Media Server Chassis

arrush

n00b
Joined
Oct 10, 2004
Messages
5
So I think it’s time for me to build a media server for the house, and I had a couple questions I was hoping to get some input on. The major hurdle I can’t seem to cross is picking out a proper chassis. I see a lot of people using regular mid or full size towers and building from there. What I have been pondering is the use of an actual server case. What has me intrigued are the used Dell Poweredge 2800 servers. They are tower servers but can also be mounted on a rack if I ever wanted to go that route. Second they seem to represent some decent value, I’ve seen some dual 3.2Ghz Xeon systems with 4GB of ram go for $200-300 plus shipping. I’m not exactly sure what generation those Xeon processors are but the whole system is probably a few years old, but I think it should be sufficient for any type of video streaming [I plan to stream 1080p video to my WD Live].

I know most of them come with some sort of SCSI drives which I assume could easily be swapped out for SATA drives. Never having worked in a server environment I am a little worried about noise and heat [I think they are powered by dual power supplies].

Any suggestions, comments would be welcome.

Just as a comment I am looking to run 4x 2TB WD drives in most likly a RAID5 configuration.
 

epimetheus

Gawd
Joined
Jun 20, 2004
Messages
815
The Norco 4020 and 4220 are the home storage server cases of choice around here. 20 SAS/SATA hotswap bays, takes an ATX power supply, fans can be swapped for lower noise fans. If you get the 4220 you can even purchase a custom fan divider from cavediver (forum member) that uses 120mm fans instead of the stock 80mm.

Norco 4020

Norco 4220
 

Blue Fox

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 9, 2004
Messages
11,814
Don't buy any branded server if you actually want to do anything with it. Contrary to what you think, you won't be swapping out those SCSI drives for SATA ones easily. That systems is old, slow, loud, and power hungry.
 

sabregen

Fully [H]
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
19,502
Take BF's advice. Most of the time you're talking about swapping out backplanes, or at the very elast, disassembling the entire from of the chassis and getting the backplane out of there, then reassembling it only to find that you don't have enough room to just plug in your SATA drives with regular cables, because there's only enough clearance for a backplane... and they never made a SATA backplane for that chassis... waste of time, and effort, and money.
 

FireWire2

n00b
Joined
Jun 23, 2010
Messages
45
So I think it’s time for me to build a media server for the house, and I had a couple questions I was hoping to get some input on. The major hurdle I can’t seem to cross is picking out a proper chassis. I see a lot of people using regular mid or full size towers and building from there. What I have been pondering is the use of an actual server case. What has me intrigued are the used Dell Poweredge 2800 servers. They are tower servers but can also be mounted on a rack if I ever wanted to go that route. Second they seem to represent some decent value, I’ve seen some dual 3.2Ghz Xeon systems with 4GB of ram go for $200-300 plus shipping. I’m not exactly sure what generation those Xeon processors are but the whole system is probably a few years old, but I think it should be sufficient for any type of video streaming [I plan to stream 1080p video to my WD Live].

I know most of them come with some sort of SCSI drives which I assume could easily be swapped out for SATA drives. Never having worked in a server environment I am a little worried about noise and heat [I think they are powered by dual power supplies].

Any suggestions, comments would be welcome.

Just as a comment I am looking to run 4x 2TB WD drives in most likly a RAID5 configuration.
To stream to WD Live or other HD Media player like EP6000, Dvico M-3600, N1, S1 or other, you don't need much - look at the simple 2bay NAS $99.00 or 4 bay raid 5 NAS

it takes so little power, you don't even see it in electric bill, if you'd been your PC to stream
you will actually save money in electric bill
__
 

vectravl400

Weaksauce
Joined
Sep 24, 2007
Messages
80
Just got rid of PE 4600 and 2600 boxes. I'd planned to convert them both to sata, but by the time you modify backplane, power, chassis and everything else, you're out enough cash that you could have picked up a decent low power server box or enough parts to make one. Even if you could successfully convert the case, you'd still have an expensive, underpowered doorstop that you'd be replacing in a year's time because it wouldn't do the job.

Don't do it.
 

arrush

n00b
Joined
Oct 10, 2004
Messages
5
Just got rid of PE 4600 and 2600 boxes. I'd planned to convert them both to sata, but by the time you modify backplane, power, chassis and everything else, you're out enough cash that you could have picked up a decent low power server box or enough parts to make one. Even if you could successfully convert the case, you'd still have an expensive, underpowered doorstop that you'd be replacing in a year's time because it wouldn't do the job.

Don't do it.

can you recommand a "decent low power server" ?
 

bwoody2016

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 26, 2010
Messages
169
Suggest building your own with a itx board and a LIAN LI PC-Q08B case. You can stuff 6 Hd's in it. Most of the newer H55 itx boards have 6 sata's. Its small and it just works..
 

Bookmage

Gawd
Joined
Sep 2, 2004
Messages
678
Agreed, dont buy any branded server if you want to upgrade or customize anything. Branded servers are for buying and not touching it until you're done with it.
Unless you get a server for free or dirt cheap off ebay, you will be limited to pricier parts and configurations.

I highly recommend and second a norco 2u/4u w/some small core i3/i5 matx/mitx setup. First, figure out your needs and your budget. Everything else is easy after that...
 

vectravl400

Weaksauce
Joined
Sep 24, 2007
Messages
80
can you recommand a "decent low power server" ?

Try an off lease corporate desktop. Even the recent sff ones should still be able to take 2 hard drives which will almost certainly give you more drive space than an older poweredge. Plus they're dual core and most will have pcie slots. It all comes at a small fraction of the power, space and noise of a 2800.
 
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