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Is it worth updating from W7 to Server 2012 R2 Foundation?


TomP
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I had thought of updating from W7 to W10, but just noticed there is a (new?) lower price Foundation version of Server 2012 R2..

 

Superficially it seems to have a lot of commonality with WHS 2011, so is it a worthwhile option for my Gen 8 asnd is it easy to install and configure to do the same as WHS 2011?

 

Thanks in advance

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Not an expert ... and don't think Windows server versions are cost-effective for typical home use but:

- does Foundation come with Hyper-V (I think not ... were you hoping to use that)

- what do you want to do with Active Directory that you could not do with a Homegroup ... or just shared folders?

- can you actually buy Foundation other than with a new server purchase?

- do you really need software backup from various PC's - Windows 10 RESET is pretty good. I usually find OS/Application rebuilds are either unnecessary or by the time I wish to do one I want to set things up differently anyway or a new version of the OS is out!

- the W10 upgrade is free.

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.... until 29th. Good point.

Best then to upgrade to W10 now. If you like it fine.

If not go back (you have a month before the Windows.old folder will be deleted by the OS, removing your ability to roll back).

Having upgraded and rolled back ... you can then roll forward again, or even do a clean install,  at a later date since the upgrade process reserves activation by creating a digest of the devices main hardware components.

If you have the time its a bet to nothing.

OTOH if the machine is stable and not likely to change functionality (e.g. it will always be just a file server) before being decommissioned then staying with W7 until the hardware fails will work. 

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Thanks !! I just upgraded to W10 and it was painless once I'd got over the problem that Windows Update would not work (searched on Google and used what seems to be a universal solution).

 

The OS looks a big improvement over W8 and includes an unexpected but very welcome feature, Storage Spaces.

 

I will indeed just be using the machine as a file server, so are there any hints on the best way to use this feature and the attached Homegroup PCs?

 

Key questions for me are...

 

Should I use Storage Space Duplication and/or Parity protection?

Would B120i Raid be a better proposition?

With either method, how is a failed disk reported - Email possibly?

Also does either allow me to remove a disk and read on a regular PC? I've had all my servers fail due to failure of Ethernet communication so this is my last line of protection in extremis.

 

Thanks in advance

Edited by TomP
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Storage Spaces came in with Windows 8 ... but now the bad news ... the client version does not have data duplication or ReFS.

SS was designed for datacentre usage in clusters and atttached disk bays holding 36-72 HDD's!

The aggregate bandwidth of these large configurations, built using commodity components, was intended to replace vastly expensive enterprise kit and RAID.

The architecture is essentially 'scale out'.

 

I'd say the key benefits of SS are only realised in servers with at least 8 disks, though it will work with less. G8 with only 4 bays is far from ideal.

The design does solve one problem you are concerned about.

The SS user interface will mark a space as degraded when a disk fails (but not send an email unless you do a bit of bespoke programming I suspect) ...

... but here is what will happen after that if you have a space with 8 disks in 4 columns (roughly like RAID 1 with 2 copies of the data) ...

... rebuilding of the data from the failed disk will begin immediately, without user intervention (so you can sleep ay night) ...

... 3 of the 4 disks on the bad side are still alive so the 4 disks on the good side holding the 2nd (now last accessible!) copy of the data begin copying to all 3 of the disks on the bad side simultaneously.

In other words not only does rebuilding begin automatically, the architecture inherently contains a number of hot spares and data recovery takes place in parallel according to the number of columns in the SS. The latter is particularly important as HDD size has grown. If an 8TB disk has failed ... the rebuild time under RAID to a single hot spare disk is worryingly long. With SS this time is divided by the column count. Imagine how quick a rebuild would be in a 32 disk bay with 16 columns!

 

My understanding (which means I think I read it somewhere) SS disks are only readable in other SS's - the data is written across all disks in the space in a proprietary fashion.

 

I'd stick with the B120i unless you intend to research SS and test the performance in some detail.

I liked the idea at first too.

Edited by JackoUK
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