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  • Low power ("Green") yet scalable Windows Home Server

    I'm wanting to setup a Windows Home Server (WHS) at home but am looking to find ways of reducing the electricity bill, so I'd like to find parts that will make it a "green" PC.

    Can anyone recommend specific hardware to do this? Preferably Australian parts [MOD EDIT - REMOVED LINKS]
    Particularly interested in the Power Supply, Motherboard, CPU.
    I'd prefer Intel, but that may not be viable depending on what hardware is available.

    I would like to retain scalability though, so 4 dimm slots & 4+ Sata HD. That way I can expand the RAM & storage as required.

    Haven't really bought raid for a white box before (get it pre-installed on work servers), so if anyone has any recommendations that would be helpful too

    I'd like to set the hard disks up as:
    OS = 1 x 250GB
    Data = 3 x 1TB in hardware RAID 5 (would expand this to 4 or 5 1TB as data grows)

    (I know WHS has "Drive Extender", I will turn this off, please don't make this thread about Drive Extender vs RAID 5)

    Is there a way (such as hardware I can get that has green/red indicator lights on the outside of a HD removable tray) to indicate if the disk hardware is healthy/faulty?
    Thank you
    Last edited by Ossian; 19th January 2010, 07:50.
    I've been using this online backup for all my photos, docs, spreadsheets, powerpoints & emails for years now & it works great.
    Go Here for their free 5GB: http://www.idrive.com/p=gavamm
    I upgraded to the Personal Plan for peace of mind for not much more than a cup of coffee.

  • #2
    Re: Low power ("Green&quot yet scalable Windows Home Server

    4. Get a Drobo.

    Why the rainbow color scheme?
    ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

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    • #3
      Re: Low power ("Green&quot yet scalable Windows Home Server

      Links removed to prevent allegations of spamming
      Rainbow colour scheme removed to keep Wired happy

      IMHO, dont bother with a separate OS drive -- use 4 x 1 TB RAID 5 and allocate c. 100Gb to the OS -- this will give you nearly a Tb more storage than your configuration
      (I assume WHS understands partitioning)

      Also IMHO, "server" and "green" dont go together as the server part requires instant access / constant access
      Last edited by Ossian; 19th January 2010, 07:53.
      Tom Jones
      MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
      PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
      IT Trainer / Consultant
      Ossian Ltd
      Scotland

      ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

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      • #4
        Re: Low power ("Green&quot yet scalable Windows Home Server

        Thanks Wired, I had a look at the product you mentioned, but it looks like a NAS, I'm after a WHS whitebox.

        Thanks Ossian, I will consider your idea regarding the HD setup, that would build in some fault tollerance into the OS too; the down side to that HD cofiguration would be for volume based image backups, the incramental images would be bigger as they would incorporate distributed parity data from the opperating system.

        I'm still trying to wrap my head around some of the components of WHS, I read somewhere that if you want transcoded media then that all happens on the C: drive so it may be good to have the data physically separated from the OS?

        At any rate, any idea of some RAID hardware I can use?


        ____________________
        At the risk of this continuing a conversation that has nothing to do with this thread, the colours were simply to help identify the 4 sections I wanted to cover; usually when presented with that much text people don't tend to notice all the parts of the question. Perhaps I should have posted separate questions, but probably would have been done for spam ;P. Shame the numbers were removed though.
        I've been using this online backup for all my photos, docs, spreadsheets, powerpoints & emails for years now & it works great.
        Go Here for their free 5GB: http://www.idrive.com/p=gavamm
        I upgraded to the Personal Plan for peace of mind for not much more than a cup of coffee.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Low power ("Green&quot yet scalable Windows Home Server

          Buy a real Server. They are configured to efficiently use the hardware that they use. eg: Acer Altos G330 Mk2. Supports Quad Core Xeon, 8GB ECC RAM and up to 4 x 1.5TB HDDs, RAID 5 Controller with RAM & BBU, Hot Swap Cage, Tape Drive, DVD Burner and a coule of other items but it only uses a 350W power supply.

