I plan to build this server to store my Blu-Ray rips, personal photos and music.

My original plan was to install Ubuntu but now I plan to run Windows Server 2012 R2 - Datacenter, I get it for free as a Student :D, this will also help me get familiar with the system. (I looked at some of its features and I want to experiment with it in the future)

Now since this computer will serve as a NAS I was first thinking about setting up a raid (I will be using used hard drives, just in case they fail) however I accidentally came across Storage Spaces, which offers scalability and also is not hardware solution which would have made it more expensive and to some extent dangerous. It seems like the perfect solution, I plan on having 8 HDD in total but only have 2 to begin with. Also the HDDs are for storage only the OS will be on a separate SSD.

And this is were I am concerned, I don't know much about file systems but I heard that if you use a ZFS file system you need to use ECC, are using NTFS in Storage Space non-ECC threat to data corruption? I want to be as efficient as possible (Using a Pentium G4400)

On the note of CPU how much power will Storage Spaces take take? (passmark preferred) will a transcoding process and sending a file over LAN be too much for the G4400? The pool will be set up to resemble RAID 5.

Also I plan to format the HDD with maximum allocation unit (64K) which is said to be better for large files (50GB BluRay rips), is this a good idea? Is it possible to go above 64K?

Sorry for the long post, serverfoult kicked me out with this question saying its not a business server -_- oh and the guy told me "if its a server use ECC" thanks for the genius answer @EEAA

  • First, hardware recommendations go over in the hardware beta, they're out of scope for SU. Second, you cant RAID 5 two disks, you need 3 disks. Software raid has its problems but hardware raid is difficult to expand. Also RAID5 is not advisable anymore, if you want that go RAID6 instead. – Linef4ult Dec 10 '15 at 10:37

Since you'd be using the HDDs in a NAS, configured in a RAID array, I'd strongly recommend you to consider getting hard drives that will be able to withstand such a workload, @user3170899!

NAS/RAID-specific drives incorporate a different firmware that makes them more reliable when put under the pressure of 24/7 environments. It also helps by further optimizing the drive and expanding the NAS experience.

Storage Spaces is a software-based RAID and it's possible that it might actually be slower in a RAID 5 array and not very beneficial. If your motherboard supports RAID 5 at the hardware level, then I'd suggest to configure the array from there and still boot from the SSD. This might actually be a faster resolution. If it's possible, I'd also recommend you to put the SSD and the RAID HDDs in separate SATA controllers.

Unfortunately, it's not possible to go beyond the 64K allocation unit size and, yes, it's a good solution for massive media file storage.

Hope I was able to answer your questions. Best of luck! :)

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