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  • bdraper
    replied
    Pretty cool thread here that Pete started a while back. At least I thought the title was pretty cool, mentioned going back to paper and pencil, see http://board.homeseer.com/showthread.php?t=161762

    As for Windows Home Server, I am using Windows Home Server 2003 for backups and my NAS. I bought a HP MediaSmart Server EX487 a number of years ago, see http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/newsroom/pr...rDataSheet.pdf

    I believe I got it on sale on New Egg for around $350 (slepp a bunch since then) and it came with 2 1.5TB drives. I have since replaced them with bigger drives, maxed out the bays, upgraded the CPU and maxed out the memory. It just keeps on running and does a good job protecting our computers.

    WHS is a pretty cool piece of software if it is from Microsoft. I am currently protecting 4 workstations, and 4 laptops with it. The cool thing is if a hard drive fails on a computer, you just stick in another one, grab the WHS CD, fire it up and point to the backup you want and done. Depending on the drive size you should be back up and running in 30 to 60 minutes. We have done this multiple times with hard drive failures, and other stuff... Very cool…

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  • bandook
    replied
    Originally posted by NeverDie View Post

    It seems as though a computer which boots from an SSD drive, but connected to a home server via a gigabit ethernet wire, may not need a spinning hard drive at all. Or would it need a 10 gigabit connection to not notice any loss in performance? Not sure how much overhead is in gigabit ethernet, or 10 gigfabit ethernet, but doesn't most ethernet use about half the bits just for overhead?

    Comments?
    I'm not sure if you are talking about running programs from the server or just transferring files. But in my experience my hard drives are the bottleneck in my gigabit network. I was seeing around 115 Mb/s when the drives were new, sequential read/write, which was the max I seen between the drives on the same computer, WD 1tb blacks. With full 1tb drive I am seeing around 90Mb/s. Max theoretical speed of gigabit lan is 128Mb/s. Transferring between two sata 3 ssd's you will obviously have a bottleneck in a gigabit lan.

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  • NeverDie
    replied
    I just looked into it further, and this is what I found out:

    1. It looks as though clusters are how Microsoft handles the case where a particular storage space server goes belly up. Makes sense for an enterprise or datacenter, but probably cost prohibitive for most home users to do that, so I guess (if nothing else) a more economic damage control and recovery strategy would just be ordinary server backups, although I suspect better, yet inexpensive options than merely that also exist for home users (e.g. running Carbonite, or something notionally similar, in the background).

    2. Also, an ordinary windows workgroup seems like a simple way to do basic sharing of whatever's in a Storage Space. Not sure how that compares to Home Server, but it's simple and easy even if it's rather basic. Not sure what the performance will be, or how it would compare to running real server software. A real server could do write-back and other caching and do tiered storage using SSD's, so actual performance should be a lot better than the performance benchmarks shown in the video I linked to above. Also, de-duping and ongoing, automatic background verification of data integrity (via hashes like MD5 or SHA or whatever) would be very useful. Because of those advantages, I still want to sort out what the best option would be.

    In the meantime, I think I'll start by doing Storage Spaces, because it looks to be quick to do and because I can leverage hardware and software I already own to do it at little to no incremental cost. I wish it (or similar) was integrated with some smart and capable home server software. Maybe Windows Home Server 2011 with Stablebits would have better/best performance? I wonder if Ubuntu, or an Ubuntu app with a great UI (a real GUI, not just a command line), would fit the bill?
    Last edited by NeverDie; December 16, 2013, 05:33 AM.

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  • NeverDie
    replied
    Originally posted by Uncle Michael View Post
    I was going to mention storage spaces, but you said you wanted easy to setup and use. From what I've read, it can work well, but it has some limitations that can come back to bite if you don't set it up carefully.
    You've touched on the key concern that up to now has kept me away from this category: if there's a bug or other problem with the software or NAS system or whatever, how easy is it to recover your data? At least with a regular (unencrypted) hard drive, you can probably recover most of what's there yourself using non-exotic disk recovery tools. I've done it before, and the recovery tools are fairly straight forward and easy. Based on the article you linked to, it sounds like those recovery tools may not yet exist for Storage Spaces. If so, that's a legitimate concern. On the other hand, I'm not sure to what degree they exist for stablebits or other NAS/RAID solutions either. Wish I knew.
    Last edited by NeverDie; December 16, 2013, 04:55 AM.

