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12 years later, my WHS 1 is running out of space -- O/S upgrade options


Mario P.
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For past 5+ years, I have been using my WHS1 w/ PP3 strictly as a backup for a QNAP NAS, but I'm running out of space and looking for inexpensive options. 

12 years ago, I got myself a Norco RPC-4020 case, an X9650 Intel chip, married to a Supermicro X75BA MB, and 4G of memory and over the years, started adding drives as needed. 
I have few 750GB, several 1.5Tb, and the rest are 2TBs. 
I used to use it for MyMovies, but 7 years ago, moved on to QNAP NAS with PLEX. 

I'm quickly running out of space with the 2tb limitation of the WHS1. 
While I can start replacing the 750GB & 1.5TB drives, in order to gain another few TBs, I was wondering if I shouldn't just buy the bullet and upgrade my OS to something current and come into the 2020s. 

The goal would be to not spend any money on hardware upgrades (outside of what the new HDDs would cost) if possible. 
I don't care about security as the server is used for local access only, at home, and powered down for 99% of the time. I literally power it on once every 6 months, run my ghetto FreeFileSync program to sync my qNAP and WHS, and power it down an hour or so later. 



image.png.861abdb8beb9eb7194182c125e08164f.png
 

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Wauw! 😃 That’s a nice build! I totally love it.

 

So, into the 2020’s you say… Well, unless you have access to a copy of a newer version of Windows Server (2012 or newer), I guess I would go for a FreeNAS solution as it kinda resembles the idea behind Drive Extender, and is a no-RAID solution as FreeNAS manages the drives individually.

 

It’s a Linux OS for sure, but you never see it, just as you never see the OS in a Synology NAS.


It’s free and I think It runs on any hardware you can imagine.

 

Of course, keep your entire fleet of drives from your existing Home Server, and carefully numbered, 😊 so that you can re-create your Home Server in case your QNAP runs into issues. 
Just to keep ind mind as the QNAP will be stressed out a bit when you migrate all of you 28TB of data over and even the QNAP could encounter a disk failure during the initial copy to your new setup,

.

 

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The CPU alone is probably drawing 80 Watts doing nothing while the drives combined is another 100-150W. If any, it's more of a space heater than a computer. :) I have a modified E5450 (to fit an LGA775 board) on a EP45-UD3R motherboard that has a modified BIOS microcode.... and I thought it was already a power hog.

 

If it were me, I'd consider replacing it using 2nd hand parts. Even 8th generation Intel CPUs would be more powerful yet consume only a fraction of what the X9650 draws. You can part out the drives and get yourself 4 or 5 10TB drives and put them in FreeNAS. Then if you do ZFS with 1 parity disk, you'll get about 28TB of usable space (4 disks) or 38.5TB (5 disks). If you're only maintaining a few disks (instead of 20), you can probably find a commodity case and PSU that can accommodate that. No need for server chassis or proprietary parts.

 

But I do understand if you still choose to keep it.... especially if it's seldom used. Just giving you ideas how to move forward and away from a 14 y/o hardware.

Edited by oj88
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On 10/15/2022 at 2:35 AM, TheGuru said:

Wauw! 😃 That’s a nice build! I totally love it.

 

So, into the 2020’s you say… Well, unless you have access to a copy of a newer version of Windows Server (2012 or newer), I guess I would go for a FreeNAS solution as it kinda resembles the idea behind Drive Extender, and is a no-RAID solution as FreeNAS manages the drives individually.

 

It’s a Linux OS for sure, but you never see it, just as you never see the OS in a Synology NAS.


It’s free and I think It runs on any hardware you can imagine.

 

Of course, keep your entire fleet of drives from your existing Home Server, and carefully numbered, 😊 so that you can re-create your Home Server in case your QNAP runs into issues. 
Just to keep ind mind as the QNAP will be stressed out a bit when you migrate all of you 28TB of data over and even the QNAP could encounter a disk failure during the initial copy to your new setup,

.

 

Thank you for responding. 
Great information and something definitely to follow. 
Yes, drives are all accounted for and organized. 


- Are there any benifits in trying to source Windows Server 2012 from eBay or such, vs just getting the FreeNAS?

- If I go the FreeNAS route, can I set up new system as RAID-5 or 6 and buy a new, largest drive for parity, or do I have to match all the drive sizes (or live with smallest common denominator)?

That's what I liked about WHS1.0, the whole JOBD concept with file duplication being done on a whole file level, so losing any drive meant no data loss, as none of the files were striped. 
Even with folders I do NOT have duplicated, if I lose a drive with WHS, I surely will lose some of the files, but not all. 


As I said, this machine is powered on few times a year for few hours.
Few live documents (QuickBooks) are on Dropbox, and backed up on 2 seperate PCs that we use, which is then backed up to QNAP NAS on regular basis.
Movies are easily retrieved if I lose say 2-months worth of downloads. 
Pictures are on the cloud, plus on the same 4 locations as documents. 

