Recommend me an OS

Justintoxicated

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First this is storage related which is why I'm posting in this forum and not the OS forum.

Going to be build a new server to replace my WHS V1 soon. Mainly upgrading because I want to use drives larger than 1TB and they are all Advanced Format drives these days which WHSV1 does not support.

I was going to get WHS 2011, but found it does not support advanced format drives either. Well not with 4k sectors anyways AFD's with 512emulation will work.

So then I look to MSE 2012 but the price is quite high.

Basically my needs are:

Nightly Backups of all computers on the network,
Security Camera Software,
Drive Pooling (ability to easily expand the pool to larger sizes as needed).
Folder level Redundancy - min 2 drives.

Hyper-V sounds interesting but I have never used it. Might be useful for me though.

Machine will be Q9450 with 8GB ram and some sata expander cards.
 

staticlag

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I would say Solaris 11.1 and napp-it.

Or you could use zfsguru, which is a web-gui freebsd build.
 

ponky

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Nightly Backups of all computers on the network,
Security Camera Software,
Drive Pooling (ability to easily expand the pool to larger sizes as needed).
Folder level Redundancy - min 2 drives.

Any Linux distribution can do this.

Use a Samba share as network drive and point Windows' own backup software there.

Motion is a great security cam software. It's also highly customizable.
http://www.lavrsen.dk/foswiki/bin/view/Motion

MDADM software raid allows you to add more disks later and expand the array. You can't do this with ZFS.

Folder level redundancy, not sure what you're after here. Data duplication to protect against accidental deletion, virus etc? Use rsync.
 

Justintoxicated

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Any Linux distribution can do this.

Use a Samba share as network drive and point Windows' own backup software there.

Motion is a great security cam software. It's also highly customizable.
http://www.lavrsen.dk/foswiki/bin/view/Motion

MDADM software raid allows you to add more disks later and expand the array. You can't do this with ZFS.

Folder level redundancy, not sure what you're after here. Data duplication to protect against accidental deletion, virus etc? Use rsync.

Not sure I want to deal with raid, just a giant virtual disk would be nice. Basically like WHS V1 offers. Folder level redundancy means, if one of my disks goes down, the data will be on at least one other drive. But I want to be able to enable this feature at the folder level, since it will be one giant virtual disk.

So I could enable this on "PICS" folder, that's important do make sure this data exists on at least 3 drives. Where as another folder isn't as important so I will only add redundancy to 2 drives. (WHS does this now but with only one extra drive).

In other words if I have 10 TB, I don't want to have 10TB raid-1 which wastes 10TB. No I would rather have 20TB and redundancy as needed.

I believe windows backup software would create a new image every night for every machine. That would be a terrible waste of space. I need incremental version-ed backups. I also do not want to leave all my computers on every night to back them up. Currently WHS V1 wakes them from sleeping, backs them up incrementally, then lets them go back to sleep. A simple shared drive will not be able to do this.
 
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shollz

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Are you familiar with linux? or wanting to stick to the windows route? you could just go with WHS 2011 and third party drive pooling. Would be familiar to you
 

Justintoxicated

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Are you familiar with linux? or wanting to stick to the windows route? you could just go with WHS 2011 and third party drive pooling. Would be familiar to you

haven't used linux in years but not afraid to. Every time I download some flavor of unix I run into driver problems, and even after I resolve them I find it lacking in other features for the most part. I just find it typically is more of a PITA than it's worth considering I want to integrate my server with a bunch of windows computers. HTPC's etc. Setup shares, run some basic windows apps on it that don't always come with a linux version, not always easy to log in from any computer on the network (at least not graphically) no remote desktop etc. I'm sure you can do all these thigns but by the time I would figure it out it would probably be time for another upgrade.

WHS 2011 does not support extended format disks only 512e, so I think that is going to be a problem.

I'm not sure how linux deals with Advanced format hard drives either? Does it vary from version to version? Like I said I'm not up to date with linux but what kinda software stack would I be looking at to give me these features I listed above. Do they have a linux program that will do folder level redundancy? Incremental backups? Give the ability to restore any computer on the network from CD AND properly align an SSD drive? I like the ability to roll back to a particular date without having to have 100 copies of the same thing so incremental backups are important. Honestly ever since I learned about folder level redundancy I'm not really sure why people still use raid for file sharing and storage either. I guess its the standard, but to only duplicate when you want it is way more awesome.

I mean soooo many people are doing the linux / ZFS type stuff there must be something good about it, but it seems very limited compared to drive pool or drive bender when you don't need super performance, plus all the other things I need to do?

Am I wrong, I very well could be, but ZFS or similar really don't seem like they provide many of the features WHS V1 does or WHS 2011 with a bunch of 3rd party stuff. I wish I could just use larger capacity drive in WHS V1 but typical MS BS I have to pay more to play (and build an entire new server to transfer the data too)! I'm really leaning towards WSE 2012 due to the advanced format drive issues with WHS 2011 but $400 a lot to pay just to be able to use large capacity drives properly.


