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dimme
May 27, 2011, 12:53 PM
Any thoughts on Windows Home Server 2011 as central storage for a mostly mac network. I can put one together for a fraction of the price of a OS X server. What are the downsides (I know one big one "it's windows")



Gav2k
May 27, 2011, 01:00 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8H7 Safari/6533.18.5)

What do you want from it??

dimme
May 27, 2011, 01:21 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8H7 Safari/6533.18.5)

What do you want from it??

Centralized storage maybe a torrent box

DeaconGraves
May 27, 2011, 01:24 PM
Any thoughts on Windows Home Server 2011 as central storage for a mostly mac network. I can put one together for a fraction of the price of a OS X server. What are the downsides (I know one big one "it's windows")

Drive extender no longer being available in WHS 2011 is a huge downside.

sporadicMotion
May 27, 2011, 02:17 PM
Centralized storage maybe a torrent box

Windows server is pretty easy to work with and will let you do what you want to do relatively easily. An OS X SL Server has some nice options for a mac network due to the built in syncing services. However, why not just set up a Linux box. If you use netatalk, your mac's will recognize it as a mac server. It can also be setup as a time machine backup and to sync your address book and iCal through a couple simple linux services. There are some great torrent apps available for linux that use a simple web interface that can be accessed and remotely (for those I want to watch this when I get home moments).

http://netatalk.sourceforge.net/
Torrent Flux (http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&sqi=2&ved=0CBoQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.torrentflux.com%2F&ei=3vjfTfzEN4PTiALPucjTCg&usg=AFQjCNEYz2WnbwqPn0LhANVoEjKsUSMPKA&sig2=5K5TFGhv3Z0oKRekJ5Eeog)

EDIT: You will need Avahi to make the clients discover the server through bonjour

dimme
May 27, 2011, 03:06 PM
Windows server is pretty easy to work with and will let you do what you want to do relatively easily. An OS X SL Server has some nice options for a mac network due to the built in syncing services. However, why not just set up a Linux box. If you use netatalk, your mac's will recognize it as a mac server. It can also be setup as a time machine backup and to sync your address book and iCal through a couple simple linux services. There are some great torrent apps available for linux that use a simple web interface that can be accessed and remotely (for those I want to watch this when I get home moments).

http://netatalk.sourceforge.net/
Torrent Flux (http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&sqi=2&ved=0CBoQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.torrentflux.com%2F&ei=3vjfTfzEN4PTiALPucjTCg&usg=AFQjCNEYz2WnbwqPn0LhANVoEjKsUSMPKA&sig2=5K5TFGhv3Z0oKRekJ5Eeog)

EDIT: You will need Avahi to make the clients discover the server through bonjour

I think I give that a try. Is Ubuntu a good choice?
Also I thought 10.6 dropped support for AFP

SidBala
May 27, 2011, 03:29 PM
I don't know if you are joking or not. But just stating that "it's windows" doesn't say anything.

Drive extender is gone.

Otherwise, it is dead simple to use. It will let you run utorrent and have a web interface to it.

MacTower
May 27, 2011, 07:48 PM
Any thoughts on Windows Home Server 2011 as central storage for a mostly mac network. I can put one together for a fraction of the price of a OS X server. What are the downsides (I know one big one "it's windows")

I tried WHS and hated it. WHS is great in theory, but I found that every pre-built WHS I found was not impressive for how much it cost, and the OS just wasn't customizable enough for me. It is also Windows, and I hated having to run antivirus on something with so much storage; it was cumbersome.

If building your own home server, I don't see any reason not to go with Linux as the OS. It supports pro features that you would expect of a server. The software RAID engine (mdadm) is top-notch, and you can get packages for almost any type of file sharing you want. If you do this, I suggest getting the nicest case you can up front, with many hot-swap drive bays, or you'll likely be wanting for that later on.

I suggest OpenFiler (http://www.openfiler.com) for the OS; it is streamlined to be a storage server and it works very well. If you need it to do more than be a storage appliance, Ubuntu Server is the way to go.

All of that said, none of it was good enough for me. I found SMB connections made from my Mac to be slow and unreliable on both WHS and Linux, and, I found netatalk to be severely unstable for heavy usage--even the latest stable versions. I suggest using iSCSI if at all possible; OpenFiler allows easy configuration of an iSCSI target.

I have an Xserve in my basement that I use for work and home purposes. I got it for next to nothing, which was a major factor in my using this instead of a smaller server. It is extremely stable, and since it's a Mac, I don't have to worry at all about it playing nicely with my other Macs. Power usage is a bit higher than a comparable iX or atom server (my Xserve idles around 88W), but I enjoy being able to use it for downloading, encoding, distributed compiling from slower Macs, VPN and other services for my iDevices, file serving and anything else I want to throw at it.

Am I recommending you get an Xserve? Nope. It's very big and loud, so if you don't have a basement where you can tuck it away in a small server cabinet then forget about it. Just wanted to share with you my experience of looking for a reliable home server for mass storage and other services.

Honestly, if Apple releases an i5/i7 Mac mini server with thunderbolt I'm selling this thing immediately and getting one, but it's something to consider. You might consider waiting around for the same.

I see that you're in SF... I see TONS of people around there selling lightly used Xserves either from failed tech startups, or people who shouldn't have bought a Mac server in the first place, so you might be able to get one for next to nothing if you watch craigslist and eBay--if you're interested.

Good luck with whatever you decide to go with!

dimme
May 28, 2011, 08:33 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions. You guys really gave me some good ideas. I just finished setting up Ubnutu Deskop on the Atom machine. Its seeding my torrents and hosting the 3 drives I have connected to it. Setup was pretty straight forward and very mac like. My network speeds are pretty decent and the electrical power usage is very minimal.

sporadicMotion
May 28, 2011, 09:51 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions. You guys really gave me some good ideas. I just finished setting up Ubnutu Deskop on the Atom machine. Its seeding my torrents and hosting the 3 drives I have connected to it. Setup was pretty straight forward and very mac like. My network speeds are pretty decent and the electrical power usage is very minimal.

