Second Home Server – I Need More Storage Space!

Posted by under Servers, on 17 October 2011 @ 9:55pm.

I’ve recently realised I’m rapidly running out of space and processing power on my current home server. It’s been running well for the last 3 years and currently has a capacity of almost 8TB, but that space is filling up. Running multiple websites, including the all huge BetaArchive, this space is primarily filled with backups of those sites. As BetaArchive continues to expand, more space is going to be needed for the archive backups.

current-server-statsStatistics from my home server

Although it looks like I have plenty of space left, I prefer to keep certain tasks kept to one drive. For example I don’t mix my main data with archive backups, or media with betas, etc. This keeps the layout clean and makes things easier to find (or lose!).

The BA archive backup currently occupies a little under 2.3TB spanned over a 2TB disk and a 1.5TB disk. The data is split between them with everything except PC Beta Operating Systems on one drive, and those being on another. Our FTP admin has recently released information that means another 1TB of data will be coming to the site in the near future. For this reason it means I have to prepare the extra space for this data so I will have a backup of it.

The problem with the current server is that not only is it suffering from being under powered, due to firstly having an older CPU, and lack of RAM (2GB doesn’t go very far, and the motherboard has issues taking any more than that due to faulty hardware), but there are no more spare SATA slots for more hard drives. I bought a replacement AMD Phenom II X2 and motherboard some months ago but it’s not yet been put into service. Even more recently I got myself a second 4U rack case to house it.

new-serverBottom: Current Server. Top: New Server

This new board now has 10GB of DDR3 memory (2x4GB and 1x2GB DIMMs) and 6 SATA-II slots for additional hard drives. My original plan was to use this as an ESXi or Hyper-V server but I’m not so sure now. I’ll probably stick with the single OS solution as I’m not familiar enough with ESXi to risk using it on a production system. If anything I would use Hyper-V.

I have 2 hard drives ready to go in it. An older Samsung F1 1TB and a brand new and currently untouched Samsung F4 2TB. I can instantly bump my storage space up to 11TB when I bring this server online. I hope to replace all of the 1TB drives with 2TB’s as I go along, retiring the 1TB’s to other tasks.

So what will I use the new server for? To begin with I may just move all of the BetaArchive archive backups to it, and use it as an offline server for the time being. Running two servers will be higher in electricity costs so if possible I want to reduce that until it’s necessary. It costs about £13 a month to run a single server at the moment (130Watts at 14.7p/kWh).

As I have some spare time later this week I will see what I can do to bring it online and get it running a copy of a server OS. I have a couple of beta keys I can use temporarily while I play around. I won’t keep the server online 24/7 though as I still need to wait for the fan extension cables. I can’t safely run the server 24/7 without risking damage from the heat.

Right that’s probably enough talk about servers for now, I’ll make another update during the week if I get around to having a play around.