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Old 03-30-2012, 12:13 PM   #1
geecee
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Default Windows Home Server 2011 box

Hi, folks. I wanted to see if anyone could give me some advice on setting up a WHS2011 box. I was considering this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16883148005
AMD E-350 based system.

EDIT: There's also this HP microserver:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...20turion%20neo

But I also have a Athlon II X3 lying around unused, but I would then need memory, a mb, drives, etc. Would building a server around the X3 be worthwhile, or do I just go with the pre-built box? Really not sure what I will do with WHS yet, other than just backups and file serving. I was thinking I might run WHS in a VM, and also have the box serve as a HTPC, in which case I should probably go with the better specs. But if I'm not going to do very much on the HTPC side, I'm guessing that the X3 and a video card will draw considerably more power than that E-350 box, and I could just use one of those network video players. Are there any uses of WHS that might need the better specs? I also have an X6 system running 24/7 doing distributed computing (Folding, WCG, BOINC stuff). Should I just run WHS in a VM on that? Can I actually run anything on WHS?

So many questions. TIA.
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Last edited by geecee; 03-30-2012 at 12:16 PM. Reason: Added link
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Old 03-30-2012, 12:58 PM   #2
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Personally I would go with that prebuilt proliant server. I was able to build my WHS for pretty dang cheap but I was never able to find a case as nice as the one they have. 4 hdd bays is really sweet.
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Old 03-30-2012, 01:04 PM   #3
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Microsoft recommends a dual or quad core CPU if you're going to do any kind of media streaming over a network, but the one i put together just has a single core Sempron in it and does media streaming at 720p with an occasional hiccup, nothing major.

That same box is virtualizing WHS, but the host doesn't do much else at the moment. Virtualization or otherwise, you're better off with more CPU power. I think the X3 is a good bet, considering the "higher end" pre-built servers tend to ship with Athlon II's.

The X3 plus a lower-end card would give you the option of making that thing a HTPC as well. I think if you decided to try that on the E-350 system, you would run into some trouble. You could also put it in a VM on the X6 system and it probably won't even notice.

There are only add-ons that can be installed on WHS, not any regular programs from what i understand. There are a lot of drive managers, web server managers, streaming clients, and bit torrent add-ons out there, so it is flexible in that sense.

In short, if you want it use it to do backup, file storage, AND streaming, you'll get your moneys worth out of that X3 based system. But if it's just doing a backup every now and again, putting it in a VM on the X6 system would work great.
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Old 03-30-2012, 02:05 PM   #4
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The N40L is pretty nice especially if you can catch it on one of those deals that's under $200 or even around $100 like I caught it for a couple months back from SD.
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Old 04-01-2012, 09:56 PM   #5
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http://www.logicsupply.com/products/a7879

I've been looking at cases closely, this one looks sweet but it is a bit expensive.
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Old 04-04-2012, 12:08 PM   #6
Binky
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You just missed the $111 40L microserver deal at Insight. D'Oh!

Mine will be delivered by Friday.
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Old 04-04-2012, 09:44 PM   #7
dclive
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geecee View Post
But I also have a Athlon II X3 lying around unused, but I would then need memory, a mb, drives, etc. Would building a server around the X3 be worthwhile, or do I just go with the pre-built box? Really not sure what I will do with WHS yet, other than just backups and file serving. I was thinking I might run WHS in a VM, and also have the box serve as a HTPC, in which case I should probably go with the better specs. But if I'm not going to do very much on the HTPC side, I'm guessing that the X3 and a video card will draw considerably more power than that E-350 box, and I could just use one of those network video players. Are there any uses of WHS that might need the better specs? I also have an X6 system running 24/7 doing distributed computing (Folding, WCG, BOINC stuff). Should I just run WHS in a VM on that? Can I actually run anything on WHS?

So many questions. TIA.
Cheap is best. You don't detail exactly what you want to do (can your video renderers render the codecs you have on the WHS server, or will the WHS server expend CPU horsepower decoding into a format they understand?) but if you just want a basic something that will serve content and do backups, a VM on the X6 would work just fine.

