This mid-range guide was originally intended to have an AMD Bulldozer based build and an Intel E3 series based build. I have been playing quite a bit with the Bulldozer CPUs and frankly, it is very difficult to do at this point. On the plus side, the desktop AMD FX series Bulldozer CPUs support ECC so long as the motherboard can. Frankly, I wish Intel just did away with the Xeon E3 versus Core i5/ i7 designation and just allowed Core i5 and i7 series CPUs support ECC. AMD’s efforts here are commendable. Now, here is the issue, Windows Home Server 2011, Windows 7, and Windows 2008 Server R2 all seem to have the scheduler that keeps more Bulldozer nodes active than one would [...]
I generally tell folks to purchase the hard drive capacity they need for data, redundancy and hot spares taking into account their storage growth over the next 12-18 months. In some situations, such as when one is working with large RAID 6 arrays or ZFS-based systems, you need to carefully plan how and when you add capacity to storage systems.
One thing that I have wanted to do for awhile, is consistently update the buyer’s guides. Although technology changes in the home server space, there tends to be one or two big product launches each year that make it very worthwhile. The last Entry DIY Storage Server guide was done in December 2010, and it has been far too long since I did an update. Expect the mid-range and high-end guides to follow. As is customary with these, I am not going to focus on drives as the choice will vary based on the exact storage needs people have.