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manwh0r3
Feb 22, 2003
Soy inocente... es mi primer día

From the main Windows Home Server thread a summary of what Windows Home Server:

What is WHS?

Windows Home Server very powerful home server with a lot of automation for novices and some powerful tools for the inner geek in all of us. Its runs a top a simplified windows 2003 R2 server. It features:
  • File and print sharing
  • Centralized backup
  • Disaster recovery functions
  • Single Instance Store
  • Health monitoring
  • Dynamic disk control (More on that later)
  • Windows Media Connect support
  • Remote access

Interesting. What are the system requirements?
  • Processor - 1GHz Pentium III or higher
  • RAM - 512MB RAM
  • Hard Drive - 80GB Internal Hard Drive
  • CD/DVD - Any Bootable DVD-ROM Drive (There will be no CD-ROM edition. Let it go)
  • Network - 10/100 Network Interface Card

But my linux server ran on a machine half as powerful...

The system requirements are a bit on the steep side but I did have WHS running fine on P3 500mhz. The only problem with running it on such a slow/old CPU was that it would take awhile to balance the drives and the web interface was also pretty slow. Apart from that it ran fine. The install will not let you install on a drive smaller than 80GB. Also, they recommend a 64bit CPU which I guess means at some point in the future it will only run a 64bit machine.

Talk up these automated backup features

When you install WHS for the first time, and the included software on all the PCs in the house it will automatically backup the computers overnight. Also it will create an image of the hard drive in case of catastrophic failures, which tend to happen with spyware to this day. I find this feature highly desirable, as sometimes rollbacks are still infected.

In essence you set it and forget it.

The way that it backs up the data is quite interesting, as it uses vistas Single instant store but in a more aggressive manner:

quote:

This means that the same data residing on more than one PC -- from Windows system files, applications and supporting DLLs to movies and MP3 tracks -- is stored just once. This drastically reduces the size of each image, and consequently the server's overall storage requirements. Subsequent backups are incremental, modifying only those clusters which have changed due to a file being added, edited or deleted.

quote:

They're seeing 15-19 TB of data stored in 300 GB or less of backup space

Also note: there is no support for domains.

Forget RAID. Embrace Drive Extender.

quote:

One of the truly unique features of Windows Home Server is Microsoft's home-grown Drive Extender technology which lets you add a hard drive -- internal or external -- and have its space added to the total pool of user storage instead of appearing to users as a new drive letter. It's not RAID, however, and doesn't require the use of identical drives.

Kick that controller to the curb, and kiss the inherent flaws of RAID goodbye. Now you can pool all those old HDs together in one box. No longer will your 4GB drives collect dust, now they can be put to use (till WHS tell you they are about to fail). You’ll need two or more drives to allow the data mirroring to happen, but with 500gb drives now at their lowest, half TB to full setups are a possibility with significantly less risk.

The fact you can use Firewire, USB, IDE, and SATA drives in one sitting makes me glee with joy.

Is this different than the disk spanning that's in XP? -Thug Bonnet

A evolution of the ideal. Where as WHS creates redundancies of the data in case of failure, disk spanning does not. Also, spanning on XP does not support removable drives, such as Flash drives or USB/Firewire drives.

Source

Fake edit: Copied mostly from incoherent first posted but will update later today/tomorrow with more up to date info, like the file corruption bug that affects WHS and my personal experience with it.

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