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New N54L Setup - Help Needed


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Hi,

 

First Post!

 

I have just purchased a new HP ProLiant N54L, but have several questions. I am going to be switching over from using a HP Media Smart EX series server that is running WHSv1. I am new when it comes to servers, so please bear with me. I want to be able to do the following with the N54L.

 

- Use as a media server - storing pictures, music, movies, in addition to streaming 1080p content

- Use as a HTPC by connecting to my AV receiver via HDMI, with audio pass through

- Have remote access to the files. It would be sweet to be able to stream music, movies when on the go

- I want to be able to specify which files to back up and have duplicate copies for. Typically, music/pictures/files are what I would create duplicates for. Movies don't have to be duplicated

- Being able to back up computers is a nice-to-have, not a necessity

 

I have about 4 windows machines and 1 mac in the household.

 

Questions:

- Which OS should I go for? I am looking for something that is easily manageable and configurable. I have been considering WHS 2011 just because of my familiarity with its v1.

- I am assuming I need a video card with HDMI. How's this? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102933

- I don't know anything about RAID. Do I need it? If so, do I need a controller?

- Any other hardware that I should consider getting?

 

Thanks for the help!

 

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I do not have an iHousehold. That's not because I hate Apple; I just prefer to not have to deal with 2 environments. Except for Untangle, I also do not use Linux.

cskenney

You really have to decide what you want to do with the system.

1. If you use it as a HTPC then what software are you going to use?  WMC? XMBC?

2. No client backups?  At all?  How about backing up your server OS?  Is that necessary?

3. What do you do for your 3-2-1 backup strategy?  You must have one because you talked about duplicating important files.

4. How much storage (drive space) do you need?

5. If you decide to get a video card it looks like the one your referenced would work (see info at http://n40l.wikia.com/wiki/Graphics_Cards).  No experience here with using it though.

 

Just a few things to thing about to get the conversation flowing.

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awraynor

Welcome to the forums. You will see many opinions on how to get to your dream server.

 

1. I personally run WHS 2011 with MyMovies for DVD ripping and cataloging.  

 

2. For the music portion I have iTunes and iHomeServer in tandem. I consume music

on my HDTV with a jailbroken AppleTV2 which allows me to play my DVD folder

rips, Plex can't read folder rips and XBMC is very customizable, but more than I need.  

Many run a dedicated HTPC, the server in my office serving to my living room works for me.

I also have the ability to play from iCloud with the ATV2.

 

3. WHS2011 can be configured for remote access, although I don't personally use it.

 

4. One of the recent podcasts discussed software vs. hardware RAID. I use neither in my

case. DrivePool and DriveBender do an equally good job of software RAID. 

 

5. Think about CrashPlan on the server, it can back up your files remotely, always a good thing

to have. 

 

6. If you don't want bare metal backup, Windows8 as a server will also work in lieu of Win2011.

 

If you peruse the forums you will see a lot of discussion on your questions. 

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You really have to decide what you want to do with the system.

1. If you use it as a HTPC then what software are you going to use?  WMC? XMBC?

2. No client backups?  At all?  How about backing up your server OS?  Is that necessary?

3. What do you do for your 3-2-1 backup strategy?  You must have one because you talked about duplicating important files.

4. How much storage (drive space) do you need?

5. If you decide to get a video card it looks like the one your referenced would work (see info at http://n40l.wikia.com/wiki/Graphics_Cards).  No experience here with using it though.

 

Just a few things to thing about to get the conversation flowing.

 

1. Most likely XBMC or Plex

2. I can use Server backup

3. I want to be able to back up my files, pictures and music locally as well as offsite (cloud?). Not sure how expensive offsite storage gets.

4. I currently have 5TB on my current server, which is more than enough

 

Hope this provides some background.

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From the photo in the video card link, it looks like the bracket is full height. That will be an issue. At the very least you will have to disconnect the top VGA connector and reshape the bracket.

 

I'm also surprised by the lack of desire to back up the client PCs. At the very least I would think he would want to have OS backups; to facilitate much, much faster bare metal restores.

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cskenney

From the photo in the video card link, it looks like the bracket is full height. That will be an issue. At the very least you will have to disconnect the top VGA connector and reshape the bracket.

 

I'm also surprised by the lack of desire to back up the client PCs. At the very least I would think he would want to have OS backups; to facilitate much, much faster bare metal restores.

The feedback says there is a low profile bracket included.  You lose the VGA port if you switch to the low profile bracket.

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Thanks cskenny. Excellent news. I don't think it's such a great loss to lose a VGA connector, at least not these days.

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Thanks for the help thus far folks.

 

One more question - how do i go about migrating my data from the current server (WHSv1) to N54L (WHS2011)? I obviously want to move my hard drives (currently a total of 3) over to the new server.

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Joe_Miner

Thanks for the help thus far folks.

 

One more question - how do i go about migrating my data from the current server (WHSv1) to N54L (WHS2011)? I obviously want to move my hard drives (currently a total of 3) over to the new server.

 

Here's a step-by-step from Shane:  HowTo: Migrating from WHS v1's Drive Extender

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Thanks for the help thus far folks.

 

One more question - how do i go about migrating my data from the current server (WHSv1) to N54L (WHS2011)? I obviously want to move my hard drives (currently a total of 3) over to the new server.

 

Unfortunately, you cannot just move the drives over. WHSv1 and WHS2011 are too different for that. However, you can always restore your data from one of your backups.

 

You do have backups, right? If not, I strongly urge you to make at least 1 complete backup of your data before even thinking about migrating. Really, you should have 3 backups, but 2 will get you by in a pinch.

 

There's a ton of stuff in these forums on backup and backup strategies. I recommend you search for them.

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