Is WHS2011 still the best answer? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 09-25-2013, 08:43 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm looking for a new backup and media storage solution. Computer backup would be concern/goal #1. Media Storage would be concern/goal #2. In addition to that, I would probably also experiment with server for FTP, syslog, and various other things. (but that's all super low priority)

All of my computers in the house are Windows based, and I like the idea of the automated full image backup that WHS provides. Are there any good alternatives to that? I was looking at CrashPlan's website briefly... the free version looked interesting, but I couldn't tell if you can backup a full image with it. Can you?

On the media side, my collection is small by AVS standards (a couple of TB). I would probably add on StableBit Drive Pool to duplicate my important files. All of my media right now is on my HTPC. And I guess I could leave it there, but I'm thinking it would be better on the storage server with Drive Pool. (right now I just do a manual backup to an external drive as necessary) When Media Browser 3 is officially released, I would like to install that. (current MB2 user) And then I could have my HTPC be the server since it's an i5 and would be better for transcoding and just pull the media from the storage server.

It seems like WHS2011 is still the best answer for my needs, but I'm concerned over the lack of support going forward. Should I get WHS2011?

And as a add-on question... Assuming WHS2011, is anybody running that on one of the HP N54L micro servers? If so, how well does it work? I would still consider building my own, but those servers are pretty cheap.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 12 Old 09-25-2013, 08:51 AM
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I got WHS2011 because it allows installation of its backup client on up to 10 PCs. Other media server OSes don't come with a backup client. If all your installs are W7Pro then it wouldn't matter since those can backup to a network drive but W7 Home Premium (which all my PCs are) cannot backup to a network drive. At the price of WHS2011, it's hard to beat when you factor that in alone.

WHS2011 works well on my E-350 motherboard if that helps to compare. If you're going to be RDP'ing or using the WHS dashboard a lot I found having WHS2011 installed on an SSD improved performance of those dramatically. I have mine installed on a 64GB SSD. There are numerous guides/forum topics around the 'net on how to do that.

You can run CrashPlan on WHS2011 to backup your PC client images and media.

 

 

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post #3 of 12 Old 09-25-2013, 09:22 AM - Thread Starter
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My wife's laptop is W7Home, so I wouldn't be able to do a network backup with that one... and that's probably the most important computer to have backed up.

Regarding CrashPlan, I wasn't very clear.... As an alternative to WHS2011, could I run CrashPlan on a W7 server and do full image backups of all my other W7 clients?

Thanks.
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post #4 of 12 Old 09-25-2013, 09:26 AM
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For $35 today... nothing compare to it in the features or functionality. It's a proven winner and the other options costs $$$ (they are good too though )

WHS2011 is really about all you get for $35- not about being the very best- but being plenty good for almost nothing in cost.

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post #5 of 12 Old 09-25-2013, 09:36 AM
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Edit: Guess he heard me typing about him, LOL wink.gif

Can't go wrong with WHS2011 for what you are looking to do.
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1438027/mfusicks-how-to-build-an-affordable-30tb-flexraid-media-server-information-requested/1700_100#post_23769450

Mfusick posted a special for it on his thread linked above. If I were looking today I'd jump on it. I paid $100 bucks for it when it first came out and it was totally worth it.

I use it with a blu ray drive to back up and store my movies, pictures, run PLEX Server on it and have it back up all the computers at home. It has worked out nicely.

The only thing I would suggest from what I've gathered is that you do Flexraid vs. StableBit. That is what I plan to do when I get more drives going.
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post #6 of 12 Old 09-26-2013, 04:19 AM
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FWIW, I have it installed on an N40L, and it runs fine. The N54 is a little more robust, so you should have no problems. If you are getting one, there is a special today, (it says 329.00, but there is a MIR that drops it to 269.00) you won't really need the bundled 3.5 bay, and I really would look into an extra stick of RAM. I really have had only one issue, and I believe it's install related. not an issue with the Microserver at all.

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post #7 of 12 Old 09-26-2013, 05:24 AM
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Indeed, for the current asking price, WHS2011 is pretty much unbeatable. Add in 3rd party drive pooling (Drivebender, Drivepool etc) and you're ready to go. It works great, and is very stable.
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post #8 of 12 Old 09-26-2013, 08:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback. I just ordered it from Newegg for $35. smile.gif
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post #9 of 12 Old 09-26-2013, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbo75 View Post

Thanks for the feedback. I just ordered it from Newegg for $35. smile.gif
Me too!
Problem now is I have approximatly eleventy billion posts & arguments ro read about Drivebender, Drivepool & Flexraid to try and determine which add-on I want to use.
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post #10 of 12 Old 09-26-2013, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WylieKylie View Post

Me too!
Problem now is I have approximatly eleventy billion posts & arguments ro read about Drivebender, Drivepool & Flexraid to try and determine which add-on I want to use.

Drive bender simply replicates your data across disks. It is meant as a replacement for the drive pooling feature that home server 2003 had. It was being developed right along with 2011 and should be as stable and reliable as Microsoft's version. No improvement in speed, but you do have some backup.

Drive pool I'm not familiar with, but judging from the name, it's probably just a program that lumps all the drives together into a single drive letter (a "JBOD" array). There isn't any data security in that kind of arrangement and no gain in speed.

There's a lot of fans of flexraid on this forum. Data security and some improvement in speed. I'm not an expert on that since I do a traditional (card-based) RAID 5 for my data with my OS on a separate drive and another separate removable drive for backups.

Whatever solution you select, make sure you understand what it's strengths and weaknesses are and make sure you know how to recover in the event of a failure. If you're not confident and comfortable with your recovery options, you're setting yourself up for trouble.
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post #11 of 12 Old 09-26-2013, 07:29 PM
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Drivepool and drivebender are mostly similar, I think. I've used drivepool since installing WHS2011 and its been great.

Flexraid is more powerful and more expensive. Which one is better for your use depends on many factors.
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post #12 of 12 Old 09-28-2013, 04:56 AM
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Indeed Drivebender and Drivepool do pretty much the same thing. If you're just after basic drive pooling, either of these will do. If you want to build some resiliance into your storage, Flexraid will do this. Personally, I rely on good old manual backups. I feel more comfortable knowing I have a full copy of the data offline if I need it.
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