Well done and enjoy!

mrbash
May 30, 2011, 08:58 AM
That's the route I went. First with a desktop chassis then a full-blown 4U server case. It was the best decision I made.

To top it off, it supports AFP using Netatalk. If you want some help with that, let me know and I can give you some pointers.

OS X Server has been a total disappointment for me.

dimme
May 30, 2011, 10:27 AM
That's the route I went. First with a desktop chassis then a full-blown 4U server case. It was the best decision I made.

To top it off, it supports AFP using Netatalk. If you want some help with that, let me know and I can give you some pointers.

OS X Server has been a total disappointment for me.

I installed Netatalk but can only share my home folder. I have a second hard disk and I can only share that with samba. Seems to work ok. Most of my data is on the second hard disk.

sporadicMotion
May 30, 2011, 11:44 AM
Have you seen this guide? Some of it is a bit dated but explains the setup quite well.

Cheers

http://www.kremalicious.com/2008/06/ubuntu-as-mac-file-server-and-time-machine-volume/

mrbash
May 30, 2011, 02:55 PM
Have you seen this guide? Some of it is a bit dated but explains the setup quite well.

Cheers

http://www.kremalicious.com/2008/06/ubuntu-as-mac-file-server-and-time-machine-volume/

That's the guide I used also. I share a number of different mounts using that guide, including a separate one for TimeMachine backups.

archer75
May 30, 2011, 09:26 PM
Been running a WHS box for many years now. 16 drives in it so far and I have room for 22. Works fine with macs as well. The biggest advantage for me is the ability to use drives of any size. This way I don't have to throw drives away.

Also, while DE is gone for WHS 2011 there are several 3rd party replacements that work better than the DE that was originally part of it.

mrbash
May 30, 2011, 09:33 PM
Been running a WHS box for many years now. 16 drives in it so far and I have room for 22. Works fine with macs as well. The biggest advantage for me is the ability to use drives of any size. This way I don't have to throw drives away.

Also, while DE is gone for WHS 2011 there are several 3rd party replacements that work better than the DE that was originally part of it.

Really? What kind of box do you have? What kind of controller(s) are you using? Did you build it yourself or buy it pre-built?

archer75
May 30, 2011, 09:40 PM
Really? What kind of box do you have? What kind of controller(s) are you using? Did you build it yourself or buy it pre-built?

Built it myself. It's a Norco case. The 4220 I think.

I have some older promise controllers, the TX4 I believe. I have 2 of those. Then I have an old 2 port belkin controller.

I also have this 8 port card: http://www.supermicro.com/products/accessories/addon/AOC-SASLP-MV8.cfm

And am using the onboard ports as well. So a mix of controller cards.

And a variety of hard drives from 500gb up to 2tb

mrbash
May 31, 2011, 10:46 AM
Interesting.....

I have the exact same case. It holds 20 drives in its bays not 24. (and 1 drive internally depending on which revision you have)

I also have three of the MV8 for my Ubuntu server. Did yours need the new ties to keep the cables from slipping? On my case fan panel put tension on my cables and they would slip off.

How are you connecting your TX4s to the backpane since the case is designed for SAS connectors not SATA?

archer75
May 31, 2011, 10:49 AM
Interesting.....

I have the exact same case. It holds 20 drives in its bays not 24. (and 1 drive internally depending on which revision you have)

I also have three of the MV8 for my Ubuntu server. Did yours need the new ties to keep the cables from slipping? On my case fan panel put tension on my cables and they would slip off.

How are you connecting your TX4s to the backpane since the case is designed for SAS connectors not SATA?

Mine has 22 bays. 20 externally and 2 internally. My backplane uses sata, not sas. There are two different norco cases, one that uses sas and the other that uses sata. Maybe it's the 4020 and not the 4220. They all look the same.

I didn't need any cable ties.

dimme
May 31, 2011, 10:53 AM
Have you seen this guide? Some of it is a bit dated but explains the setup quite well.

Cheers

http://www.kremalicious.com/2008/06/ubuntu-as-mac-file-server-and-time-machine-volume/

I played around with netatalk yesterday but could not get it to share my 2nd hard drive. I do have a windows machine and a WD live TV that also need to access the drive so I guess I will just stick with samba. It seems to be working fine.

314631
Jun 23, 2011, 03:26 PM
I've been playing with Windows Home Server 2011 for a few months now. I'm very impressed with the product. I've set mine up on a dirt cheap HP ProLiant Microserver put 8gb RAM in there (not really necessary, but upgrading RAM is a PITA in the microserver so only wanted to do it once) and 4x2tb hard drives.

WHS 2011 makes it dead easy to setup and create shares you need for your audio and video collections. I love that most internet-enabled TVs are compatible with WHS2011 and will be able to stream the content right off your server around the home. Both my Sony's and my Samsung can do this. And it works very well.

I also setup Remote Access today for the first time. I purchased the server certificate from GoDaddy and Windows Home Server 2011 configured everything for me by interacting with GoDaddy. So now I basically have my own Cloud Player service running. I love the music player interface Microsoft has built with silverlight. Its essentially a screensaver drop of all your music artwork with the standard music player controls along the bottom. This all works great on Mac or PC and it looks beautiful. WHS 2011 can also internet stream the video files too from your collection, although I haven't tested this yet.

I'm considering having one of our developers write an iOS application to make all the content available to iPhone and iPad from these servers. It's unlikely Microsoft will do it themselves. ;) I'd gladly give it away for free if it didn't cost too much to develop.

