Old Dell (SFF) - How can WHS help? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am new to Windows Home Server.  I currently have the following setup for my home network:

    3 wireless laptops (2-W764, 1-xp32) and 1 wired Desktop (W764-pro).  The desktop has 2-300gb mirrorred HDs and a 500gb backup (photo enthusiast).  I have cable internet and a Netgear Router.  I use SyncBack SE to backup all the clients on the network to the 500gb drive.

    I recently got an old Dell GX520 from my wifes work.  Unfortunately, its the Small Form Factor that only has 1 HD bay. Its a good solid system and I would gladly invest (to a limit) any suggested upgrades, RAM, internal/external storage...  My question is "How can WHS help me and make some use out of this newly refurbished machine?"  I wouldnt mind setting up a web server to share my photos as well.  Any help would be appreciated.

    Wednesday, December 22, 2010 1:09 AM

All replies

  • You have a couple of options.

    First, I'm not, honestly, terribly sanguine about the long-term reliability of "an old Dell GX520". Consider buying better (newer) hardware.

    Failing that, install the largest hard drive you can (there should be documentation on the Dell support site that will help you figure out what interface you'll need), and get yourself an external hard drive or two for server backups and backups of the client backup database. Rotate these off-site regularly (weekly is a good plan, in my opinion). To make backing up the backup database easier, you'll want the "Backup DataBase Backup" (BDBB) add-in. This isn't as good for expansion as the first option, obviously. Don't use external USB drives as regular server storage. Too many people have had problems with the drives just dropping out of server storage one day.

    As for hosting a photo web site, Windows Home Server isn't really designed for that. The Remote Access web site will give you access to your photos from afar, but not in the gallery format you would probably prefer. There's another add-in, Whiist, which makes adding a basic gallery a little easier.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, December 22, 2010 2:16 AM