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Request Feedback on Following Add-ins I'm considering, some that cost money. RRS feed

  • Question

  • I really don't want to clutter my WHS console or WHS in general, but I think there's a few add-ins that will be of use. I already have Disk Management add-in and it has been very useful. Not sure why this same functionality wasn't built into WHS in the first place, but I digress.

    That being said, I am considering the following add-ins, and want to get some feedback from others that have tried these if there's any glitches or other compromises to consider by using these? Two of them (I listed them last) you have to buy, but are alerady known commercial products (Avast and Diskeeper). 

    (1) Lights Out - How well does this work, and will it compromise anything? My PC backups are done in the middle of the night, and I only periodically save or browse the shared folders. However, this may all change when I update my PC's to Windows 7 as I am considering putting my User folders on the Server.

    (2) Duplication Info - I think it would be good to know how files are distributed among the hard drives. I may just install this anyhow, check things out, and then remove it.

    (3) Remote Alert - Just be good to have a convenient way to track logons.

    (4) Advanced Admin Console - Seems like it would be nice to get more info without Remote Desktop to Server.

    (5) Avast! Anti-Virus $$$ - I already have all my PC's using the free home version of Avast. Is there any reason to run this on the server? Is there a better anti-virus package for WHS?

    (6) Diskeeper $$$ - From these forums many say don't bother defragging, but then again, since this IS a file server, there's tons of files being added and deleted on a regular basis.

    Thanks for feedback!
    Monday, August 3, 2009 4:30 PM

All replies

  • My opinion: Avast! is worth the money, and Lights Out may be worth while if you need the type of power savings it can provide, but skip the rest. Some are antithetical to the design philosophy of windows Home Server (which is to be simple, exposing as few knobs and dials as possible), and in the real world some are less effective than the vendor implies.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Monday, August 3, 2009 7:40 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks. Considering the fact that I bought WD Caviar BLACK drives instead of GREEN ones (same price, thought it was a good deal), I now realize I should have just gone with Green ones. So power savings would be nice. Although I'm not sure if there would be much of a significant difference in power useage. Maybe 5W overall (I have 5 x 1TB Caviar Black drives).

    I think Anti-virus is a good idea of course. Just not sure how well Avast would work or how well any anti-virus interfaces with WHS.
    Tuesday, August 4, 2009 4:29 AM
  • Mark, should you have any issues with LightsOut please post your questions here or (better) go to the official support forum over at http://forum.wegotserved.com/index.php?showforum=89.

    Martin
    LightsOut - Power Management for Windows Home Server http://www.home-server-blog.de/add-ins/lightsout/#en
    Tuesday, August 4, 2009 8:34 AM
    Moderator
  • I have Avast! for WHS (the family pack) at home. I like it, and it's been quite reliable (including catching and cleaning a virus my wife brought home from the office :P ).
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Tuesday, August 4, 2009 9:29 PM
    Moderator
  • Mark,

    Tried Diskeeper on a testserver.
    Can not see the benefit of running this product or any other defragmenting software. IMHO it only adds additional (and unnecessaury) stress to your harddisks.

    Lights Out:
    Except for energy savings - which I was told it is doing nicely - it will addtional stress your hardware (switching the server on/off a lot).  As Windows Homer Server was designed to run 24x7,  I do not use it and for this I would not recommend it.

    From you list of addins I can only recomment Avast! Anti-vrus:
    great product, great value for money if you are looking for a goot ant-virus product for your network!

    - Theo.
    No home server like Home Server
    Wednesday, August 5, 2009 9:32 AM
    Moderator
  • Theo,

    do you think that 2 or 3 standby/day will significantly decrease the livetime of your server hardware?

    Martin
    LightsOut - Power Management for Windows Home Server http://www.home-server-blog.de/add-ins/lightsout/#en
    Wednesday, August 5, 2009 9:56 AM
    Moderator
  • Yep (IMHO).
    Thermo cycling (cooling-down/heating-up) of electronics (chips as well as internal bindings), the spinning-up/down of the harddisks, power spikes on internal capacitors, etc. will shorten down the lifetime of your hardware or at least negatively affect its MTBF. For more on the arguments supporting this see for example here or here.

    Not everyone agrees on this and of coarse it all depends on what one calls 'significantly'.  Some are arguing that the reduction in lifetime due to power cycling is well within the limits of the avarage lifetime expectancy of consumer hardware.

    Personally think both arguments are through. So for daily use of a desktop I try to minimize power-cycling: power it on when needed, power it down at the end of the day. Other systems either run 24x7 or are powered down for several days or more. I strongly beleave that cycling the power multiple times a day will bring trouble.
    - Theo.

    BTW: I also think we are off-topic here. If anyone likes to discus on this topic I propose to move to a separate thread?





    No home server like Home Server
    Wednesday, August 5, 2009 8:32 PM
    Moderator
  • Yep (IMHO).
    Thermo cycling (cooling-down/heating-up) of electronics (chips as well as internal bindings), the spinning-up/down of the harddisks, power spikes on internal capacitors, etc. will shorten down the lifetime of your hardware or at least negatively affect its MTBF. For more on the arguments supporting this see for example here or here.

    Not everyone agrees on this and of coarse it all depends on what one calls 'significantly'.  Some are arguing that the reduction in lifetime due to power cycling is well within the limits of the avarage lifetime expectancy of consumer hardware.

    Personally think both arguments are through. So for daily use of a desktop I try to minimize power-cycling: power it on when needed, power it down at the end of the day. Other systems either run 24x7 or are powered down for several days or more. I strongly beleave that cycling the power multiple times a day will bring trouble.
    - Theo.

    BTW: I also think we are off-topic here. If anyone likes to discus on this topic I propose to move to a separate thread?





    No home server like Home Server
    A bit OT, but good info. I don't disagree that power cycling can negatively impact hardware, but to what extent. I can't see myself running the same hard drives two or three years down the road.  I am also looking at power/cost savings. But I realize at avg 65w and $0.125/kwh (taxes, surcharges, etc) ~ $6.00 per month. I'm not going to cry over that. It's well worth $6/month for the data security. I might save $1 or at most $2/month with the add-in if I really schedule it well.
    Thursday, August 6, 2009 2:40 AM