The goal is to migrate the Windows Media Center (WMC)–till now run from a home office computer into two separate applications–one being powered by Freenas.
After studying online guides and making setup adjustments to Freenas version 9.10.2 over the last couple months, I decided to upgrade the server, originally featured in Freenas Server with a four bay, SATA backplane mini tower.
Original Build plus Changes:
- 2X Western Digital, 3TB Red NAS Hard Drives
- SanDisk Cruzer Blade CZ50 8GB USB Flash Drive
- 16 GB Kingston KVR1333D3E9SK2/16G DDR3-1333 ECC Server Memory
- ASRock E3C226D2I Mini ITX Server motherboard
- Intel Core i3-4170 Haswell Dual-Core 3.7 GHz
- From: In Win CE685.FH300TB3, a micro ATX desktop
- To: In Win IW-MS04-01-S265, a four bay mini tower case
After reviewing options on cases the IW-MS04-01-S265 mini tower, made more sense after rushing to get it going and stuffing everything into a desktop case.
Transferring the motherboard to the convenient slide-out tray, relocating two Red NAS drives onto the hot swap caddies and connecting to the MS04’s 265 watt 80 Plus Bronze power supply, it was up and running in short order. The MS04 was a bit more expensive then the desktop case but allows expansion in the future.
With this server, I created ZFS mirror with two (3 TB) drives for shared SMB data-sets. Now the laptop and home PC have backups at the home office.
One the entertainment side, the next phase includes experimenting with Plex media server available as a plugin with Freenas. Initially I converted Microsoft .wtv recordings into MPEG4 and now able to tax the Haswell i3 CPU with transcoding to Plex clients. Otherwise I noticed the CPU sat pretty much idle from only moving backup and image files around.
Also added a new WMC Recording folder on a Freenas iSCSI drive connected to the Media Center computer.