Microsoft also made Bitlocker available to Home Server users now. So you can encrypt all your hard drives which is the minimum requirement for me when doing full computer backups. Now that I can properly encrypt everything I'm happy having Windows Home Server 2011 take care of managing my backups automatically.

Overall I'm very very happy with what Microsoft has come up with here with their home server product.

Edit: oh yeah I'm also running iTunes on here (just moved my 1tb iTunes library over from my Mac to PC) and will be using it as a server for my AppleTVs. So I won't have to leave my Macs running all the time anymore.

edjrwinnt
Jun 24, 2011, 07:49 AM
I've had Windows Home Server 2011 setup for a few weeks, although I didn't bother to pay for and setup the security certificate for remote access. I like it a lot too.

Have you tried the Pogoplug for the iPad? I can download files and stream my music from my home server using that program on my iPad. The premium version will allow you to stream movies.

wakey
Jun 26, 2011, 02:58 PM
I've been playing with Windows Home Server 2011 for a few months now. I'm very impressed with the product. I've set mine up on a dirt cheap HP ProLiant Microserver put 8gb RAM in there (not really necessary, but upgrading RAM is a PITA in the microserver so only wanted to do it once) and 4x2tb hard drives.

WHS 2011 makes it dead easy to setup and create shares you need for your audio and video collections. I love that most internet-enabled TVs are compatible with WHS2011 and will be able to stream the content right off your server around the home. Both my Sony's and my Samsung can do this. And it works very well.

I also setup Remote Access today for the first time. I purchased the server certificate from GoDaddy and Windows Home Server 2011 configured everything for me by interacting with GoDaddy. So now I basically have my own Cloud Player service running. I love the music player interface Microsoft has built with silverlight. Its essentially a screensaver drop of all your music artwork with the standard music player controls along the bottom. This all works great on Mac or PC and it looks beautiful. WHS 2011 can also internet stream the video files too from your collection, although I haven't tested this yet.

I'm considering having one of our developers write an iOS application to make all the content available to iPhone and iPad from these servers. It's unlikely Microsoft will do it themselves. ;) I'd gladly give it away for free if it didn't cost too much to develop.

Microsoft also made Bitlocker available to Home Server users now. So you can encrypt all your hard drives which is the minimum requirement for me when doing full computer backups. Now that I can properly encrypt everything I'm happy having Windows Home Server 2011 take care of managing my backups automatically.

Overall I'm very very happy with what Microsoft has come up with here with their home server product.

Edit: oh yeah I'm also running iTunes on here (just moved my 1tb iTunes library over from my Mac to PC) and will be using it as a server for my AppleTVs. So I won't have to leave my Macs running all the time anymore.

So I have the extact same server as you and do exactly the same thing except on WHS 2003 (mainly because of DE). Thats the big stumbling block for me upgrading the 2011. What do you use for drive redundancy? I know the server supports RAID 0 and 1 but not the 5 that I would possibly want.

I'd be interested to know how you have yours set up.

Cheers

Steve

ender21
Aug 17, 2011, 10:39 AM
So I have the extact same server as you and do exactly the same thing except on WHS 2003 (mainly because of DE). Thats the big stumbling block for me upgrading the 2011. What do you use for drive redundancy? I know the server supports RAID 0 and 1 but not the 5 that I would possibly want.

I'd be interested to know how you have yours set up.


Not to resurrect an old thread, but wakey I too have the HP MicroServer with WHS2011 installed.

My setup is:
RocketRaid 2720 card (8 Sata6 ports). 2 SSDs for the OS in Raid 0, and 4x2TB for a Raid-5 array.

It worked well for a while but now has had several array rebuilds for no apparent reason, so I offloaded all my data to external media, and have reverted back to the onboard sata controller and will use a Software Raid-5 for now. If that doesn't pan out I'll purchase a different Raid controller card. I am interested in the DE alternatives, but DriveBender's beta is closed and I haven't investigated any of the others yet.

So at the end of the day, the unreliability of this server led me to....


Honestly, if Apple releases an i5/i7 Mac mini server with thunderbolt I'm selling this thing immediately and getting one, but it's something to consider. You might consider waiting around for the same.

...purchasing one of the new i7 Mac Mini Servers that MacTower referenced. But so far I'm at a loss as to how to make this as easy to host TB of data on a network that consists of several macs and a couple of Windows machines as WHS v1 or WHS 2011 was. For my total cost of the MicroServer + all its drives and Raid controller I get just the Mini with only 1TB of space total.

So first, assuming I get external storage, how can I easily share the external folders that house all my files amongst all of my networked computers?

sparkie1984
Aug 17, 2011, 12:52 PM
so glad I found this thread guys!!!!

I am about to order a micro server like the others have..

Unsure what to run on it to be honest but swaying towards WHS 2011.

I have seen a link to someone who got it running osx somewhere.....


Basically I want it to store all my films/photos/music for iTunes.

I also would like to be able to use it to backup for time machine as my time machine disk is full.

will WHS 2011 allow me to do this??

I am planning on running raid 5 with 4x2tb disks and an old SSD (out of my mac pro) as the boot disk..

The great thing is how little you can get the micro server for, 120 with the cash back taken off!

brand
Aug 17, 2011, 02:09 PM
so glad I found this thread guys!!!!

I am about to order a micro server like the others have..

Unsure what to run on it to be honest but swaying towards WHS 2011.

I have seen a link to someone who got it running osx somewhere.....


Basically I want it to store all my films/photos/music for iTunes.

I also would like to be able to use it to backup for time machine as my time machine disk is full.

will WHS 2011 allow me to do this??

I am planning on running raid 5 with 4x2tb disks and an old SSD (out of my mac pro) as the boot disk..

The great thing is how little you can get the micro server for, 120 with the cash back taken off!

