Split media center into mediaplayer and homeserver
So after moving into my new apartment I had to restructure my network/infrastructure.
In my old apartment my whole media center/server setup was one pc. A Mini ITX Zotac ION Board with a few HDDs, an SSD and running 24/7.
My requirements were simple:
- Low power usage
- Room for 6 HDDs
Silent wasn't really a requirement since the server will run in a small cabinet/server room.
Due to the low power requirement a mini-itx atom based motherboard seemed like a good choice.
I found a pretty kickass board from Supermicro, offering all I could wish for including 6 sata ports integrated IPMI, KVM and 2x Gigabit ethernet ports.
I added 4 Gb of RAM an Antec EA-30D Green PSU (of course 80 plus certified) and bought a Mini-ITX LIAN LI PC-Q08B Case which fits 6x 3.5", 1x 5.25" and an additional 2.5".
So the list of stuff comes down to this:
- Supermicro X7SPA-HF Motherboard ~170€
- EA-380D Green PSU ~47 €
- Lian Li PC-Q08 ~100€
- 2x 2GB Ram DDR-2, 667 MHz, KINGSTON ~60€ for both
So thats 377€ for everything but the HDDs.
In terms of HDDs I am going to go with Western Digital Caviar Green 2000GB, 64MB Cache, SATA II for ~ 60 € a piece.
I ripped all the HDDs out of the old mediacenter (1x 60 gb SSD, 1x 1 TB 3.5" and 1x 2 TB 3.5" plus another external 1.5 TB) and put them into the new server, a quick power consumption check showed ~ 35 Watt which is perfectly fine.
I might do some more accurate power consumption tests later on but the results so far look good.
Last but not least I got the original Zotac Board up and running again by:
- Having switched to a mysql DB backend for xbmc before removing the HDDs (see this guide)
- Installing XBMC live on an USB Stick and fixing up the settings to connect to the mysql DB of the homeserver.
- Setting up the xbmc live install so that all the media (which is now located on the home server) gets mounted at exactly the same spots they were before (using NFS)
- Make sure to also nfs mount the userdata/Thumbnails folder to avoid having to store/download artwort and stuff in case you want to add more pcs running xbmc.
Everything works pretty flawless so far, 1080 playback over WLAN is also 100% smooth.
I might go back and edit this post to make it more detailed and clearer but it should be fine for now. Feel free to drop me an email if you have any questions.