Monday, July 26, 2010

Linkstation Pensioned Off?

Finally retired? Well maybe not. I've found a few tasks that the faithful Linkstation cannot do and for which I need a Windows box. So let's look at the box I have chosen to build.

Case - Chyang-Fun

This is a nice mini-ITX case which, unlike the Chenbro ITX server case,
isn't hugely expensive. I got mine at which is a very
well run ITX specialist shop where you can get good advice too. The case
has space for four 3.5" hard disks in hot swap bays plus a single 2.5"
laptop drive (boot drive or in my case a 500gb drive for the always on
parts of the system). Finally the case allows a full height PCI card.

Mobo - Gigabyte D510UD

This is fairly standard D510 (dual core Atom) with NM10 chipset. This is
Intel's current energy efficient setup. The difference on this Gigabyte
board is that it has an additional onboard controller for 2 extra SATA
and one IDE ports. This gives a total of 4 SATA ports and one IDE (for 2
devices) and supports AHCI and hot plug. The board also supports
overclocking (and undervolting) depending on your preferences but an
Atom isn't really about performance is it? I'm plugging an IDE to SATA
adapter into the IDE port to give me a 5th SATA port for the boot drive.
The single PCI slot will be occupied by a Pinnacle dual DVB-T card and
the Ram slots with 2x1Gb of DDR2


My 500gb laptop drive partitions to 65Gb for OS and 400Gb for Data. The
data partition can keep all the "always on" data accessible on the
lowest power consumption drive and allow the main larger capacity 3.5"
drives to spin down when idle and save power. So, web server, torrents,
downloads, documents, pictures and music can be fitted on this drive.

The additional drive bays will initially have a pair of 2Tb drives in
(with 2 more to come) and could use RAID. However, RAID will mean that
all drives spin up when any file is requested off them. As the files on
these drives are all video (and replaceable) I am inclined to not do
RAID and use Windows 7's libraries to amalgamate the files into a single
video library. Any non-video data on these drives can be backed up to a
2nd physical drive and then drives can be allowed to sleep, minimizing
power consumption, when not needed.

To cover the tasks that the Linkstation can do it will have

Windows 7
WAMP server (for web serving and re-directs for other web servers)
uTorrent (bittorent client with own web interface)
SABnzbd (usenet download client with own web interface)
Sickbeard (media manager which can identify shows you follow and auto
download them)
DVB Web Scheduler (low resource TV recording s/w)
Digiguide (the TV guide service with its own web server)
Growl for Windows (to enable alerts to be sent to other PCs, iPhone,
DNLA server (probably Twonky, perhaps Mediatomb, to enable Xbox360 to
read files but might not be needed)
Printer - it will share my USB printer across all the network