WHS2011 does not support AFP so that means your only option for making a connection is SMB or NFS. Time Machine only works with newer implementations of AFP.

sparkie1984
Aug 17, 2011, 02:44 PM
Thanks brand,

So it's no good then basically?

dimme
Aug 17, 2011, 02:53 PM
This article is a few years old but the software is free so what do you have to lose but some time.
http://www.kremalicious.com/2008/06/ubuntu-as-mac-file-server-and-time-machine-volume/

I played with WHS 2011 and liked it but for a mainly mac network I went the Ubuntu route.

edjrwinnt
Aug 18, 2011, 12:39 PM
The responsiveness with accessing a WHS 2011 server has improved with Lion client workstations versus Leopard.

sparkie1984
Aug 18, 2011, 12:49 PM
The responsiveness with accessing a WHS 2011 server has improved with Lion client workstations versus Leopard.

What set up do you run if you don't mind me asking?

does WHS 2011 play nicely with the macs?

edjrwinnt
Aug 18, 2011, 01:21 PM
What set up do you run if you don't mind me asking?

does WHS 2011 play nicely with the macs?

I have the default setup of smb. It's much improved like I said, but it still takes a second or two to connect to the WHS server from my MAC clients when I randomly go to access or save a file. I no longer need the connector so much to connect to my WHS 2011 server though. Sometimes I have to use it, sometimes I don't. Usually I'll just connect to the server in Finder without the WHS Connector. That's if the WHS 2011 is not already available in Finder, which it's normally not after I leave the computer unattended for a while (hours).

I'm not using Time Machine or anything like that though. I'm strictly using WHS 2011 as a file server to my Macs. I like my setup with a Macbook Air, MacBook Pro, and iMac as clients to a WHS 2011 Server. I have a mac mini server too with Snow Leapoard Server that I'm still learning how to fully take advantage of. We only get so many nice warm days here in Northeast Ohio so I've been much less of a computer geek lately.

As far as not having Drive Extender in WHS 2011, I really don't see what the big deal is. I just use software Raid 1 for the boot drive and back everything up to a single 2 TB ext USB drive. I would have used hardware raid but I didn't see that option in my mobo. I also have two cloud services I use in DropBox and IDrive. What's nice is that WHS 2011 will let me move the default folders, "Videos", "Photos", etc. to any hard drive I like. On my Windows HTPC I can also have multiple folders for any of the default folders too, so if I run out of space on one hard drive I can just point my HTPC to another hard drive.

sparkie1984
Aug 18, 2011, 01:40 PM
Thanks,

I feel your pain re: the nice weather.

I am torn between what OS to use. I have never ever used linux and worry about setting it all up.

want to order the server up tonight ideally..

and not sure whether to order WHS 2011 for 35 (seems a good price) or whether to run something else

edjrwinnt
Aug 18, 2011, 01:58 PM
Thanks,

I feel your pain re: the nice weather.

I am torn between what OS to use. I have never ever used linux and worry about setting it all up.

want to order the server up tonight ideally..

and not sure whether to order WHS 2011 for 35 (seems a good price) or whether to run something else

The coolest thing I like with WHS 2011 is the streaming music feature through a web browser with Silverlight installed. I can sit at work and make a playlist to listen to. Obviously this is nothing new but it's real easy to use through WHS 2011 without requiring an add-in.

The only disappointing thing about WHS 2011 is the lack of add-ins like there were in version 1.0. However, most of what I need is already built into WHS 2011.

dimme
Sep 1, 2011, 11:54 AM
So just a followup question
I started this thread wanting to use WIndows Home Server for a Shared drive & BitTorrent downloaded for my mostly mac home network. After tying WHS, then Amahi I settled on Unbuntu (desktop version). I am happy with the setup except when I need to access the server OS directly. Remote access on my gigbit lan is very slow. I know freeNAS has a great web interface. Will it play well with my macs and BitTorrent. Od should I stick with what I have?

speacock
Sep 2, 2011, 01:57 AM
so glad I found this thread guys!!!!

I am about to order a micro server like the others have..

Unsure what to run on it to be honest but swaying towards WHS 2011.

I have seen a link to someone who got it running osx somewhere.....


Basically I want it to store all my films/photos/music for iTunes.

I also would like to be able to use it to backup for time machine as my time machine disk is full.

will WHS 2011 allow me to do this??

I am planning on running raid 5 with 4x2tb disks and an old SSD (out of my mac pro) as the boot disk..

The great thing is how little you can get the micro server for, 120 with the cash back taken off!

This post: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=13042520&highlight=#post13042520

Talks all about my experiences of setting up an HP MicroServer with 4 x 2TB drives and trying it with WHS2011, FreeNAS, Ubuntu and NexEntaStor. Hopefully it'll be useful for you. I used Seagate 5900RPM drives - quiet, low power, cool and in a RAID5 or RAIDZ array plenty fast enough to saturate a 1Gbit LAN port, and <60 each from dabs or Amazon. Definitely buy at least 4GB of RAM for your Microserver though. FreeNAS and NexEntaStor will run with the stock 1GB but WHS won't. I got 2 x 4GB sticks from dabs for 29.99 but I think that special (pricing mistake) is over now and you'll have to pay 49.99.

I wouldn't bother using the SSD as a boot drive, it won't make any significant performance difference over the stock 250GB HDD, you'd be better off leaving it in your Mac Pro. For both FreeNAS and NexentaStor your best bet is to use a 1GB USB stick plugged into the internal USB port as a boot device, that's what I do (and it's partly what the internal USB port is intended for).