You can run anything on WHS. In spite of what another poster said, it's just a Windows OS - just RDP into it and you can install anything you want onto it.

If you already have a (client) machine, and you'd just run WHS as a VM on that, can you detail for me again exactly why you need WHS? If it's to share content, just make the shares on your host machine; if it's to do backups, WHS is an odd way to do that (since you're backing up to a VM on the host your backing up).

A lot of people make things needlessly complex and needlessly expensive. Can you detail a little more about exactly what you want to do and why?
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Old 04-04-2012, 10:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dclive View Post
You can run anything on WHS. In spite of what another poster said, it's just a Windows OS - just RDP into it and you can install anything you want onto it.
That's not entirely true. Both versions of WHS are based on the server versions of windows. Most software works fine, but stuff like antivirus or hard disk tools may not install or run on WHS.
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Old 04-04-2012, 10:57 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Binky View Post
That's not entirely true. Both versions of WHS are based on the server versions of windows. Most software works fine, but stuff like antivirus or hard disk tools may not install or run on WHS.
Sure, it's a server OS, so some software is limited in that it can't be installed in some places; one can say the same about lots of software. But "There are only add-ons that can be installed on WHS, not any regular programs from what i understand. " isn't correct, which is the incorrect perception I was trying to correct.
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Old 04-05-2012, 04:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dclive View Post
Cheap is best. You don't detail exactly what you want to do (can your video renderers render the codecs you have on the WHS server, or will the WHS server expend CPU horsepower decoding into a format they understand?) but if you just want a basic something that will serve content and do backups, a VM on the X6 would work just fine.

You can run anything on WHS. In spite of what another poster said, it's just a Windows OS - just RDP into it and you can install anything you want onto it.

If you already have a (client) machine, and you'd just run WHS as a VM on that, can you detail for me again exactly why you need WHS? If it's to share content, just make the shares on your host machine; if it's to do backups, WHS is an odd way to do that (since you're backing up to a VM on the host your backing up).

A lot of people make things needlessly complex and needlessly expensive. Can you detail a little more about exactly what you want to do and why?
Hi, sorry for being vague, but I didn't know enough about DLNA streaming vs. generic (video) file sharing well enough to ask better questions. For now, I will just be serving files off of it, although as I start to understand the uses of it I may want to do more. The reason I wanted to VM WHS was simply because I didn't really want to dedicate a machine to just WHS. I only really have one modern desktop build in my household (an X6), and it spends its entire time doing DC for the most part. (The X3 is the chip that the X6 replaced, which is why I have the spare CPU). The rest of the computers are laptops (mine, wife's, kids', etc). Currently I do backups to an external USB drive once every 2-3 of months on these machines (nothing super critical on the laptops, so I haven't done it more regularly). There is a shared directory on the DC machine that all the laptops can access as well. WHS, as I understand it, would automate the backups for me (and do them more regularly), and I could set up a more robust file server. Also, currently, I do not have an HTPC. When we want to view video files or online video on our TV, I either use our Wii, blu-ray player, or connect my laptop (through HDMI) depending on the source. I thought if I could combine the HTPC and a WHS server in one box, I could just use one new build to do all of that. But to do that more effectively, I figured I would have to run WHS in a VM on the home theater box. Or am I way off on that? Then I was also thinking that since I had the X6 box, I could do it most cheaply by just installing everything on that, and let my DC production take a small hit when I used it as an HTPC. Yes, this is very convoluted thinking, mostly because I am being cheap. I just wanted to see what the best/cheapest thing to do would be i.e. dedicated server for WHS and dedicated HTPC, or maybe dual purpose the DC box into a HTPC, or run it all off one box. OK my head's spinning now.
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Old 04-05-2012, 04:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geecee View Post
The reason I wanted to VM WHS was simply because I didn't really want to dedicate a machine to just WHS. I only really have one modern desktop build in my household (an X6), and it spends its entire time doing DC for the most part.
Why do you need a WHS machine, if you're just sharing content? Do that from your current X6 machine, and you don't need to buy or do anything, AND it will be easier and less work. Win-win.

