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Another WHS 2011 Build


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I've been listening to the BYOB podcast from the beginning but haven't posted much.

I come here to get some of your ideas to build my WHS 2011 Box.


Here is what I plan to do with it :


Host : Windows Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V role.

Guests : WHS 2011

Windows Server 2008 R2 - Domain Controller (for MDT)

Different Server 2008 R2 for testing purposes.

One or two Windows 7




WHS 2011 with VMWARE Server as a host


And the rest in VM's as it is working at the moment on my current WHS v1 build.


Or maybe ESXI 5.0


What do you think of these 3 ?


Here is what I was planning : Norco 4224 (on its way)


Motherboard : Intel S1200BTL



CPU : Intel Xeon E3-1230



RAM : 8 GB ECC to begin with - I plan to max it out to 32 gb later



I just don't know yet what I will get for controller (I plan to go the Raid way)


Here are my 2 choices I think :


LSI 9260-4i (Don't know if I should go for the 8i version)



HP SAS Expander (to get 24 drives in RAID)




HighPoint RocketRAID 2760A 24-Port SATA



(I plan to get Raid 50 or 60 with that many drives, I don't know if this is a good idea.)




My current Build is also a custom build for WHS v1 (for those interested ;-) )


Case : Enlight EN-8950


Motherboard : Asus P5BV-E/SAS


Ram : 4gb Kingston No-ecc


CPU : Dual Core Xeon E3110


3 * 5 in 3 HDD Racks


14 * 2TB WD Green (EADS and EARS) attached on the onboard SAS controller and an INTEL SASUC8I


1 * 1 TB Seagate not in pool for the VM's and BDBB


What do you think of my choices ? I especially need advice for the Raid card.


Thanks a lot.

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Guest no-control

That hardware will be fine though I would opt for 16GB of RAM. I personally would pick the Highpoint card over the LSI/HP combo. Just my preference to use a single card.


As for the VM software its purely a matter of preference. Being that I'm a Microsoft guy I prefer hyper-V, but ESXi would be a close 2nd. Xenserver is another one to look into.


FYI you can have a DC but you cannot add WHS2011 to a domain so please be aware of that.

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Thanks for the advice No-control.


I'm fully aware that I cannot add whs 2011 to a domain. But a domain is needed for WDS - Windows Deployment Services.


Here is an explanation for those interested : http://en.wikipedia....oyment_Services


(It already works great with my WHS v1 setup.)


I start my computer restores with PXE Boot. I'm tired of always having to search for my DVD/USB key.


Any experience with the LSI one ?


From what I understand, it works in a different manner from the usual SAS controllers : http://www.tweaktown...er/index12.html


I'm also a Microsoft guy, that's why my first thought was using Hyper-V. I have the technet, so there is a lot a things I can play with. :-)


Any advice for the Raid type ?




(For those wanting Norco Cases in Europe, there is a reseller in the Netherlands. Ordered yesterday, received it today ... If you want more info maybe you can PM me, or I can put a link to him in here.)

Edited by matt_br
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One more note on the memory. I believe WHS 2011 will only support 8GB so you are better off going with 2008 R2 as the host and the 16GB of RAM as No-control suggests.

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Indeed, it was mentionned in one of the last podcasts, if not the last one (from BYOB or The Home Server Show).

I did forget that.



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Guest no-control

Sorry if I wasn't clear in my first post. I would only consider the first and third options(Hyper-V or ESXi) I purposely omitted the WHS host idea.


Why use WDS? Do you have a need to for deployment? Curious.


I've used some older LSI controllers, not the ones you mentioned. For what you're doing I do not see a reason for the more expensive controller/expander set up. I think its overkill. Most of your system is but there wasn't a choice given. ;) And they'll serve you just fine (pun!).


For RAID its a matter of personal taste that suits your needs. I prefer to use smaller arrays (1/5/10) and manage my data accordingly. For other peoples data, where I have no control over their structure. I go the opposite and use a big array to ensure data integrity (6/50/60)


For my personal server I have 2 RAID 1 arrays and 2 Raid 5 arrays for 11 HDDs

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Well, I'm an IT guy and like to play a lot.


I set up WDS so it starts the WHS recovery CD/DVD via PXE boot, this way, when I have a computer problem, all I have to do is check if my backup is up to date :-) then restart and press F12.

It then starts the WHS recovery process without the need to search for the CD/DVD/USB key. It clearly is overkill, but at work we have such a system and I found it pretty handy.

It also allows me to learn how to use this things (As a system center configuration manager admin this things come in handy ;-) )

I know it should be possible to do this with a TFTP server, but my job is MS stuff, so I've gone this way, as I have a technet, it's no problem at all.


My WHS also serves for media streaming/transcoding as you could have guessed (I forgot to mention this.)


My server would also serve as a lab to test the new System Center Configuration Manager thats what the SQL, DC and Windows 7 Clients are for.


So, overkill ? Definitely. :-)


This hardware list is only my first shot, if you have other ideas that are less overkill, feel free. The only thing that is set in stone so to speak is the 24 HDD's as after two years I have maxed out my 14 drive setup.


I also could repurpose my "old" desktop hardware and put it iin the server : AMD Phenom II X4 940 BE, 8 GB of RAM, Gigabyte GA-MA790GP-UD4H


Would this be a viable option ? (no problem with raid controllers ? hyper-v ?)



Well I'd like data integrity, and I would prefer one large array as most of my data is made of movies/documentaries etc ... and of course the backups of my machines.


If you have other things in mind, please feel free, I am a total newbie for Raid matters.


I just would like all my collection on one share/array if possible, it would be easier to manage.


Again, thanks a lot for your input.

Edited by matt_br
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