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Topic # 115687 3-Apr-2013 16:58
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I found I like to have a centralised file system so have been looking at NAS.  I have Microsoft Windows 8 Pro licences I am not using as I had problems with it disconnecting from my wifi all the time.
  However I could easily share files and folders with it.  It was easier than even Windows 7.  Have been down Linux root but honestly found I prefer Microsft for user friendliness.
  With Windows 8 Pro is it possible to use a a home server in that can I set up Windows 8 on the computer and have extra hard drives and raid 1 or 5 etc with it.
  If so if the system crashed and had to be reinstalled would the data on the raid still be intact or would have to start from scratch.
  Would I be better of with Windows Home Server.  Just that I have Windows 8 Pro here.  Windows Home Server says for 10 CAL.  If I wrecked my setups and reinstalled even though only 2 laptops and the Home Server would i have to buy another Windows Home Server operating system.
  I know there is FreeNas but it would be great if I can do it with Windows 8 as I have the licence and am more at ease with Windows.

Hope that makes sense.
Thank you




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  Reply # 792517 3-Apr-2013 17:04
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How many PCs connected?

I'd look into using Windows 8 with storage spaces

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/01/05/virtualizing-storage-for-scale-resiliency-and-efficiency.aspx



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  Reply # 792579 3-Apr-2013 18:09
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I intend having the main as a server then 2 laptops and 2 tablets able to access the folders on it. And then when my brother in law visits he will want to access to watch my videos and listen to music on it.




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Reply # 792589 3-Apr-2013 18:19
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Hi Nathan, thanks for that blog. Never found that in my google searches but that Storage Spaces will be fine for me.  Now to read more to fully understand it but yes that will be the road.
  As I said before I have tried Linux many times but I always come back to Windows as it just works and is user friendly.
Thank you for the help. Greatly appreciated




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  Reply # 792593 3-Apr-2013 18:32
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Hi, I would be very wary of Storage Spaces, I have read many threads where people have had issues with it.  Just google "storage spaces problems" to see what I mean.

And if you do have a problem there is very little software that can help.  Something to do with the way Microsoft designed it.

I think good old RAID 1 in SOFTWARE is an easy and safe way to go.  I run Windows Home Server 2011 with 2 x 3TB drives in RAID 1 using Windows Software Raid.  The best thing about this is if one drive fails, the other is readable by any Windows system.  RAID Controllers format the drive in a special format, making any drive unreadable if the controller fails.



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  Reply # 792599 3-Apr-2013 18:41
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timbosan: Hi, I would be very wary of Storage Spaces, I have read many threads where people have had issues with it.  Just google "storage spaces problems" to see what I mean.

And if you do have a problem there is very little software that can help.  Something to do with the way Microsoft designed it.

I think good old RAID 1 in SOFTWARE is an easy and safe way to go.  I run Windows Home Server 2011 with 2 x 3TB drives in RAID 1 using Windows Software Raid.  The best thing about this is if one drive fails, the other is readable by any Windows system.  RAID Controllers format the drive in a special format, making any drive unreadable if the controller fails.
oh that just put a spanner in the works.  I alos am hoping for something where if the motherboard fails or has to be replaced, the data will still be intact.  I know can restore from backups but just to put my files onto a Western Digital Mybook live took 3 days




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  Reply # 792609 3-Apr-2013 18:53
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I haven't tried it but a number of folk over at avsforums swear by FlexRAID (http://www.flexraid.com/) It's not free but the price seems reasonable to me.

(I haven't tried it because I'm very happy with Amahi as my home server using greyhole for storage pooling, but it is Linux so sounds like not what you want)

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  Reply # 792615 3-Apr-2013 19:06
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I'd recommend freeNAS for any local storage solution. It is based upon FreeBSD but is incredibly easy to install and is entirely accessed from a browser on a remote machine so running the server headless is perfect.

The underlying file solution uses ZFS which is the most safe way to store your files at the moment. To give you an idea how easy it is to have running I spent roughly an hour reading set up guides and installing the software one afternoon. My box is currently at just over a month of up time and still running perfectly.

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  Reply # 792621 3-Apr-2013 19:22
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Seeing at the OP said they where more comfortable with Windows, I still recommend Windows Home Server with RAID 1.  This was if a drive or even the motherboard fails, the other drive can be read in any other Windows machine, or even in a USB case.

Add in a USB External hard drive to the Home Server and you have both redundancy and backup, including base metal restores of all workstations.



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  Reply # 792627 3-Apr-2013 19:28
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timbosan: Seeing at the OP said they where more comfortable with Windows, I still recommend Windows Home Server with RAID 1.  This was if a drive or even the motherboard fails, the other drive can be read in any other Windows machine, or even in a USB case.

Add in a USB External hard drive to the Home Server and you have both redundancy and backup, including base metal restores of all workstations.
so if you had a hardware failure and had to rebuild with new motherboard etc, you could read the drives in the new setup and copy to your new raid.   I still like the idea of Windows 8 but may go Windows Home Server until the other problems sorted out. 




