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Help with OS choice for new HP N54L Microserver


chrisoldroyd
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Guys, I need your help, I have a setup at the minute that includes a basic Zyxtel NAS that I use to stream media around my home to Popcorn Hour players, it works really well for that.

 

I also have a laptop PC that I have on the network that I only use as a plex server so I can watch content on iPhones and iPads without hitting the annoying problems with file formats etc. This again works well but the whole setup is a bit messy with a laptop and NAS.

 

I have just bought an HP Microserver N54L and plan on running everything as before but using just this box. My question is, what OS should I install on it? I was thinking of just keeping it simple and going with Windows 7 or am I being crazy? Do I need a proper server OS for my needs? I may also install iTunes on it just for the odd time I need to get some music on my iOS devices.

 

What's everyone's opinions, I have zero experience with Linux etc so don't really want to spend time learning anything new unless it can do something that I am missing out on.

 

Thanks

Chris

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Just a small point chrisoldroyd: mirroring is not backup -- it's resiliency. IOW, it helps keep a system up. For backup, please search these forums for info on the 3-2-1 strategy. It's been discussed pretty extensively on these forums. To get you started, here are some links and info on my own strategy:

 

SERVER SETUP PHOTOS: http://homeserversho..._140#entry47628

BACKUP STRATEGY: http://homeserversho...1373#entry51373

BACKUP SCRIPTS: http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/topic/5197-robocopy-backup-scripts/#entry56498

 

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I'm definitely not one of the resident experts, so take what I say with a grain of salt.

 

WHS 2011 is awesome, but mainstream support will end 4/12/2016, which means you'll get no more updates (security being a biggie). There's also nothing on the horizon that you may move to in 2-years, so you may as well use something which fits your needs now. Windows Server 2012 would be awesome, but is pretty expensive (if you want, you can try it out: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/dn205288).

 

So given that WHS's days are numbered. WS2012 is probably too much for most home users and Windows 7 mainstream support ends in 2015... what are you left with? Windows 8.

 

Don't despair, Windows 8 is actually an incredible OS and will handle most WHS functions and is a huge improvement to Windows 7 in many ways. It's much better/faster/more efficient in every way; supports Hyper-V role, has Storage Spaces built in, has much better backup, has file version history a whole slew of other nice features. The only thing you may complain about is the Modern UI, but that's an easy fix with a free download: http://www.classicshell.net/

 

Hope this helps :)

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Uh, Boris, AFAIK security updates for WHS2011 do not end in 2016, only feature updates and bug fixes. Microsoft really couldn't end security updates IMHO because WHS2011 will available to OEMs until 2025.

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Windows XP support is dying in about 45 days so I don't really believe the 2015/16 dates for end of support.  It's 2008R2 which isn't going away quietly.

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