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.

Comments

  1. Have you tried doing the raid as a software only with Linux. Works well and you don't need to use drivers. Also we've found since the operating system is aware of the drives it can have speed benefit as it can use multiple threads.

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