SECTION III: BUILDING THE ULTIMATE HOME SERVER
PART A – HARDWARE INSTALLATION
Again, the ultimate home server build is no different than a regular custom PC project. Think of it like Lego…except with MUCH more expensive parts.
Let’s start off with the Rosewill RSV-L4411 server chassis first. Out of the box, it requires you to remove four screws and open the main compartment which will house everything except hard-drives (which we’ll get to later).
The case houses up to E-ATX motherboards. Since our motherboard is ATX, there are no problems with installation. Just line up the motherboard cutouts with the mounting holes on the motherboard tray and screw in place.
After that, go ahead and install your CPU in the motherboard CPU socket, and attach the heatsink. Note that in case your cooler requires bracket support mounting in the back, install the cooler first before mounting the motherboard in the chassis.
Proceed by snapping the RAM modules in the appointed slots, and graphics card(s) in the PCI-Express slot(s). While you’re at it, go ahead and install the LSI 9270-8i as well in a free PCI-E slot. Easy right? Well, it gets easier!
Being a rackmount server chassis, the RSV-L4411 comes with differently labelled connectors for the front panel buttons and inputs – except for the 9-pin USB 2.0 headers, since the case is geared more towards a server-based motherboard. Have no fear, they will still work, but will most likely require you to read the headers on your motherboard. In case you don’t understand what each abbreviation means, consult your motherboard user guide to figure out where each connects properly.
Before getting to the drives, mount and secure the power-supply first. Once that’s done, attach the appropriate connections. As a brief reference the main 20+4-pin go on the motherboard, as well as the 4/8-pin +12v power. The 6/6+2-pins go to the graphics card; the HD 4670 and LSI 9270-8i don’t require the extra power as they run right off the PCI-E circuit.
Here is where it gets a bit unorthodox. Normally you use the 4-pin peripheral power connectors for accessories such as extra fans or LED strips, and the 5-pin slim SATA connector to power your drives…unless you are using the Rosewill chassis. Instead, the 4-pin peripheral connectors go directly to the hotswap bays of the RSV-L4411, which already have SATA power and SATA data connectors pre-installed:
From here we simply connect the SATA cables from the LSI 9270-8i to the hotswap bays. Remember that the LSI comes with two SAS cables that break-out to eight SATA (four per cable). If you decide to use a different method of RAID’ing (or no RAID at all), you will need to connect the SATA cables from the motherboard SATA ports to the hotswap SATA ports of the Rosewill RSV-L4411 server case. Notice again that hotswap SATA is SATA 3.0 (6Gb/s), so you’re future-proofed.
Lastly we need install the hard-drives. At the front of the RSV-L4411 we can see the hotswap bays, which require a simple push on the latch to release the bracket. There are twelve bays in total, but we only need eight for the Toshiba MG03ACA’s. Line-up the drives with the holes on the brackets and screw them on. Once those are mounted, simply slide them in and close the latch:
Press the power button, and that’s it! We’re good to go.