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Time for new hardware? RRS feed

  • Question

  • It's about time to replace my WHS V1 machine with the most recent version.  The question is: is my old hardware up to the task.

    The hard drives are being replaced with a couple of Western Digital AV-GP WD20EURS 2TB drives.

    The motherboard is a 4-year old Gigabyte GA-MS69GM-S2H and has always been reliable.  But, I'm looking towards the future.  Should I think about a mobo with Sata 6Gb/s capability (even though the WD's I've purchased don't have that capability) for media streaming, or is that overkill?

    I've heard it mentioned that it's a good idea to put the WHS software on one HD and put the storage on separate drives.  Is that still a valid suggestion with the new version?

    Thanks in advance!

    Monday, July 11, 2011 4:03 PM

Answers

  • SATA 6Gb/sec is total overkill for a media server. Your MoBo should be fine but would recommend 4GB RAM. No need to put the OS on a separate drive - it uses 60GB and the rest of the drive can be used for storage. A GB LAN would be useful.

     


    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.
    • Marked as answer by dj4005 Wednesday, July 13, 2011 9:04 AM
    Monday, July 11, 2011 5:53 PM
  • I'll preface this by saying I'm a minimalist. I don't buy hardware that's significantly overpowered for the task I want it to do. So...

    I would go for a relatively inexpensive "Sandy Bridge" setup with a fair number of SATA connectors (SATAII should be fine, if that's what you can find) and reliable Windows Server 2008 R2 drivers. You will want a WEI of 6.0 for CPU if you want to transcode HD video on the fly; that shouldn't be hard to achieve.

    As for how you use your HDDs, when you install you will get a 60 GB system partition on the system drive, with everything else devoted a the data partition. You can move all your data to other disks in your server, then delete the data partition and extend the system partition, without problem. This is different from Windows Home Server V1, which required much more difficult manipulations.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Marked as answer by dj4005 Wednesday, July 13, 2011 9:04 AM
    Monday, July 11, 2011 5:55 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • SATA 6Gb/sec is total overkill for a media server. Your MoBo should be fine but would recommend 4GB RAM. No need to put the OS on a separate drive - it uses 60GB and the rest of the drive can be used for storage. A GB LAN would be useful.

     


    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.
    • Marked as answer by dj4005 Wednesday, July 13, 2011 9:04 AM
    Monday, July 11, 2011 5:53 PM
  • I'll preface this by saying I'm a minimalist. I don't buy hardware that's significantly overpowered for the task I want it to do. So...

    I would go for a relatively inexpensive "Sandy Bridge" setup with a fair number of SATA connectors (SATAII should be fine, if that's what you can find) and reliable Windows Server 2008 R2 drivers. You will want a WEI of 6.0 for CPU if you want to transcode HD video on the fly; that shouldn't be hard to achieve.

    As for how you use your HDDs, when you install you will get a 60 GB system partition on the system drive, with everything else devoted a the data partition. You can move all your data to other disks in your server, then delete the data partition and extend the system partition, without problem. This is different from Windows Home Server V1, which required much more difficult manipulations.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Marked as answer by dj4005 Wednesday, July 13, 2011 9:04 AM
    Monday, July 11, 2011 5:55 PM
    Moderator
  • Struggling with same Q re. my almost four year old Gigabyte GA-MA69GM-S2H/BE-2350 box. The driving problem for me rapidly becomes the requirement to wipeout the existing data--every bit of it--to upgrade the OS. Even if the hardware was zero time, I'd struggle with that.
    Tuesday, July 12, 2011 5:05 AM
  • You can disconnect all but your system drive, then reconnect after upgrading. But if you do you will then need to deal with the messy situation that Drive Extender creates on your disks. And you will, in any case, not be able to upgrade and preserve your client backups.

    My recommendation is to build a new box, install the new version, and copy everything from one to the other.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Tuesday, July 12, 2011 1:32 PM
    Moderator
  • That's where I keep getting to.

    But then I start balancing that against:

    • bang for the buck. What is the value proposition in WHS11 vs WHSv1? the only remotely compelling features I'm seeing are server backup and DLNA compatibility vs. no DE, no Users shares, return of drive letters, 2TB limits, no TimeMachine support...
    • the future prospects of WHS. I'm already deeply committed to MS Money--I know what being abandoned by Microsoft feels like.

    So I'm still sitting on my wallet. Please don't scold me for cheerleading failure.

    Tuesday, July 12, 2011 3:54 PM
  • Dick

    What do you mean by "no Users shares" - no automatically created shared folder called "Users"? I just create a top level share for each user which works well.

    Other pros: 64 bit OS, slicker, better hardware support, easier 64-bit client support, SSD drive alignment, it works (for me at least).

     


    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.
    Tuesday, July 12, 2011 4:49 PM
  • Good reminder re. the 64-bit client issues. That's bigger than DLNA and on par with server backup.

    I might feel better knowing it's a 64-bit OS, but if it had essentially the same function and was 16-bit and I didn't know and couldn't externally tell, would I care? Well, the 32-bit to 64- seems about the same to me in terms of how it makes the thing function.

    Agreed re. hardware support but since my existing hardware is supported by v1, it's not a reason to make the jump to 11. Now, if I were building a new WHS machine and trading v1 vs 11, maybe that's a significant plus for 11. So's the fact that an 11 license is now cheaper than a v1 license.

    It does appear from what I've read to be more polished. $800 worth?

    Understand I can roll-my-own user shares at the cost of administration and a drive letter per user. These costs work against WHS11. On v1 all of this came along for the ride when adding a user name.

    Tuesday, July 12, 2011 9:33 PM
  • No need for a Drive Letter per user - all user shares can reside on the same Server disk and can be accessed by the desktop folder created with the connector install.
    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.
    Tuesday, July 12, 2011 9:47 PM
  • Ok... Correct my misunderstanding: I was under the (crazy wrong?) impression that ownership and security were set by the WHS11 UI at the share level and shares (WHSv1 "Shared Folders") in WHS equated to partitions which equated to drive letters? I must have missed something along the way? I thought I had read back in the Vail days of a relationship between the number of drive letters WHS post DE would need and the potentially disproportionate and uncontrollable consumption for individual user folders and the removal of the automagic user shares. I never bought "people don't want it/use it" as the reason for removing it. People don't typically use auto airbags either.
    Wednesday, July 13, 2011 1:23 AM
  • No. Security per share is set in the Dashboard (unless you override it with Homegroup). Each share can reside either on the same disk/partition or on different ones - the choice is yours (once again set and or moved in the Dashboard).
    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.
    Wednesday, July 13, 2011 11:20 AM
  • Got it. Thanks for the bit of education.
    Wednesday, July 13, 2011 11:58 AM
  • My pleasure!
    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.
    Wednesday, July 13, 2011 12:12 PM