Looking for the right storage solution – Part 3 – Project completed

Wanted to close the loop on this project. The last time we spoke, I had just ordered the hardware.

Here is what I did with it:

Hardware built

The hardware as I received it – Motherboard, drives, SATA cardh, CD drive, Case, Processor, Memory, etc.

The drive – I added two 2TB drives since this picture was taken

Angled SATA cables – A lot cleaner

Nicely tied up!

The final product

Installing the OS

I wasn’t sure of what I would be installing so I tried a few things: Amahi, Freenas, Windows 7, etc. Eventually I just went with Windows Home Server (2008, since 2011 does not include Drive Extender), and here is how it looks:

Since I am using Drive Extender, everything is duplicated, which means that I have about 6.5TB of available storage space.

In terms of safety nets:

  • As I said all files are duplicated: If one of my drives fails, I’ll be okay.
  • I have an extra 2TB drive that I am not using, in case one of the one I use fail.
  • I store about 100GB of irreplaceable files (pictures, etc.) at Amazon. It cost me 10GB a month but give me the peace of mind of knowing that I will never lose my most precious data to fire, flood or theft. Those files are synced once a week automatically.

Using Software

I am not only using this machine as a storage solution – That’d be a bit overkill. I am also running alt.binz and utorrent. They are both configured to load .torrent and .nzb files that I drop in a specific share and start downloading. All I need to do is dump the file in that directory and a few hours later I have my Linux Distros and other free, legal downloads!

Also, I am planning on running some flavor of virtualization so that I can run other OSes, Linuxes notably.