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6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy Folks,

Just thought I'd share some experience since this forum has been so good to me.

The past week or so I decided to try Windows Storage Server 2008 and see how well it works within the home network.

So here's the situation; I have a NORCO RPC-4020 with about 10TB of disk space and a 24 port 3Ware card. I've always wanted to have a central storage server to be used with everything. I looked at OpenFiler - which is really good - but it's a linux build, and I didn't want to expend that much effort porting my filesystem.

I installed Windows Storage Server 2008 Basic and attempted to install the iSCSI target software. No-go. The iSCSI target software requires the Enterprise edition. Typical Microsoft marketing. I re-installed Enterprise and installed the iSCSI target software. I was happy to see that the iSCSI software will use the current filesystem to make virtual LUNS. As I test I made a LUN, mounted it locally, copied some recorded tv, and mounted that LUN on a WMC box.

Using Microsoft's iSCSI initiaiter the WMC box sees the drive as local storage. So I can select that drive as a valid recorded tv storage area.

My first test was to stream some recorded tv to an Xbox 360 over wireless. (As a side note my network is 100mb) I pleased to see no quality/streaming issues. That of couse was using drv-ms/WTV files.

I took it a step further and added a target for my ESXi white box. It connected just fine, formatted vmfs and I built a vm using that target.

The server set up CIFS shares without issue. I have a home domain server, so the use of DFS was set up very quicky. I use My Movies, so I set up a shared folder in WMC (Windows 7) and then set a few My Movies to the UNC. It streamed without issues. As I had expected.

Using the iSCSI target on my WMC box gives me the ability to truly have cetralized storage. I don't have to jump through any hoops to record tv on a network share. And having the ability to manage the target from the server is nice.

There are some disadvantages to using Windows Storage 2008.

1. It's an OEM product, so you have to either get the MSDN/Technet version, or buy a SAN with the Storage Server installed. That's very expensive and something casual users wouldn't do.

2. The server has to be on all the time. There's no sleeping.

3. You need the Enterprise version to use iSCSI

4. A gig network for iSCSI targets would be a good idea. (I can get by on 100mb for now)

This was just a quick FYI. I don't know if anyone else is using this, so I thought I'd share anyway.



· Registered
263 Posts
cool idea, i dont know enough about enterprise level software but iscsi is a great idea for a home server.

so you are running a basic RAID 5 setup and then mounting the iSCSI to the Windows 7 machine.... can you also access the windows 2008 from network shares so that other computers that I dont want to connect via iSCSI can still access the data?

screenshots and pics of the hardware would be awesome...

I have a newly built Norco 4020 with 8x750gbb drives.... it is running WHS but I would love to try windows 2008 since I have a technet account...

· Registered
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Greetings Adidas4275,

I actually have a 7TB RAID6 and a 3TB stripe. (I'd use the term RAID0 but that's actually incorrect) I use the stripe for recording TV and ripping my DVD's.

I have DFS (Distributed File System) running on the network. The server has a bunch of DVD shares. DFS helps to maintain a consistent namespace. So even though you have a share that's on \\\\server1\\dvd, you can tell DFS to use \\\\domain\\shares\\dvd. If you ever rename or move that share to another machine you just need to point the DFS namespace\\share to the new area. I find it works well using a program like My Movies.

But to answer your question you can set up shares and not use iSCSI. Storage Server supports network shares as well as NFS and iSCSI.

If you use Windows 2008 in any form you can't stream media from it natively. You'd have to use something like TVersity. I tried to at one point. It installs Windows Media Player, but the "Share Media" is grayed out. Unless you plan to share out your media using UNC's and have a different WMC pc use that share, that would work.

I'll take some pics of my datacenter tonight. I don't have time right now 'cause I have to get ready for work.

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