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Morgoth

File server build advice please =]

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Hi, I've always dealt with gaming and performance oriented hardware, with minimal experience in budget or fileserver setups.

 

It's not for me, but this is what the PC needs to do:

stream via plex/divx to three smartTVs , two laptops, all on a wired network. often streaming video on several of those devices at once.

 

I don't really know the budget yet, but I presume he'd want it as cost effective as possible.

 

He already has hard drives full of video, I don't know what kind, I may have to find out his network setup, but for now I am asking what kind of hardware this box will need to handle that streaming demand on that many devices.

 

Cheers!

Morg

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Streaming to several devices isn't really that demanding. Though the machine is jumping among several files which potentially could be a concern.

 

SD video is usually ~ 400 Meg which for the average show comes out at about 165K/second which is almost the same as an audio CD.

720p video is usually about 2.5 times that, 1080p about 4.5 times that. So figure about 750 K/sec for the most demanding video, across 5 devices comes to about 3.7 Meg/second accessed in a random fashion.

Not a huge amount of data but the random access could be a concern. Not sure that any media streaming server software has provision for caching which of course would be the sensible option - on a decent host you could easily just cache most or all of the videos in their entirety.

All this of course is assuming you just serve up the raw video and aren't doing on-the-fly transcoding (I never do, IMO it's a waste of electricity).

 

This is actually one situation where a Raid JBOD setup might be real helpful. The enemy of having multiple concurrent file operations going on is seek and rotational latency. By having multiple physical drives without striping can potentially help out there.

But the reality is you'd probably get away with a standard setup. Simply streaming isn't exactly a demanding process, you could probably use an Atom equipped NUC equally as well as a quad-core Xeon.

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Yeah I figured it'd be pretty smooth sailing for most of the hardware, it's a possibility that he's got the video across several drives, so the chances of the same drive being accessed by all devices at once would be unlikely.

 

Hrm, thankyou for that info, I still have no idea what a good lower end setup for this would look like though.

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Me neither... to just serve up data to 5 clients I'd be lowering the bar to find what the slowdown point is, because really it's not demanding work.

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I have this board:

 

http://www.asrockrack.com/general/productdetail.asp?Model=C2550D4I

 

Quad core 2.4GHz Atom built in, four DDR3 DIMM slots, twelve SATA slots (8xSTATA 3 6Gb/s, 4xSTATA 2 3Gb/s), dual gigabit LAN sockets.

 

A bit of work getting one, I grabbed mine from the states but should have pulled the trigger a few months earlier when Kogan had them on special, they no longer sell them.

(there is an octacore version, about a hundred dollars more expensive)

I would like to put mine in the following:

 

http://www.scorptec.com.au/product/Cases/Mini_ITX/53860-SST-DS380B

 

which requires an SFX format PSU, fairly cheap.

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AMD CPU of some sort.

AMD board to match (Asus preferably; they include ECC support in almost all)

4~8GB of DDR3 ECC (unbuffered) RAM (AMD supports ECC ram without being a Server chip)

OpenMediaVault as the OS.

 

Since ha has drives already full, buy a single new HDD, bigger than any of his current single data drives (so, a 4TB drive, if he has a full 3TB).

Install SNAP-Raid.

 

Enjoy.

Edited by Master_Scythe

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I have this board:

 

http://www.asrockrack.com/general/productdetail.asp?Model=C2550D4I

 

Quad core 2.4GHz Atom built in, four DDR3 DIMM slots, twelve SATA slots (8xSTATA 3 6Gb/s, 4xSTATA 2 3Gb/s), dual gigabit LAN sockets.

 

Dammit you actually got one? Puts my old AMD E-350 file server to shame.

:-(

 

Yep, nice little board. Currently just acting as a basic file server running Funtoo Linux, at some point I started adding packages to be able to build Android ROMs from source but one of the packages wanted 32 bit stuff IIRC (not sure what) and I built Funtoo without any 32 bit support which ruled that out unfortunately. Was going to use it to play with a bare metal hypervisor and use it in part as a router but after getting close with my last go I've put that on ice (having a house full of people expecting things to "just work" doesn't help). The lack of VT-d is the only disappointment WRT the VM stuff.

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