What kind of case did you use to build your server and why? What benefits did you get and what problems (if any) did your choice of case cause?
What did you build your server in and why?
I bought a $20 mid-tower case from my local shop and managed to cram 12 drives into it, using the HDD, FDD, and optical bays. I went this way because it's cheap, and it works. I don't need this system to be quiet or good-looking as it sits in the basement.
Bah, I miss voted, I built mine in a tower case and *not* a desktop. I'm using the Antec A180 because its got fantastic cooling and plenty of space for hard drives.
Although, I've recently been wondering why I bother with such a huge case and toying with the idea of moving my server over to a shuttle PC with all my hard drives in an 4-drive external bay. The only real downside to this would be that I'd be knocked down to 1xPCI-e 1x and 1xPCI-e 16x + USB/Firewire for expansion, but I honestly think I could work with that.
I mean right now I only have 1 PCI card which is a dual NTSC tuner and I could easily replace with a dual tuner PCI-e 1x. Aside from that my only tuners are the HDHR and a firewire STB which will eventually be replaced with a, possibly multiple, HD-PVRs.
Still in the planning stages, but I already purchased a Lian-Li 343B server case.
Why? Primarily because of the extra space it allowed. Plenty of 5.25" bays for hard drives or CD/DVD drives. Possibility of redundant PSU's or just using 2, non-redundant to power all the drives. Plenty of spots for fans and it's quite roomy. From what I can tell, it may still be a tough getting the wiring done neatly and there may be some tight spots in some places because the entire interior is immovable, including the mobo tray. I definitely like the fact that it has nice, big wheels on it, too!
EDIT: Forgot to add "why?"
I built it in this:
Why? It's big. It's damn big. It's also built like a tank, very roomy, and when we finally move into our new house will fit it in the new rack. Now it just sits on a table in the basement.
It's big. It's damn big.
Hehe... mine's bigger.
Although, I wish I had a place to put a rack mounting system. Mine's overkill, though. I did want something that I could throw into it whatever I dreamed of, so I picked this one.
I just built a S939 A4400+ 3 HD (1.75 TB) in a P180. Great lil case imo.
I put a Gigabyte 6100 ATX board in a P180. I was originally thinking that it would be overkill since it would be sitting in my computer room, but I built it in the living room so that I could test it more easily and now it's sitting behind the tv. Now I'm glad I spent the extra money for a quiet system. Even sitting right behind the tv running full tilt all the time with 5 HDDs and everything else it's still pretty much dead silent.
I built my original windows home server in to a thermaltek eureka case, when i was researching it was down to two cases the eureka and the coolermaster stacker, and when the stacker wasnt in stock i went the eureka, still like the case but after working with whs and seeing things develop such as other whs machines come out and seeing drobo. ive decided to change my plan and go to a stacker case either a friends second hand case or a brand new one. large part of the reason i want to go this ways is to use the 5inch bays for caddies, or backplanes if i ever find those for a resonsable price. i also want a light identifying each drive ( see drobo or hp media gate for example.) so if a drive dies or i remove one i know which drive and just slide out a caddie and put in a new drive and slide it back in. thats the plan im planing some testing on this caddie idea in whs and will have to see how it goes . any thoughts on this idea or other suggestions would be great. i know i could cram more drives in to the case using 4by 3 converters but then it makes it harder to id drives
anyway thats my story
mine is similar to joestalin's.
~17" wide - it fits in my furniture rack downstairs
~21" deep - it doesn't stick out the back of my furniture rack
~the numerous bays on the front are home to my collection of 1 terabyte drives all in backplane cages (sold separately) and easily removable.
~it is a server case first and formost, built to run cool with lots of room
I built myself an unRAID server a while back. I bought the license that allows me to expand to a maximum of sixteen drives so I needed a case that would eventually accommodate that many drives. I didn't want a huge case and a mid-tower seemed to be just right for my needs. I went with an Antec Nine Hundred case because it had what I was looking for and I got an unbelievable deal on it (about $40 after rebate and sale price). It will natively hold nine drives in stock configuration. I added a couple of 4-in-3 drive racks to bring the total up to 12. Eventually I will replace the 4-in-3 racks with SATA backplanes that will allow me to fit five drives in a three-drive bay. The case can hold three of these top bring the total up to fifteen drives. I have an external SATA case that I can use for the 16th and final drive if and when I expand it to use that many drives.
