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Best kit for a home media server? and preferred fo

parkejr (1063724) writes | more than 2 years ago

Debian 2

parkejr (1063724) writes "I started off building a media library a few years ago with an old PC running ubuntu. Folders for photos, ogg vorbis music from my CD collection, and x264 encoded mkv movies. I have a high spec machine for encoding, but over the years I've moved the server to a bigger case, with 8 TB of disk capacity, and reverted back to debian, but still running with the same AMD Semperon processor and 2Gb RAM. It's working well, it's also the family mail server, and the kids are starting to use it for network storage, and it runs both llink and twonkyserver, but my disks are almost full, and there are no more internal slots. The obvious option to me is to add in a couple of SATA PCI cards, to give me 4 more drives, and buy an externally powered enclosure, but that doesn't feel very elegant. I'm a bit of an amateur, so I'd like some advice. Should I start looking at a rack system? Something that can accomodate say 10 3.5" drives (I'm thinking long term, and some redundancy)?. Also, what about location — I could run some cat6 to the garage and move it out of the house, incase noise is an issue. Finally, what about file format, file system, and OS/software. I'm currently running with ext3 and debian squeeze. Happy with my audio encoding choice, but not sure about x264 and mkv. I'd also consider different media server software too. Any comments appreciated"

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You might not want to hear this (1)

NSN A392-99-964-5927 (1559367) | more than 2 years ago | (#38468080)

Only joking but; I have a billion ways and other people on /. will always have they're say as to what is better... I fear parkejr you are hitting a wall that is easy to get out of. Firstly you should have never used that homo-sapien clone of Debian called Ubuntu.

My set up is as follows;

EMU 0404 PCIE card with daughter card full midi studio. I run Sonar, Cubase etc.
I have Rega Deck (Planar) and a Lin-Sondek LP12 which is better than anything you can store digitally.
Second box I have a proper EMU 2196 sound card connected to a Roland Juno 106 synth etc and a DT10.

The moral of the day is use a 386 for the mail server and stop worrying about digital storage and make sure you kids get out more including yourself instead of eating fat fast food. You will stop worrying storage and realise that if you are going to be creative, each unit of time is precious and will never be repeated in the future.

Sounds like you're ready for enterprise class (1)

thechemic (1329333) | more than 2 years ago | (#38474134)

We were in a similar situation as you about 4 years ago. To solve the problem, we dropped a PowerEdge 2900 into a laundry room and networked the entire house with 4 ports in each bedroom and living space (xbox, ps3, puter, spare). We stuffed the server with 10 2TB drives, 32GB of RAM, and Installed VMware ESXi (free). We installed Home Server because it automatically replicates files for you, and it streams media to xbox 360s flawlessly. Drop a file on a network share from a workstation and bam, it's automatically distributed accross multiple disks. We dropped an xbox 360 into every bedroom and living space to act as a the media players and game consoles. We fired up another virtual machine to be a dedicated downloader. This is where all the dirty stuff is done, bit torrent, newsgroups, etc. Its purpose is to download, scan, clean, and neuter files before they are archived on the server and it keeps the crap off the workstations and Home Server. Other VMs were created as well, Small business server for exchange and several other things are probably out of the scope of your project. When all was said and done, we were able to stream media files to any connected xbox, ps3, workstation, or mobile phone in the home and we have global access to our data from Home Servers web based console. The only negative thing I have to say about the entire project is the lack of MKV support on the xbox 360. However, it handles everything else we've thrown at it just fine. As a temporary solution to MKVs, we have a VM dedicated to just doing video conversions from .mkv to .avi so it doesn't tie up our home workstations. Everything was extremely simple to setup. Plug it in, and it just worked.
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