If you're using 4x2TB drives as I am, you'll need to attach the 250GB HDD (or your SSD if you do use it) to the secondary SATA controller which is intended for use with an optical drive, it's easy to do, but you'll need and extra 18" SATA cable and a Molex to SATA power adapter. By the way, WHS supports this config but FreeNAS, Ubuntu and NexentaStor don't, they refuse to see the disk on the secondary SATA channel (I've no doubt you could get it to work by adding extra drivers but I couldn't be bothered). This means that for Ubuntu you have to set aside part of your 2TB disks for the boot volume and then use the rest of the space for data storage. You don't have this problem if you boot from a USB key. I believe you could even boot WHS or Ubuntu from a USB key but you'd probably need a 16GB one at least, probably 32GB for WHS.

speacock
Sep 2, 2011, 03:36 AM
So at the end of the day, the unreliability of this server led me to....


I have an HP Microserver with 4GB RAM and 4 x 2TB Seagate 5900RPM drives configured as a a single 6TB RAIDZ array under FreeNAS using software RAIDZ. It took 2 hours to build start to finish, supports AFP, SMB and NFS and has been up since early July this year with no reboots, no rebuilds and no issues. I'm chuffed to bits with it so far.

dimme
Sep 2, 2011, 12:11 PM
So just a followup question
I started this thread wanting to use WIndows Home Server for a Shared drive & BitTorrent downloaded for my mostly mac home network. After tying WHS, then Amahi I settled on Unbuntu (desktop version). I am happy with the setup except when I need to access the server OS directly. Remote access on my gigbit lan is very slow. I know freeNAS has a great web interface. Will it play well with my macs and BitTorrent. Od should I stick with what I have?

Well I tried FreeNAS V0.7xx (need transmission support) last night. At first I played with it in a VM and liked it alot. When I installed in on my "server" a atom nettop. It took forever to boot and would hang when I was trying to set the mount point. After about a hour I went back to Ubuntu.

ender21
Sep 2, 2011, 04:05 PM
I have an HP Microserver with 4GB RAM and 4 x 2TB Seagate 5900RPM drives configured as a a single 6TB RAIDZ array under FreeNAS using software RAIDZ. It took 2 hours to build start to finish, supports AFP, SMB and NFS and has been up since early July this year with no reboots, no rebuilds and no issues. I'm chuffed to bits with it so far.

It turns out my biggest problem has been the rocketraid card I installed to provide sata 6 functionality as well as extra ports for extra drives. When I upgraded the firmware on that, 80% of my problems went away.

Things are going well now on the microserver with WHS2011. It's not quite as fire-and-forget as WHS v1 is/was, but it works for me.

1911
Sep 3, 2011, 10:56 AM
Take a look at the Synology NAS devices, they play real nice with OS X.

Eidorian
Sep 3, 2011, 08:41 PM
Well I tried FreeNAS V0.7xx (need transmission support) last night. At first I played with it in a VM and liked it alot. When I installed in on my "server" a atom nettop. It took forever to boot and would hang when I was trying to set the mount point. After about a hour I went back to Ubuntu.Yeah, I tried out FreeNAS 0.8 and quickly noticed the lack of Transmission. NewEgg regularly fire sales Windows Home Server 2011 though around ~$50. I will keep waiting for FreeNAS though. This is not a terribly high priority.

speacock
Sep 5, 2011, 03:03 AM
Things are going well now on the microserver with WHS2011. It's not quite as fire-and-forget as WHS v1 is/was, but it works for me.

I completely agree, they've massively over-complicated WHS2011 for home use. I guess that's because it's based on Server 2008 which is massively more complicated than Server 2003.

Don't get me wrong, WHS2011 is a brilliant home or small business server OS and it offered far and away the best performance of anything I tried. It's just that for me FreeNAS was nice and simple and had in-built AFP support, which just edged it ahead. If I wanted media streaming or printer sharing I'd definitely go for WHS.

One of the things about FreeNAS is they are taking it down a more commercial SMB route than home route, so are dropping support for features they see as home-user ones like bittorrent and media servers. Given that it's BSD based and given that there's a 3rd party plug-ins capability then I'm sure it won't be long before these features are added back in (they were there in FreeNAS 0.7), but for now, if you need these things then FreeNAS is probably not right for you.

DustinT
Sep 5, 2011, 08:45 AM
This is a very nice discussion of these OS's and I just thought I'd post a couple of thoughts. I have run a series of custom built WHS 2003 systems in my house over the last few years. Plus, I've admin'ed a couple of Server 2003 and 2008 networks in addition to a couple of linux firewall \ file server systems. And most recently I've setup a Mini running Lion server at home. I currently have Freenas running on an older system to play around with from before I bought the Mini server.

WHS is a great product. Really, really great. I love it. I will say that the reliability isn't quite up to par since over the years I ran it I had to rebuild it a few times and more than once I had some data loss due to corruption. All this was on 2003, of course. Still, I loved it and still think its a great product. For a business with less than 10 pc's its pretty much an ideal backup system, imho.

Freenas is fine if you don't mind messing around on the command line. Personally, I don't use the CLI enough to be proficient on it so its always a little frustrating. But, it will certainly get the job done.

Right now I'm loving the Mini with Lion server on it. The power requirements are tremendous which is important on a system that runs 24\7\365. I got the base model and upgraded it to 8g ram and connected it via usb to an external drive for testing. So far its working fast and stable. I find the screen sharing to be much better than the RDP system from Microsoft with much better functionality when the machine is partially booted. Plus, the Lion gesture to just swipe to another full screen app is great and makes remote access to the Lion server fool proof.

I've installed uTorrent and iFlicks (my replacement for Handbrake) and found the combo to be just perfect. The system has easily handled transcoding for hours at a time with a minimum of noise and heat. Granted, it probably helps that I've got it in a closet just off my home office. Temps on the internal hard drive are reasonably low but still higher than my custom built setup at 33c. That's not high enough that I expect it to significantly shorten the lifespan of the drive but I'd still like to see it lower.

