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Ideas on how to use 3 HP Microservers (EX490, N40L, and N54L) for home use. Want to upgrade OS to Windows Server 2012 Essentials


pglover19
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Hello All,

 

I need some guidance and recommendation on what to do
with 3 HP MicroServers I have for home use. 
I want to make one of the servers the main server responsible for
backing up the other 2 servers and the 7 desktop PCs I have. I may want to do
other intensive processing on the main server as the need arises. Additionally,
I am trying to justify whether to purchase Windows Server 2012 Essentials for
the main server. I have not installed or worked with Essentials before nor have
I had to setup a domain and work with Active Directory. However, I am willing
to learn. So, below is the home infrastructure I currently have.


 

HP EX490 MicroServer with the following specs. The server
is currently used for backing up all the 6 desktop PCs as well as the EX490
server itself.

 

Q9300 CPU

Windows Home Server v1

4GB DDR2 RAM

4TB of Disk Space (4 1TB Drives)



HP N40L MicroServer with the following specs. The server
is currently used as a media server for the storage of all my ripped movies and
TV shows. Additionally, the server is connected to my home theater receiver and
I stream using XBMC to my home theater projector.


Stock CPU

Windows Home Server 2011

8GB DDR3 RAM

8TB of Disk Space (4 2TB Drives)

 

 

HP N54L MicroServer that I just purchased from the NewEgg
deal. Not sure yet what to do with this server and I am looking for
recommendations on how I can incorporate this server into my current home
server infrastructure. The current setup is stock. However, I have temporarily
installed the Synology DSM 4.1 software on the HP N54L server based on a thread
I found on AVSFORUMS.com. I am finding the user interface not as user friendly
and will probably not stay with this type of setup.


Stock CPU

No real OS installed right now. Playing around with the Synology DSM 4.1 software on the server.

2GB DDR3 RAM (stock)

250GB Disk Space (stock). However, I have two 2TB WD Black
Caviar drives, one 3TB WD Green drive, one 250G Seagate drive, and one 1TB Seagate
drive that I am currently not using…



I have 6 desktop PCs. 4 of the 6 desktop PCs are connected
to TVs to stream movies over my home network (Gigabit network) from the HP N40L
server using XBMC. The other 2 are used as my home office PCs for my wife and I.
Here is a breakdown of the PCs.


2 Home Office PCs running Windows Vista Ultimate

3 XBMC PC running Windows 7 Home Premium

1 XMBC PC  running Windows 7 Professional


I am eager to hear from you all on some recommendations
based on my setup.



 

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Wow, you have an almost embarrassment of riches :)

 

I would let the EX490 keep doing the backups. It's working and backup isn't all that demanding, so why change it.

 

I'm not sure what you should do with the N54L. If you do any transcoding, and want to do it on one of the servers, then the N54L would be the natural choice.

 

If you have no bandwidth caps from your ISP, and have a place to keep it (parents, children, friend, work, etc.), you might consider placing one of the boxes off site and using it for offsite backup.

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How should I backup the N40L server (media server with my ripped movies, etc.)? Right now, I have used around 2TB of disk space. I want to backup everything on this media server including the OS as well... 

 

Wow, you have an almost embarrassment of riches :)

 

I would let the EX490 keep doing the backups. It's working and backup isn't all that demanding, so why change it.

 

I'm not sure what you should do with the N54L. If you do any transcoding, and want to do it on one of the servers, then the N54L would be the natural choice.

 

If you have no bandwidth caps from your ISP, and have a place to keep it (parents, children, friend, work, etc.), you might consider placing one of the boxes off site and using it for offsite backup.

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Here's my backup strategy: http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/topic/4788-what-i-hope-to-acheive-with-your-help/page__p__51373#entry51373

 

The main points are that I treat OS backup separately from data, and I rotate offsite backups to ensure even my house burning down wont cause data loss. I also consider having my data backed up in a readily readable format a significant part of my strategy.

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I looked at your backup strategy and I am trying to determine how I could implement something similar for my situation. For most of my PCs and servers, the information stored on the harddrive is categoried as:

 

1. OS

2. Apps

3. Data

 

So, based on your strategy, you would only backup the data. So, in my situation what would be your backup strategy for the OS and Apps.

 

Here's my backup strategy: http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/topic/4788-what-i-hope-to-acheive-with-your-help/page__p__51373#entry51373

 

The main points are that I treat OS backup separately from data, and I rotate offsite backups to ensure even my house burning down wont cause data loss. I also consider having my data backed up in a readily readable format a significant part of my strategy.

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I use Windows Server Backup to back up the OS. The backup goes to a drive that's connected to the server using a USB3 toaster. If you look at the photo in that post I linked, you can see the toaster to the left of the server. That's the 1 backup in my system that's in a proprietary format.

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I use Windows Server Backup to back up the OS. The backup goes to a drive that's connected to the server using a USB3 toaster. If you look at the photo in that post I linked, you can see the toaster to the left of the server. That's the 1 backup in my system that's in a proprietary format.

 

Ok... So what would you recommend as backup strategy for my situation knowing that I have the OS, Apps, and data to backup. Additionally, I have 3 servers and 6 Desktop PCs to backup....

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One more thing, you can share your Robocopy scipts with me and the frequency they run..

 

 

I use Windows Server Backup to back up the OS. The backup goes to a drive that's connected to the server using a USB3 toaster. If you look at the photo in that post I linked, you can see the toaster to the left of the server. That's the 1 backup in my system that's in a proprietary format.



Also your scheduled task setup... Thanks

 

 

One more thing, you can share your Robocopy scipts with me and the frequency they run..

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I too would benefit from your robocopy scripts. I currently use syncback pro but it seems most use robocopy. Thanks.

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