I built a low power, high hdd capacity server.
V1: A330ION motherboard, 4GB ram, LSI SAS3081E, Antec P183 case, Silverstone element ST40EF 400W PSU, 6 2TB WD Green drives, Akasa AK FC-06BK fan controller Junior, 2 120mm fans, cables, dvd drive
Theory: 8 LSI ports, 4 motherboard ports, 12 total, 10 for storage drives, 1 for boot drive, 1 for dvd drive. 5 storage drives now, when full, buy 5 of the latest size.
Software: ZFS, therefore freebsd. Also installed rtorrent, rutorrent, cacti, mediatomb, cups.
Problems: Mostly fine, apart from freebsd being hard to use compared to debian. Drives filled up, bought 5 3TB drives, plugged into LSI card, only showed at 2TB. Turns out LSI are evil and will sell you a card that doesn't support >2TB drives in 2010 without mentioning this fact anywhere except a support page article.
New LSI card expensive, plus, screw them. What's cheaper than a new card is an HTPC case, AMD E350 motherboard, 8GB ram, and a OCZ Vertex 64GB SSD. So time for V2
V2: ASUS E350M1-I (which isn't for sale any more, sadly, as it had 6 sata ports instead of 5 plus an esata). Plug 5 3TB drives into motherboard, 6 2TB drives into LSI card. New problem, ASUS's UEFI bios didn't have the concept of running a boot rom from a PCI card without it being a GPU. Email tech support, they're useless (them: what driver are you using? -- me (for the 5th time): IT'S A PROBLEM IN THE BIOS, THERE IS NO OS INSTALLED). Eventually find a guy who works for AMD on an AMD gamer's forum who knows what he's talking about who gets me a beta bios with it fixed.
Moved the A330ION into the HTPC case, use it to watch tv with xbmc on ubuntu as the DLNA player on the tv kinda sucks (that's why the motherboard for my server had a gpu, if it was too slow, or some other reason, I could use it for an HTPC. Or if anyone got around to using the GPU for CRC ZFS calculations). A bios update made the fan speed in the bios not make weird sounds, and an ssd means it's almost silent.
Currently: One of the 2TB drives is having a few errors, so I've boght a Samsung 830 128GB ssd to replace the boot drive, and use the 2TB boot drive as a replacement (that was the plan all along, which is why the boot drive was so large). Question is: Do I install debian/kfreebsd on it instead?