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Topic # 30349 5-Feb-2009 09:53
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So I finally got some bits together and built up a box for WHS to run on. 

The OS is installed and set up, and I've applied all available updates so it seems I'm up to speed with it now.

I've set up remote access to the server so I can connect over the web, and using RDC from work.  That's all working well too.

At the moment all my music is copying over the network to the WHS from my HTPC so that I can remove the music drive from the HTPC and put it in the WHS over the weekend.  I'll be migrating all my data over to the WHS this weekend and installing 6 more drives in it.

Aside from that, I don't really know much about WHS or what it's capable of.  So my question is:  What do you all do with your WHS?  What are the first things you set up?  What Add-ins do you find essential?

Keen to hear any responses!

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  Reply # 194232 5-Feb-2009 11:39
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gehenna: Aside from that, I don't really know much about WHS or what it's capable of.  So my question is:  What do you all do with your WHS?  What are the first things you set up?  What Add-ins do you find essential?

Keen to hear any responses!


Along side my music I store

Shares I use:

Videos - TV, Movies (DIVX, XVid, MKV etc) for streaming to Media Center PC
Photos - Family photos for streaming to Media Center screen saver and safe keeping.
Backup - Backing up Laptop, Media Center, Mum's computer via Hamachi.
DVD's - Uncompressed Video_TS directories for streaming to Media Center.
Blu-Ray - Uncompressed Blu-ray disc backups for streaming to Media Center.

Addins I Use:
My Movies for WHS - Mainly for adding metadata (covers and movie info) to Media Center.
Disk Management Addin - Keep track of disks, temps, useage, activity.
WOL Adding - Wake up computers for remote control via Internet.

Otherwise I just let it do it's thing in the corner of the room and keep me entertained and feeling safe in the knowledge that all my PC's are backed up and completely restorable to a working state via an easy boot disk.

Like any server, once it is setup you should leave it alone and let it do what it needs to do.

cheers
db




Home Server: AMD Ryzen 2700, 64GB, 56TB HDD, HP Smart Array P420, Define R5 Case, 10GbE, ESXi 6.7, NextPVR, Emby Server, Plex Server, 2 x HDHomerun.
Lounge Media Center: NVIDIA Shield TV 16GB: Kodi18.a2/SPMC17a11 with Titan, Emby, NextPVR, 250GB SSD.
Kids Media Center: NVIDIA Shield TV 16GB: Kodi18.a2/SPMC17.a11 with Titan, Emby, NextPVR, 120GB SSD
Test Center: NVIDIA Shield TV Pro 500GB. Plex Media Server, Kodi18.a2/SPMC17a11 with Titan, Emby, HDHomerun.
Main PC: Ryzen 7, M.2, 24GB RAM, Nvidia GT730 + RX 570, 512GB ADATA SSD, 2 x 2TB HDD, 2 x 24" Panasonic LCD TV, Blu-ray drive, Windows 10, Kodi18.a2, Emby, Titan.


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  Reply # 194243 5-Feb-2009 12:10
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Well, some of the main reasons I use it are:

Backups of all clients - if you install the connector software that comes with WHS all the Windows (only!) Pc's on the LAN are backed up automatically, and if they fail can be fully rebuild from the recovery CD to point of the last restore.  Note that this is a BARE METAL restore so no need to install Windows or anything, it is all done for you!

Sharing media - works great on both PC's and my PS/3 so I can stream movies and music around the LAN (Note - I hav a Gigabit LAN so I can stream HD movies no problems, but wouldn't count on that over Wifi)

Print Server - not a specific to WHS but makes it tidy

Redundancy of data - as long as you have more than one hard drive in the server and duplication is turned on, you are more protected against hard drive failure.

Remote Access - all your warez, I mean data is accessable from anywhere you have an Internet connection

And as for the first thing I would do, that would be to install PowerPack 1 to get the fixes for the data corruption issue, then install the client software.

For the more technically focused, you can install Sharepoint Services (which is a free download from Microsoft) and install it, gives you nice frameworks for colloberation websites etc.



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  Reply # 194253 5-Feb-2009 13:06
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Thanks all.

