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Windows 7: Considering a Windows Home Server 2011 Build

08 Apr 2012   #11
kegobeer

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

I think you'll like it.

If you haven't already done so, check out forums.wegotserved.com. It's probably the best WHS resource out there.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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09 Apr 2012   #12
DeaconFrost

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Those forums have helped me quite a few times. Now you have me rethinking the need for my RAID card.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2012   #13
jimbo45

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers
 
 

Hi there
why not just use a Simple Linux distro -- this is FREE, runs on most hardware without problem including some really OLD Junk PC's otherwise destined for "The Tip".

You can once its booted stick it away in a closet and forget about it.

Just shove it on an OLD PC and forget it.
I've had a SUSE system running for nearly half a year without re-booting --and the only time I might have to re-boot is to add hardware.

It has extra functionality too like backing up your clients, manage file / print transfers without problem, as well as being able to add / remove HDD's and if necessary you can use it as an Internet gateway.

IMO WHS 2011 isn't worth even installing on a piece of Bog Paper.

(YMMV of course but to me WHS is far too limited and you certainly can't install anything remotely sensible on it either).

Otherwise a really neat way now IMO is to use WINDOWS 8 CP (the Non server version) with HYPER-V and stick a Virtual server on it. The advantage of the Windows 8 system is you've also got a proper W8 machine where you can install all your Media extenders and stuff like that. The VM server can be used as an Internet gateway or whatever you want it to do.

I'm not sure what W2011 Home server actually buys you now they've removed the only sensible piece of it.

Cheers
jimbo
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09 Apr 2012   #14
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
Hi there
why not just use a Simple Linux distro -- this is FREE, runs on most hardware without problem including some really OLD Junk PC's otherwise destined for "The Tip".
Well, couple of reasons come to mind.
#1). Cost here isn't huge, we are talking $52..less than 1 tank of gas in my car.
#2). I'm going to share out my Samsung Laser Printer, which has Windows drivers.
#3). Reusing an old junk pc is not appealing to me for my file server. I'm fine spending $600 to get a machine that will be new, and reliable. Not to mention, very power friendly, and quiet.
#4). WHS can backup my Windows PC's for me (my desktop and wife's laptop). This provides simple, never have to remember it imaging of my machines.
#5). DNLA is setup and configured by default. Nothing has to be configured, downloaded or setup third party.
#6). If the WHS were to fail, I can "easily" pull out the drives, connect to any Windows system in my house and pull the data off it.


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
IMO WHS isn't worth even installing on a piece of Bog Paper.

(YMMV of course but to me WHS is far too limited and you certainly can't install anything remotely sensible on it either).
I know that you hate the product, we've discussed it many times. As a Linux server admin for a living, using Linux for free is appealing. But there is often more time and effort involved in getting it set up and working. And frankly, with doing PC stuff for a living all day at work, I'm looking for close to "drop dead simple" at home. My home setups are no longer lab environments and learning experiences. I'm well past that stage.

Cost is an issue for me and the reason I look at WHS. Although I do have an technet subscription from work, I'm not going to leverage that to run my full time machine at home. Thus, using a more advanced product like Server 2008 R2 is simply way too costly. I of course use my technet licensing for labs and testing, but nothing that I keep around on a permanent basis as I feel this is not the intended point of the program.

As far as installing other sensible stuff onto my server, this is a set it up and leave it alone type of machine. I don't use it as a desktop, I don't run extra software on it, it's a file server/storage device. End of story.


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
Otherwise a really neat way now IMO is to use WINDOWS 8 CP (the Non server version) with HYPER-V and stick a Virtual server on it. The advantage of the Windows 8 system is you've also got a proper W8 machine where you can install all your Media extenders and stuff like that. The VM server can be used as an Internet gateway or whatever you want it to do.
#1). I'm not going to run a beta/preview OS as the underlying foundation on the box holding all of my critical data.
#2). I absolutely hate Hyper-V. As a vSphere admin at work, hyper-V is still a terrible product.
#3). I would need to build a beefier and more powerful box to run concurrent OS's. This would of course raise my cost and my power consumption...which are both goals to keep as low as possible.
#4). I'm not going to build something today on a preview OS for free, then later buy a copy of Windows 8 and most likely format and rebuild my file server again when it needs to be licensed. Seems like a lot of work.