Napit looks interesting. I wonder how the backup works. I do currently use Blue Iris for my security cameras and I don't think it will run on Linux so that might be a big problem.
 
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Zedicus

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ive been deploying linux servers in the home and work environments for a long time. i am just now starting to dable with ZFS. with virtualization like Proxmox, and ZFS front ends like Napp-it, and core OS from Debian, i can not imagine why someone would willingly purchase anything from MS?


FOSS security camera software. ive deployed it in 2 different establishments.
http://www.zoneminder.com/

FOSS backup solution from the zmanda people also great.
http://backuppc.sourceforge.net/


also check out fog project, it is PC image deployment.
http://www.fogproject.org/

these are all to be installed on linux. the backup software can backup pretty much anything. the image solution can upload and deploy anything that can PXE.

management of remote systems
http://www.webmin.com/index.html



the 'learning curve' is what you make it. if you can separate yourself from 'the MS way' then it will be very easy and you will wonder why the rest of the world does it the hard way (as in using MS products). also most linux deployments can be thought of as 'appliances'. with the web guis and remote management tools the 'core' of the box can run for years with out ever really being poked. unlike my windows servers here at work that have uptime measured in days if i am lucky. Even here we are deploying more Linux and FOSS pretty much daily.

advanced format and GPT have been working well in linux for a LOOOONG time. i can't remember ever having real issues on linux and i set up my first multi-TB server in linux with bootable GPT arrays in like 2002. (might have not been quite that long ago, the bourbon seems to be effecting my memory...)


also grab Xrdp (its a linux package) then you can use the windows remote desktop client to log into the linux server. and convert your HTPC's to XBMC. then with samba and some minor adjustments you can have the rest of your windows PC's cruising along in no time.

i think i covered all of your issues/questions, if not point them out and i will try to touch on them. basically if MS can charge for it, someone else does it just as good for free. (supporting the comunity you end up using is good though, and support does not have to be in monetary value.)
 
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BBA

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I'd say buy a copy of Server 2008 R2 standard from amazon, it will do all the drive formats you need, has tons of features and the prices have really come down (since't it is no longer the newest and greated server OS). MS ends support for 2008R2 in 2020, OS patch support will likely go longer than you will use this server (don't even be concerned about that part, considering my company was still gettiong patches for windows 2000 up until June of this year from MS).
 

Justintoxicated

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Actually Server 2008 also does not support advanced format drives except in emulation mode. 512e drives are ok which are advanced format drives that can emulate 512 sectors. I got bit by advanced format before and want to avoid getting bit by this stuff again in the future. I mean it's pretty bad that I have to build a new server just to get past this issue when the one I have no performs well enough just does not have support for new drives.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/hh848035(v=vs.85).aspx

Zone minder looks ok but I'll have to do some more research. Right now my security cameras use motion detection which the blue iris software handles really well (Block out some areas from detection, enhance others, adjust motion object sizes, and create profiles for different times of the day and night). Not sure if zonemonder can do all that. In addition Blue Iris has it's own web server I can hook into from anywhere, and it supports my android app on my phone too. If zoneminder can do all this then it would be a decent solution depending on whether or not my cameras are supported by it (how often does this get updated?). I really don't want to write my own software to stream live video, it can be somewhat complicated due to needing certificates etc.

I will look into it some more though.

As for HTPCs I do not like XBMC due to the fact I can't record live tv with my HDHR, and it does not support network tuner management (although I don't use this anyways since I couldn't get it to run as a manager on WHS v1 due to storage pool not having the optimal position for recording TV, but I'm hoping to take advantage of it when I upgrade). Instead I use Media Portal which looks exactly like XBMC (thanks to themes) only I can add a shit ton of plugins to make it do whatever I want. At least this was true the last time I checked. Honestly XBMC is decent but media portal just seems WAY better and more modular. I have tried 4 or 5 different HTPC software including paid ones like Sage and XBMC and media portal was more difficult to setup but also the most robust as of 2 years ago (and free).

Great to know Linux supports 4k sectors unlike Win 7.
edit: actually I'm not sure that it does, the article is old but it says it also only supports though emulation.
http://lwn.net/Articles/377895/

Still looking for folder level redundancy on linux though. I'm thinking it does not exist. So far I'm not convinced a linux is worth it. Seems like I will lose a ton of stuff features that I get now with WHSV1, with only correcting the problem of being able to use larger drives. I will try to sum everything up later.
 
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Zedicus

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everything you mention can be handled on linux, except maybe the "Folder level Redundancy" but im not sure i understand the usage of that? why not a live backup and or a mirror? then it would be invisible to the end user.

its honestly sounds like you do not want to invest the time into changing platforms. that is fine, i can guarantee it will take a lot of time. i have a similar set up to you at my house, the core from the router OS to the servers and some of the desktops are all linux. the HTPC front ends are all linux. their are some windows laptops that connect to the network and browse the media and upload stuff with no issues.

i would never attempt to move off of linux, even if someone GAVE me all the MS software that it would take to do it all. i would have to design, implement, and reinstall my entire house. it would take YEARS.
 

