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New to forums! Seeking Advice - Windows Server - Where to start?


Trimble Epic
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Hi!

 

I've been listening to the podcast off and on for a while now... but just in the last 3 weeks I've really dived in...

 

So I've been running a WHS v1 server with 10tb for several years.  I skipped 2011 because 1) I wanted to keep my drive expander 2) it wasn't broke so don't fix it.  guilty :P

 

Ok, so I've started to build a new server... I've aquired a TS140 i3 version with 12g ecc ram. (willing to add more if needed)  I'm trying to decide how I should use it.

 

I have a daughter with a .edu address, so I have dreamspark access and have gathered keys for WS2012R2 (and iso's)

 

I also have downloaded ESXi 5.5 as I was thinking of using that under the WS... Is that a bad Idea?  Should I use Hyper-V instead?  Should I put WS on the bare metal?

 

Here are my goals:

 

1) file server serving storage from my collection of drives: some 1tb, some 1.5tbs, some 2tbs..   so maybe storage spaces?  stablebit?

2) Plex Server. (media on the file server)  currently using my gaming machine to host this... I want to move it off the high energy rig so my gaming machine can sleep again.

3) Minecraft server.  the kids love it.  Currently using YAMS on my gaming rig.  usage is only 4 people MAX

4) Terraria server.  I might not need this, its just for one kid and me, and i could just have him serve it from his gaming box instead

5) Ventrilo or Teamspeak server.  My wife's idea of "vacation" is to sometimes stay home and we all journey to azeroth for a week, using our machines scattered around the house.  We use vent while exploring.

6) possible home automation server in the future.

 

Obviously, the gaming servers could share a vm and only be brought up as needed.

 

Here's my problem.  I learned enough about WHS v1 to get by.  I know nothing about straight up Windows Server.  I want to learn.  I have access to Lynda.Com, but it's server offerings "for a beginner" seem too light.  I want to learn what I need to know to run WS as a home server as quickly as possible, but without trudging through all the corporate stuff that I really don't need to know.

 

Can I get some advice?

Edited by Trimble Epic
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You wouldn't be able to run ESXi under Server2012 unless you enabled the Hyper-V role and then what's the purpose.  2012Essentials R2 can only use 16GB RAM but you could use any additional towards VM's under Hyper-V.  That i3 processor might get a little over worked with everything you have in mind, maybe not.  Just my opinion.

 

I don't think ESXi is going to be an option because you have no RAID card applied and there would be no way to present that much storage unless you did it through the BIOS which I would not do.  Hopefully, someone else can chime in.

 

And Welcome.

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I would normally run ESXi baremetal and, if I wanted a WSE2012R2, I would run it under the ESXi.

 

A caution: another poster has found out that DreamSpark licences can only be activated once. I've never used a DreamSpark licence, but he says there's no way to use them again if, for example, you need to reinstall the server. He posted that MS told him the licences are one-time use.

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You wouldn't be able to run ESXi under Server2012 unless you enabled the Hyper-V role and then what's the purpose.  2012Essentials R2 can only use 16GB RAM but you could use any additional towards VM's under Hyper-V.  That i3 processor might get a little over worked with everything you have in mind, maybe not.  Just my opinion.

I'm not sure what you mean by 2012R2 Essentials can only use 16GBs of RAM. 

The OS can see up to 64GBs without a problem.

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn383626.aspx?f=255&MSPPError=-2147217396

 

 

 

 

@Trimble Epic:

Run Essentials. It's the WHS code, but updated.

The "Essentials" version is "it". However, on Standard and Datacenter, you can install the Essentials Experience role and get all of that as well (however, these are supposed to require CAL's, which are expensive).

As for learning stuff, make sure you set up a backup. That way you can dig in and experiment and play with stuff, and be able to roll back in case you break anything.

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I'm not sure what you mean by 2012R2 Essentials can only use 16GBs of RAM. 

The OS can see up to 64GBs without a problem.

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn383626.aspx?f=255&MSPPError=-2147217396

 

 

 

Well, for some reason I had it my mind it could only handle 16.   Ahhhh, the ole recommended versus maximum switcharoo.  Mine is just happy with 8.
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I'm not sure what you mean by 2012R2 Essentials can only use 16GBs of RAM. 

The OS can see up to 64GBs without a problem.

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn383626.aspx?f=255&MSPPError=-2147217396

 

 

 

Well, for some reason I had it my mind it could only handle 16.   Ahhhh, the ole recommended versus maximum switcharoo.  Mine is just happy with 8.

 

I think I know why. :)

 

SBS 2011 Essentials could only handle 16GBs of RAM. I'm guessing you're remembering that, since 2012(R2) Essentials is based on it. ;)

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LMAO. If you don't break anything, you're not doing it right :D

I don't know. You can do a lot without breaking the OS. But yeah, it's not as fun. :)

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I forgot another thing I need the server to do - I'm running an iSpy setup to record cameras in the house.  Not sure if I'd call that a "server", but it's something that needs to be on 24x7.

 

As far as load, I'm not to concerned with the gaming servers... If they're in use, odds are the plex server is idle, and vice versa.  It's the plex server vs. the ispy job that I'd be concerned about.  I'm planning a test already ;)  I'm a software tester for a living.

 

So, one thing I don't understand about hyper-V ... if I install the WS2012 on bare metal, then install the hyper-V role, does that mean hyper-V slips itself under the server such that the server is no longer on bare metal, and hyper-V is?  could I reboot the windows server 2012 while leaving the other VM's running?  I would think that's something I Could do if ESXi is on the bare metal and everything else is on it...

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HyperV is integrated VERY deeply into the OS. Eg, into the kernel and such.

 

SO you can run the role/feature on a full GUI installation of Server, and it's still considered a bare metal hypervisor.

 

As for rebooting, this is setup per VM. By default, they should be put into a "saved" state when you shutdown/restart, and then resume when the system finishes booting up. (this can be configured in more detail as well).

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