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WHS2011 or Windows Server Essentials 2012


tekguru
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As most of you are aware I run a WHS2011 system at home, with the machines turned on only once a week for printing out shopping lists and the like at weekends and to do a backup on my PC and the other half's laptop.

 

Since moving my PC onto Windows 8 (fresh install - not the upgrade) I've had a few issues backing up.

 

The WHS2011 machine uses a 1.9Tb (2TB) drive for backing up, and my PC has drives used as follows:

 

C: 148Gb used 36.9Gb

E: 976Gb used 678Gb

F: 976Gb used 505Gb

G: 488Gb used 115Gb

H: 353Gb used 589Mb

 

Taking into account backing the above 100% (and the system state) as well as the laptop that leaves around 458Gb free on the backup drive in the WHS machine.

 

The first backup of my Win 8 PC over cable took 12 hours, but last nights backup, as an incremental, I expected to take a couple of hours. It actually took from 19:30PM last night until 10:30am this morning.

 

So that leaves me thinking on the following:

  • Is the Avast AV app on the Win 8 PC affecting it? (Fine on Win 7)
  • I know WHS2011 is slower to backup compared to WHS2001 by around 30%
  • Was the first backup actually duff even though it shows as okay?
  • Will the next backup have similar issues?
  • Should I take some of the drives out of the backup loop?

And that makes me wonder that should I consider trashing the WHS2011 machine and going with Windows Server Essentials 2012.

 

Pro / Cons are:

  • - Windows Server Essentials 2012 is domain based so that means both PC and laptop would have to be reconfigures / set-up for use under a different account on the domain
  • + I do have spare domains that could be used
  • +Windows Server Essentials 2012 supports storage spaces so backup drive space would not be an issue
  • + Backup on Windows Server Essentials 2012 uses a more modern, reliable, faster system
  • ? Not sure how long the PC / laptop would cache the login credentials for the WSE login as the machine will only be turned on weekly.

Thoughts?

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Guest no-control

$50 vs. $450?

 

 

Pro / Cons are:

  • - Windows Server Essentials 2012 is domain based so that means both PC and laptop would have to be reconfigures / set-up for use under a different account on the domain
  • + I do have spare domains that could be used
  • +Windows Server Essentials 2012 supports storage spaces so backup drive space would not be an issue
  • + Backup on Windows Server Essentials 2012 uses a more modern, reliable, faster system
  • ? Not sure how long the PC / laptop would cache the login credentials for the WSE login as the machine will only be turned on weekly.

Thoughts?

  • Why do you need to reconfigure? Join the Domain and PC is done. Add user accounts to the domain and you're done.
  • You don't need an actual TLD internet domain. Infact its discouraged. The domain can be anything, you make it up. mydomain.local, home.local, surname.local are all valid domains. You shouldn't be using somespecialthingIboughtonGoDaddy.com
  • No but drive speed may be an issue make sure you know what the trade offs are.
  • Agreed
  • You can set domain logon cache credentials in AD. So basically non issue.

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Oh on the cost I'll be using my Technet license to test the systems.....

 

Right to come back with more:

  • I was referring to reconfiguring all the apps on the machines once switched over to a domain account, as that woudl be a different logon on the PC's? That would be a pain as my wife has a lot of weirdly configured genealogy applications set up and configured.
  • Good news on the TLD domain, but that might be uiseful for remote access?
  • Drives in the WHS machine or the client PCs?
  • On the logons is that in AD on the prospective WSE machine?

Any other possible issues, do you need the specs of the prospective WSE machine?

 

Anyone come across the WHS2011 backup issue I'm seeing and have any thoughts on it?

Edited by tekguru
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Yep :)

 

The machine is based on a Quad Core PC which used to be my main machine, and then a nice quiet WHS until it went ito the shop with a major issue when the power supply blew and took the motherboard out. Weh I got it back it was a different motherboard, cooler and alas I decided to have the drives fitted in caddies at the same time. Big mistake, the cooler fan is a bit lounder and the caddy fans are very noisey.... result the other half hates havign it turned on, and as it has a 800W power supply it's not cheap to run...

 

So yes it goes on twice a week, once for the printing of shopping lists etc on a Friday night, adn to do a weekly backup, and then on Sunday to do the cleanup tasks.

 

No issues with tht at all in the past it's worked great - until I turned formatted my PC (removing the Win 8 upgrade install from Win 7) and went natively Win 8.

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Just want say a couple of things:

  1. if the drive caddies are making too much noise, which isn't actually surprising, why not get them removed?
  2. your assumption that an 800W PSU costs more to run than a smaller PSU is incorrect. That's not how electronics work. The 800W rating doesn't mean it's using 800W all the time; it only means the PSU can go up as high as 800W without burning out. What determines how much power is used by the system, is how much is being drawn by the components (mobo, HDDs, add-in cards, etc.). If the components only draw a total of 80w, then that's how much the PSU will deliver. So, instead of worrying about the PSU, concentrate on the components and how much each of them draws.

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What I might do with the caddies is bolt them into place as part of the noise I think is fan vibration as they are mounted on quick mounts at the moment. Will see if that helps, if not I'll mount directly into the bays again.

 

Oh i know about the 800W being a maximum and what is drawn is what is needed, but alas my wife thinks otherwise :)

 

The good news is that I've triggered a back up tonight, been running now for 59 minutes and it's 72% complete so I might just turn the machine on each night and do a backup, if that seems to fix the issue. The other change made today is that I've linked the WHS machine into the 1Gb switch instead of through the 1Gb router itself, so that and the PC now both go through the switch bypassing the router - that could be making a difference.

 

Backup drive free space is still at 412.9Gb so looking good. So once the backup is completed I'll trigger the clean up task manually and clean out the failed backups from yesterday.

 

So if running a backup each night fixes the issue I'll stick with the WHS2011 system for a little longer.

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Perhaps, if you get the noise level down sufficiently, your wife won't object to the server running 24/7. :D

 

You didn't mention the client PCs were connected to the WHS through a router. I'm 99% sure the move to the 1Gb switch has indeed made a huge difference.

 

If you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. A decent consumer Ethernet switch costs about the same as a decent consumer router. How could the switch circuits in a router be as good as those in a dedicated switch? It just doesn't make economic sense. So, not surprisingly, router switches tend to perform poorly compared to dedicated siwtches.

 

I think this is much more important that turning the WHS on every night

 

As far as the router is concerned, if it's your internet gateway and you have cable, there should only be 2 Ethernet cables; one to your switch, and one to your cable modem (if you have a separate cable modem). If it's your gateway and you have DSL then there should only be an Ethernet cable to your switch. If the router is only to provide wireless access, then only one Ethernet cable, to the switch.

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Grin I can hope so, really though I need to fit a quieter CPU cooler as well, will see though once the drives are sorted out!

 

Agreed on the switch, we are connected via DSL (16Mb) and indeed the switch is connected directly to that. Originally both the PC and the WHS machine were through the switch, but for a reason I can't now recall the PC had been moved over to being connected to the router.

 

Will see how it goes, but it should be noted that the PC had been connected via the router when running Windows 7 and there were no problems with the backup.

 

The DSL modem / router is a Netgear DGND3300 so should be expensive enough to carry the load.

 

It should be noted that my wifes laptop uses Wi-Fi as a connectivity medium and backs up in about 20 minutes, but then again she uses it mainly for email and the web no heavy work or large file activities so therefore not a lot on incremental file changes.

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