So I've been setting up the desktop and stuff remotely from work today.  Got it running pretty well.  It's very like my server 2k3 boxes at work without the AD stuff obviously. 

I've installed SQL 2008 Express because I have had a copy of MyTV for some time now, and just never got round to playing with it.  I think I'll set it up soon but I'd rather have the database served off WHS than on the Vista box.

I played with My Movies many years ago and hated the UI to be honest, but if there are good features that I can use without having to utilise the UI I'll give it a go.  Does it populate metadata in the DVD gallery of VMC? 



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  Reply # 194254 5-Feb-2009 13:07
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Oh here's another quick one - anyone running AV on their WHS?  Thoughts for/against?  If yes, what's your pick?

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  Reply # 194375 5-Feb-2009 21:56
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Hi Gehenna,

Welcome to the whs nz family.

I use my server for nightly backups of the many pc's at home.

I recommend 'lights out' as a cool power saving app if you don't want your whs running 24/7 - this way your clients wake up the server when you start up a pc in the house.

The app also wakes up the server so it runs the nightly backups etc.

I was not fussed having to open guest account access for the server in order to access content on the shares using mce via xbox 360 extender.

This has now been sorted with the Win7 beta I am running.

I also run Utorrent on my server and find this very useful - all my content by default heads into a mirrored folder on the server.

Keep in touch

Paul

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Reply # 194434 6-Feb-2009 10:23
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I used to have my WHS running 24/7 but don't do it anymore...

Anyway what I have installed is Grid Junction (it supports most USB UPS), Whiist (to create photo albums automatically), Avast AV, Advanced Admin Console and Diskeeper WHS.

Diskeepr is great not because of defragmentation (it helps) but because it tells you exactly how much free space you have in each drive (and when you get to eight or more drives you might want to know when to start replacing things).

I will post a screenshot in another thread.







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  Reply # 194462 6-Feb-2009 13:29
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Thanks for the comments guys. 

I'm also interested in what kind of compatibility there is with the Mac platform?  Is there a WHS console app for the Mac so I can access it from my main computer?  I use my iMac predominately, my flatmate uses a Windows laptop, and I have a windows laptop for work but it's getting replaced by a 17" MacBook Pro shortly.  Even my partner uses a MacBook so I find that I'm RDC'ing into the WHS instead of using the console. 

I see it's recommended to use the console instead - is there an obvious problem with my RDC'ing into it instead?  Or is this just a cautionary thing for people who aren't used to using MS server software.  I run Server 2k3 and 2k8 networks at work so I'm pretty comfortable with using the OS itself and backing out of any mistakes I might make.



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  Reply # 194516 6-Feb-2009 18:47
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Well I think I'm coming to the end of a long but painless set up of WHS, and migration of data from my HTPC.  I posted a shot in the thread Mauricio started today to show my drive config, I've got just under 4.5TB at the moment which I'm very happy about.  There's plenty of space for more in the case, just need to get another PCI SATA controller.

I ran into issues with slow data transfer rates, which I read is very well known and talked about already so I won't go into it, suffice it to say TeraCopy helped me immensely. 

I've set up a bunch of shares on my WHS, and have added them to my library on the HTPC.  So my Music, Videos, and DVD library have all the same content they had before, only now its all stored on the server in my office :)  No more noisy drive accesses and overheating anomalies for my HTPC from now on I hope!

Streaming of video is extremely responsive on the HTPC: normal Video; 720p MKV content; and DVD movies ALL load instantly and play without any lag or jitters.

All in all I'm very happy with how things have turned out.  Now I just need to enable some folder replications to make things redundant and I'm all set!  Not to mention the WAF factor hasn't suffered at all as she's been at the cricket most of the day haha.  Oh and she's now got 200hrs worth of DVR space instead of the 50 hours or so I used to have on the HTPC.  Win Win :)

Thanks for the comments, I'll check back in a few days to see if there are any other add-ins I should be using, and possibly to get some help with setting up MyTV and My Movies since I've still got the weekend to play with things (was expecting to be doing the set-up for longer than just today!)

 

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  Reply # 194522 6-Feb-2009 19:25
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freitasm I used to have my WHS running 24/7 but don't do it anymore...


