New Windows Home Server

1 06 2008

For a while now I have been running my Windows Home Server (WHS) from an old Dell Dimension 4700 I had lying around the house. The machine has performed like a treat, but boy was it noisy.

The original Dell 4700 Home Server

So when I heard on an episode of Windows Weekly that Shuttle had brought out a low noise and power case called a KPC I was happy as Larry but wondered if they would work as a home server. Enter Donavon West’s Home Server Hacks site and an excellent four part guide to using a KPC as a WHS.

Unfortunately the cases themselves have taken an age to get down to Australia, but about two weeks ago they made an appearance. Thanks to the wonders of StaticIce, I purchased one along with some other bits and pieces and low and behold my new Home Server was born.

All in the all the server cost my about 400 bucks to build without the Windows Home Server which I already had:

 

Component

Cost (AUD)

Shuttle KPC K45 Barebones Case

$149

Pentium D2180 processor

$79

Samsung 750Gig SATA Hard Drive

$139

2 GB Corsair Memory

$49

Grant Total

$416

 

Once the server was built, I needed to get Home Server installed on it. Donavon’s excellent tutorial included a step by step guide to setting up a USB memory key to be bootable for installing Windows Home Server, so off to ALDI I went to buy a 2 gig key for $20! It turns out not only are the 2 gig Transcend keys they are selling excellent value, but they are also ReadyBoost compatible so you can speed up your Vista installation as well (as I have been on my work laptop).

So now the server is up and running and I have to admit, looking pretty damn cool on my desk.

 IMG_2702

Now the waiting game starts, I am running x64 Vista at home, whilst it doesn’t rule out using the WHS Connector software, it does stop me backing the machine using WHS until the native x64 connector is released with WHS Power Pack 1 that is due out in Beta in the next week or so. Stay Tuned!





Windows Home Server Ships

17 07 2007

The news sites are all abuzz this morning with the news that Windows Home Server has RTM’d for availability later this year. This is excellent news, the product is nothing short of amazing as I have mentioned in this blog before. I can see a dedicated machine appearing on my network in the next couple of months that will be running WHS, I am even willing to dip into my gadget fund to make it a reality.

Congratulations to the WHS team. Now let’s hope it comes to Technet 🙂





Long time between drinks

28 04 2007

It’s been a couple of weeks since I last posted. I havn’t really appreciated just how hard it is to have two kids under 14 months, this coupled with a major project I am working on getting towards the business end (5 weeks of development left then testing). Unfortunatley this has lead to the blog suffereing. I will try and be more regular. I need some form of blogging ex-lax 🙂 

Home Server 

Last weekend I managed to wangle 30 minutes ‘nerd time’ to install the new CTP of Windows Home Server on a VM. I have to admit I am very impressed with it, to the extent of watching a number of items on ebay to roll my own hardware for one. What would be great now is if MS makes it available to Technet so I can get my hands on a copy. You would hope so, there is now a add in option allowing you to add functionality to it which may push it into the Technet realm.

The general install is way slicker than before, although it does seem to think it’s Windows Server for Small Business. The console app is more responsive and the ability to remote desktop is available.

Optus

My ISP are trying to up the price of my home phone which means my internet deal isn’t so good any more, so it’s time to look around. Anyone in Australia suggest a good ISP with heaps of quota for arounf the $70 a month mark?

SharePoint

As we speak I am setting up a development environment for SharePoint. It’s about time I got my head around the new version a bit better, plus I have an excellent idea for an addon that if I can get working should bring in some pocket money that I can spend on new gadgets.  Let’s just hope my development skills don’t still suck!!

 K2

Finally, the grumpywookie and all round workflow guru at SDM, Chris O’Connor has set up a K2 based blog that is starting to get noticed all over the world. If your into workflow, or want to know more about K2.net head over to devk2.net.





Playing with Windows Home Server

25 02 2007

I have to admit, I was pretty non plussed about setting up Windows Home Server seeing that the LanDrive already meets my file serving needs and if I chose to I could set up Windows Server 2003 thanks to Technet. But I decided to give it a try (Virtually).

The installation took a while, and had to be restarted as the vhd I had set up wasn’t big enough, but once installed I have to admit I am well impressed.

The server only provides a small number of functions, but what it does provide, it does well:

  • File server – the server provides a number of shares that you can access, a nice touch is the software share where you can provide programs to be installed on client machines, such as the Server client and Restore software;
  • Backup – once the client has been installed you can configure backups to it;
  • Raid – Depending on the number of drives in the server, you can choose to Raid up the contents of the shares, it’s called File Duplication, but is pretty cool;
  • Web Front End – if you surf to the server, you get a nifty web front end allowing you to Remote Desktop (allegedly, not figured out how to do it through the web yet), and access files in the shares. The web front end also allows you to upload (neat), and search using WDS;
  • Remote Desktop – you can remote desktop into the server. I am guessing this would be of particular use if you didn’t want to expose your main machine to the internet;
  • Expandable Storage – there seems to be some DFS magic where any storage you add will be magically merged into the available storage on the server. Very clever;
  • Console – a nifty little console is provided so you can administer the server remotely.

I will be playing with the Server for a bit, I am even starting to look around to get hold of some parts to build up a dedicated box. It will be interesting to see how the product develops.

You can see and read more info on the server at WeGotServed and the Microsoft Windows Home Server forums.