Windows Home Server 2011

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by dimme, May 27, 2011.

  1. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Location:
    SF, CA
    #1
    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")
     
  2. macrumors demi-god

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #2
    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??
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Location:
    SF, CA
    #3
    Centralized storage maybe a torrent box
     
  4. macrumors 65816

    DeaconGraves

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    #4
    Drive extender no longer being available in WHS 2011 is a huge downside.
     
  5. sporadicMotion, May 27, 2011
    Last edited: May 27, 2011

    macrumors 65816

    sporadicMotion

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Location:
    Your girlfriends place
    #5
    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

    EDIT: You will need Avahi to make the clients discover the server through bonjour
     
  6. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Location:
    SF, CA
    #6
    I think I give that a try. Is Ubuntu a good choice?
    Also I thought 10.6 dropped support for AFP
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    #7
    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.
     
  8. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2011
    Location:
    Midwest
    #8
    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 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!
     
  9. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Location:
    SF, CA
    #9
    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.
     
  10. macrumors 65816

    sporadicMotion

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Location:
    Your girlfriends place
    #10
    Well done and enjoy!
     
  11. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    #11
    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.
     
  12. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Location:
    SF, CA
    #12
    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.
     
  13. macrumors 65816

    sporadicMotion

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Location:
    Your girlfriends place
  14. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    #14
  15. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2005
    #15
    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.
     
  16. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    #16
    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?
     
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2005
    #17
    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
     
  18. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    #18
    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?
     
  19. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2005
    #19
    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.
     
  20. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Location:
    SF, CA
    #20
    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.
     
  21. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    Location:
    iDeaded myself
    #21
    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.
     
  22. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Location:
    North Ridgeville, Ohio
    #22
    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.
     
  23. macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #23
    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
     
  24. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2010
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    #24
    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....

    ...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?
     
  25. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2009
    Location:
    a small village near London
    #25
    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!
     

Share This Page