File sharing performance is reasonably good. I'm running a gigabit network which the Mini is directly connected to. The biggest use I have for the system is streaming multiple HD streams and it handles that easily. I haven't bothered benchmarking since I really don't care. :)

All in all, a Mini with Lion server fits Apple's motto of 'It Just Works!' and thats what I was looking for. Considering the price, power consumption (or, lack thereof), performance, size, noise and ease of use, I'm pleased to bits.

Anyone want to buy some hardware to build your own home server? :)

edjrwinnt
Sep 5, 2011, 12:38 PM
I'm hesitant to try Lion Server because for one I'm still learning all the inner workings of Leopard Server. I'd like to be familiar with how the server features work under the hood before I jump to Lion Server. Lion Server sounds like an unfinished product too, so I'd figure I would wait for the next version.

I use both Leopard Server and WHS 2011 at home. I use both for different features. Leopard Server is more of my application server (VPN, FTP, iCal, Time Machine, software update for 3 MAC clients, and eventually email and iChat) and WHS 2011 is more of my file server/cloud synchronizer and music streaming box. I think they are both great home server platforms and I wanted to be familiar with both.

gellfling
Sep 5, 2011, 10:03 PM
Hey to keep maintemce and setup to a min try a synology nas box, has iTunes streaming. Even has ability to store CCTV footage

Servers need maintenance etc so why not keep it simple :)

cutterman
Sep 6, 2011, 05:48 AM
All in all, a Mini with Lion server fits Apple's motto of 'It Just Works!' and thats what I was looking for. Considering the price, power consumption (or, lack thereof), performance, size, noise and ease of use, I'm pleased to bits.



So you're not having any trouble with Windows clients connecting via SMB to your Lion server? This is a big problem for my home network. No issues connecting to SL machines.

dimme
Sep 7, 2011, 10:38 AM
Ok I found a great deal on ebay! It a home built atom in a nice small server case with hardware raid support and 4 - 3.5 bays and a 2.5 boot drive. So I sell my small netop and going to my it's duties to the new box. What I need is central files storage, bittorrent downloading, itunes streaming or central storage and to hold my videos for a WDlive TV.
The new box has Windows Home Server 2011 installed on it. I have two concerns:
1 is Lion support
2 Do I need to mess with Anti virus because it's windows and it will be always connected uploading and downloading to a private tracker?
If WHS don't fill the bill I was thinking of trying freenas or Amahi Home Server.
Any Advice???

speacock
Sep 7, 2011, 11:38 AM
1 is Lion support
2 Do I need to mess with Anti virus because it's windows and it will be always connected uploading and downloading to a private tracker?
If WHS don't fill the bill I was thinking of trying freenas or Amahi Home Server.
Any Advice???

1. I can't see any problems with Lion, I don't have it myself, but from everything I've read it should be more compatible with Windows 2008 not less(though there do seem to be a lot of people complaining about it)

2. Yes. It's not that it's Windows, it's that it's connected to the Internet and running bittorrent. In that situation I'd recommend running an AV regardless of the platform

3. FreeNAS 8 doesn't have a bittorrent client and the plug-ins interface that is due in 8.1 isn't there yet. That means you'd have to use FreeNAS 0.7 or mess about getting a BSD bittorent client installed and working. I can't comment on Amahi, I don't now it.

dimme
Sep 16, 2011, 10:41 AM
I been running Windows Home Server 2011 for almost a week now. Overall I like it very much. It is doing everything the Ubuntu install was but with a bit more ease of use. I have uTorrent & all the WHS services running. I have not installed the MS Launchpad on the macs because of the issue with Apples Launch pad but don't think I really need that function.
Transfer speeds over the network are a bit better that I was getting in Linux. I am running a Zotac NM-10 DTX board with a 2.5" boot drive and a WD 2 & 1 TB green drive. The system runs at between 32 & 40 watts which is perfect for a 24/7 system.
My only complaint is the case fans are a bit loud but that can be fixed down the line. I still have two empty drive bays, But setup a external ESATA drive as a backup. This way if the whole system crashes I can just load my data on another system or restore it back to the server.
I still think for a mostly mac network OS X server may be better but the price of the hardware really makes it not a option for me. Also running mini the expandability is very limited.

DustinT
Sep 18, 2011, 05:02 PM
So you're not having any trouble with Windows clients connecting via SMB to your Lion server? This is a big problem for my home network. No issues connecting to SL machines.Sorry for the delay in my reply, I just saw your post. I have an all Apple network at the moment, so I haven't had any trouble. I do have an original WHS system running at the moment while I transfer some files. To access the Lion server I just input the server's ip address and it asked for a username and password and thats it. It's been transferring files for a few hours now with no problems.

I've got some friends and family that bring their laptops when they come over but I don't really share any files over the network for them. So, I can't say. Sorry!

leftheaded
Oct 8, 2011, 02:37 PM
has anyone got WHS to work with the apple time capsule routers? i'm using the 7.5.2 airport utility and it refuses to forward 80, 443, 4125 to my WHS.

using a static ip ok
forwarding ports to that static ip
click "repair" under "remote web access" on the WHS, but fails every time.

dimme
Oct 8, 2011, 02:49 PM
has anyone got WHS to work with the apple time capsule routers? i'm using the 7.5.2 airport utility and it refuses to forward 80, 443, 4125 to my WHS.

using a static ip ok
forwarding ports to that static ip
click "repair" under "remote web access" on the WHS, but fails every time.

