I am trying to build an always-on router + file server system that will serve as a (wired) router and as a file server that I will access from my two Windows (7/XP) machines. I am not worried about power consumption or the ambient noise resulting from this build. My main criteria are budget (under $150) and to protect my data in case my cheap-o components bite the dust. Also, in this project, I am roughly following advice here.
In fact, I think I will be running the Smoothwall software that he uses. In case it is relevant, I am situated in a University LAN and I believe we get assigned static IPs by the DHCP server.
The main components of this build will be the following:
Chip: Some of the feedback for this product says that it is possible to unlock another core on some motherboards - will this be possible on the motherboard that I intend to use below? Is it advisable for the purposes of this build?
MoBo: My main concern for the motherboard is whether it will be able to handle some sort of RAID configuration (I know nothing about RAID, or backups). The other idea that I have is to have a second HDD which is periodically backed up with cron jobs.
Memory: 2gb of memory should be enough, I think. Is this the right memory for this motherboard?
Case: This is a micro-ATX case and comes with 400W PSU.
HDD: I have a 5400rpm 120gb IDE HDD refurbished HDD that I bought off newegg for $18. I could get another one in case I need to for a backup.
This brings the build cost up to about $160.
My concern now is that all the components are compatible with each other and will fit into the case that I have chosen (I don't have a lot of experience building PCs). Also, any advice about the best strategy for having a continuous backup of my file server which is easily restorable will be greatly appreciated.
So I did some additional googling and I was hoping that the Smoothwall Linux distro would allow me to have Samba to run my file server, but some advice seems to suggest otherwise.
So, I am throwing in the question of what distro will allow me to run a router AND a file server together.