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Newbie building a cheap WHS system RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi

     

    I am completely new to WHS and I am planning to put together a cheap system.  I plan on using it for backing up 2 PC's and ASP.NET / PHP web development along with hosting a small website.  I do not plan on streaming huge video files though.

     

    The hardware I am considering is:

     

    Intel D525MW Atom D525 1.66GHz VGA Out Mini-ITX Motherboard

    1 x Seagate Barracuda © Green SATA 6Gb/s 2TB Hard Drive

    1 x Corsair 2GB DDR3 1066MHz/PC3-8500 Laptop Memory SODIMM

    CiT MTX-003B Black Mini ITX Case (300 watt PSU)

    Windows Home Server 2011

     

    This build will come in at just below £200

     

    Can anybody give me their views on this and possible problems or things to consider.  I plan on running the system 24/7, so will also want something that is energy efficient, reliable and quiet.  Also if I later decide to replace M/B for a higher spec, will I need another copy of WHS.

     

    Your comments will be much appreciated.

     

     Thanks.

    Wednesday, August 31, 2011 1:44 PM

Answers

  • ... and ASP.NET / PHP web development along with hosting a small website.

    This is not something Windows Home Server is good at, or designed for. There are ways to do it anyway, but you will definitely be "rolling your own", and there's a very limited amount of support available to you even via the community for this. Have you considered plain old Windows Server 2008 R2?
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, August 31, 2011 2:46 PM
    Moderator
  • You are just about hitting the lower end of the hardware specification with that build - I would be inclined to double the memory to 4GB for not a lot of additional outlay. You make no mention of making provision for backing up the server - a disk failure will lead to a total loss of your data without it.

    As Ken says, WHS2011 is not ideal for what you are trying to do - hosting a small web site should be easy I know but that's not what it is designed to do and requires you to be able to set up IIS. W7 might be a better alternative for that with something like Apache.

    Replacing the motherboard may work or you might need to phone Microsoft and plead your case.


    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.
    Wednesday, August 31, 2011 3:28 PM

All replies

  • ... and ASP.NET / PHP web development along with hosting a small website.

    This is not something Windows Home Server is good at, or designed for. There are ways to do it anyway, but you will definitely be "rolling your own", and there's a very limited amount of support available to you even via the community for this. Have you considered plain old Windows Server 2008 R2?
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, August 31, 2011 2:46 PM
    Moderator
  • You are just about hitting the lower end of the hardware specification with that build - I would be inclined to double the memory to 4GB for not a lot of additional outlay. You make no mention of making provision for backing up the server - a disk failure will lead to a total loss of your data without it.

    As Ken says, WHS2011 is not ideal for what you are trying to do - hosting a small web site should be easy I know but that's not what it is designed to do and requires you to be able to set up IIS. W7 might be a better alternative for that with something like Apache.

    Replacing the motherboard may work or you might need to phone Microsoft and plead your case.


    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.
    Wednesday, August 31, 2011 3:28 PM
  • Hi Ken,

    Thanks for the reply.  I could go the Windows Server 2008 route, but I don't want to get into any heavy duty server maintenance, just to do some take home development work.  I don't know much about WHS or WS2008 but I would imagine that WS2008 doesn't have the user friendly, intuitive interfaces as WHS.  As I understand, the system is built on the WS2008 R2 OS and has the same IIS server.

    Will WS2008 still do all the tasks that can be done on WHS without being over complicated ?

    Thanks.

    Wednesday, August 31, 2011 3:33 PM
  • Ok, I think I have decided, I am going to change the hardware spec to 2 x 2 Tb drives, 4 gig ram.

    I will give Windows Server 2008 R2 and a good book a try instead of the WHS and see how I get on with that.  I decided that I need the ASP and PHP development features more than a nice easy to use interface.  Also IIS 7.5 has add-on support for PHP.

    Thanks Ken and Phil.

    Wednesday, August 31, 2011 5:35 PM
  • ... I decided that I need the ASP and PHP development features more than a nice easy to use interface. ... 

    This was going to be my next question.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, August 31, 2011 6:20 PM
    Moderator