Originally Posted by DeanM
I have a WHS 2011 setup for media streaming and backup. Media Streaming could be done with a Win7 or Win8 machine. In many ways it would be easier to deal with a Win7 or Win8 machine. No funky dashboard to deal with (I mostly just remote into my server), just normal folders and sharing of those folders.
I picked up a copy of Windows Home Server 2011 a few weeks ago when it was on sale for $30, with the intention of eventually building a budget server, to stay on all the time serving media content, along with hosting some multiplayer games such as Minecraft. But now I am having second thoughts. Basically, it is difficult for me to justify the expenditure to build a dedicated server, when I could instead build another PC that could accomplish some of the needed task of the server - and also provide regular PC duties for my family. Particularly if Windows 8 ends up including additional server type functionality. It seems I could get a lot more functionality and bang for the buck, if my server ends up providing my family with another full functioning PC, instead of sitting in a closet somewhere as a dedicated server. (The expense might be an easier sell to my wife that way as well, lol.)
My current HTPC as expected, ended up being used as more than just an HTPC, and is used also as a family PC, playing games, etc. Likewise, the HTPC that I am building now for my basement home entertainment system, I know will need to handle more than just HTPC duties. So now I am leaning towards using my second HTPC as a combo HTPC/Server, and skipping the dedicated server altogether. I realize for some folks needs, a dedicated server is a key component. But just thinking for my needs and low budget, perhaps it is not the right way to go, particularly because my family could use another PC more than simply a server.