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marquisor 10-08-2010 07:49 PM

Fileserver and more.. Hard-/Software recommendations and tips wanted
 
hello everyone!

i want to run a homeserver here for centralized data storage and more...

features required:
  • client compatibility with most Linux distributions, MS Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7, XBOX!
  • harddisk shutdown if not in use (got some real noisy ones)
  • easy administration?! (maybe web-based?)
  • security! no files or folders over the internet (yet)
  • performance (i consider to buy a 1GBit+ switch)
  • backup of whole disks or only folders
  • USB 2.0 for temporary external hdds hooked up mostly on the server, but may taken with me at work/university
  • printserver for my laserprinter
  • server/client for organizer, calendar, appointments, dates, todolists, notes/memos, for ALL above clients! (still searching appropriate software for that!)
  • private FTP server
  • torrent client/server with WebUI (any software suggestions?)
  • encryption (i use truecrypt for external HDDs any suggestions?)

... the "more" (intended):
  • webserver with PHP for running a wiki
  • shared public folders for working together on code/projects
  • (temporarily) public userbased FTP server
  • mailserver
  • document server, that is scanned documents in pdf, ebooks etc.
  • scanner support for scanning snailmail and store them digitally ... what a mess here ;)
  • streaming audio/video

hardware to put in/on:
  • various SATA Drives 400GB, 1TB, 2TB
  • USB color laserprinter
  • USB scanner

questions:
  • what hardware do you recommend? that is mainly processor(s), harddisks, controllers, networkcards. huge amount of data reside on SATA here.
  • ... along with what linux distribution? (i consider debian for easy package handling, slackware for performance, but more advanced)
  • what software for the above? samba, cups i think.
  • where and how to start? any suggestions for howtos, hands-on?
  • where in the web should i stop by for reading latest security issues?
  • what about Linux/Windows organizer software?

ok that's much stuff, but it's complete what i want to know general, before going "in-depth".
as you can see i already got some information collected, and thought about the whole thing, but i just want to read opinions from the experts here. i'm looking forward to an interesting discussion.
i will collect the useful answers for my yet to set up wiki, too ;)

thx in advance!

regards
marquisor

Meson 10-08-2010 10:12 PM

If you want to be completely DIY that's fine, but check out projects like FreeNAS, openfiler, NASlite, nexanta, ... If you like one of those to use, or just to use as a guide, their individual docs might have some good hardware recommendations.

I can, however, tell you that for what you want, you'll barely need any power at all. An Intel Atom, VIA, or ARM board will do just fine. Just get a board that lets you hook up a lot of SATA connections so you can expand as needed. Most boards will have a 1 gig card but you'll probably only need 100mbit. Chances are your home network's switch will be more of a deciding factor here.

You mention streaming media, a lower power CPU can do this just fine as long as you don't want to encode on the fly. For that you're going to want to look into hardware encoding, but if it's just serving pre-rendered a/v, low power is fine.

Finally, my advice is not to try and do any scanning on this server. Do the scanning on your desktop and load the results onto the server. Otherwise you'll need to set up a GUI on this server for this one purpose and that would be a huge waste. (Unless you want to serve the scanner over the network - but I don't think support for this is _that_ good yet; but if you just server the scanner, you're still using it on an actual desktop).


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