I wanted something that will strictly be a server with redundancy at least with the hard drives for the storage. Also since I do the distributed computing for disease research I wanted something fairly stout but low wattage to run the computing projects since the server will barely be loaded.
I was thinking about using freeNAS but with that I don't think I can setup services like mysql or the other things I would need for the computing project. So I think I will be putting debian on it and setting up NFS, mysql and the computing projects. I could even put windows 7 on it as well and also use it for a desktop for my wife.
My ultimate goal is to use rsync to do daily incremental backups, setup mysql for a slave database to our website's database, and also have a file server so I have a safe place to put all of our videos and music. Don't really have too much music, maybe 25gb worth but we have around 400gb of videos and that just keeps growing.
I am curious to see if anyone else has a similar setup and how they went about doing it. I ended up going with a Asus P8B motherboard, Xeon E3-1230 Sandy Bridge, 8gb DDR3 1600 ram, and for now I got one 1.5tb sata 6gb/s 7200 rpm hard drive. Once I have a little bit more of a budget I plan on getting one 250gb drive for the operating system and three more of the 1.5tb drives to setup all four in a raid 1+0 array.