locked
minimum hardware config RRS feed

  • Question

  • I need some advice on 3 options to getting a WHS - install on an old P4 I have, build a barebones system or buy the HP pre-built system.  From an economic point of view, installing it on an old system is cheapest but is it practical to install WHS on a Pentium 4 1ghz machine.  I know the specs say this is adequate but what would I lose doing this over the HP pre-built system?  This P4 only has ATA HD support and 100mb nic so I would probably put a SATA drive controller in it and add a gigabit nic.  It wouldn't have hot swappable trays for the hard drives. Am I missing anything else?  The HP is fairly cheap ~ $500 with a 500gb drive.  WHS software is $150 plus a SATA controller and gigabit nic for say $50 so the net is $300 which is about what it would cost to build a barebone. 

    any advice would be greatly appreciated
    Monday, September 8, 2008 10:04 PM

Answers

  • I would ask myself what is the intended use for the unit and what is the PC environment it is being installed into.
    In other words, if you want to use it for backup of existing PCs, how many are there, how much storage is required, if there are numerous PCs to back up how long will this take over 10/100 ethernet assuming all of the PCs only have 10/100 NICs, etc.  If you are using it for central storage of all of your files and photos, how much storage space will you require for what you have now and for expansion in the future.

    It is still practical to install WHS onto older/lower-end hardware since WHS/Server2003 does run acceptable on a small powered system, however, if the system is too dated it will usually be more costly in the long run to expand.  WHS also performs its drive extender feature in software, so migration and file duplication etc. will take longer on older hardware, and your access speed to the server during this time will be impacted.  Plus if it is running 24:7 most older hardware has a higher power consumption.
    Monday, September 8, 2008 10:37 PM

All replies

  • I would ask myself what is the intended use for the unit and what is the PC environment it is being installed into.
    In other words, if you want to use it for backup of existing PCs, how many are there, how much storage is required, if there are numerous PCs to back up how long will this take over 10/100 ethernet assuming all of the PCs only have 10/100 NICs, etc.  If you are using it for central storage of all of your files and photos, how much storage space will you require for what you have now and for expansion in the future.

    It is still practical to install WHS onto older/lower-end hardware since WHS/Server2003 does run acceptable on a small powered system, however, if the system is too dated it will usually be more costly in the long run to expand.  WHS also performs its drive extender feature in software, so migration and file duplication etc. will take longer on older hardware, and your access speed to the server during this time will be impacted.  Plus if it is running 24:7 most older hardware has a higher power consumption.
    Monday, September 8, 2008 10:37 PM
  • I also started on a slower machine for Windows Home Server. Since the slow CPU had an impact on the overall performance in relation with Drive Extender, I finally upgraded the system with a new mainboard, CPU and RAM. This made the system not only more performant, but it runs also much more silent now.
    So the cheaper options come with a payload in context of performance, running cost and noise (and maybe there are coming up also hardware faults much earlier like these darned blowing up capacitors on some mainboards), while the expensive option gives you a performant, hopefully energy saving and more silent system. The later would allow you also to run a few more add ons or applications on the server (although the later maybe unsupported).
    The HP has made it late to Europe, so I have it not seen in action. While it is a nice looking peace of hardware, with only one drive your choice is not supporting one of the most interesting features - folder duplication of shared folders. I wonder also, if this would be large enough to hold the backups of the PCs in your home network.
    So it really depends from the personal needs and the ambitions, you may have for the future with that system.

    (My own WHS is a self built Core2Duo system with 4 500 GB harddisks. Slightly more expensive, but really more powerfull as the HP system.)

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Friday, September 12, 2008 9:00 PM
    Moderator