Saturday, January 02, 2010

Windows Home Server project - Phase I

Those of you reading me on Facebook will have seen that I've been thinking of putting together a Windows Home Server to back up the various and sundry computers in the house as well as to act as a streaming server (and probably a print server). Windows Home Server has never gotten a lot of press, but it seems to me to have a lot of features that a NAS box doesn't offer and less complexity than trying to do this with Fedora or SUSE. I took a look at my existing boxes to see what I could salvage/repurpose, but the cases and mobos that I've already got didn't have support for the number of drives that I want to eventually be able to use. So I put together a wishlist on to keep track of what I need to gather up (I've decided to do this basically out of pocket change, so I'm having to assemble it a bit at a time) and the total, including the OS and about 3 TB of storage is going to run about $650. I picked up the following bits at the CompUSA store at Northgate Mall today:

- Coolermaster Elite RC-330 case $50
- Coolermaster Elite 460W power supply $40
- ASUS AM3 socket mobo (full ATX, on-board NVidia graphics) $100

Left to acquire over the next couple of weeks:

- AMD Athlon II X2 250 (3.0 GHz dual-core) $70
- 2 sticks of 1GB DDR2 RAM $50
- Primary OS drive - 250GB SATA from old system Free
- 2 Western Digital Caviar Green 1.5 TB drives $220
- DVD/CD writer from old system Free
- Windows Home Server OS $100

I've got plenty of spare keyboards and meeses around, so that ought to do it. WHS can be run headless, but I've got a monitor I can use for it. I'll keep you guys posted as I continue to collect parts and start the build. One of the nice things about Windows Home Server is that you can add more hard drives and it just absorbs them into the big honking virtual drive, so I can slap a third 1.5TB in later and it should just immediately become addressable.