          Using the Green WD HDDs will save you about 2W per HDD but performance will plummet. Old Blue WD HDDs out perform new Green ones. WD Black is best!!
          1 1 was a racehorse.
          2 2 was 1 2.
          1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
          2 2 1 1 2

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          • #6
            Re: Low power ("Green&quot yet scalable Windows Home Server

            And what advantages will WHS give you if you want to go green?
            I have a QNAP system with 6 (fast 32mb cache, 7200RPM I believe) 2TB disks from WD green running RAID 6 and it works great!
            I can access it perfectly from Linux, Mac and windows...
            Marcel
            Technical Consultant
            Netherlands
            http://www.phetios.com
            http://blog.nessus.nl

            MCITP(EA, SA), MCSA/E 2003:Security, CCNA, SNAF, DCUCI, CCSA/E/E+ (R60), VCP4/5, NCDA, NCIE - SAN, NCIE - BR, EMCPE
            "No matter how secure, there is always the human factor."

            "Enjoy life today, tomorrow may never come."
            "If you're going through hell, keep going. ~Winston Churchill"

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            • #7
              Re: Low power ("Green&quot yet scalable Windows Home Server

              There are a number of things that have lead me to pick WHS over a NAS that would be off topic to this thread, I'm really just after advice for low power consumption components that will still afford me RAM & Storage space, so that I can build my WHS.

              Having said that all of the RAID solutions I've looked at so far are PCI-E based, so the number of SATA ports on the motherboard is less important. Of importance now is simply low power drain components.

              Whenever I build a new PC it is always about performance, so now I'm struggling to pull together components that will save me money from my electricity bill. I don't have a very good understanding of power usage.
              I've been using this online backup for all my photos, docs, spreadsheets, powerpoints & emails for years now & it works great.
              Go Here for their free 5GB: http://www.idrive.com/p=gavamm
              I upgraded to the Personal Plan for peace of mind for not much more than a cup of coffee.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Low power ("Green&quot yet scalable Windows Home Server

                One raid card I've found that looks quite good is the Highpoint 2300 (or 2310). I've read several forums that say this brand is quite good.
                I've been using this online backup for all my photos, docs, spreadsheets, powerpoints & emails for years now & it works great.
                Go Here for their free 5GB: http://www.idrive.com/p=gavamm
                I upgraded to the Personal Plan for peace of mind for not much more than a cup of coffee.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Low power ("Green&quot yet scalable Windows Home Server

                  One of my friends said this, if anyone can interpret what it means:
                  Just because a PSU is rated at 650W, doesn't mean it's always drawing
                  650W. A powersupplies efficiency is related to whether it uses a transformed for the inversion, or a coupling.
                  I've been using this online backup for all my photos, docs, spreadsheets, powerpoints & emails for years now & it works great.
                  Go Here for their free 5GB: http://www.idrive.com/p=gavamm
                  I upgraded to the Personal Plan for peace of mind for not much more than a cup of coffee.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Low power ("Green&quot yet scalable Windows Home Server

                    So I guess nobody else is really too sure about this kind of hardware either

                    Guess the next step is to try and contact the manufacturers directly.
                    I've been using this online backup for all my photos, docs, spreadsheets, powerpoints & emails for years now & it works great.
                    Go Here for their free 5GB: http://www.idrive.com/p=gavamm
                    I upgraded to the Personal Plan for peace of mind for not much more than a cup of coffee.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Low power ("Green&quot yet scalable Windows Home Server

                      If a car has a 450hp engine in it, does the engine alway produce 450hp? (Not when it is idling)
                      650W power supply does not draw 650w but will produce up to 650w when the components require it (same as the 450hp engine).
                      1 1 was a racehorse.
                      2 2 was 1 2.
                      1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
                      2 2 1 1 2

                      Comment

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