WHS setup and install questions RRS feed

  • Question

  • Just received an HP EX495 today. Before I plug things in and press the power switch, I have a few questions.

    1) My simple network at this time is a Westell 327W modem/router. Can I bring up a faster router, ex. D-Link DIR655, cabled to the 327W, then cable the 655 to the server?

    I do not want to disturb the running network to much to start with.

    2) What are the pros/cons of doing this?

    3) I want to use the server to store music and deliver it to an amplifier. I have looked at the Squeezebox briefly and it looks like it can do what I want to do. Are there any other suggestions, and/or any tips or tricks to do this?

    4) Is there a simple way to ship music to the amplifier that would not require the expense of something such as a Squeezebox?

    5) I intend to add space to the server in the future. What is the best way to set up the space for that eventuality? The server is obviously for backing up at least 4 pc's plus storing music, photos, and research files. Many of those files will not exist anywhere else so need to be protected. I like the ability to have multiple copies on the server. Eventually I intend to provide backup for the server also, but that is much later. (You have to work with the resources you have, aka funding.)

    Thursday, April 8, 2010 2:08 AM

All replies

  • 1) Install an unmanaged gigabit switch. I like Netgear, but there are other good manufacturers. Connect the switch to your router, then your computers to the switch.

    2) Chaining routers will lead to a multiple NAT situation, which requires careful configuration to get working. Using a decent switch instead, there's no downside.

    3) You can do that. Don't try to play the music from your server; instead use it to stream the music to a device connected to your amplifier. The device will presumably be more attractive than your server. :)

    4) Does your amplifier have the ability to play streamed audio directly? Other than that, no.

    5) Until you can take a copy of the data in the shares off-site, you don't have your data protected. Windows Home Server duplication protects against only one failure: the loss of a single hard drive. Admittedly that's the most common reason for data loss, but what about fire, flood, theft, extreme weather, etc.? Any of those could destroy your server entirely. In other words, make off-site storage a high priority.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, April 8, 2010 2:28 AM
  • 1) I am unclear regarding what a switch would do for me. Only one pc, which is not used often, is cabled in. Everything else is wireless.

    2) A little reading last night, I discovered that my ISP instructs me to change the 327W router to bridge mode before adding another router.

    I am thinking that it might be best to bring up the server on the existing network, then make network changes at a future time. I prefer not to disturb the working network too much at this time. Just adding the server may be enough change for on stage.

    3 and 4 may need to wait for a network change.


    5) Since I am not in a good position with backups at this time, any backup is a good backup. For planning purposes, I intend to eventually have an offsite backup service, in addition to transportable copies of some data. I just want to do the initial setup to make it easier to get there. I am concerned with needing to unwind something later which could have been positioned better.

    I have been gambling all this time regardless, so whatever I do for backup with the server now will be immensely better.

    New question - Are there any good books available for guidance on WHS and the HP EX495?


    Thursday, April 8, 2010 11:49 AM
  • You can put your current router in bridge mode if that seems a better plan to you. It will effectively no longer be a router, which is all that I was really suggesting. A switch instead of a second router would allow your internal network to run at gigabit speeds without the expense of a router that would have fewer network ports, and which might not support gigabit speeds.

    If you decide to go with another router, you should make sure you choose one that supports wireless LAN connections (unless you currently have a wireless access point, in which case you should be okay), as you may no longer be able to use the wireless features of your current router to access your home network if you put it in bridge mode. As for the DIR655, do a search here in the forums; results have been spotty with that router.

    For backups of your server shares, all you will need is a USB external drive large enough to hold the contents of your shares. (Or two, if you want to rotate them off-site regularly.) I really think you should make it a priority, even if it means you buy less storage for your server now. Note that the backup database isn't backed up using the server backup feature. There is, however, an add-in (Backup DataBase Backup, or BDBB) which will let you do so.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, April 8, 2010 12:47 PM