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


Trimble Epic
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Ok, I've been trying to educate myself, and I found microsoftvirtualacademy, so I'll be going through there...  I'm only coming at this with experience with WHS v1 so far, so I've got plenty to learn.

 

I've setup the 180day eval vesion of WS2012R2 on my test rig, and I started playing with shares...  clearly not as easy to deal with as in WHS, but maybe it's easier in Essentials...  Is there an article that outlines how to properly setup and manage file shares?  I understand it's the most basic role of a server, and WS has GUI tools to create and manage... I just want to learn to do it right.  I'll deal with the other stuff after I get the basics understood.

 

I'll admit, i'm very concerned about the dreamspark 1 install rule, so I think I'm going to try testing that with an older version and see what exactly it does, and if the phone activation thing really doesn't work... I think I'll start with an install, backup, BMR, then try to reinstall to a new drive, and see what happens.

 

Does anyone have any more free learning resources they could suggest? 

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Essentials, just like V1, will setup most of all the Shares you need.  However, if you need more, you need to understand the difference between Share(s) Permissions and Security Permissions.  The Share Permission, more often than not, set to Everyone with Full Control, will let everyone see the Shared Folder but not necessarily get into the Folder to Read, Execute, or whatever.  Once you get that concept down, the rest is fairly straightforward.

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As jmwills said, Essentials can handle Share permissions. It does it much like WHSv1: there is a DashBoard, just like v1, and you use it to configure Users, Shares, etc. I'm sure it will look quite familiar to you; just updated a bit.

 

As for the more traditional way to do folder and file sharing on Windows servers, jmwills is bang on. It's a bit odd really, but it's been this way for years and years, so everyone is used to it.

 

Basically, you create a share (by right-clicking on a folder in Windows Explorer for example), give it a name, and then give Everyone Full Control. This sounds a little scary at first, but it's not, because you then click on the Security tab and it's in here that you lock down the permissions to only those people and groups you want, and the level of access each will get.

 

Windows Share permissions operate on a 'least permissions' concept. What that means is that users are granted access to a shared folder, but they're only granted the most restrictive permissions that apply to their account.

 

For example, say a User X is a member of 2 User Groups. One of these groups has Read/Write permissions to Folder A, but the other group only has Read permissions to Folder A. In this situation, if User X tries to access Folder A, they will only be given Read permissions, because those are the most restrictive permissions that apply to their account.

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I am a little worried about you using the server to run I spy.

 

1. It is VERY cpu intensive 24/7 especially if you have 3 or more cameras

2. I can't remember if I spy can run as a service on 2012 E but if not then it will complicate it's usage

 

I ran 3 cameras on 2012 E R2 for 3 months with 32GB of RAM & an E3-1230 V3 3.3 GHz CPU and everything was just working too hard. I set up a dedicated machine and have never regretted it.

 

As for using it as a media server with plex. It will handle that in a breeze.

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I found microsoftvirtualacademy, so I'll be going through there

There is an awful lot of cruft in the MVA presentations on 2012 R2 Essentials, especially if you were looking to avoid 'the corporate stuff'

 

Having sat through it all, it might also be worth pointing out that if you install the Essentials edition (as opposed to the role on one of the other editions) then, whilst you can use the HyperV role to install Server 2012 R2 Essentials in a HyperV virtual machine, that that is the _only_ virtual machine you can run on that box. If you want to use HyperV as the hypervisor then you'll need to go with Standard or Datacenter editions and I've no idea what you get in the way of CALs through Dreamspark (since I no longer have school age children in the house, only the 'adult' versions, I've not investigated).

Edited by Steve Pitts
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So, does it change things If I were to run ESXi on the bare metal, and put one WS2012R2E in one VM for backup and file server, and one Win7 for plex, iSpy and game servers?  I'm thinking that might be a way to go...

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I don't think it changes much regarding iSpy. CPU usage is CPU usage. Shifting things around isn't going to get you more CPU power. I agree with Poppapete: iSpy should be run on its own box. All NVR software is CPU and I/O intensive. It's just in the nature of what's being done — video is resource intensive.

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I think the resource usages for nvr may depend on the cameras involved and the application used. On my N40L, I run geniusvision and two 720p h.264 cameras and see 96-98% idle while recording them. I have not benchmarked playback but i rarely do that and when I do it is from a remote client so no rendering is involved on the server.

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I think it's more an issue of resolution, compression, and the number of cameras. I have to admit I don't even consider 720 cameras any more; nothing but 1080 now, so 4x the bandwidth needed for each camera. Then there's the compression level the NVR is using to shrink the video before writing it to a drive. Since you only have 2 cameras, and you're using 720 resolution, it's not too too surprising your CPU usage isn't too high. Replace them with 6 or 8 1080p cameras and see how it does.

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I have to admit my 3 Cameras are 3MP. 720 cameras are a different proposition. The price of a 3MP is less than that of a 720 3 or 4 years ago and the quality cannot be compared but you must have the CPU to run them and good software like Blue Iris.

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