Halp Re-doing Home setup (IT-wise)

Coqui

Piccolo Pete
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So Liam's thread about NAS help has inspired me to think about re-doing what I have in place for a home network/infrastructure.

Currently we are running almost as basic as you can get (only thing that makes it not basic is an external TB HD)

Here's our current setup:
1 Motorola Cable Modem (provided through Time Warner)
1 Linksys WRT54G Wireless Router
1 Desktop PC running Windows XP (mine)
1 Laptop PC running WIndows XP (wife's)
1 Nintendo Wii
1 57" Rear Projection HDTV (No HDMI) with HTIB stereo setup.

Here's what I want to do:
Upgrade accessibility and usability of network
File server for documents and pictures (must have backup capabilities)
MP3 server (can be combined with file server if at all possible)
Ability to play music through HTIB as well as home movies/pictures through TV.
Add an XBox 360 into the fold
Other things as I think them up.

I understand there might be a huge expense related to this, but this is purely a planning stage as finances will be put to other uses (and a high probability of a huge increase in funds coming in.)

So help this ignant person.
File Server
 

Coqui

Piccolo Pete
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Set up a Windows Home Server.

It'll do most of what you want methinks.

Is a wired network an option? You could grab a small gigabit switch for cheap.
Wired network will be there regardless. I intend on playing games which means wireless = no. Currently set up as Hillbilly wiring (cables are running on the ground as opposed to through the walls) but that will change.

I forgot to mention I have 3 Cisco switches and 1 Cisco Router not being utilized (old models that where I work was no longer using). They are functional but not configured yet.
 

dbzeag

Wants to kiss you where it stinks
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Well you should have got an xbox last week for $80.

That said, get WHS running. You can pipe movies and music from a WHS to Xbox very seemlessly (thanks fly :heart: ). This would replace your mp3 server, file server, backup server.

Either use a drobo hooked up to the WHS or enable redundancy and read how it actually works.
 

dbzeag

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Wired network will be there regardless. I intend on playing games which means wireless = no. Currently set up as Hillbilly wiring (cables are running on the ground as opposed to through the walls) but that will change.

I forgot to mention I have 3 Cisco switches and 1 Cisco Router not being utilized (old models that where I work was no longer using). They are functional but not configured yet.
Again from fly, you could use MOCA or what we did was Powerline networking to pipe the internet connection from the modem to an unmanaged switch near the TV to give internet to the Xbox and Wii (and in our case HTPC). Stuff the modem, one of the MOCA or Powerline adapters and WHS into a back room and just have the switch and other end of the MOCA or Powerline next to the TV. No wires, faster than wifi with similar ping times as wired networking. Put a wifi point in that back room, too, if your wife wants wifi throughout.
 

Coqui

Piccolo Pete
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Well you should have got an xbox last week for $80.

That said, get WHS running. You can pipe movies and music from a WHS to Xbox very seemlessly (thanks fly :heart: ). This would replace your mp3 server, file server, backup server.

Either use a drobo hooked up to the WHS or enable redundancy and read how it actually works.
I don't have the money yet to buy the 360.

So WHS will definitely be acquired. The Drobo is hot-swappable yes? (Read through it really fast but couldn't find it)
 

dbzeag

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What kind of hardware should I use for WHS?
If you are using version 1 which has a base of Windows Server 2003, anything will do. Literally. A 1ghz P3 or my 1.3ghz mini-itx Via or what I am currently running, a Sempron single core CPU will do. Works just fine with 1gb RAM as well. It's a headless stripped down OS so it doesn't take much at all.
 

dbzeag

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I don't have the money yet to buy the 360.

So WHS will definitely be acquired. The Drobo is hot-swappable yes? (Read through it really fast but couldn't find it)
Yes, the Drobo is hotswappable and best yet, can be any size of manufacturer of drives. And nothing to configure.
 

Coqui

Piccolo Pete
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Again from fly, you could use MOCA or what we did was Powerline networking to pipe the internet connection from the modem to an unmanaged switch near the TV to give internet to the Xbox and Wii (and in our case HTPC). Stuff the modem, one of the MOCA or Powerline adapters and WHS into a back room and just have the switch and other end of the MOCA or Powerline next to the TV. No wires, faster than wifi with similar ping times as wired networking. Put a wifi point in that back room, too, if your wife wants wifi throughout.
I am unfamiliar with both MOCA and Powerline.
 

Coqui

Piccolo Pete
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If you are using version 1 which has a base of Windows Server 2003, anything will do. Literally. A 1ghz P3 or my 1.3ghz mini-itx Via or what I am currently running, a Sempron single core CPU will do. Works just fine with 1gb RAM as well. It's a headless stripped down OS so it doesn't take much at all.
Ok so I'll probably use one of my old PCs for it then. Although I'm currently running an Athlon 64 3200+ with 1GB of RAM
 

dbzeag

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Ok so I'll probably use one of my old PCs for it then. Although I'm currently running an Athlon 64 3200+ with 1GB of RAM
That's kind of overkill processing power. If you have lots of music (like I have), I found bumping the RAM helped greatly with indexing using Windows Media Center/Connect/Player/Whatever-the-name-du-jour is in WHS.
 

Coqui

Piccolo Pete
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Coqui

Piccolo Pete
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That's kind of overkill processing power. If you have lots of music (like I have), I found bumping the RAM helped greatly with indexing using Windows Media Center/Connect/Player/Whatever-the-name-du-jour is in WHS.
That's the first time I've heard a 6 year old processor called overkill :fly:

If the price of the memory is justifiable (sometimes the older stuff is way more expensive) I'll upgrade to 2-4 GB of RAM
 

dbzeag

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That's the first time I've heard a 6 year old processor called overkill :fly:

If the price of the memory is justifiable (sometimes the older stuff is way more expensive) I'll upgrade to 2-4 GB of RAM
Again running a sale was Fry's, but Microcenter was running a sale, too, on DDR1 and DDR2. I picked up a 4gb kit (2x2gb) of HyperX DDR2-1066 for $74 after rebate from Fry's and that was a good price if that gives you any measure.
 

dbzeag

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Is there specific adaptors that are better than others for MOCA or Powerline?
Fly can help you with setting up MOCA on the cheap (and effective). For Powerline, I picked this kit up.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833181122&cm_re=powerline-_-33-181-122-_-Product

I got it for $78 shipped AR, but you can find it certainly under $100. Make sure you plug it straight into an outlet, not through a surge protector. And the fastest is if you are going from one plug to another on the same circuit, but it doesn't have to be.

A corded one instead of a wallwart might make better sense, however.