Homebrew / Whitelist Hyper-V R2 home server NAS

For my home lab i was looking for a home server with NAS functionality. My current Iomega IX2 (2x500GB) NAS is replaced by this server.  For this server I had the following requirements:

  • Low power consumption (24×7)
  • Low noise
  • Flexibly and room to expand with extra hard drive(s), hardware RAID and a NIC
  • Home server functionality for sharing photos, music, documents and films
  • NAS functionality with iSCSI and NFS protocol
  • FTP server
  • Hypervisor enabled
  • Backup server
  • Print server 
  • Active Directory
  • DNS server
  • Download server
  • Wake-on-LAN functionality to start other virtualization hosts

I selected the following components:

Motherboard

Asus E35M1-M Pro. This motherboard contains  AMD Zacate E-350 1.60 GHz Dual-Core Processor.  It has TDP (Thermal Design Power) of 18W!

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Specifications:

  • Dual-core 1.60 GHz processor that has passive cooling.
  • Onboard AMD Radeon graphic card
  • USB 3.0
  • 5 x SATA 6Gb/s
  • EFI BIOS
  • 2 x DIMM, Max 8GB RAM
  • Realtek Gigabit  8111E LAN
  • 1 x PCI Express 2.0, 1 x PCI Express 2.0 x1 slot, 2 x PCI 3.0 slots
  • uATX Form Factor, 9.6 inch x 7.2 inch ( 24.4 cm x 18.3 cm )

This Motherboard has room to expand, it is possible to add extra extra hard drive(s), a RAID controller and an extra NIC. Virtualization is also supported with AMD-V feature in the CPU.

Memory

The motherboard supports two single channel DDR3 1066MHz DIMMS . The maximum memory is 8GB.

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I picked 2 x 4 GB G.Skill Ripjaws (F3-10666CL9D-8GBRL ). More supported memory for this motherboard can be found in the Asus download section

Hard drives

In this set-up I used three hard-drives. As boot drive an old Samsung SP0411C 40GB SATA 150 is used.  For the data and backup storage I picked 2 Samsung EcoGreen F4EG 2TB  hard drives.

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Some specifications:

  • 2TB unformatted capacity
    SATA 3Gb/s interface
  • Three platter design
  • 32MB cache
  • 5400RPM spin speed
  • Average Seek time – 8.9 ms

Great price, large space and low power consumption.

Power Supply

As Power Supply I choose the Seasonic S12II-330W ATX power supply.

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Some specifications:

  • 80 PLUS
  • Efficiency up to  85%
  • Advanced ultra-low resistance, high temperature capacitors on critical 12V rail
  • Low Noise

Good quality, high efficiency (85%) and quiet power supply.

Case

Cooler Master CM 690 II Advanced

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Some specifications:

  • Tower
  • Motherboard support Micro – ATX / ATX / Mini-ITX
  • 6 x 3,5” bays
  • 4 x 2,5”bays
  • Dimension (W / H / D)  214.5 x 496 x 528.8 mm / 8.4 x 19.5 x 20.8 inch
  • Cable management

Great case with a lot of room for expanding.

Software running so far

When installing VMware ESXi it gives an error because the NIC and disk controller aren’t  supported. The solution is to install a controller and NIC that are supported or add the drivers to the VMware ESXi ISO (more information can be found here).

An easier way is to use Microsoft Hyper-V R2 because all the drivers are supported. 

The following software is installed so far:

  • Windows 2008 R2 SP1 with the AD, DNS and Hyper-V role installed
  • Windows Home Server 2011 (Vail) RC as Virtual Machine (VM) for sharing photos, documents, music and videos. I use it also to backup my work laptop and other Windows pc’s at home.
  • Starwind iSCSI SAN
  • Services for Network File System for the NFS protocol
  • FileZilla server for FTP

Power consumption

Here are some power consumption tests I did:

  • Motherboard with 8GB RAM, started in the EFI BIOS without the hard drives attached. Power consumption around 31 Watt
  • Motherboard with 8GB RAM with three hard drives attached , Windows 2008 R2 with the MS Hyper-V R2 role and one VM active. Power consumption idle around 35 Watt
  • Motherboard with 8GB RAM with three hard drives attached, Windows 2008 R2 with the MS Hyper-V R2 role and one VM active and 2 CPU cores fully loaded in Windows 2008 R2. Power consumption around 45 Watt

Performance

Don’t except that this configuration is a performance monster. The performance is not bad for a home server with a lot of flexibility, low noise and power consumption and couple of VMs running. 

Screenshot Hyper-V manager with Microsoft Windows Home Server 2011 running.

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Considerations

The following considerations (will increase the costs) can be made for better performance and/or lower consumption:

  • Use an SSD drive as boot hard drive for faster booting and lower power consumption.
  • Change the power supply for an higher efficiency power supply. For example a PicoPSU has an higher efficiency for lower power consumption.
  • Add an RAID card with cache on it for better disk performance. The power consumption will increase.

 

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5 thoughts on “Homebrew / Whitelist Hyper-V R2 home server NAS”

  1. i am testing whs 2011 final on the asus board. which nic-driver did you use in 2008 R2? i dont get the onboard nic to work…
    thanks!

  2. Hi,

    I’m considering making a similar build for a vm lab (for sbs/exchange/etc). How is the performance so far? I’m considering using seperate disks to avoid io performance issues on my disks. Have you got any advice in that department?

    Greetings,

    Gwen

  3. Did you manage to get the NIC drivers running? I’m having trouble installing RTL8211 om my new server.
    Can I add the drivers later?

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