I'm currently running seven data drives with one parity drive for a total capacity of between 4.5 and 5 TB. I use the server strictly for storing rips of DVDs, HD-DVDs, and BD discs. The movies are streamed over my gigabit network to my HTPC for playback, although anyone in the house also has access to the server from any other PC.
I built a Gigabyte ATX 6100 with 4 drives in a P180. With 4 drives in the lower chamber it gets pretty crowded and I didn't need the extra cooling of the dual 120 fans. I'm wondering why I didn't pick another case with easier drive access. When one of the drives failed, I was pulling them in and out more than I should have and the wires would get tangled in the lower chamber fan. I'm considering pulling that fan out, taping up the holes on the back side near the psu, and letting the earthwatts 380W psu do all the drive cooling but I'm worried they might get too hot in there with just a 80mm fan exhausting the 40W from the drives plus the 20W or so from the psu waste heat.
P180 housing 4 500gig drives in the lower bay, though they will be 1tb drives by this weekend.
Used WHS as it simply houses my dvd rips.
I started with a 4RU 3PSU Supermicro system, which is transitioning to my office. I am rebuilding my server in a Rosewill case (these are great I have 4 of them!) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147083
The new system is an IP35 Pro Q6600 3ware 8 port with 8 Seagate 750GB drives running Win2k8x64; Quiet Enermax modular PSU and a Zalman 9700. This one needs to sit in my man room and not be too loud
My Sage server will be on either a WHS or 2k3 build separate from the file/RODC server.
My new approach this year was to ditch the separate system and go for one machine with extenders. Why? Because I was sick of the whole "PC in the living room" thing and dealing with aesthetics, as well as having to keep upgrading multiple machines (which was getting too costly). An extender would be cheaper and would integrate with the rest of my home theater gear more fluidly. So I switched to VMC (I was using Sage, Beyond TV and mostly Meedio in the past) and bought an Xbox 360. Built a new multipurpose machine that handles all server duties as well as gaming and work related stuffs. Since I built it with primarily gaming in mind, it's powerful enough to handle all media center functions easily. Or at least everything I've thrown at it so far. I have yet to run into any performance issues even while using it for multiple tasks at once. Granted, there's only one extender hooked up to it though.
Stuck it in a Lian-Li PC 60B Plus II case. My only gripe with the case is the fact that you have to disassemble everything whenever you need to get to anything other than the expansion slots. Oh and also maybe the fans, though I'm not picky enough to replace them. The case is plenty roomy: 4 external 5.25" drive bays, 2 external 3.5" drive bays, and 5 internal 3.5" drive bays. Just don't put a huge heatsink or a long video card in it or you'll run into trouble.
Since this thread is just about the what and the why, we won't get into the various unrelated software or hardware roadblocks I encountered. One of which I recently fixed.
built mine in a tower case and had it in my closet under the stairs for ever, but then upgraded it and added more drives and quickly found out it was toooooo much for the summer lol the closet got hot quick!
So now I am looking to get a nicer looking tower that can handle the drives I have, pull the drives from the server and move them to my bedroom HTPC / Gaming rig to be my new server in a tower case.
I've got a rack mount server in a full size cabinet in my basement. I also tap into it for gaming. If you want easy to upgrade, it doesn't get easier than sliding out a 4U server case and taking the top off.
After posting how much I like the seperate, slide out drive cage of the Antec P180, I had to open the following ticket with Antec support;
Today I tried to remove my lower drive cage in order to swap out the drives. I was unable to remove the cage, as the frame area between the drives in the cage and front fan area, a small area of the frame lip had snagged one of the drives.
On pulling out the drive cage, this lip area further bent out, (into the drives), preventing me from removing the cage.
I had to work a flat screwdriver into the area whare the snag occurred, in order to manually work each of the drives past this bent frame lip or 'snag'.