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Any hope for Home Server usage? RRS feed

  • Question

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    Can you disable Home Server's disk management and use different raid controllers and arrays for certain types of files?  If so how is it done?  I unfortunately, bought an OEM version of Home Server and had to abort the install at the request to format the drives because I can't afford to have my data destroyed and computer's performance degraded. 

    I have Win 2000 Server set up on a Supermicro X5DA8 system board with dual Xeon 2.8 processors, 3 GB ram, and 26 drives and am interested in Home Server if I can control where and how files are stored on the server.  The system supports 26 drives on 3 drive controllers:  an AIC-7902 dual channel Ultra SCSI 320, a 3Ware 7506-12, and an Areca ARC-1120.   A good amount of tweeking has resulted in good server performance.

    The 7902 supports a pair of Seagate 15K rpm, 73 GB Cheetah drives in software Raid-1 (110 MB/s  avg. read) as the boot drives , and 4 Seagate 10K rpm, 37 GB Cheetah drives in software Raid-0 (240 MB/s avg. read)  as swap, temp, utility drives.  The 7506-12 supports 6 WD 500 GB AAKS drives in a Raid-5 array (56 MB/s avg read) for general computer systems backups, and 6 IBM 180 GB drives in a Raid-1 array (90 MB/s avg. read) for storing Internet downloads, and backup copies of system setup and software installation CD and DVDs.  The ARC-1120 supports 8 Samsung 1,000 GB SATA-II drives in a Raid-5 array (306 MB/s avg. read)  for multi-media,  ripped CD and DVDs, home videos, music, and pictures.  As you can see keeping multi-media on the fastest array is important.  In addition, all data is protected by the raid 1 and 5 arrays.

    Some of Home Server's wizards seem desirable, but can it be installed on this system as a dual boot  with the Win 2000 Server, and be trusted to keep the current drive and data type setup.  That way I could back up each booting OS for disaster recovery if the system suffered a catostrophic failure.   I cannot imagine how Home Server's dumbed-down install which reformats everything and then uses what appears to be a JABOD raid-1 approach to file storage could give better performance and data security than I have now.

    Thank you!

    Tuesday, January 20, 2009 1:39 AM

Answers

  • When you install Windows Home Server for the first time, it will format any drive that's connected. After installation, in order for a drive to participate in the storage pool (duplication, backups, shares, etc.) you will have to let WHS format it. RAID is unsupported (it will normally work, but it's up to you to achieve that); you should read this WHS team blog post for more information on that. And dual booting is also unsupported and (because of the way WHS requires control of the hardware) unlikely to work very well.

    So in your situation, you would be better off building a new server and transferring your files to it a drive at a time, or (more likely, since you seem to like to tweak) perhaps building a Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008 based server.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Tuesday, January 20, 2009 2:19 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • When you install Windows Home Server for the first time, it will format any drive that's connected. After installation, in order for a drive to participate in the storage pool (duplication, backups, shares, etc.) you will have to let WHS format it. RAID is unsupported (it will normally work, but it's up to you to achieve that); you should read this WHS team blog post for more information on that. And dual booting is also unsupported and (because of the way WHS requires control of the hardware) unlikely to work very well.

    So in your situation, you would be better off building a new server and transferring your files to it a drive at a time, or (more likely, since you seem to like to tweak) perhaps building a Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008 based server.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Tuesday, January 20, 2009 2:19 AM
    Moderator
  •  Now I wish I had not bought Home Server already.  I haven't yet decided whether to spend $640 for a SBS 2003 R2 Premium upgrade from SBS 2000.  Either version would do the file serving and drivers are available for my bought in 2003 hardware.   I hope 2003 has better and more secure versions of the SBS 2000 back office applications.   SBS 2008 would probably require a new server since some server's hardware lack Vista drivers.  

    I sometimes think that one day I might want to use SQL Server to build a data base of my movie and multimedia  collection so that I could get movie information like Microsoft's Cinemania used to have for videos.  Or, is there something like Cinemania that can be searched for what to watch with tonight's mood?  Another question is whether SQL 2003 can handle graphic images in a data base like Borland's Paradox data base software could do, I know SQL 2000 could not.  Do you know? 

    It would be nice to be able to use a smart phone to query the data base while in a store so I wouldn't buy duplicates of videos I already own, so the web functions of a server seem useful.  Then, maybe SUSE Linux is a better, more secure, and cheaper answer--if only there wasn't the steep learning curve.

    I want to store over 800 movies (and growing) on a HTPC's hard drive system so I can eliminate the search for "where is that Laser Disk or DVD" I am sure I bought some time ago.  Shelves of DVDs and Laser Disks in alphabetic order don't last long because family members don't put them back in the correct place and it is hard to scan the collection for action, comedy, drama, westerns, etc. types of movies or by director, actor, actress, etc.

    Thanks.

    Sunday, January 25, 2009 9:31 AM