WHS & Video Streaming: Having your cake and eating it too? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 09-15-2009, 07:13 AM - Thread Starter
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I know there are quite a few threads out there regarding this topic but none I feel that really address a core issue I'm struggling with. I love WHS for what it does, in managing most of my data, expandability, etc; however, wrt streaming media (particularly video) to several XMBC clients in my home, the performance is choppy at best to the point where its just not a viable solution.

I have and have previously used a Netgear NV+ setup (with some form of RAID5), and streaming worked fine, with no stuttering. But I wanted to get through the capacity limitations on that box and built a custom Norco 4020 rig. I reused a lot of components from my old box. Otherwise, I would have gone cheaper, most power efficient.

Componentry:

Norco 4020
EVGA Nvidia 680i MOBO with 6 SATA controllers
Intel Quad Core Proc
1000w PS
8GB RAM
Highpoint RocketRaid 2310 (4 sata controllers)
2 Gigabit Adapter

I'm trying to stream ISOs and AVIs. Some people have said to put my video in a better format, but I've heard quite a few folks that have successfully streamed BluRay ISOs from their WHS box.

I took one of the drives out of the WHS managed space and tried to see if I could increase performance this way by taking it out of the balancing mix. No dice.

I'm thinking I might need to get a better RAID card, and stripe some of the drives outside of WHS, on a separate RAID channel, to serve my video?

I really want WHS to work, but ultimately if it can't stream media then I'm going to have to look at other solutions (e.g. UNRAID, FreeNAS). Albeit, I don't necessarily want to go down that path as I'm not a linux guy, and frankly like the other disk management capabilities of WHS.

Hopefully someone "feels my pain", and might have some insight.

Thx.
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post #2 of 10 Old 09-15-2009, 08:10 AM
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I have no solution, I'm mostly weighing in to keep track of this, as I'm in the process of setting up a WHS, and one of it's primary jobs will be media serving. But I certainly wouldn't think you'd need striping, as the minimum bandwidth of even a 5400 rpm "green" drive is still nearly 10 times the PEAK bandwidth of Blu-ray. Honestly, I never even considered that it would have a problem (you're not transcoding, are you?) the number of drives in the pool also shouldn't matter, as I don't believe it will split individual files up between drives. As a side note, you probably already know half your ram is going to waste, since WHS is a 32 bit OS.

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post #3 of 10 Old 09-15-2009, 08:24 AM
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Just to ask, what kind of network and how many at the same time are streaming?

I used to have a NV+ as well and earlier this year went with Norco/WHS set up as well. I use it to serve my Vista HTPC and do not have any issues with steaming SD content.

I moved all my recorded TV content to my WHS as well since it handles it better than my NV+ every could.
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post #4 of 10 Old 09-15-2009, 08:32 AM - Thread Starter
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@Darin: re: RAM, yep, I know, but I just took my old machine components and repurposed them. If I understand things correctly, the next version of WHS (sometime in 2010?) will be 64 bit, allowing access to that RAM. Of course, I know I don't need nearly this much, given that my NV+ did the job with 512MB of RAM!

@ConnectedAV: Gigabit Network, with jumbo frames turned on. Only trying to stream 1 ISO at a time. Note that the same network configuration allowed my Netgear NV+ to stream no problem, so I think we can eliminate this variable. As a side note, I can stream the same content to a Windows 7 box through VLC with no stuttering. So...you might conclude that it's my streaming device (e.g. XBMC), but again, I had no problems with XBMC from the NV+.
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post #5 of 10 Old 09-15-2009, 08:56 AM
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Could jumbo frames be the problem? Have you tried disabling?

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post #6 of 10 Old 09-15-2009, 08:58 AM
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My WHS server will just hang at the end of the back up operation if I have Jumbo frame turned on.
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post #7 of 10 Old 09-15-2009, 12:16 PM
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I've successfully streamed blu-ray .iso's without any problem from a pretty underpowered mediasmart server perfectly smoothly but only if the server isn't also doing either a PC back-up, on-line back-up of concurrent video conversion.

I've made sure to schedule everything the server does outside normal viewing hours and haven't had any problem.