I assume you are trying to setup remote access?
I had a simular issue with my netgear router, it would say setup failed. Then I read online that this was a common problem. WHS would set up the router correctly but would report the setup as failed. Anyway I tried mine at a remote location and it worked.
I ended up setting up my router manually, I don't care for the automatic plug and play. I think it's a big security hole.

leftheaded
Oct 8, 2011, 04:23 PM
... WHS would set up the router correctly but would report the setup as failed. Anyway I tried mine at a remote location and it worked...

did a quick test, and sure enough... its working even though the WHS dashboard tells me it isn't.

thanks for pointing this out dimme!

jokerz126
Dec 6, 2011, 04:21 AM
hi! just picked up an HP Microserver n40l and going to install WHS 2011 on it....does anyone use something like this to run their main itunes collection for home sharing/apple tv movies etc?? what is the setup procedure? any tricks or things to look out for? still trying to decide if I should do RAID 1 or use something like DRIVEBENDER one of the add-ins available...any input on those? this is my first home server experience! :)

archer75
Dec 6, 2011, 10:13 AM
hi! just picked up an HP Microserver n40l and going to install WHS 2011 on it....does anyone use something like this to run their main itunes collection for home sharing/apple tv movies etc?? what is the setup procedure? any tricks or things to look out for? still trying to decide if I should do RAID 1 or use something like DRIVEBENDER one of the add-ins available...any input on those? this is my first home server experience! :)

I use drivebender as it lets me use drives of any size. I don't want to throw drives out just because the size is different than others.

I keep my music on my desktop. I have no need to stream it throughout the house and if I need music on my stereo I actually prefer just plugging in a phone, ipod or ipad and just playing that way.

My data and primarily my movie collection is on my server. Currently 16tb worth of storage!

ericrwalker
Dec 6, 2011, 10:29 AM
I have a dell PC set up with WHS 2011. I have all my iTunes stuff backed up on there. 5 hard drives (system drive + Four 2TB drives in a RAID5). I have everything backed up on there every CD I ever bought, Backed up my DVD's and threw them away.

Now that we can wifi sync I am going to use this to sync my iPhone from now on. I haven't gotten it set up for it yet, but it's one of my next big projects.

I don't bother with apps like drive bender. I did like how my old WHS pooled the HD's together, but setting up a RAID was very easy.


hi! just picked up an HP Microserver n40l and going to install WHS 2011 on it....does anyone use something like this to run their main itunes collection for home sharing/apple tv movies etc?? what is the setup procedure? any tricks or things to look out for? still trying to decide if I should do RAID 1 or use something like DRIVEBENDER one of the add-ins available...any input on those? this is my first home server experience! :)

jokerz126
Dec 6, 2011, 12:56 PM
thanks for the replies!...so, the microserver i got has a sort of software RAID 1 built in i think....as i understand it, i either use that OR something like DriveBender (which are both software based) OR use a hardware raid card?....the Raid 1 built in and DriveBender would both create a mirror/duplicate of everything so if any drive fails you can still recover everything??--is that right?...so if i put 2 3tb drives in, i only have 3TB usable?

...the reason I want to install Itunes right onto the WHS box is to have an "always-on" Home Sharing box for Apple TV...it will also be the hub for all my music

Thanks for your help! :)

ericrwalker
Dec 6, 2011, 01:04 PM
I do that as well, it's just a bonus I can now sync my phone with that one without connecting anything. Technology is awesome.



...the reason I want to install Itunes right onto the WHS box is to have an "always-on" Home Sharing box for Apple TV...it will also be the hub for all my music

dimme
Dec 6, 2011, 01:12 PM
I do that as well, it's just a bonus I can now sync my phone with that one without connecting anything. Technology is awesome.

So are you running iTunes on WHS 2011 (with home sharing on)or some sort of add on to get the music streaming to the iphone

ericrwalker
Dec 6, 2011, 01:15 PM
I have itunes open, then I see that with my AppleTV and can play movies from it. I also "HAD" my appleTV jailbroken and streamed my VIDEO_TS movies to it with XBMC, but that's a lot of work to set up. I don't stream to my iPhone from my server.

I also host 4 domains on my home servers, it works great if it's not a high traffic page you're hosting.

You can stream your music and video folders on the server to computers too....at least I know you can on windows computers...haven't tried it on a mac.

I stream my music folder on my work computer sometimes.

So are you running iTunes on WHS 2011 (with home sharing on)or some sort of add on to get the music streaming to the iphone

tomllama
Dec 8, 2011, 02:24 PM
I've just started using an add-in called ihomeserver on my WHS2011 box. I've not tried streaming to the iPhones yet but it was certainly easier to get iTunes up and running with WHS 2011 than WHS v1.

ericrwalker
Dec 8, 2011, 02:32 PM
I will have to go back and look at the add-ins. There weren't that many out when I built my system. There were a few I used in v1 that weren't available in 2011.

I've just started using an add-in called ihomeserver on my WHS2011 box. I've not tried streaming to the iPhones yet but it was certainly easier to get iTunes up and running with WHS 2011 than WHS v1.

jokerz126
Dec 8, 2011, 02:45 PM
ya I was thinking of trying that add-in..
here's what I'm thinking of doing:

run Itunes on WHS as an always on box for streaming to Appletv and Airplay
have itunes installed on 3 additional PCs (so 4 authorized computers)....I was planning on signing up for Itunes MATCH to keep all the librairies in sync...the complication is, 2 of the PCs already have music librairies but they don't exactly match each other...so, hoping MATCH will take care of syncing everything up....what do you think? or should i wipe out everything on those additional PCs and (1) put an exact copy of the itunes library that will be on my WHS onto the additional PCs, and THEN turn on MATCH OR (2) just have apple MATCH my WHS library and then download everything onto the other PCs?????

as you can tell, I'm a little lost here as to the next step..

