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HELP! First Server Build

Hello everyone, and thanks for taking a look.

Intent:
I wish to build a small server to store images and video for my drone company and a YouTube channel I am putting together. At this time the server will be located in a rack in my home and will be accessed by a single computer to store images and for video editing. I would like to do this as cheap as possible; however, in the near future all equipment will be moved to a warehouse that will be my office/studio. I would rather spend more up front if it makes sense rather than upgrading later. In the near future it will need to be functional for multiple users. I would like to add RAID for redundancy.

Random Parts:
1U Rack Case with 4 x Hot Swap cages
Biostar TB250-BTC (from GPU Miners)
Intel Celeron G3930 LGA1151 Gen 7 (from GPU miners)
Plenty of SSDs
Asus branded 10Gb Nic

I don’t think I can make it work with what I have as I do not think I can even mount the motherboard as the cooling fan will make it to tall. What can I recycle for this project, what do I need, what do you all recommend?

Thanks in advance for the advice.

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Do you have a climate controlled server room?

1U chassis are tricky to keep cool, they generally rely on high speed fans to move a lot of air, and a managed ambient temperature as well. Also gets hard to find components that fit in there, you’re often limited to only one card, maybe two if you use a riser that is double sided. 2U or 4U would give you room to grow.

Are you buying server grade SSDs, or making due with consumer grade units? Keep an eye on the lifetime write counters.

Yes the room is climate controlled. It used to be full of GPU miners and I will be building out the warehouse and adding climate control when my tenant moves out.

For now I will be using consumer SSDs I will upgrade them before I move the cage from the house to the new office.

I was afraid a 1U would be to small, but that is what I have. If I get a larger case, then power will not be an issue as I have a pile of EVGA 1600 watt Platinum PSU’s laying around… If I can use those then it would probably be cheaper for me to invest in a larger case then to buy a new power supply. :slight_smile:

RAID is a great idea for redundancy. Depending on how many SSD’s you have, I’d go with RAID 5 or RAID 1E.

-Go with independent RAID array’s for OS and storage and/or software defined storage… and go for business class SSD’s ASAP.
-Hard to say about the cooling, but it’s important to get that right however you can.
-You’ll probably need a managed router and someone that knows how to configure it (especially if it will be on the internet).
-Also, if you’re on the internet, you probably also want something like a PF Sense Firewall. You can use a spare PC and re purpose it for that if you have one available. There are lots of videos about configuring PF Sense on youtube. I think Wendell did one of these a year ago or so, too.
-You might also be able to use a software defined ZFS storage for the video storage itself. I think Wendell also did a video on this a while ago.
-Nice Nic! :slight_smile:

If this is for a business and you have requirements that it needs to be working all the time then I’d really recommend getting something from Dell or another big company. Get it with one of those 4 hour on-site service contracts. Then if anything goes wrong at the worst the tech will replace the entire server and re-import your drives. Or you’ll have to do it, if you aren’t running a supported operating system.

With your own hardware you’ll be wasting hours trying to figure out if the power supply failed or the motherboard or the CPU.

I also recommend ECC RAM since RAM errors can cause such weird and hard to debug problems.

But if you’re going for the lowest price then do what you have to do.

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Thanks everyone for your help. I think I am in a little over my head at this time, so I’m going to just dump a bunch of NVMe into my desk top machine and revisit this in a few months when I have done more research.

Thanks again.

I would give either unraid or Freenas a try, I just built my first file server using freenas, a FX 6300 with 2/3rd’s of it’s cores disabled, 16GB of ram, and 5x 500GB hard drives
I used ZFS you choose how many drives of failure your server can survive at a time

So if you wanted one drive at a time the last 20% of a drive will be parity (basically a little chunk of every other drive) and if any one drive fails, it will take all the copy chunks and put them together

You can have 2 and 3 drives fail at a time too but the more parity you have the less usable free space, and you need to set this up at the beginning
Nothing critical is on my NAS so I only have 1 drives worth of parity

I don’t know a damn thing about Linux and even I could set up freenas so don’t be afraid to give it a try

If you decide with freenas just give me an @ gigabusterEXE if you’d like help

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