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WHS Hardware? RRS feed

  • Question

  • What do you think. Will hardware manufactures start making products for us WHS homebuilders? I can imagine a WHS motherboard designed specifically for WHS, or a Case, Power Supply. Several opportunities in hardware. But I doubt that the potential buyers will be enough for the effort.

    Friday, August 31, 2007 5:02 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    As "Label" "design for WHS", maybe we will see, that I am sure of, but hardly will see it in many hardware manufactures.

    Hardware going too fast for the software OS to catch up with them, example here the Intel P35 chipset.

    Back to WHS issue, yes, but if the seller like HP and a like, put more addon interface, utilities and a like, then builder and hardware for WHS lable will be less desire issue.

    My best.
    Friday, August 31, 2007 5:15 PM
  •  

    The greatest potential, if not necessity, will come from motherboard manufactures and cases to start.  Places like newegg will have a category “home server” in order to cut down on returns due to people purchasing mobos that do not work with windows 2003, and cases built for the home server category.  We have some cases that we can use for a home server purpose, but there are trade-offs.  Soon I think we will see case builders will ship small cases, with external usb, four HD bays, and setups to include removable hard drive bays (you only install the HD). 

     

    I believe the main issue is drivers.  If all drivers work for windows 2003, then it would not become necessary to have a “home server” category.  I think the products are already out, but companies need to ensure they include drivers for windows 2003.

     

    The potential for a home server is great.  After a while, I’m sure we will see the home server becoming the hub for multimedia files, home automation, etc. 

     

    You will always have people who will build their own hardware, no matter if a desktop or home server.  I see small companies springing up to build home servers along with maintenance agreements for other small companies to install, train, and maintain the home server. (By small companies, I mean law firms,  small restaurants [non chains], etc.)

     

    I explained home server to a couple of business owners and they immediately saw the need for such a product.  They are not “tech heads” but they showed great interest in automated backups alone as most places do not backup their computers.   The main factor, of course, is the low cost of entry for a product of this nature. 
    Friday, August 31, 2007 6:22 PM
  • Yes that is what I was thinking. Motherboards and cases are exactly what I think could be designed for WHS. It seems to me that a Mobo designed for WHS could easily have functions built in that would work with the OS therefore less potential for "issues" during and after install. Cases could be built smaller and more effectively hold just the necessary hardware for WHS.

     

    Friday, August 31, 2007 8:44 PM
  • WHS motherboards are in the pipeline now. At the moment, the only one that's had any publicity (that I've seen, anyway) is this one from Gigabyte, but I have to believe that there are others. I haven't seen this board actually for sale anywhere, but it's possible that it's only available to volume purchasers right now.

    Or you can pick up a decent micro-ATX or mini-ITX board that runs efficiently, put it in a slim case of some flavor, and have pretty much everything you're looking for today.
    Saturday, September 1, 2007 1:34 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi,

    Additional info about the motherboard above as Ken posted:

    Betanews

    My best.
    Saturday, September 1, 2007 2:06 PM
  • I've considered a micro or mini and a small case but the ones I've found only have room for 2 drives. I would think that a perfect case would have room for 1DVD Rom, and 4 Hardrives. And still be small. Might be too much to ask for. Could drop the DVD and just put one in a USB enclosure if the MOBO would boot from it. Then only need room for 4 drives.

     

     

    EDIT- Just looked at the board. I want that board, unlesss I see a better one before it is available. LOL Cool to see that they are on top of things in the hardware side. I was afraid that there would be too small of a target to make it worthwhile.