Quote:
(The X3 is the chip that the X6 replaced, which is why I have the spare CPU). The rest of the computers are laptops (mine, wife's, kids', etc). Currently I do backups to an external USB drive once every 2-3 of months on these machines (nothing super critical on the laptops, so I haven't done it more regularly). There is a shared directory on the DC machine that all the laptops can access as well. WHS, as I understand it, would automate the backups for me (and do them more regularly), and I could set up a more robust file server.
Sounds like you already have an X6 that you can share a few directories on; there, that's your file server. So now we're just focused on backups; W7 can automate the backup to a shared directory of your choice, so as long as they run W7, they're done on that count too.

Quote:
Also, currently, I do not have an HTPC. When we want to view video files or online video on our TV, I either use our Wii, blu-ray player, or connect my laptop (through HDMI) depending on the source. I thought if I could combine the HTPC and a WHS server in one box, I could just use one new build to do all of that. But to do that more effectively, I figured I would have to run WHS in a VM on the home theater box. Or am I way off on that? Then I was also thinking that since I had the X6 box, I could do it most cheaply by just installing everything on that, and let my DC production take a small hit when I used it as an HTPC. Yes, this is very convoluted thinking, mostly because I am being cheap. I just wanted to see what the best/cheapest thing to do would be i.e. dedicated server for WHS and dedicated HTPC, or maybe dual purpose the DC box into a HTPC, or run it all off one box. OK my head's spinning now.
Buy a Boxee Box, an AppleTV2 (+ crack + XBMC), or a WDTV Live Streaming (and that's a VERY distant third choice). Then plug it onto your network, mount your X6's SMB (Windows) share, and you're done. Far easier.

It's all about what's easy. Since you already have an X6 that can share whatever you want, why add complexity? I have yet to see why adding WHS to the mix fixes anything for you, and I really like WHS....
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Old 04-08-2012, 05:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aarondeep View Post
http://www.logicsupply.com/products/a7879

I've been looking at cases closely, this one looks sweet but it is a bit expensive.
If your looking at that case, why not ust pick up the n40l. I guess the only - would be the hot swapable bays.
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Old 04-08-2012, 06:38 PM   #13
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The N40L *may* have hot swap capability if you unlock some hidden bios features.

http://homeservershow.com/hp-microse...ification.html

Quote:
At the Southbridge menu part of the BIOS I saw at this location http://forums.overcl…8216324&page=41 that says:

In bios under Chipset / SouthBridge Configuration / SB Sata Configuration

· Disable “SATA IDE Combined Mode” – sets port 5 and 6 to use AHCI

· Enable “SATA ESP on all PORT” – sets all ports to be external SATA ports

The SATA ESP on all PORT makes all SATA ports hot swappable.
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:00 PM   #14
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Newegg shell shocker today is the N40L. You should consider it.

$290 with 250gb OS HD and 2TB storage drive

HP ProLiant N40L Ultra Micro Tower Server
1 x 250GB HD
1x Western Digital Caviar Green WD20EARS
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Old 04-10-2012, 12:45 PM   #15
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I have a WHS 2011 running with the E-350 and it's a great low power always on option for serving up content. I use the WDTV Live box for playing the content and it does a fantastic job. With that being said, when Trinity comes out, I plan on combining the htpc and server duties into one box (hopefully mini-itx) and just running Windows 7.
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:57 AM   #16
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My WHS setup is running in an antec case. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...9&Tpk=vsk-2000
Works pretty well. Not too big, not too small. usae the external slot for the OS drive and the 6 bays are good enough to hold a decent amount of storage.
It currently serves up Minecraft, Subsonic, Movies to my HTPC and houses all my movie rips, music, pictures and other data.

Granted this could all be done with a Win7 box, (and i could dump my HTPC and play the files directly through my Samsung TV) but it was fun to try out. But i plan to get backups going when i can afford more drive space.

For your needs it really just sounds like you need a NAS.

I really like the idea of running WHS and WMC as VM's on a host. Im going to have to look into that.
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