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santacruzskim

v1 Replacement: The End Is Near And I've Got No Place To Go!

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Al_Borges

WHS 2011 seems to be disappearing !

 

Even Amazon only has 9 copies ( as of a few minutes ago)  of WHS2011 available for sale.

 

and they are asking 92 bucks !

 

cant you get a digital download directly from Microsoft ?

 

On a broader note -  Listening to Steve Gibson's ( Security Now Podcast)  take on the demise of Windows XP -  WHS V1 or WHS 2011 wont suddenly stop working in  year or so.

Hardware aside -   if the basic functionality is still working for you -  what security issue  would be present by simply continuing to use it ?   

 

If there are issues,  what steps can be taken to lock it down - perhaps with some selected third party software.

 

If the server is protected from the outside world ,  malware would have to make thru patched W7/W8 machines anyway - wouldn't it ?

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Poppapete

Security issues will not be the problem (Steve uses XP as his desktop OS).  It is support for 3TB + and UEFI/GPT that will cause people to move. There are workarounds but in the end they too cause problems. The only reason most people don't move to 2012E is $500.  $299 sound more like a fair price to me but MS is into the corporate realm with 2012E and there $500 is cheap.

Edited by Poppapete

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jmwills

Microsoft doesn't make their money on the OS for enterprises, they make it on licensing.    Now for the support issue......who really uses a 3TB drive on a desktop OS?

 

I've been running 120gig SSD drives on all my client machines for about two years now but I do have all (most) the data redirected to the server.

 

If you really want to test the waters on a 2012 version, you can get evaluation copies that are good for six months.

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ikon

what security issue  would be present by simply continuing to use it ? 

 

If we're talking XP in particular, I believe there is plenty of reason to worry. I have no doubt there are still plenty of security holes in the XP code, and people will find them. They will then develop exploits and start proliferating them on the Internet. With Microsoft no longer providing security patches, there will be nothing to prevent these people from being infected.

 

 

If the server is protected from the outside world ,  malware would have to make thru patched W7/W8 machines anyway - wouldn't it ?

 

I'm not sure what you mean. Are you talking about the server getting infected, or clients? I do agree, if WHSv1 isn't used to surf the web or do email, it's pretty well protected from infection. Remember, simply storing files, even infected ones, on a server is not enough to hurt the server. As long as the server itself doesn't open or execute infected files, it should be fine.

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Al_Borges

Wasn't talking about XP -  I was very surprised that Gibson made this statement -   sort of irresponsible.   He goes thru absurd lengths to protect himself.     Most of the folks at risk have no clue.

 

You would think that after the recent crypto locker situation  he would have been more wary

 

on the server question - I think we are in agreement -   if you keep your server within your local LAN , and only log onto to it thru a trusted local client,  it should be okay.

 

The deeper question -  what activities would put the system at risk -    Running Plex or other media servers, podcast clients,  Windows media center plug ins  etc ?

 

My Raid Card required an Web Browser to administer. Had to run Chrome as IE wouldn't work.

 

I would suggest that any activity that lets the server touch the outside world directly  is a potential problem.

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ikon

Exactly. If your server stays pretty much on its own, it's safe. Every app or feature you add that requires Internet access increases the potential risk, if for no other reason than every app has security holes. The real question is how much attention/effort are the Black Hats going to give to a particular app. For example, if Plex gets really, really popular it will start showing up on Black Hat Radar (the dreaded BHR ;) ). At that point, well, you know how that goes.

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Glavian

This type of issue is exactly what I've been investigating myself over the past year.  I work as a Senior IT Administrator managing a fairly good size VMWare infrastructure so it's given me the opportunity and exposure to test a few solutions for a very budget conscious small business.  That being said, we do run a Unitrends backup appliance in the business that runs bare-metal backups for the two physical windows servers that we do run and it restores those servers very well (just tested the DR solution two weeks ago).  Now I know most of you are probably thinking right now "but that's great for the enterprise, what about the home user that doesn't have the cash to spend $500 for server essentials let alone a dedicated PC just for backups".  Well lucky you I just came across this link.

