My primary HTPCs (living room and bedroom) were built with, for the most part, identical hardware. So, they both share a common deficiency now that I have re-introduced Live TV back to my Media Center experience – disk space. I use a small-ish SSD as the OS drive in both of them. At the time, the ~60GB SSD was plenty big enough to house the OS and Media Browser…it was all I used it for. I had some space to spare. But now, I can’t even think of recording any shows if I wanted to. Considering I use mATX cases, adding additional HDDs isn’t really a solution – there’s no room. Upgrading to a larger SSD (hey, I love the speed) isn’t in my prioritized budget list. So, what to do? iSCSI.
I happened across this solution by accident. I was playing with an old Dell PowerVault 745N I had lying around, looking for a similar use out of it for a WHS. Things didn’t really work out the way I wanted there, so it was scrapped, but not before I came across the notion of running iSCSI. The hangup I had was that the 745N is a 32-bit platform only, so I couldn’t install the free Microsoft iSCSI target software on it. I could only use it as a client. Then I realized, I have this Dell PowerEdge 2950 II sitting here acting as a totally over-qualified MB3 server. I also had a spare 400GB 10K SAS drive sitting around. Plus, the important thing – it was running 2008 Server R2, which is 64-bit. I had my iSCSI platform.
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