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Home server questions

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Ok I have decided to make a home server from stuff I have laying around. Excuse the long post, but just trying to get it all figured out.
Skip to the end for the main questions.

For background, I have 7 computers in the house right now (3 HTPC's, 1 netbook, 2 desktops and 1 folding rig).
2 of them have complete backups, and I would like them all backed up. They all run Windows 7 (all 64 bit except for the netbook). The folding rig will become the basis for the server (and a side note, can you fold on WHS?).
My main HTPC has most of my storage on it (about 600 gb of movies and music on 1 drive, not backed up) and my sig rig has another 150 gigs of important stuff (pics, taxes etc, and is backed up on an external).

I plan on using WHS (have a copy from Technet). Just curious if I should wait till WHS V2 is released (1H 2011?). Only thing is the new version will not have Drive Extender from what I have read, and I think I need that (I plan on mixing IDE and SATA drives, see below). I have thought about Server 2008 R2, but WHS seems more what I need.

For hardware, I already have a Epox motherboard, 2 gigs of RAM, BE-2400 CPU (45w x2 Brisbane), GeForce 210 (need something for the board to boot), 380w Antec PSU and an Antec 300 case.
For hard drives, I have a 500 gig that is empty and a 640 gig that is in use in the Main HTPC. I also have 1 or 2 ~100gb IDE drives laying around (a 1 or 2 gig drive is in the future, just not sure when).

One question on the mobo, would I notice any difference if I went with an itx board like this? Both boards are DDR2, gigabit ethernet and have 4 SATA ports (the Epox board is SATA 1.5, but I don't think that is an issue), but I would loose the ability to have IDE drives. I also would not need a video card (but I already have it, so no cost).

For connectivity, is gigabit really needed? I have Cat 5e cable in the house, but it is all using 10/100 Routers/ switches. My setup is a bit complex just due to the location of everything (Modem to router which goes to 1 computer (and would be where I plug in the server) and also to a switch in a hall closet (~60 feet), with all other computers off that switch and another switch in the mix also). If I upgraded, I would need to get 3 switches minimum to make it work all GB (2 if I did 2 more drops, but would need to buy ~200 feet of cable).
I plan on having my media on the server (movies (ripped DVD's, no bluray yet), music, recorded HDTV etc), backups for all computers and maybe a print server (see below). I don't seem to have an issue with it now but do notice it takes a while to transfer a ripped DVD from my desktop to the HTPC (about 7 minutes for a 3-4 gig file).

Can WHS be used as a print server? I plan on sticking this under a desk by my sig rig and that is where the only printer in the house is. For now, I have to make sure my sig rig is on to print.


Main Questions:
  1. Use WHS or wait for WHS V2 (or go Server 2008 R2)
  2. Keep Epox board or get an ITX
  3. Is a Gigabit connection really needed
  4. Can you fold on WHS - Yes
  5. Can WHS be a Print Server - looks like it may be (MS says with a plug in it can, some sites just say plug the printer in, load the drivers and then share it (guess I will find out)
  6. Any other suggestions

Thanks for reading and your help.
Edited by blupupher - 1/12/11 at 2:39pm
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'Pooter
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post #2 of 6
1. Drive Extender alone is a reason to stay on version 1.
2. Epox is fine. If you want a smaller footptint, get the ITX board
3. Yes it is needed. Especially if you are storing your videos/music on the server (if you intend on streaming to HTPC's, if you are just transferring when you want something, then it is not needed)
4. Possibly. Version 1 is based on Server 2003 R2, so if you can fold on Server 2003, you should be able to fund on WHS.
5. Not sure. You can always get a wireless print server, though. I have one for sale in the FS section for cheap. I do not see why it would not work, though. Just install the printer on the server and share it with the client machines.....
Edited by Mmansueto - 1/12/11 at 1:52pm
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post #3 of 6
1-I would stay with WHSv1,unless you want to use AD etc.
2-The Epox mobo will do just fine,unless as stated by Mmansueto(footprint).
3- I'd stay with 10/100Mbps for now,and upgrade when you can.But I think you'll eventually want the extra transfer speed of a Gb network.
4-I don't see why not.
5-I just pluged in the printer(when was running WSHv1 awhile back),everything worked.
fine for me.
6-I would suggest Amahi Home Server,but since you've WHS & others no need.
 