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  • Uncle Michael
    replied
    Originally posted by NeverDie View Post
    Are there major downsides to using Windows 8 Storage Spaces as the home server, and if so, what are they?
    I was going to mention storage spaces, but you said you wanted easy to setup and use. From what I've read, it can work well, but it has some limitations that can come back to bite if you don't set it up carefully.

    http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/nas/n...indows-8-drive

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  • TeleFragger
    replied
    Originally posted by Pete View Post
    and....if you DIY your NAS you can purchase Windows Home Server 2011 for only $50 on Amazon. I purchased this a year or two ago to use for testing HS2.

    http://www.amazon.com/Windows-Server.../dp/B0050TVAWS
    not sure if yall saw my windows home server thread...

    i have used whs v1 then whs2011 and windows server 2012 r2 essentials aka whs2012...

    out of them all... whs 2012 seems ok.. but i dont know bout the file duplication.. in whs v1 i had a plugin where i could see what files are on what drive.. that gave that comfy feeling... whs2012 and no know where what file is where doesnt do that...

    also whs 2011 and 2012 do not use the first drive into the pool.. so if you take 3 x 4tb drives... in the first whs.. you would have 20gb c: and remaining all that space then turn on duplication....

    in whs2011 and 12 you have to suck it up on the first drive and put the other 2 into a storage pool then decide if you want it duplicated or not....


    im really on the fence and contemplating going back to whs v1 only as whs 2012 looked good until i did a windows update on 1 patch and my machine wont boot anymore!!!!

    luckily i didnt overwrite my whs2011.. so im back up... whs doesnt do file duplication or any of that so im hosed on backups.. contemplating saying screw it and keep it running and robocopy over my files weekly.. with a mirror switch...

    but like said.. good ole whs v1 (server 2003 sbs based) seemed to be the kicker...

    ALL HS features worked great...

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  • NeverDie
    replied
    New to the current landscape, so I'm still getting oriented.

    I can see how Windows Home Server might have been a viable solution prior to Microsoft castrating it. I guess now you need stablebit or similar to restore the core functionality that Microsoft removed?

    Are there major downsides to using Windows 8 Storage Spaces as the home server, and if so, what are they? Would I still need something like the de-balled Windows Home Server 2011 to somehow serve up the Windows 8 Storage Spaces?

    This video on Storage Spaces:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7R6fU0Tn6g
    (the meat of it doesn't start until 2 minutes 40 seconds into the video, so you may want to just skip directly there) makes it look as though you can slice up a pool of random (not matched) disks into three different spaces, each with a different mix of tradeoffs (speed versus capacity versus resilience-to-failure). Because the narrator even recommends the use of the less expensive green drives, it would seem that red drives (the more expensive enterprise or RAID orientated drives) aren't needed. That would be handy, because I have a motley collection of older (but little unused) drives I could possibly throw into the drive pool.

    It seems as though a computer which boots from an SSD drive, but connected to a home server via a gigabit ethernet wire, may not need a spinning hard drive at all. Or would it need a 10 gigabit connection to not notice any loss in performance? Not sure how much overhead is in gigabit ethernet, or 10 gigfabit ethernet, but doesn't most ethernet use about half the bits just for overhead?

    Comments?
    Last edited by NeverDie; December 15, 2013, 10:07 PM.

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  • Uncle Michael
    replied
    Originally posted by NeverDie View Post
    I'm just wondering whether there are any obviously good choices for an easy-to-setup-and-use Ethernet file server that "just works" out of the box. i.e. By way of contrast, what I don't want is some Taiwanese designed RAID box that only a EE could love or that requires a Linux guru to configure.
    Sometimes 'easy-to-setup-and-use' conflicts with 'full featured and extensible', but on the really easy to use side you could consider a router with USB ports. My ASUS RT56U allows me to attach two USB external drives. There was virtually no setup involved and they appear on my network as normal windows drives. There's no automatic backup or mirroring, etc., so it depends on where you come out on the simplicity . . . capability continuum.

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  • Pete
    replied
    and....if you DIY your NAS you can purchase Windows Home Server 2011 for only $50 on Amazon. I purchased this a year or two ago to use for testing HS2.

    http://www.amazon.com/Windows-Server.../dp/B0050TVAWS

    Yup; typically the Linux base NAS boxes only provide the "meat" of the NAS functions with a simple web base gui interface. No more no less.

    They are not really built as multifunction "doo whats"; but more single function NAS "doo whats".

    Then to contradict the above statement over the years the additional NAS hardware stuff though has been a shared USB printer connection or external drives connections using USB or SATA ports, auto pc backup widgets, UPNP, on and on....

    Such that while searching make a list of your personal favorite functions then match it up with your choices or wish list of what you want in a NAS box.

    I am typing this message as I copy over some stuff to my sister/brother-in-law's NAS box which is really a single drive connected externally to her main desktop PC; which I just installed maybe a month ago. Also checking on her XBMC box just recently installed "over the wire" as she lives a bit more than an hour away. Yup; and using both OS worlds here; IE: Wintel and Linux. The most difficult part of the endeavor was putting a catXX cable and faceplate by her LCD TV which is some 40 feet of crawlspace under their ranch home to the home office she has. Geez busted a catXX jack in half punching down the wires on the carpeting (not recommended) and also breaking the wires while doing this. Found it easier to just use a small piece of wood placing the catXX jack on the wood while punching down the wires. That and the house is all plasterboard walls; versus plan old drywall. No fun cutting this stuff.

