For the last 9 months or so I have been using a HP N36L Microserver as a home Xen server running a mail relay for my local network. It wasn’t doing much else and I figured it was time to rectify that. I wanted to turn it into a backup file server as well as be able to use it as a test bench for things like lxc. The server comes standard with one sata drive with room for three more and a gig of ram. I upgraded the RAM to the maximum of 8GB and filled the drive bays with four 1TB drives I scrounged up. Two of the drives were canabalized from a couple of cheap USB 2 external drives. The server also has two PCIe half height slots so I filled them with an extra gigabit NIC and a USB 3 card.
I decided I wanted to use btrfs as the main filesystem. For anyone else thinking of using btrfs at this stage keep in mind that btrfs is still under heavy development. The btrfs wiki states:
Btrfs is under heavy development, but every effort is being made to keep the filesystem stable and fast. Because of the speed of development, you should run the latest kernel you can (either the latest release kernel from kernel.org, or the latest -rc kernel.
For this reason I will be using the latest rc kernel and the latest btrfs-progs. For something different I went with Funtoo Linux as the operating system. I had installed and used Gentoo several years ago and had always wanted to check out Funtoo. I used sysrescuecd as my install medium booted from an external USB flash drive.