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#1 Scraggles

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    RootLeak

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 16:21

So, my girlfriend wants a fileserver. I'm game, but... I don't really understand why we would need one. I think she just wants to have one to say she has one. I'm sure there are benefits or they wouldn't exist. Can anyone help me as to what those benefits are? I'm all for getting one set up if I understood why we should put one together.

 

Pros? Cons?




#2 +BudMan

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 16:54

Anything can serve up files. There really isn't any cons to having a central location where your files are..

You sure can build/buy some hardware - put an os on it and then share the files how you want to share them, be it nfs, smb/cifs, AFP/appletalk, iscsi, etc.. Depending on how you want to access the files. Could be whatever OS you want Windows, Linux, BSD, OS X, etc.

Does she just want a central file store, or do you want this server to be like a media streamer?

You could buy something as simple as pogoplug, and connect some usb drives/flash disks - bing bang zoom you have a file server. You could just buy a disk that has NAS function already. You could buy a NAS and connect your disks for its storage. If you have a desktop that is on most of the time - create some shares, again bing bang zoom "file server"

What is it your GF wants to accomplish exactly and we can discuss the many varied ways to skin that cat..

Budget can be as low as nothing, just create some shares off existing computer - call it your "file server" Or you could spend hundreds or thousands setting one up be it NAS or fullblown OS serving up files via the protocols you want to use. On the cheap pogoplug cost you like $50 maybe. Connect whatever usb disk you have laying around = budget file server.

You could go with a raspberrypi for like $35 and a usbdisk as another budget item, etc.

As to why - how do you store and access your files now.. How do you share them between your machine and GF machine or anyone else on the network. What files do you need a central location to store? Most common would be media files, video, music, pictures.

#3 +LogicalApex

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 16:54

Well... A file server just serves files. Think of a NAS, this is a form of file server.

 

You'll get centralized access to your files from multiple devices. This can be useful or it may not be. Depends on what you do. A common use is a shared target for backups to be dumped to or to store you music and movie collection (so you can stream them to your HTPC or the like).

 

It is hard to give you pros outside of that as the usage case can vary a lot...

 

Cons, well it is a box that needs to be powered on and networked as well.



#4 sc302

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 16:58

pros centralized storge that you can access from anywhere which always stays on and doesn't move.  This can also be used as a backup to your computers should your computers decide to die.  It can be a nas, it doesn't need to be a "server". 

 

cons well it needs power and network access and it isn't free.



#5 OP Scraggles

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    RootLeak

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 16:59

I guess what I'm trying to distinguish is the difference between a server, and just sharing a folder on our computers. I'd like it to be able to stream media if we throw it together. I have a ps4/xbox360/smart tvs all over the house. Would it increase performance by having my downloads go to the server over coming to this computer?



#6 rr_dRock

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 17:02

I guess what I'm trying to distinguish is the difference between a server, and just sharing a folder on our computers. I'd like it to be able to stream media if we throw it together. I have a ps4/xbox360/smart tvs all over the house. Would it increase performance by having my downloads go to the server over coming to this computer?

 

That depends on what your machines specs are like.

 

A box used just for dedicated storage will perform better than a machine that is being used for other purposes as well, just like an i7 will perform better than a Core2Duo. If there's more resources, there's more things that can be done at the same time.

 

Then there's network speeds. Is it going to be wireless? are the devices accessing it wireless? Multiple wireless links will destroy speeds, and reliability.

 

I personally run a scale out file server at home, for my Hyper V vms. This creates a shared storage for failover, but is very limited in other things it can do. This is a function provided by a server OS, wheras some things don't work if you just create a file share on a consumer OS.

 

For media streaming , a dedicated hard drive for storage on a machine directly connected to the router should serve your purposes fine.

 

It all depends on what you're doing with it, as previously stated.



#7 sc302

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 17:03

again if your computer dies, what do you do for a backup? 

 

what if you want to listen, watch, or work on something when the other person is not there and has their computer with them. 

 

do you always keep your computer on when the other wants to watch/listen/view when the other wants to or do you have to get it out of where ever it is at and power it on?



#8 OP Scraggles

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    RootLeak

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 17:04

That depends on what your machines specs are like.

A box used just for dedicated storage will perform better than a machine that is being used for other purposes as well. An i7 will perform better than a Core2Duo.. Then there's network speeds. Is it going to be wireless? are the devices accessing it wireless? Multiple wireless links will destroy speeds, and reliability.

I'd hardwire a server. My PC is hardwired as well. Some devices are wireless. Our internet connection is 150mbps

#9 Crisp

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 17:06

Wireless server... :no:



#10 rr_dRock

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 17:12

I'd hardwire a server. My PC is hardwired as well. Some devices are wireless. Our internet connection is 150mbps

 

Wireless server... :no:

 

 

Lol. I have seen people with dedicated storage boxes connected via wireless due to constraints within their houses as to where the router is and where they can store the noisy box thats always running. Not a good idea, but it happens.

 

 

I would personally suggest a 2 or 4 bay NAS box (w RAID). Pictures, movies, music are always better kept when you have two copies. The box doesn't move, and it is always on. (mimicking what sc302 indicated above). and you can just map a network drive to your storage. Same as if you had a shared folder on your PC, but dedicated instead of multi-use



#11 +warwagon

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 20:11

just the fact your girlfriend said the words "File server" makes me jealous.



#12 OP Scraggles

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    RootLeak

  • Joined: 11-September 03
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Posted 16 May 2014 - 22:58

just the fact your girlfriend said the words "File server" makes me jealous.

Haha yea. Well. I got lucky. my boss was going to toss a PC and he let me take it home. Its a core2duo, with 2gb of ram. I disassembled it for painting. I'll probably reassemble it today but I need a hard drive for it. I have a few externals lying around, but no internals to put an OS onto.