Wed 6 June 2007 @ 09:41
Okay, so I know I said a while back that Windows Home Server was going to rock. In its own way, it does indeed rock, but there's one huge flaw in it for me. I have a big (2Tb) eight disk RAID 5 array which I built specifically to hold all of my media. This includes a large high-bitrate music collection, a bunch of ripped movies, and some TV that I've downloaded. Granted the TV is ephemeral, but it'd be a shame to lose it. WHS replicates data on a directory level rather than on a disk level. So, if I have a directory taking up 500Mb, then on a WHS system it would be duplicated to make 1GB, and split over several drives. Ordinarily that wouldn't be a serious problem, as WHS handles what goes where and apparently it does a pretty good job of it.
On my RAID array though, I have about 1.1TB used. If I had WHS setup as it should be, then that 1.1TB would ideally become 2.2TB - which is more space than I have. I also think its wasteful, but that's just me. I understand how and why they did it like this, and it makes sense for their target market that you have high reliability and quick availability. Now, I could disable some of the WHS functionality and have it not replicate the directories. That doesn't strike me as a very elegant solution though. So, for the time being, I have the drive formatted as NTFS and another drive running Longhorn Server powering it. I don't know where it'll end up, but either I'll go back to the kosher copy of Windows Server 2003 Standard I have, or I'll have to upgrade that to Longhorn Server (ouch!). We'll see as time goes on.
In any case, Longhorn Server build 6001 (Beta 3?) is installed on the server box. It got a substantial hardware upgrade recently, mostly because a failed power supply killed the old motherboard. It seems to be VERY stable at this point, though I'm not stressing the OS that much. Maintenance is certainly easier than 2003, and I think its faster too. Supposedly Vista to Server 2008 file transfers are faster as they both use IPv6 and some newer transfer technologies. I haven't benchmarked this, as I've been pretty busy with all the hospital crap going on lately, but it SEEMS a lot faster. Now, some of this is going to be perception, and some of it isn't. I'd love to see some real world benchmarks of the difference between the two. I still have 2003 installed on a disk, so I may plug that back in and see if I can test the speeds.
Oh, I AM getting a Suunto X9i for my birthday :-)
Sat 24 February 2007 @ 23:53
My server power supply died this week, maybe as a result of the server running at 100% CPU load for four days. I think I'm going to go back to the old solution now. I have until Monday to mull this all over. ::sigh::
Tue 20 February 2007 @ 00:31
Installation of WHS Beta 2 was a breeze. Boot from the DVD, select a couple of options, confirm that you want to format all your hard drives and then wait. There are several reboots along the way, and some clever driver installation routines that I haven't seen before. Before installation I had crammed all my data from the 1.2TB RAID array onto several disks attached to my main PC, and space is currently at a premium. So, I had abou 800GB of files to transfer back to the Home Server, and I couldn't because of a bug in the software. This is an early beta, but it was an annoyance I could have done without. However, I have it worked out now. I connected to the server using RDP and copied the files from the client PC straight to the share in question. Its copying right now, and I won't know if its going to work for another few hours. I really have to upgrade the network to Gigabit Ethernet. And get a faster RAID card. I promised Anna I wouldn't do that for a while though, as I've recently spent so much money on the new Vista box.
Another minor inconvenience with WHS is that there are a set of default shares that you actually cannot erase. I'm not sure if that's by design or not, but I'm going to but it anyway.
So, first impressions? It rocks as much as I thought it would. It's still early in the beta, and there is a lot of room for improvement, but it's definitely going in the right direction.
Sat 17 February 2007 @ 23:15
- Windows Home Server, has the potential to revolutionise how we do digital media in the home. Think of a machine that you stick under the stairs which acts as a huge external storage facility for your network. It backs up your PCs every day. Its easy to use, and seems like it can be managed by idiots. Also, you can get to it directly from the internet, allowing housecleaning and other tasks to be done when... on holidays, or at work etc.
Now, I already have a box under the stairs, but its management is troublesome. I have to Remote Desktop in there and do whatever I was thinking about. The connector for Home Server is a locally run app. So, later on today, I'm going to install it. I was accepted to the beta test last night, and the files are downloading as we speak :-)
Tue 13 February 2007 @ 11:17
Lots of stuff happening since my last serious post. So, where to begin? Firstly, Happy New Year. Hope you have a good one, with health, wealth and happiness etc... we were in Munich for New Year, and ended up in Marienplatz at the stroke of midnight. I’ve seen some pretty impressive fireworks displays before, but I have to tell you; this outstripped all of them. Instead of a controlled display by an efficient group of professionals, these were set off by ten thousand people with no sense of timing or choreography. Consequently they all set the sky on fire, and it was incredible to see. I can’t describe it, so I won’t anymore.
I’ve finally gotten Vista installed on my PC. I had to get some new components together because my old one died, so I picked up a great motherboard
to handle a Core2 Duo 6600
, Nvidia 8800GTS
graphics card and 2GB of Corsair Dominator RAM. All in all, the new setup rocks. In the process of looking for the link to Intel's site about the Core2 Duo, I discovered that the bastards have released a quad core version of the processor. Now I have core envy! Anyway, Microsoft gave me a free copy of Vista Ultimate for being on the beta test, so I've gotten that installed and stable, and I love it. I've been playing with this OS for a very long time now, and this is the first time I've put it on my PC and it just works. No more frankenmachines for me. Hell, I even considered buying a Dell or something.
Work is the usual craziness. I'm working for AOL Broadband now, which is the part of the organisation that was bought over by Carphone Warehouse. S far so good, but I guess we'll have to see what the future holds. Moving plans are still slow, though they've gotten a little boost recently, which is nice :-)
I have a mental blank now that I'm sitting here thinking about what to type. Its very strange how that happens. I was just looking at the West Wing (Series 7, circa Episode 19 or 20) and got up feeling very verbose. Joycian, maybe even Neitschean. But now all I can think about is that I'm tired and I've got a headache. Oh yeah, I changed my glasses for contact lenses, and my fucking uviitis is back with a vengeance. So I've been walking around for about two weeks with an almost perpetual mild headache. It sucks.
Had another checkup last week, and all is good on the cancer front. They've moved me to six monthly check-ups now, which is a really positive step. What was it she said? Oh yes, they were feeling "very happy" about the progression (or lack therof) of my cancer. Nice :-)
Sun 28 January 2007 @ 00:41
is going to rock. I'm going to use it in place of the server I use now, and get the whole thing running the network.