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Windows 7: Windows 2008 Server or Linux for server


16 Oct 2009   #1

W7 X-64 RTM,SUSE 11.1, XP PRO SP3 as a VM, VMware ESXi
 
 
Windows 2008 Server or Linux for server

Hi all
Have been a LONG LONG user of Linux as a server (hosting VM's XP / Windows 7 mix) and file / print sharing.

I used to avoid MS like the plague as far as SERVER environments are concerned - probably because my first experince was Windows NT (Windows NeanderThal or Windows No Thanks) which was SO HORRIBLE that it put me off Windows servers for ages.

(Note I'm using a server in a HOME environment where we have around 8 machines (most of which are actually mine for testing -- not a corporate environment which has other considerations).

The problem now with the latest Linux distros that they are trying to be "A Better Windows than Windows". You can of course customize them but I haven't got the time or patience to do this any more. To select what packages to install / leave out now is a 100% pain and if you do it wrong the chances are the system will give errors.

I've looked at the new SUSE 11.2 -- slick and polished - bit I don't NEED "an alternative Windows".

I've just been looking at Windows Server 2008 R2 (got it from Technet) and I'm REALLY IMPRESSED with it so far. I've installed the STANDARD version - you don't need datacenter or Enterprise version for a home server.

It runs vmware server on it just fine (although I might go the whole hog and use the Hyper-V virtualisation -- need to do a bit more research).

I'm quite happy letting MS do the updates than having to mess around with Kernel compiles etc.

Incidentally as a HOME server there are some considerations that you might want to do to make it more like a Desktop OS than a pure server for example add multi-media to it.

This guy does a great job at this .
Convert your Windows Server 2008 R2 to a Workstation! - Multiboot Installation

Windows 7 VM's run just fine on W2008 server (they should as there is a lot of common code).

Cheers
jimbo

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Oct 2009   #2

 

Windows servers have come a very long way in the last few years, I will never use a linux server ever again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Oct 2009   #3

W7 X-64 RTM,SUSE 11.1, XP PRO SP3 as a VM, VMware ESXi
 
 

Hi there
W2008 Server -- Brilliant - but you do lose the ability to run a TV card on it - DVD playing is fine as well as media streaming so I'm not too bothered.

My Vm's run just fine without any change.

So finally -- Bye Bye SUSE -- was fun but things likeW2008 Server etc are the future of servers.

I'll try the Hyper-V server in W2008 server next -- it might take a while to convert my VM's from vmware format but I'm tempted to go for it after backing everything up.

Maintenance etc should be much easier if it's all MS stuff.

Cheers.

jimbo
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Oct 2009   #4

Windows 8.1 Pro (x64)
 
 

While I do not have a direct answer for your original post. But seeing as you are already taking the plunge may I point you to WSUS, Windows Server Update Service. Aka, single download (also fully controlled what is downloaded) from the remote Windows Update server cached on your local network where every other Windows system downloads from. That should help maintenance don't you think?

Windows Server Update Services (WSUS)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Oct 2009   #5

7 Prof
 
 

Can 7 be used as a server some how or would we have to do something like FTP server running on 7 ? Does Windows Server R2 allow connections from the WAN to retrieve/download files?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Oct 2009   #6

W7 X-64 RTM,SUSE 11.1, XP PRO SP3 as a VM, VMware ESXi
 
 

Hi there
the answer to your question is YES - it acts as a fully featured server.

I suggest for a small office / home use install the STANDARD version - especially if you aren't too experienced with WINDOWS servers, rather than choosing the Data center / Enterprise editions. If you are a technet subscriber you can download a full version.

To add things like FTP etc you have to enable them in the server control panel - I'm not a network Guru -- so they can give better answers on setting up FTP servers etc.

I just use RDP if I want to access the server from a WAN or the "Public Internet". Being a SERVER of course it will allow multiple concurrent users to logon - but be slightly careful as to what software you install on it.

Some software requires "CALS" - "Client Access Licences" so you *might* need to enable these if say you want to allow a number of remote users to have access say to MS Office.

I believe the standard "default" allows 4 concurrent without getting extra licenses - I haven't gone into all the ins and outs of this as its not my area.

Running a web server or / ftp stuff won't give you any licensing issues however.

Cheers
jimbo
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Oct 2009   #7

Windows 8.1 Pro (x64)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Ragzarok View Post
Can 7 be used as a server some how or would we have to do something like FTP server running on 7 ?
By installing the FTP component for IIS of course. Learn IIS7 : The Official Microsoft IIS Site
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Oct 2009   #8

W8 Pro, W7 Ultimate, XP Pro x64, Vista x64, Ubuntu
 
 

Hey Jimbo,
My server use is just for home also. I gave Server 2008 R2 a spin (from TechNet) but instead of using my time boinking the Server, I decided I'd rather use it boinking my Windows 7 desktop.
So I'm using Windows Home Server. Before I tried it I thought, "aw, that's kids stuff." But I really like it for home use. The free web hosting, remote desktop, it's all in there. Power Pack 3 (beta) integrates with Windows 7 libraries. The available add-ins tweak things like media management, web access/remote media streaming, storage pool management.... pretty cool.
The next iteration, code name Vail, will be based on Server 2008 (and 64-bit) and should be out early 2010.
Tom
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Oct 2009   #9

W7 X-64 RTM,SUSE 11.1, XP PRO SP3 as a VM, VMware ESXi
 
 

Hi there

Looks to me that Windows Home server seems quite limited in what apps you can run on it --

I can't see any reason to use it at all.

Windows 2008 Server is a REAL server that actually runs things and people can logon concurrently to it.

For media streaming there are LOADS of decent products out there -- I like Logitech Squeezebox - this application can even run from a laptop if you want it to.

Logitech Squeezebox Product Overview.

Cheers
jimbo
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2009   #10

Win 7
 
 

Would it be silly for me to upgrade my current server (W2k3) to a W2k8 server if all I do on that computer is file share and backups? I am currently using the 180 day trial of W2k8 server and it's nice but probably overkill. I have Win7Pro on order and think that it should serve my needs just as well if not better than W2k3.

Also,
I'm curious how much cost went into some of your decision to use Windows 2008 server. If it weren't available as a TechNet download, for instance.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Windows 2008 Server or Linux for server




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