    Its nice to have a NAS for stuff these days; still here backup to DVD's (family pictures et al); purchased a blue ray burner a couple of years back; but still haven't backed up to blue ray yet.

    I would recommend though always keeping a hard copy of your stuff; IE: whether its a hard disk drive in a portable box or on to DVD or Blue Ray. With different RAID levels and so forth; you do get a bunch of redundancy with a NAS; but should the unforeseen happen its always best to keep a hard copy of stuff somewhere.
    Last edited by Pete; December 15, 2013, 01:55 PM.

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  • Pete
    replied
    and....if you DIY your NAS you can purchase Windows Home Server 2011 for only $50 on Amazon. I purchased this a year or two ago to use for testing HS2.

    http://www.amazon.com/Windows-Server.../dp/B0050TVAWS
    Attached Files

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  • bandook
    replied
    I would recommend a Windows server if easy to use is at the top of your list. I've been using server 2011 for over 2 years and have not had one issue with it. It's very stable, secure and reliable. If you are not in to building your own box, you can install the server on any computer that is at least recommended for Vista. Just make sure there is enough room for the drives you think you need, and of course enough sata headers. Toss in a raid controller and 4 - 3tb drives in raid 5 and you will be good for years. I'm not using raid at the moment. I backup my most important data locally once and to the cloud. I have my drives pooled using stablebit drive pool. Just keep throwing in more drives as I need them. Right now at 8tb. I use stablebit's drive scanner to track health.

    Like mentioned, freeNAS is an excellent backup solution too. Used that for years before whs. When I was using it, samba was pretty slow but I'm sure it's matured a lot. You can run freeNAS on pretty much anything.

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  • vasco
    replied
    I'm also using a Synology NAS for 3 years without problems. DSM websystem works like Windows and this types of NAS can be a server on there own with packages to add. Also power consumption is way lower than a full Windows server.

    Mine runs in RAID5 four 1Tb WD disks with a total storage of 3Tb. Use the internal backup software to do incremental backups to external ESATA disk weekly. Store this backup disk at my work.

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  • Pete
    replied
    BTW you will not see too many "off the shelf" with software NAS boxes that are not running some sort of embedded form of Linux.

    I'm thinking too that the "off the shelf" Wintel embedded 1 U server went for some $1500 at one time with no drives in it.

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  • sooty
    replied
    Not the cheapest solution but I have used Synology NAS devices reliably for many years.

    I'm currently using a DS213+ unit with a pair of 3 TB WD-Red disks in RAID 1 which has been running about 6 months now without any problems. I chose this unit because it's very good on power, very quiet and I currently don't envisage needing more than 4TB of storage.

    I still have a DS207+ unit and other than power outages etc this unit has been running 24/7 for over 6 years and its still going strong on the original pair of Seagate disks albeit the system fan is a bit noisy now.

    There are a lot of settings & options etc but I find the configuration interface (DSM) pretty user friendly.

    Paul..

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  • Pete
    replied
    Here I have 3 (4) NAS boxes which were purchased off the "shelf".

    3 of the NAS boxes have proprietary linux software software. Each of these have 4-5 drive slots. One of them has 5 hotswap slots. These cost me from $250-$400 each sans drives. The 4th off the shelf NAS box is off right now. It has embedded Windows server on it with 4 hot swap drives in a 1U case. It has dual redundant power supplies.

    Then I have two more NAS boxes which were DIY's.

    One is in a large tower with 4 drives inside and a 4 drive hot swap cage on it. It is running on an Intel core duo. It runs with a simple plug n play BSD based NAS software called FreeNAS. It'll run from a memory stick.

    Second DIY is using an 8 drive hotswap cage built into the case with an AMD based mITX board. This is my favorite NAS box right now. I built it in baby steps and used an 8 port SATA III card in it. The motherboard though does also have 6 SATA ports on it such that the small footprint NAS can run with some 14 drives today. I guess I like it because of all the time I spent building it. Yup; this box and configuration today is plug n play; but it took a bit of research to get it going. I used an easy to find IBM M1015 controller and flashed it with an SAS controller firmware.

    I do have one more NAS that I was playing with and is still working like new. Its a neat concept of a single drive case with both a network and USB interface on it. You can even put a few on a network and create a raid setup using autonomous boxes.

    Suggesting a DIY here as you can get the best bang for your monies.

    Other than that there are literally hundreds of different NAS boxes out there in all price ranges.

    Have a look here at what the DIY NAS gurus do:

    http://www.servethehome.com/

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