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setting up a home server

post #1 of 2
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I want to set up a home server for backups of every thing on each PC. This includes system image backups of each PC as well. What would be the best server OS to use to accomplish this. I have 4 desktops - wired networked and 3 laptops - wireless networked. I might be adding 1 more desktop and a couple more laptops to my network. I'm looking for something simple and manageable with a budget of $400 to $600.
Self built
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Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Seagate 1 TB, 1 Seagate 320 GB Super Muliti DVD burner w/lightscribe Windows8 Pro Dual Samsung SyncMaster S20B300 
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Self built
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Gigabyte GA-MA790X-DS4 AMD XFX Readon HD 6790 GSkill 4 x 2 GB 1066 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Seagate 1 TB, 1 Seagate 320 GB Super Muliti DVD burner w/lightscribe Windows8 Pro Dual Samsung SyncMaster S20B300 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech G510 Ultra X 4 750 watt fully modular PSU Ultra E-Torque mid tower ATX Razer DeathAdder 3.5 
Mouse Pad
N/A 
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post #2 of 2
Do you want something to tinker with, or do you like the "set-it-and-forget-it" option?

I'm a fan of Windows Home Server for home --it's reasonably simple, and its backups are excellent. One advantage of WHS is that not only can it bare-metal backup your systems, but its backup is smart enough to not backup duplicate files --for example, if three of your systems have identical iexplore.exe files, it will only keep one copy of the file, saving you space. All you have to do is install the Windows Home Server client on a workstation to connect it to the server, and it will begin backing it up automatically --it's that easy.

You could either build a server yourself and buy an OEM copy of Windows Home Server, or you could get a pre-fabbed model from HP, Lenovo, Acer, or others. Of the pre-fabbed models, I'm partial to HP's MediaSmart EX490 (I own one, and it has one of the better hardware configurations IMO).

If you want to build one yourself, it doesn't take a lot. A simple low-energy dual-core processor like a Celeron 3xxx, or a Pentium dual-core E5xxx are ideal. 2GB of RAM runs Windows Home Server quite well, and you can buy a micro-ATX board to run it all, with onboard video. Just make sure you have enough SATA ports for drive expansion, and you're good. Windows Home Server will make multiple drives look like a single large one, and if you have more than one drive, you can turn on Folder Duplication which will keep duplicate copies of your files to guard against a hard drive failing and taking your data with it.
LEVIATHAN
(21 items)
 
 
BORGCUBE (Server)
(17 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Xeon E3-1265L v2 HP Matrox G200eh (linked to iLO4) 16GB (2 x 8) Kingston DDR3 ECC unbuffered 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveOS
2x Crucial M500 240GB SSD in RAID-0 4x Western Digital Red 2TB in RAID-5 Matsushita UJ-862 DVDR@ Windows Server 2012R2 Standard 
CaseOtherOtherOther
HP Microserver Gen8 HP SmartArray P222 RAID controller with 512MB c... MacAlly USB3 enclosure with WD Red 4TB (backup) APC BackUPS ES 750 
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LEVIATHAN
(21 items)
 
 
BORGCUBE (Server)
(17 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Xeon E3-1265L v2 HP Matrox G200eh (linked to iLO4) 16GB (2 x 8) Kingston DDR3 ECC unbuffered 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveOS
2x Crucial M500 240GB SSD in RAID-0 4x Western Digital Red 2TB in RAID-5 Matsushita UJ-862 DVDR@ Windows Server 2012R2 Standard 
CaseOtherOtherOther
HP Microserver Gen8 HP SmartArray P222 RAID controller with 512MB c... MacAlly USB3 enclosure with WD Red 4TB (backup) APC BackUPS ES 750 
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