So, you may want to check what else the server is doing when you get stuttering. Just an idea.
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post #8 of 10 Old 09-15-2009, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reynolea View Post

I know there are quite a few threads out there regarding this topic but none I feel that really address a core issue I'm struggling with. I love WHS for what it does, in managing most of my data, expandability, etc; however, wrt streaming media (particularly video) to several XMBC clients in my home, the performance is choppy at best to the point where its just not a viable solution.

I have and have previously used a Netgear NV+ setup (with some form of RAID5), and streaming worked fine, with no stuttering. But I wanted to get through the capacity limitations on that box and built a custom Norco 4020 rig. I reused a lot of components from my old box. Otherwise, I would have gone cheaper, most power efficient.

Componentry:

Norco 4020
EVGA Nvidia 680i MOBO with 6 SATA controllers
Intel Quad Core Proc
1000w PS
8GB RAM
Highpoint RocketRaid 2310 (4 sata controllers)
2 Gigabit Adapter

I'm trying to stream ISOs and AVIs. Some people have said to put my video in a better format, but I've heard quite a few folks that have successfully streamed BluRay ISOs from their WHS box.

I took one of the drives out of the WHS managed space and tried to see if I could increase performance this way by taking it out of the balancing mix. No dice.

I'm thinking I might need to get a better RAID card, and stripe some of the drives outside of WHS, on a separate RAID channel, to serve my video?

I really want WHS to work, but ultimately if it can't stream media then I'm going to have to look at other solutions (e.g. UNRAID, FreeNAS). Albeit, I don't necessarily want to go down that path as I'm not a linux guy, and frankly like the other disk management capabilities of WHS.

Hopefully someone "feels my pain", and might have some insight.

Thx.

Have you run the updates for WHS including PP1 and PP2?

If you are using a fresh/unupdated install of WHS this could be the source of all of your problems.

I don't have any problems streaming two blu-ray .isos at the same time with WHS.

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post #9 of 10 Old 09-21-2009, 08:25 PM
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What drives are you using?

Quote:
Originally Posted by reynolea View Post

I know there are quite a few threads out there regarding this topic but none I feel that really address a core issue I'm struggling with. I love WHS for what it does, in managing most of my data, expandability, etc; however, wrt streaming media (particularly video) to several XMBC clients in my home, the performance is choppy at best to the point where its just not a viable solution.

I have and have previously used a Netgear NV+ setup (with some form of RAID5), and streaming worked fine, with no stuttering. But I wanted to get through the capacity limitations on that box and built a custom Norco 4020 rig. I reused a lot of components from my old box. Otherwise, I would have gone cheaper, most power efficient.

Componentry:

Norco 4020
EVGA Nvidia 680i MOBO with 6 SATA controllers
Intel Quad Core Proc
1000w PS
8GB RAM
Highpoint RocketRaid 2310 (4 sata controllers)
2 Gigabit Adapter

I'm trying to stream ISOs and AVIs. Some people have said to put my video in a better format, but I've heard quite a few folks that have successfully streamed BluRay ISOs from their WHS box.

I took one of the drives out of the WHS managed space and tried to see if I could increase performance this way by taking it out of the balancing mix. No dice.

I'm thinking I might need to get a better RAID card, and stripe some of the drives outside of WHS, on a separate RAID channel, to serve my video?

I really want WHS to work, but ultimately if it can't stream media then I'm going to have to look at other solutions (e.g. UNRAID, FreeNAS). Albeit, I don't necessarily want to go down that path as I'm not a linux guy, and frankly like the other disk management capabilities of WHS.

Hopefully someone "feels my pain", and might have some insight.

Thx.


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post #10 of 10 Old 09-21-2009, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reynolea View Post


I took one of the drives out of the WHS managed space and tried to see if I could increase performance this way by taking it out of the balancing mix. No dice.

You've answered your own question right there. WHS isn't the problem.

Remember that WHS is just a wrapper sitting ontop of Server 2003.
You've got a quad core cpu in there and you tried streaming from a drive outside the WHS storage pool and it still choked. At that point you were streaming from Server 2003, which has absolute ability to stream just about anything. Its been the defacto enterprise server OS for the last 6 years.

Unless as mentioned in the previous post, you have crappy drives in there like Seagate 1TB or 1.5TB 7200.11's that are notorious for studdering. I would take a much closer look at your network. Start with updating your NIC drivers on WHS/Server 2003 to the latest version. Set all values on the NIC settings to default. Disable jumbo frames on all devices in your network and work your way from there.
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