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post #4 of 6
3. Converting my network to gigabit speeds was one of my most noticeable upgrades. I would definitely recommend it when you have the means to.
5. I have 2 printers which use the WHS box as a print server. Just download the 32 bit windows xp drivers and in device manager, point to the driver folder you downloaded. Obviously you'll also need the Win 7 x64 drivers on hand when you attempt to add the printer to each computer.
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post #5 of 6
1) Depends on urgency. If you can wait a month or two then just use v2.
2) Epox will do fine unless you need a SFF system.
3) If your bandwidth requirements are more than ~10-12 MB/sec from the server, yes.
6) I'd use some sort of Linux (or Solaris if you're beast with ZFS) and RAID, instead.
Waiting on X399
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Waiting on X399
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post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
  1. I think I am just going to stick with WHS V1. Drive extender will allow me to easily add drives of different sizes and not having to worry about setting up RAID.
  2. I will just keep the Epox board. No point in spending money if I won't gain anything from it. Since it is going in an Antec 300, there is plenty of space. If the Antec 300 is too big for where I want it, I may get a smaller case and board, but I have other mod plans for it also (maybe putting the modem and router in it).
  3. I will stick with 10/100 for now, I don't really seem to have any issues as is, but will keep an eye out for deals on gigabit switches.
  4. I found you can fold on WHS, but I don't think I will, some have had issues and data corruption. Kind of defeats having a central backup if it gets corrupted easily.
  5. Seems some have no problems with using it as a print server, other do. I guess I will see when I get it going. Mmansueto, I may take you up on that wireless one you have if I can't get it to work.
  6. I don't want to have to learn Linux or have to mess with it, I know it is not that hard, but I know (and like) Windows. I had thought of Amahi, and if I did not have a WHS license, I would probably use it since it does have the features I am looking for.

Thanks all.
'Pooter
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Server
(15 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II 830 x4 Gigabyte GA-880GM-D2H MSI GTX 460 Hawk 12 gigs (2x2 and 2x4) Corsair DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOptical DriveCooling
Samsung  Samsung DVD-RW  Samsung DVD-RW  Cooler Master Hyper 212+ 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Pro x64 ASUS VH242H 23.6" Logitech MX 3200 Wireless Antec Neo Eco 620 
CaseMouseOther
Antec P-180 Mini Logitech MX 3200 Wireless Crucial m4 128  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Athlon II X2 210e Gigiabyte MA785GMT-UDH2 ATI Radeon HD 4200 G.Skill Sniper 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
OCZ SSD Seagate SSHD Corsair A50 WHS 2011 
PowerCase
Antec Neo Eco 400 Antec 300 
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Reply
'Pooter
(15 items)
 
Server
(15 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II 830 x4 Gigabyte GA-880GM-D2H MSI GTX 460 Hawk 12 gigs (2x2 and 2x4) Corsair DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOptical DriveCooling
Samsung  Samsung DVD-RW  Samsung DVD-RW  Cooler Master Hyper 212+ 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Pro x64 ASUS VH242H 23.6" Logitech MX 3200 Wireless Antec Neo Eco 620 
CaseMouseOther
Antec P-180 Mini Logitech MX 3200 Wireless Crucial m4 128  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Athlon II X2 210e Gigiabyte MA785GMT-UDH2 ATI Radeon HD 4200 G.Skill Sniper 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
OCZ SSD Seagate SSHD Corsair A50 WHS 2011 
PowerCase
Antec Neo Eco 400 Antec 300 
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