Thats interesting as the whole purpose was its always on always have the last backup.

What happens if say you pc dies and have just loaded something new it would not be backed up?

There really is a is Im sure a great reason for this and is there some WHS addon you run like auto sleep or is a only on and do a backup at a certain time etc.

paul151 I recommend 'lights out' as a cool power saving app if you don't want your whs running 24/7 - this way your clients wake up the server when you start up a pc in the house.


Always wondered about that leaving the pc on 24/7




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  Reply # 194526 6-Feb-2009 19:35
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Lipex666:
freitasm I used to have my WHS running 24/7 but don't do it anymore...


Thats interesting as the whole purpose was its always on always have the last backup.

What happens if say you pc dies and have just loaded something new it would not be backed up?

There really is a is Im sure a great reason for this and is there some WHS addon you run like auto sleep or is a only on and do a backup at a certain time etc.



I just changed the backup times to be during the day instead - from 12pm though 6pm. There's no reason for my WHS to be on from midnight until 7am when no one is watching anything, there's no backups running. I've saved a lot of power by reducing the active hours.

Remember it's not an always-backup. It's an once a day backup. You can manually start it, but the backup will run automatically, at random times, once a day, within the backup window time.

If your PC does a backup now and you install something in the next hour, and then it crashes, then whatever you've done after the backup is gone. But that's how all backups work, right?

If it's something really important, you can always start another backup as soon as needed.





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  Reply # 194553 6-Feb-2009 23:44
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With 'Lights Out' it can be configured to wake the whs and ensure it's running during the backup period.

I have mine set to between 3a-5a as all the pc's in my house are usually left alone at this hour - sometimes teenagers can flumix that!

The app will never put the server to sleep if a backup is occuring so I have not concerns there either.

For me it works well, the whs is running when I am using my pc, stays awake for 10 mins after the last client on the lan is heard from and then puts the server into hibernation.

From client start up to whs wake up and access takes me less than 25 secs.

Hope this info helps.

Gehenna - really glad it's going well for you :-)

P.



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  Reply # 194763 8-Feb-2009 17:41
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I'm running into a few network stutters and the occasional lock up of my VMC in things like the DVD gallery - presumably because I'm only connected through my 100Mbps router for now, until I get back to work on Monday and can build myself a cat6 cable to connect to my gigabit router. 

I also guess it's because other people on my network are accessing shared files at the same time.  Still, pretty frustrating that the read speeds on a 100Mbps network are so flakey.  I've read lots about it only happening with data on the storage pool, and that data on actual drive shares that aren't part of the pool work at normal speeds.  Sigh, hopefully something that can be addressed in a future update.

EDIT:  Forgot to ask, how do you all approach the issue of your hard drives being powered on all the time?  I'm interested in what I've read so far about having the server WOL and sleep at certain times, but for me it's not practical - i actually need it on 24/7 for a while until I get some things sorted.  I've set the drives to be turned off after 1 hour.  Presumably this is after 1hour of idle time.  Anyone got a better idea for now?

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  Reply # 194764 8-Feb-2009 17:52
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I am running on a gigabit network here at home and I don't have any problems playing HD or DVD on my Media Center from my WHS. I did have problems when using Wi-Fi - mind you all was a bliss with the Netgear HD Kit but my wife prefer to not have more wireless stuff around the house than we already have...

I don't see problems with access to shares in the pool or not - and my pool is 100% USB-based (six Seagate FreeAgent drives 500GB and 1TB) plugged to two USB PCI cards (yes I have twelve USB ports on my WHS).





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  Reply # 194769 8-Feb-2009 19:23
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I'm running 100mb here also, no probs with content over the net / stuttering but then perhaps not the number of file share users/issues you speak of.

I also want to upgrade to a gig switch/router but don't plan to upgrade from cat5e just yet as it seems (from what I read) most cat5e will handle the extra bandwith without any problems.

Agree with Mauricio, wifi is woeful for content streaming.

You could run the wol app I speak of and just set a calendar entry to keep the box awake for x days / x hours?? Just a thought. I don't use the calendar feature much except when I am out of town and want to ensure my whs is awake so I can remote in.



 


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