Rebuilding my home server, advice would be nice - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 03-07-2013, 01:37 PM - Thread Starter
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I ran WHS originally, loved the drive pooling, hated the indexing / optimization performance hits.

I upgraded to a new server and used 4 2TB drives, installed WHS 2011 and kept data on all separate drives... inconvenient, but it worked.

I am now out of room on my server and purchased 5 3TB drives to replace the 2TB drives and use them elsewhere.

Let me first explain my servers use, and go from there.

I primarily use my server just for holding my music, pictures and most used... movies. I do not backup any of my PCs to the server, I have a separate backup drive with all my music and pictures on it, if and when I put new pics music on I backup then unplug and shelf the drive. The movies however I do not have and can not have backups of (other than the physical disks). I do have a second home server at my fiancees house that has all the movies on it....so really if I ever did go down, or the one there goes down, I can copy them over...so I guess for the most part I do have a off site backup lol... granted though I dont always get to have the exact movies all the time on both (sometimes I end up not ripping the movie to both just out of laziness).

I primarily use my movies and the my movies server plugins.

I didn't used to, but am getting more in to sharing the media across the network to other devices like Xbox 360s, tablets etc. Since my internet now has 30Mbps upload I also started streaming a bit more from home. I'm still hitting a learning curve here on file formats that work with WHS 2011 and streaming over the internet with the home server web portal, or to XBOX 360.

all clients on network are windows 7 and windows 8 boxes running windows media center with My Movies.

I don't care too much about recording TV to the server, I usually watch the recorded TV and then delete it.


So looking at my useage...

Does Server 2012 essentials (the new WHS I suppose you can call it) offer better support for streaming?

I have heard mixed reviews on storage spaces for drive pooling, and have had several other suggestions. Should I avoid all this and just get a decent RAID 5 card?

I have even considered utilizing this 5 bay esata dock I have for the drives and building a lower power server, right now I am runnign a Dell Precision 690 server with dual Xeon CPUs.... it tends to get my closet rather warm, and I'm sure it gobbles up electricity lol

Switching to XBMC is not an option, so please keep suggestions related to WMC and MyMovies.


I'm still researching and was going to start experimenting next week with some configurations, so please feel free to lend some advice smile.gif
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post #2 of 8 Old 03-07-2013, 02:46 PM
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I don't know why server 2012 essentials would support better streaming, I think it is primarily targeted to small businesses, but I could be wrong.

I played with server 2012 essentials a bit and found the dashboard quite nice and useful and the client backup SW very good., but it does force you into domains, i.e. it sets up a Microsoft domain and then (sort of) forces your PCs to join the domain. I say sort of because if you have no intention on using the client backup or the dashboard I don't think you have to join the domain to just access file shares for example.
I couldn't think of a compelling reason to run a domain in my house, and also realized that virtualization e.g. hyper-v, is not supported on essentials. Finally, I tried Storage Spaces, but it was not quite what I had expected and StableBit's drivepool was not supported on essentials when I played with it (now it does, at least in beta), so essentials wasn't for me.

I ended up installing Server 2012 standard and then whs 2011 in hyper-v. The HDDs are passed through to whs 2011 and the setup works quite well. In retrospect, server 2012 hyper-v (bare metal hypervisor) would have accomplished pretty much the same thing as server 2012 standard, but I wasn't so sure about the headless management. I have a 2nd box now that I'm practicing that on.

For file duplication, I use StableBit drivepool (in whs 2011). It works well and works quite similar to whs V1's drive extender.
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post #3 of 8 Old 03-07-2013, 05:21 PM
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Flexraid is now well supported under Windows Home Server 2011 (http://www.wegotserved.com/2011/11/08/flexraid-set-support-windows-home-server-2011/) and probably under 2012, but I don't know for a fact. I use a Highpoint RAID 5 card in my WHS2011 server, and so far it's worked very well. Write speeds are slower than a single drive, but read speeds are comparable. That works fine for me since I read from the array far more than I write to it.

At some point, I will upgrade my 1 Tb drives to larger ones and, like you, I'll ripple those drives across my network to other machines. Flexraid may handle tasks like that better than using a card based RAID. I am just starting my research on Flexraid, and I'll give it a serious look when the time comes.
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post #4 of 8 Old 03-07-2013, 05:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajkrishock View Post

Flexraid is now well supported under Windows Home Server 2011 (http://www.wegotserved.com/2011/11/08/flexraid-set-support-windows-home-server-2011/) and probably under 2012, but I don't know for a fact. I use a Highpoint RAID 5 card in my WHS2011 server, and so far it's worked very well. Write speeds are slower than a single drive, but read speeds are comparable. That works fine for me since I read from the array far more than I write to it.

At some point, I will upgrade my 1 Tb drives to larger ones, and, like, you, I'll ripple those drives across my network to other machines. Flexraid may handle tasks like that better than using a card based RAID. I am just starting my research on Flexraid, and I'll give it a serious look when the time comes.

Flexraid is not well supported on WHS2011 ??

That seems like a silly statement. I seem to be running it fine and I am very happy.

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post #5 of 8 Old 03-07-2013, 05:37 PM
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@ OP I don't understand your specific question. But I'd be happy to try to help you. Are you looking for build advice or software set up advice ? I am confused.

Almost every sentence in your post starts with "I" and is a statement about what your doing.

As a few pointed questions if you can.

If you already have WHS2011 I see little need to replace that. I am not sure you'll see enough benefit with 2012 server or Windows8. Flexraid might be a good choice, added to your existing WHS2011.

It's easy to set up and allows drive pooling and parity back up. Good for a media server IMO. Best part is you can use full or empty drives and any drive you remove the data can be read in any system.

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post #6 of 8 Old 03-07-2013, 06:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Flexraid is not well supported on WHS2011 ??

That seems like a silly statement. I seem to be running it fine and I am very happy.

Lol he said FlexRAID is NOW well supported on WHS2011.
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post #7 of 8 Old 03-07-2013, 07:18 PM
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Does that Dell Precision have a LSI 1068e controller?

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post #8 of 8 Old 03-08-2013, 04:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amarshonarbangla View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Flexraid is not well supported on WHS2011 ??

That seems like a silly statement. I seem to be running it fine and I am very happy.

Lol he said FlexRAID is NOW well supported on WHS2011.

That's my mistake . Lol

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