Hey everyone. I'm fast running out of space on my home file server, and it's time for an upgrade so I'd like some help and advice as I'm not entirely sure about some aspects of it. My setup at the moment is as follows: Started life as a Dell Dimension 4600. I kept the stock case as it was a closet server, but "ventilated" it a little more. Changed the bearing-less (badly worn) 92mm CPU/exhaust fan for a new silverstone 92mm fan, and also added another 92mm intake fan at the front after removing the meshed area in front of the two vertical hard drive cages. That was the cooling sorted. Next step: add more storage. The motherboard only has two SATA ports and two IDE ports, so my options were limited. I opted for a couple of trayless Icybox 5.25 SATA backplane/hot swap bays and a pair of 1TB WD Caviar Green drives to go in them. I also changed the stock 80GB IDE drive to a 160GB Hitachi IDE, and added a second IDE, a 250GB Western Digital. Storage sorta sorted. I have a lot of other SATA drives that I can put in the hot swap bays (although they're not actually connected to a hot-swap controller) for additional removable storage, but they're all full now as well. I have a 1TB Western Digital Mybook attached to the server via USB as removable storage too. A while ago I started to worry about the temperatures of the drives in my closet, so a few days ago I gutted the machine and mounted it in a custom Antec 300 that I had spare. The 6 bays at the front of the 300 are now full (2x 1TB WDs, 2x IDE drives and the two from the gutted WD Mybook external are now mounted internally, but still connected via USB, internally). So, to summarize, it's: Dell Dimension 4600 motherboard Intel P4 2.26GHz 2GB DDR memory 2x 1TB WD Caviar Greens 2x IDE drives, one as system disk (160GB & 250GB) 1TB WD Mybook, mounted internally Antec 300 case 2x Icybox 5.25" hot swap bays (currently empty) 500W Nexus "NX5000" PSU And I also have (all full) 1x 3.5" SATA 320GB WD Caviar Blue 1x 3.5" SATA 74GB WD Raptor 1x 3.5" SATA 80GB Hitachi Deskstar 1x 2.5" SATA 160GB Seagate 1x 2.5" SATA 160GB Hitachi Travelstar 1x 2.5" SATA 160GB WD Scorpio Black Now, the main problems with this setup at the moment are 1) Everything is full or almost full, and I still need more storage and 2) There is no data redundancy i.e. none or at least very little of some 4+ TB of data is backed up anywhere, which as you can imagine is a massive problem. Solution? Upgrades! MOTHERBOARD - Here's what I have to base the new server around - a Biostar Tpower I45 with 6 SATA channels, a choice of either a 1.8GHz Intel Celeron or a 2.8GHz Intel C2D E7400 and any amount of DDR2 RAM. That's all I have at the moment. What I would like to achieve with this server by the end of the year (it's not something I want to spend a lot of money on at once, more an incremental upgrade) is have those components in the machine with a better PSU, more storage attached and data redundancy. Here's how I see it, please correct me if any of this sounds wrong: PSU - needs to be upgraded purely because the Nexus has no modular cables, and I need modular to keep the cabling situation under control. I'm an expert wiring loom designer and builder, so I'll put a 450W Corsair HX PSU in with a custom loom and tidy the whole thing up. Every component and drive gets power and you barely know the cables are there. CPU - The 1.8GHz Celery should do the trick, but I'm not 100% sure on this. At the moment, the 2.26GHz P4 pushes up to 16GB bluray files to my i7 machines no problem, and this is a necessity, so if the Celeron can't hack it, It'll have to be changed. STORAGE - The storage is where I'm really muddled on this one at the moment. I obviously need a RAID card, but I have no idea which one, what interface it should use or what drives I should attach to it. I have 4TB+ of data, so I need at least 5TB of usable storage space, and using 1TB drives, that's a lot of drives. Maybe I should go for 2TB drives in the main array like the guy who built "Black Dwarf" did? These drives would be mounted in the front of the 300, right behind the 2x 120mm fan mounts. I'd also really like to have a hot spare in this main array, if possible? I said main array there, because I want to use the two 1TB WD drives that I currently have, attached to the motherboards SATA controller with an additional two identical drives, in RAID 0 as a 4TB backup array. I want to convert the three 5.25" drive bays in the Antec 300 to hot-swap bays, with a Rackmax 5-drive cage. Four of these would be used by the backup array (4x 1TB drives) and one would be the hot spare from the main array, probably a 2TB drive. I'll use the 74GB raptor as the system disk. SOFTWARE - Another query I have. XP has been working fine for this server to date. Everything is globally shared across the network, with my own workstations having read/write access to everything on the server, and it's remotely accessed by VNC Enterprise or LogMeIn when I'm out. Would anyone recommend anything else? Would I have any reason to change to WHS when it's only a file server? Since getting rebuilt and since the work on my workshop at home has come along a little bit lately, I've moved it down there, out of my closet. It wasn't that it was bothering me because it was very quiet, but with the new network in the WS and it being cooler down there, I thought it'd be a better place for it to live. Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions you have about this. The main priority question at the moment is what card and drives to use for the main array.  GRAPHICS - I forgot to add, another benefit of or reason for using the Biostar I45 motherboard is that I'll be able to put the two spare 8800GT cards in there and use this as an occasional folding machine as well, probably only a handful of units a week, but everything helps. The machine is going to be on 24/7 so I may as well put it to more good uses than one [04-04-11 UPDATE - It's a Project!] I've changed the title of the thread to reflect what this actually is now, a project as opposed to me just asking for some advice. I thought I may as well, because it needs done both for my business and my personal needs. I knew that the current network and server setup that I've been using wouldn't last long (in other words my needs outgrew it's capabilities really quickly) so I'm going to crack on with planning the overhaul and start it when I can afford to (both time and money wise). Thanks for everyone's input so far, especially Pookeyhead and Zoon who have been a big help in making this all make sense in my head [08-04-11 UPDATE - The Plan So Far] Much of this is still subject to change although hopefully none of it actually will, because it's fairly solid if you ask me The server will be based around a S1156 Gigabyte H55M-USB3 motherboard with an Intel Core i3 540 CPU and 4GB of low power OCZ Reaper 1066 MHz memory. The CPU may be under clocked to increase energy efficiency, although it remains to be seen how the machine performs in general and any such tweaks will be made after real world testing has been performed. The storage will be handled by an enterprise class Highpoint RocketRaid 3530LF RAID controller, which is capable of handling up to 12 drives of 2TB capacity and above. Attached to that controller will be 6x (six) 2TB Western Digital Caviar Green drives, which will be mounted in the six 3.5" bays of the Antec Three Hundred, behind the front intake fans. These six drives will complete the primary array in a RAID 5 configuration, totalling just under 10TB of usable storage capacity. Also attached to the card will be another six 2TB drives, in this case 2TB Samsung SpinPoint F4EG drives, five of which will be mounted in an Icy Box IB-555SSK backplane/hot swap enclosure which is installed in the Antec Three Hundred's 3x 5.25" drive bays, and one which will be mounted on the remaining space of the motherboard tray. These six discs will be configured in another single partition RAID5 array and will serve as an entire backup of the primary array. The backup will be performed incrementally on a daily basis, at an off peak time when usage is at a minimum. The systems boot disk will be a 160GB Western Digital Scorpio Black drive, with an additional 30GB of flash storage provided by an OCZ SSD, which may or may not be used as fast access data cache. The server will be connected to the new network using a dual port HP NC360T NIC, allowing two aggregated 1GbE links to the entire network for increased data transfer speed and multi tasking performance. The server will be powered by a 650W Corsair HX series PSU with custom wiring looms to power both six drive arrays and the boot drive & SSD. I am still working on the server design, and am attempting to implement a Matrix Orbital LCD and keypad to monitor network traffic, storage capacity, array health and other data as this is a headless server. The home network will be upgraded from the current Cat5e cabling to S/FTP Cat6a to match the data cabling recently installed in the workshop, including the addition of some rooms which were not previously networked. Routing and wireless access will be handled by a custom Linksys WRT320N running the DD-WRT firmware. Two Gigabit Dell PowerEdge 5324 (24 port) managed switches will handle all network connections and security will be handled by a Cisco PIX506E firewall. Exact network structure including VLANs and aggregated interconnects to follow.