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  Reply # 792656 3-Apr-2013 20:35
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So, there are TWO SEPARATE things here:

1) Rebuilding the server
2) Rebuilding a workstation

If you have a WHS machine, and you have software RAID 1, and one of the disks dies, then yes, you can remove the other disk and read it in any Windows machines.  Or you could even break the RAID array on the server (which creates 2 separate disks with identical content) pull the old disk, put in a new one, backup the content, create a new array, and restore the data.

You can also have a USB (or internal) drive marked as a backup drive, which is a true backup (remember RAID is not a backup solution).  Then all content marked for backup (including backups of workstations) will be copied to the external drive.

For a workstation, if you install the WHS connector software, it will backup the entire workstation to the server daily.  On WHS v1 and v2 (and I think Windows 2012 Essentials but someone else will have to confirm) if the C: drive in the workstation dies, or the disk dies etc, you can rebuild the machine and restore ALL the data (programs, settings, files, etc) from backup by booting from a special CD, and performing a bare metal restore.

I have used RAID 1 in WHS v2 (which is based on Server 2008) for over a year with no issues, and even 'broke' the RAID back into two separate disks when I ran out of space.  I have performed a few bare metal restores.

I currently run Windows 8 64bit on my laptop (Samsung Series 9) with the connector to my WHS 2011 server, with daily backups.  I also have the server backing up to an external 2TB drive.

If you want to get a bit more paranoid about backups, you can buy Cloudberry for WHS, which allows backup of data to Amazon S3.  I have this too, but only for really important stuff.

Any more questions just ask and I will see if I can help.



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Reply # 793387 4-Apr-2013 18:37
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Looking at different reports and reviews and on storage spaces, I finally decided on Windows Home Server 2011.  I have ordered it.  I wasnt totally against Freenas etc but I wanted a reasonably friendly one and did prefer to stay with Windows based if possible.  Looking at the different systems found Windows Home Server 2011 meets all my criteria.  So now just wait for the software to arrive.
 




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Reply # 793695 5-Apr-2013 09:22
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Here is my Home server setup,
Just an old HP workstation in SSF format Core2 due 6300, 4G of Ram with add-in 6570 Card.
Storage: 1TB, 3TB, 500G and 4TB.
TV Tuner Card.
Window 8 ent with Media Center.
no Raid, i want my HD to work in any system (i do not understand why we need a Raid setup for share server other then RAID1 for less then 10 users)
RAID 1 just a mirror disk(s)
i have second copy of files i need backup. which only 30% of my data, so save me 70% of space for RAID1.

This server is an access point for all files and data.
it also a Media Center for my home use.
which work really well

So if you give up Raid setup, it will be much easier, and software RAID is not that fast, if you need speed.
if you need redundancy, any backup solution will do for you.

put this in mind too, in RAID 1 setup, if one hard disk has corrupted data, it will mirror to the second disk as well.



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  Reply # 793853 5-Apr-2013 13:47
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I'm also looking into building a new home server. After using WHS, am leaning towards the Windows Server Essentials route (hopefully). The main reasons are that I want to use some of the server technologies such as Active Directory and Group Policy.

Am looking at using Gigabyte Mini-Itx board (for wifi and dual onboard ethernet). Will likely put the OS on an SDD and mirror a couple of SATA drives for a working directory.

I like the idea of using iSCSI and a NAS as well, and am still on the conceptualisation on how I might make use of it If I were to build such a unit.





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Reply # 793934 5-Apr-2013 15:45
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TwoSeven: I'm also looking into building a new home server. After using WHS, am leaning towards the Windows Server Essentials route (hopefully). The main reasons are that I want to use some of the server technologies such as Active Directory and Group Policy.

Am looking at using Gigabyte Mini-Itx board (for wifi and dual onboard ethernet). Will likely put the OS on an SDD and mirror a couple of SATA drives for a working directory.

I like the idea of using iSCSI and a NAS as well, and am still on the conceptualisation on how I might make use of it If I were to build such a unit.



lol we got two old netapp 3040 in the office here, may be you can take home and use it as your NAS hahahaha
just joking. your power bill will be up to roof.

so how many users there will be? use AD and GPO at home is a nice idea but it will be unnecessarily complicate your setup.
you can give it a try and have some fun for it. but you will give up in time.
if you want to use iSCS Mini-ITX broad is out of the equation, unless you want to have a separate NAS box most M-ITX broad only come with 4 SATA port. i was looking for one in the past for over 6 ports, but no luck.
by the way most NAS is slower then your actual computer. your ITX mini pc with i3 CPU transfer speed will be much faster then most NAS. they use special OS to run, mostly linux base. but still not as fast as your low end pc.




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  Reply # 793945 5-Apr-2013 16:13
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I bought a HP Microserver to use with ESXi a couple of years back, shoved 4x 2tb drives in it, 8GiB ram and an extra network card, it's currently running 2x Debian servers, and 1x Windows 2008 server - for what I use it for it flies. So far it's been running for over 2 years with no issues, is silent and it's power draw is low.


If you can find one of these they're excellent machines, just do the job very well.




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