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
I'm not sure what W2011 Home server actually buys you now they've removed the only sensible piece of it.
The loss of drive extender does stink. However, for just $20, I can add back the functionality with a 3rd party product (StableBit - The home of StableBit DrivePool and the StableBit Scanner). I've tested this extensively within a VM and it seems to work as advertised and has handled every testing scenario I have thrown at it.


For $52, I get WHS 2011. For $20 I get StabilBit drive pooler. So, less than $75 total.
--Image based backups with no effort for multiple machines
--Duplication of data at folder level. Thus I only duplicate what's important, things like ISO's won't take up extra disk space when they can always be re-downloaded)
--Simple interface, even my wife could set up a new folder, share it out and have it duplicated in less then 2 minutes.

I think you need to get past the fact that I'm not going to use this particular machine for any other tasks. My current file server that I am replacing was setup over 6 years ago, has never had any software installed after setup except for a printer driver when I replaced my laser printer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2012   #15
DeaconFrost

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
IMO WHS 2011 isn't worth even installing on a piece of Bog Paper.
It's a great product for what it's designed to do. Not all of us feel like being IT admins at home as well as in the office. I have a life and a wife....so when I'm not at work or dealing with work issues...I want to focus on other things. WHS 2011 is perfect for that, and IS far easier to set up and configure than anything of the Linux flavor. I know how you Linux guys are, as I spent 6 years working for a coming pushing their own variant....but Linux isn't the end all be all to ever solution....especially not in the home server arena.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2012   #16
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DeaconFrost View Post
I know how you Linux guys are, as I spent 6 years working for a coming pushing their own variant....but Linux isn't the end all be all to ever solution....especially not in the home server arena.
I'm a Linux guy myself, but it's picking the right tool for the job that wins in my book.


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DeaconFrost View Post
Not all of us feel like being IT admins at home as well as in the office.
This is exactly where I am at. While I want "a" server to store my critical files and always be available for the rest of the household, I don't want to setup anything complicated or have ongoing admin tasks. I personally won't put 45 other things onto this host and I won't use it to perform any other tasks.

I'd love to hear any hardware suggestions that people might have before I pull the trigger. I think for what I am trying to do, my choice of hardware for around $600 is solid.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 May 2012   #17
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Well, after getting bad block error messages on my current file server, I decided it has served it's time long enough and I put in the order on the new gear for my replacement file server.

Went with the
--NZXT Source 2010 white case for $39. It was cheap, looks different than my other cases and can hold up to 8 HDD's
Newegg.com - NZXT Source 210 S210-002 White w/Black Front Trim “Aluminum Brush / Plastic” ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

--Intel Core i3-2100T CPU for $134.99. 35 watt dual core CPU with HT and onboard Intel graphics.
Newegg.com - Intel Core i3-2100T Sandy Bridge 2.5GHz LGA 1155 35W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000 BX80623I32100T

--Intel H67 Mobo with USB 3 and eSATA. $89.99
Newegg.com - Intel BOXDH67CLB3 LGA 1155 Intel H67 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

--Corsair Builder Series 430W PSU for $44.99 and there is a $10 MIR. Plenty for this rig
Newegg.com - CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 V2 (CMPSU-430CXV2) 430W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply

-- 2 x Samsung EcoGreen F4's for storage $119 each. Super quiet, and very cool
Newegg.com - SAMSUNG EcoGreen F4 HD204UI 2TB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

--8GB of G.Skill DDR3 1333 RAM. $41.99. Would have went with less RAM, but this was cheap
Newegg.com - G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-8GBRL

So, around $590 for the hardware. Should run quiet and cool. And should sip power.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 May 2012   #18
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

The Core i3-2100t arrived at my house tonight. The rest of the parts will arrive tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing what I can do with the wiring.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2012   #19
DeaconFrost

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

You have me rethinking my setup. The hardware is similar, but I'm torn between using my RocketRAID card or just using the built-in SATA ports and StableBit Drive Pool. I have 4 WD 1.5 TB green drives.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2012   #20
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

^ I'm pretty much at the point where I am not going to use any type of drive pooling software. While I love the concept in theory, I'm always leary of what could happen in the event of a problem. I think I am going to just do things the way that I normally do things, and that's to have a robocopy job that runs at scheduled intervals which comes through and synchronizes my source to a destination. This way, a mistake on my part won't automatically replicate immediately to both drives in my pool. I'd have until my robocopy job runs again to catch my mistake and fix it.

It's easy enough for me to add or remove shares and shuffle them around manually between physical drives. It's not like I have tons of data and constantly run out of space.
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