dimme
Dec 8, 2011, 03:10 PM
ya I was thinking of trying that add-in..
here's what I'm thinking of doing:

run Itunes on WHS as an always on box for streaming to Appletv and Airplay
have itunes installed on 3 additional PCs (so 4 authorized computers)....I was planning on signing up for Itunes MATCH to keep all the librairies in sync...the complication is, 2 of the PCs already have music librairies but they don't exactly match each other...so, hoping MATCH will take care of syncing everything up....what do you think? or should i wipe out everything on those additional PCs and (1) put an exact copy of the itunes library that will be on my WHS onto the additional PCs, and THEN turn on MATCH OR (2) just have apple MATCH my WHS library and then download everything onto the other PCs?????

as you can tell, I'm a little lost here as to the next step..
I think you can just have your library on the WHS machine and turn on Home sharing Or tun on Library sharing in the preferences.Then that share will show up on all the PC's

tomllama
Dec 8, 2011, 05:58 PM
I use PowerTunes to copy and switch between libraries. I want to get to where I simply point all the Macs and the ATV to the WHS server and keep a backup of everything on my MacPro. All it takes is lots of time ...

I'm still debating buying a Mini Server as all the computers I have are Mac (and all run boot campt too).

joe22790
Dec 10, 2011, 11:14 PM
I am having same issue, I can not get my WHS 2011 computer access through my Airport extreme using 7.5.2 airport utility and it refuses to forward 80, 443, 4125 to my WHS. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

dimme
Dec 11, 2011, 07:24 AM
I am having same issue, I can not get my WHS 2011 computer access through my Airport extreme using 7.5.2 airport utility and it refuses to forward 80, 443, 4125 to my WHS. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Have you tried to manually configure your AE and tried to access your WHS outside your network. There is a bug in WHS 2011 it will keeps saying that it is not configured when it is.

joe22790
Dec 12, 2011, 05:36 AM
Outside of my network? Are you saying from another computer that does not use my AE? Like trying to sign in from work? Sorry, this is my first attempt at using a server.

dimme
Dec 12, 2011, 06:52 AM
Outside of my network? Are you saying from another computer that does not use my AE? Like trying to sign in from work? Sorry, this is my first attempt at using a server.

Yes try from work. Is not this the reason to forward the ports so you can access the server from outside your network? r were you trying something else?

joe22790
Dec 15, 2011, 05:37 AM
Yes try from work. Is not this the reason to forward the ports so you can access the server from outside your network? r were you trying something else?

Thanks, I will try it from work. I cant even access from my laptop in same house and I can not get it to configure in WHS. I have set all manual settings in my AE, but I still can't see it in my network or through my http://

Thanks, for the help.

dimme
Dec 15, 2011, 07:04 AM
Thanks, I will try it from work. I cant even access from my laptop in same house and I can not get it to configure in WHS. I have set all manual settings in my AE, but I still can't see it in my network or through my http://

Thanks, for the help.
I you can't access it in you house it could be another problem. It's my understanding port forwarding is only outside your network

ericrwalker
Dec 15, 2011, 07:19 AM
Wow, $30 for the add-in? I will still probably buy it. If they continue to support it and work with updates it will be worth it.

I've just started using an add-in called ihomeserver on my WHS2011 box. I've not tried streaming to the iPhones yet but it was certainly easier to get iTunes up and running with WHS 2011 than WHS v1.

jokerz126
Dec 15, 2011, 03:13 PM
got my itunes centralized now on my new WHS 2011 microserver...in the process of setting up itunes match...almost finished uploading the final files...was testing the ihomeserver app, but was having issues with the watch folders and itunes not getting updated...not sure if it has anything to do with the fact i'm running Drivepool on the WHS.....
...next issue will be: how to set up Time Machine backup of a G5 iMac to the WHS...seems to be an issue cause the add-in which came out recently to work with WHS 2011 for this purpose does NOT support OS 10.5 leopard...and G5 power pc macs can't update to 10.6 cause that's when they changed over to intel macs...hmmm....any ideas?

kalex
Jan 10, 2012, 02:22 PM
Very nice thread. I just finished setting up HP Microserver with WHS2011. I have a mixed environment with my main computer being Mac Pro and my second desktop is Windows 7 that i use as media center. So far its working rather well and without issues. Setup was pretty straight forward except for memory upgrade. I also upgraded to 8GB which so far is unnecessary. I've been monitoring my usage and so far i'm still under 2GB

I'm running sabnzbd, sickbeard, air video on it right now and dont see any slow downs. Only time i see max cpu usage is during live conversion of air video stream but server is still responsive. Windows remote access is pretty neat feature as well. Going to start working on integration of WHS to my Media center.

WHS2011 does have TIme machine support but I didn't try it yet. There is also a nice addin that automates Time machine setup and configuration.

pterhaar
Jan 16, 2012, 02:00 PM
I'm running my WHS2011 now since May and it's been a good investment. I used to run WHS1 on an other box and keep that as spare on the side for now.
My network is 4 Windows laptops, an iMac and a Mac Mini plus Sonos for music streaming through the house and a WD TV Live for movie streaming to my TV. My server setup is Core i5 with 8GB RAM and 6 HD's of 10 TB total.
The Sonos and WDTV read from the server, because it's on 24/7. I synchronise my iTunes files from my iMac to the share that the Sonos read using Windows Live Mesh (works really well).
The server does all the standard things like automated PC Backup.
For TimeMachine I installed a simple FreeNAS virtual machine on VMWare Server 2.0 and it works like a treat. I just created a 1TB virtual disk on one of the harddrives and it's fine.
I didn't bother with RAID and don't care that much about losing the Drive Extender stuff from WHS1. I backup everything to CrashPlan Central, which costs me a few bucks per month for unlimited cloud backup. Not fast, but it works fine. I only use the built in server backup for the C partition and used it once to replace the primary harddisk. Perfect.
So all together maybe a bit of a combo of stuff, but then it's a home server and the only one who'll get angry if it doesn't work is me, not the whole enterprise.