     

    Saturday, September 1, 2007 2:07 PM
  • Something to be aware of when building a small WHS is heat. You want to use internal drives because it looks like WHS won't use an external drive for certain things, but when you stuff a lot of internal drives in a case, you can build up a lot of heat. The HP unit is, I suspect, a true marvel of heat management. Smile I want to see lots of internal pics of that sucker. Smile

    Options include using eSATA or SCSI for your drives, or installing a RAID cage with it's own fan to cool the drives. Using a RAID cage introduces it's own space issues. If you want to have 4 drives in the cage, you'll need 3 5.25" external bays. I only know of a couple of µATX minitowers with three external bays, and I wouldn't trust their cooling. Also, you should choose a low-power processor (more power consumption=more heat), the right motherboard, etc. If you can get your motherboard to boot without any graphics adapter, try one that doesn't have integrated graphics. Stuff in a cheap PCI card for the installation, and take it out afterward. (Note: this should work, but I can't prove that it will work, as I haven't tried it.)

    I'm still looking at the possibilities, but don't have any hard answers...
    Saturday, September 1, 2007 3:50 PM
    Moderator
  •  Ken Warren wrote:
    Something to be aware of when building a small WHS is heat. You want to use internal drives because it looks like WHS won't use an external drive for certain things, but when you stuff a lot of internal drives in a case, you can build up a lot of heat. The HP unit is, I suspect, a true marvel of heat management. I want to see lots of internal pics of that sucker.

    Options include using eSATA or SCSI for your drives, or installing a RAID cage with it's own fan to cool the drives. Using a RAID cage introduces it's own space issues. If you want to have 4 drives in the cage, you'll need 3 5.25" external bays. I only know of a couple of µATX minitowers with three external bays, and I wouldn't trust their cooling. Also, you should choose a low-power processor (more power consumption=more heat), the right motherboard, etc. If you can get your motherboard to boot without any graphics adapter, try one that doesn't have integrated graphics. Stuff in a cheap PCI card for the installation, and take it out afterward. (Note: this should work, but I can't prove that it will work, as I haven't tried it.)

    I'm still looking at the possibilities, but don't have any hard answers...


    Hi,

    It will work Smile

    In some BIOS, you need to disable the boot error option.

    My best.
    Saturday, September 1, 2007 4:14 PM
  • Ahmad, I've tried it in the past. Some systems will POST, and some won't. It's up to the hardware manufacturer and BIOS vendor to allow it. I'm not so much concerned about that, though, as I am about WHS booting successfully. That's what I haven't tried, though conceptually it should work; there are many servers out there that are just as headless as WHS.

    Or are you saying you've done it? Which would be cool. Smile
    Saturday, September 1, 2007 5:59 PM
    Moderator
  •  Ken Warren wrote:
    Ahmad, I've tried it in the past. Some systems will POST, and some won't. It's up to the hardware manufacturer and BIOS vendor to allow it. I'm not so much concerned about that, though, as I am about WHS booting successfully. That's what I haven't tried, though conceptually it should work; there are many servers out there that are just as headless as WHS.

    Or are you saying you've done it? Which would be cool.


    Ken,

    I know it can be done, ok, I just shut down the server, removed the pci card, booting.

    And it working Smile

    I just login to the whs console, RD .etc, all working, not even error in the event viwer, looking to my computer/hardware device manager, simply WHS remove the display driver.

    My best.
    Saturday, September 1, 2007 8:36 PM
  • Cool, thanks!
    Saturday, September 1, 2007 9:01 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi,

    Ken, you most welcome!

    My best.
    Sunday, September 2, 2007 12:20 AM
  • As far as the cooling issues go, I am using a 5 into 3 backplane (5 - 3.5in drives in 3 - 5.25in spaces) and have no cooling problems at all.  In fact, the 3 drives I currently have in the backplane run slightly cooler than the single drive I have in my full tower (with 5 fans).  The one I am using is from AMS, but there are a couple other companies that sell them through newegg.  Each drive tray is aluminum and the whole unit is one large chunk of aluminum, so the thing is like one large heatsink.  Plus there is a fan on the back of it.  If the fan dies or the drives get too hot, the backplane will shut them down.  You can adjust the settings with jumpers on the back.  I believe they also make a 4 into 3 and a 3 into 2 unit.  I have been very happy with it so far. 

    I have been monitoring the temps with the HDDLife tool, who by the way are developing a version of it specifically for WHS that is integrated into the console.

    Thursday, September 6, 2007 4:09 PM