 

http://go.unitrends.com/vmworld-backup-2013

 

This is Free Unitrends Backup for ESXi (and Hyper-V).  It is a free virtual appliance that will do scheduled image based backups of servers.  I haven't had time to test it just yet (hoping to do so this weekend), but if the software is anything like what I manage in my day job it should accomplish the job fairly well.  Now mix this a Windows 8.1 PC with Hyper-V installed and stable-bit drive pool (or drive bender for that matter) and you've got a fairly cheap solution that should do everything that WHS has done in the past.

 

The other solution if you want a true free solution is running OpenIndiana (http://openindiana.org/) and installing Napp-it (http://www.napp-it.org/index_en.html) to set-up and manage the ZFS storage pool.  I have very basic linux exposure (read as practically none) and with this installed I can manage everything I need to via a nice WebUI.  On top of OpenIndiana, run VirtualBox (this requires a little bit of expertise to run automatically on start-up, I just run it and the VMs manually from the desktop of OpenIndiana) and virtualize the Unitrends backup appliance and any other VMs that you want that way.

 

Just my two cents, I've been listening to the Home Server Show Podcast since episode 100 and running Home Server since WHSv1 was fairly new.  I've been trying different options throughout the years but I am by no means an expert.  If you have any questions about the proposed solution above let me know!

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ikon

Ah, good. This link works. The one in the other thread didn't, at least not for me. Nice to know there's a place where you can still get it for $50.

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santacruzskim

? - Can anyone confirm "bigsalesoft" is a reputable business? Also seems unclear if its a retail or oem license.

? - Glavian- thanks for the info, very interesting. though i've settled on sticking with microsoft, did you get the chance to experiment with the (FREE!) Unitrends backup solution, mainly backing up and restoring various versions of windows OS's?

 

In other news, I've narrowed my replacement plan down to the following:

  • HARDWARE: either a TS140 [70A4000HUX] or building something myself in a smaller case. - the TS140's price is all over the place day-by-day, but anything <$300 seems fair for the hardware. It looks like a good platform for growth w/o being a monster or power hog and has been reported as relatively quiet.  The only immidiate downside for my needs is what i consider a hodge-podge layout for storage instead of something clean and friendly like the old MediaSmarts or G8's. It looks like there's enough space in the case to expand, but i haven't seen any confirmed-working solutions for internal expandability (also keeping an eye on maintaining airflow, keeping things cool and quiet). Any hands-on experience here would be greatly appreciated.
  • OS: WHS 2011. It technically does everything I need when coupled with affordable software and its just too damn cheap not to give it a try! I was able to snag a copy off newegg a week or so ago for ~$65 OTD and it immediately went back to out of stock after clicking "buy" so i'm guessing they had 1 random copy, possibly from a return and not fresh inventory but who knows. Either way i end up going with hardware, it seems like it'll be an easy transition to 2012R2 or whatever OS comes along next by time i've sucked the life out of 2011 so i'll most-likely ride that wave until it hits shore like i have done with v1.

My only hesitation on making a purchase is psychological- my v1 technically still works and though its slow and i'm pushing it beyond anything it was designed to do, its still sitting there humming (a little too loudly) along and I try to never upgrade devices until I necessary in order to keep newegg from emptying my wallet, then bank account, then savings, then retirement...  so my question is, should i hold out if i can? any chance the TS140's will jump in price and stay up indefinately? anyone have a hunch of the next great piece of hardware only months away? yes, a dumb question, but with the people in this community having vastly more experience buying hardware like this than me i thought it couldn't hurt to ask what past trends would tell me about future pricing and new hardware releases.

 

as always, thanks to everyone for your thoughts and suggestions- there's a lot of experience and passion in here and i'm greatful for your willingness to (freely) share it

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