All in all, if I lost this WHS server right now, I would not lose any data. 
If my QNAP went up in smoke, I'm down few hours of movie re-downloads. 

Capture.JPG

Edited by Mario P.
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On 10/15/2022 at 8:11 AM, oj88 said:

The CPU alone is probably drawing 80 Watts doing nothing while the drives combined is another 100-150W. If any, it's more of a space heater than a computer. :) I have a modified E5450 (to fit an LGA775 board) on a EP45-UD3R motherboard that has a modified BIOS microcode.... and I thought it was already a power hog.

 

If it were me, I'd consider replacing it using 2nd hand parts. Even 8th generation Intel CPUs would be more powerful yet consume only a fraction of what the X9650 draws. You can part out the drives and get yourself 4 or 5 10TB drives and put them in FreeNAS. Then if you do ZFS with 1 parity disk, you'll get about 28TB of usable space (4 disks) or 38.5TB (5 disks). If you're only maintaining a few disks (instead of 20), you can probably find a commodity case and PSU that can accommodate that. No need for server chassis or proprietary parts.

 

But I do understand if you still choose to keep it.... especially if it's seldom used. Just giving you ideas how to move forward and away from a 14 y/o hardware.

You're right with high power usage, but as you concluded, since the machine is on for 4-8 hours a year (yes, a year), the extra power is minimal, compared to the cost of replacement, even if 2nd hand. I also like the fact that the case is mounted in the rack, out of the way. qtY6Yfjs-ZqtrUpaJ6VTfvqDgmOUXKH8TWlhCOnvOa9hcNutv_Hc3XF7h8HeSF6pKHBnaibtz4IwSD5SPU9pKHuEMDYBhQnAiJAGbTU71FUHpzJ95KXOk_RSMhbyAF1bQos4FMTiqdv-MzyukWIXRDZowAUyqVAZgBv20tiPerPezQ4EgpB8cAObNywh0IOFmTJb2bBUu8o8VYh-oDq37eITHk2uIhTSnafYIr_FlOPTFnPLjC6ZdJoNmoioYxIDopcUa2rVXVWlACZcw1BTgzx3OKF708e_qVi5sAYM4j6M6Uq4B-qfU9Ih4i8VMxosgXYNpjuVLnXPjcwMyu4TDsiWZrhzdyBdOhrIkV7cRDndRU1MvBZNESn5WxuyHpoCMg2j6o6onoSEqCyNuhznXbimn4djhrW5pCdX0-3QLx9mhMngSLQz8YtJZNSTIVD0xCmACHuGnOcsGEvEPn37J0pbYSepjzCCRuiwTwcvWMliWimaO86yYrt8gj7Ib-ZrnqSCtpKKFnkzsz6v9hFwgsRQ1Lrp3o5Sg-7rkbheeRqh4QbwtWXeFj4xcYj1N_RdhjmI14WsOHQfJpXmdc21IRb90RHxfARkCdo5uNvTv0A4NLfSNgPcjCktbO4J8S_198uMm-sZA3dlyr_xIBT1kS_SpiZa1mnpwfQCvB1RjHS_S_zYxwW8uw2oDQOUbwqjwfL4FLi-wZZXSdT38rkxmvwuZ1FuUCV2Rba-lgK1Vo7QUVBvZCsxPKmF_q9l8dKniZ8OOW4TqcJgPmeNaH6tU2aPIMqvTJB3o0G80MNEy2S44ceEz1ROFUllP6b_a3oN8KZCDmg8YSDrJn-G9fl8vg72PzsNizPBLeYVW5od4Yj6RCy4LylWgkbCZhvmr7HEeTWvASQtPCVqpc8sqBAY8LRKJkx68PtZpS_uM0RfPPbGRdVZ1AzvyMQsE3F3UQ6WmrEoQmxevJNFmNw-bDlRG7YcWR0IB9xyl_SpP0hOTax8_-F-I8e_L4YnGXD0CrtZ2NAUdXxJMQ6qFs38f6VJMw=w1514-h2018-no?authuser=0

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  • 2 weeks later...

FWIW, after running WHS on an HP MSS EX-495 up until about 2 years ago, I bit the bullet and acquired a Dell PowerEdge tower server, installed Windows Server 2016 Essentials and then migrated all of my client PCs to using the new system. (Numerous details omitted.)

 

The reason for the post is to ask: if the WHS platform can support more SATA drives than say the typical 4, would it be possible to use additional non-AF drives and add them to the pool for backups? IOW, if WHS is NOT limited to only using the typical 3 drives in the DE pool given it another one. If the H/W support for using more SATA devices is there, and, WHS can use more than 3 drives in the DE pool then a way to get more room is to add another device to the pool.

 

This is similar to what MSFT has done in Storage Spaces. On my WHS replacement system, I've configured a Storage Spaces mirrored pool with more than 3 drives. And if for some reason I run out of room (I'm no where near that limit) I can expand the pool by putting another drive in the box and adding to to the storage pool.

 

GL, DJ

 

.

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