Impressions after using WHS for a week or so RRS feed

  • Question

  • First of all, my setup is different from the "typical" one in that I did not set up a 2TB server that would hold all of my data as backup(s). I currently have two stationary and one mobile PC with a total of ca. 800 GB of data, where recorded TV shows make up for the most of it. A 2TB server would make sense considering future data to come (more TV shows).

    Instead I've set up a rather small server with a 80 Gig spare hd. Connected to the server are an older home built box with XP Home on it and my laptop, a current Core Duo machine with Vista Ultimate. The latter is my working machine.

    My home network is set up using a wireless access point/router/switch combo (100 MBit/s).

    The installation of WHS was very easy. After that I added two accounts, installed the connector software and that was it. No problems at all, everything worked stable and reliable.

    My main interest was to test the backup/restore feature as suggested in the documentation. So far it works fast, considering that this a 100 MBit network. Of course, I'd strongly suggest using Gigabit Ethernet if you have large files, like videos. A backup of 8 GB from my XP box took less than 20 min, restoring that backup by booting from the restore CD worked equally as fast and with no problem.

    I still have to figure what the capabilities of WHS are, regarding the streaming and sharing part. Anyway, it seems that Vista and its WMP 11 take care of what is available after changing the network type to "private".

    Since I'm a big fan of virtualization I've also set up a WHS-VM. I can connect to this VM via RD and/or network shares. Of course, one of the main intentions of WHS is to function as an independent backup device. Therefore it doesn't make to much sense to have it run within a VM that resides on one of the machines that in turn would neeed to be backed up to that very same virtualizied server.

    Besides of this I'm amazed as to how fast WHS does run inside a VM (VPC 2007), even on a 2 GHz, 1GB RAM XP box. OTOH, contradicting my own thougts, using WHS inside a VM and backing up the vhd-file(s) frequently would make up for a nice alternative, driving you nuts when you even try to think about a comprehensive backup concept ;-)

    So far, for my simple setup, WHS works fast and stable. I was surprised how small WHS really is on the harddrive, still less than 5 GB on the system partition.

    What do I miss? Wizzards! When I set up a client by installing the connector software I'd like a wizzard to pop up at the end of the installation, guiding me through the process of copying the files to the server that I want to have copied to the server.

    Also, when I attach an external hd, I'd like to have another menu item within the autorun menu, "Copy contents to your account" (or similar) that, when clicked on, would engage the mentioned wizzard, allowing for the selection of my files, grouped by categories.

    As of now, the server more or less sits just there, being what it is, with not much communication to the user.

    Friday, March 23, 2007 7:38 PM