Microsoft Windows Home Server

Having been using Linux as my home server for many years, I decided to give Microsoft Windows Home Server a go.

Hardware: I'm using an old Intel Xeon 2.5Ghz CPU on server board with 4Gb RAM. It has onboard Sil3112 RAID with a mirror onto 2x 200Gb SATA drives. Additional storage come from stripped 4x 1.5Gb SATA drives attached to a SATA4000 Sil3114 RAID card. Old IDE DVD ROM for installation.

Installation: This was from the CD media (always remember CD/DVD should be master on IDE on Intel Boards) and Sil3112 driver added using a USB stick. It actually marked the mirror as a mirror and did the installation. 4 restarts later, the server was up and starting the update process.

Pros:
1. Couldn't get the Sil3114 software stripe working on Ubuntu. On WHS the drives where added as extensions to the data volume in the interface.
2. Very well priced for a Windows 2003 server with 10 user connections
3. Backup process very simple for Windows clients

Cons:
1. It's Windows
2. More resources required.

Summary:
Pleasantly surprised and all my services still running on the network. Xtreamer connects no problem and I'm watching HD podcasts over the network. For the first time ever I have a bare metal restore option for my notebooks and desktops at home.

I would strongly suggest looking at Windows Home Server for a very good home server for anybody not willing to take the plunge into Linux yet. At a RRP of R880 it is also very affordable.

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