I will be posting details, progress reports, pictures, etc regarding my system builds, media server, and home theater setup on this page. Check back for updates as things move forward. Thanks!
To start things off, here is my current setup with specs and pics.
Specs on this beast:
Case: Norco 4020
PSU: PC Power & Cooling Silencer 910 Watt
Mobo: Asus P5Q Premium
CPU: Intel Core2Quad 2.6GHz
RAM: 12GB DDR2-800
System HDD: 2x 1TB WD Black Series
Raid Controller: Areca ARC-1260
Storage HDD: 6x 2TB WD Green Series
NIC: 1x Intel Pro/1000 PT Quad Port Server Adapter
……..1x Intel Pro/1000 ET Quad Port Server Adapter
This all gets fed into a Dell PowerConnect 2824 Gigabit Switch and out to the rest of the network. The machine is running ESXi 4.0 as its primary OS with the Areca drivers hacked into it. Under ESXi, one of the virtual machines is just a basic Ubuntu Server running LVM to handle the chunks I had to break the storage array into. The storage array is in RAID 6, split up into 2TB volumes and added to ESXi as individual LUNS of a single datastore. Then there are 2TB virtual disks on that datastore which are assigned to the media server virtual machine and combined back together with LVM. This is a very sub-optimal configuration, but was necessary due to limitations of the Raw Device Mapping in ESXi. When a better job comes along and I can afford to be running yet another physical server, the ESX Host server will be rebuilt in a new case and the media/storage server will be rebuilt in this Norco case to properly utilize the RAID6 array’s redundancy and fault tolerance.
This current configuration leaves me with approximately 7TB of storage space to house all my media. This media server VM houses all my backed up Blu-Ray and DVD movies, TV shows, music, pictures, etc and streams them across my network to the PS3 via the MediaTomb UPNP server. There are definitely plans for the future to get a nice small HTPC built up running XBMC to interface with the media server instead of using the PS3′s ugly XMB interface. We all like pretty things, right? So what do you think of my setup? How does it compare with your home theater setup? Drop me a line in the comments section to let me know what you have to say and check back for updates in the future as things progress.