 2TB drives yet so thats why a rackmount looked interesting.

Chilling, I couldn't find a web site ProCafe.co.nz. Would be good to speak to some experts. Are you able to post the URL?

cheers,
Graham

Graham, You dont need 2 x 8TB for storage the mirroring is a total waste of storage. Save your money and only buy 1 extra drive and run a RAID 5 array where the extra drive is the stripe. If 1 drive fails your array will still work losing no data, you then get a replacement and the array rebuilds its self.
In order to get capacity if you are worried and drive number, separate the array into 2 x 4TB, so that is 5 x 1TB each....or 4 x 1.5TB.