Justintoxicated

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everything you mention can be handled on linux, except maybe the "Folder level Redundancy" but im not sure i understand the usage of that? why not a live backup and or a mirror? then it would be invisible to the end user.

its honestly sounds like you do not want to invest the time into changing platforms. that is fine, i can guarantee it will take a lot of time. i have a similar set up to you at my house, the core from the router OS to the servers and some of the desktops are all linux. the HTPC front ends are all linux. their are some windows laptops that connect to the network and browse the media and upload stuff with no issues.

i would never attempt to move off of linux, even if someone GAVE me all the MS software that it would take to do it all. i would have to design, implement, and reinstall my entire house. it would take YEARS.

MS makes it easy, probably a couple days and you would be set. To be honest I would prefer to go linux, yes I would have to catch up with the times a bit but I'm a software developer so it's no big issue. The problem I'm seeing with linux is that it wold become very complicated with a lot less support trying to do the things I want. That and Blue Iris seems to be the best for the Cams, and I would have to lose it. I play games and do work with MS products so there no way I'm getting off of windows for my main PC (although I program Java not .NET)

Folder level redundancy IS transparent to the user. The idea is that you only waste space when you need to, For example say there is only 50GB I really care about having redundant data on a 4TB hard drive. If I buy 2 drives and mirror the entire drives I lose 4TB of space, with folder level redundancy offered by Drive Bender or Drive Pool, I only use an additional 50GB to copy that data in the folder marked redundant. I don't have to worry about what drive the backup copy is on etc, there is no real configuration, I just select the folder and tell it I want this data to be duplicated across 2,3,4 drives. (of course they will all be one large virtual disk that I can grow and shrink at a whim). In the event of a drive failure the important data will still be on those additional drives. I also would not have to rush out and buy a replacement drive, or find a drive online that is no longer made and hard to find to fix my raid array. I would use any replacement drive I want larger or smaller capacity it wouldn't matter because the important data is still safe.
 

Justintoxicated

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I couldn't find where you were talking about. Looks like the trick was to re-format the drive such that 512e could be turned on? I better check that Drive Pool will work with 4k disks though.
 

Zedicus

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MS makes it easy, probably a couple days and you would be set. To be honest I would prefer to go linux, yes I would have to catch up with the times a bit but I'm a software developer so it's no big issue. The problem I'm seeing with linux is that it wold become very complicated with a lot less support trying to do the things I want. That and Blue Iris seems to be the best for the Cams, and I would have to lose it. I play games and do work with MS products so there no way I'm getting off of windows for my main PC (although I program Java not .NET)

Folder level redundancy IS transparent to the user. The idea is that you only waste space when you need to, For example say there is only 50GB I really care about having redundant data on a 4TB hard drive. If I buy 2 drives and mirror the entire drives I lose 4TB of space, with folder level redundancy offered by Drive Bender or Drive Pool, I only use an additional 50GB to copy that data in the folder marked redundant. I don't have to worry about what drive the backup copy is on etc, there is no real configuration, I just select the folder and tell it I want this data to be duplicated across 2,3,4 drives. (of course they will all be one large virtual disk that I can grow and shrink at a whim). In the event of a drive failure the important data will still be on those additional drives. I also would not have to rush out and buy a replacement drive, or find a drive online that is no longer made and hard to find to fix my raid array. I would use any replacement drive I want larger or smaller capacity it wouldn't matter because the important data is still safe.

i am a windows domain and network admin during the day. i know what it would take to convert my house to windows. the licensing costs would be astronomical, and the time would not be 'a couple days'. honestly i work on windows all day, i go home to linux.

given that definition of a 'redundant folder' backup pc can do something fairly similar.
 

Justintoxicated

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i am a windows domain and network admin during the day. i know what it would take to convert my house to windows. the licensing costs would be astronomical, and the time would not be 'a couple days'. honestly i work on windows all day, i go home to linux.

given that definition of a 'redundant folder' backup pc can do something fairly similar.

Can you describe it because backing up a folder does not really sound similar at all. I mean I guess that would sorta be similar, but then you have 2 folders with the same data, and how would that work with one big virtual drive?

Ok so not a couple days but then it, sounds like you have a really complex setup then, which is what I am trying to avoid.

Setup would handle the following:
1) 1 server on all the time
2) works with Blue Iris for 24 hour camera streaming and webserver and can send out email notifications. (other software that will support wide variety of cameras and is constantly updated for new cameras would be acceptable as well as long as it can stream video to my phone via the internet, and send out emails when motion is detected, and allow for custom profiles for each camera).
3) Will wake up sleeping clients and and back them all up at night over the network using an incremental method to save drive space and allow rolling any computer back to a particular date.
* Note restoring an OS drive must be simple like booting from a CD and connecting to the server to copy the OS drive back over to the client. I don't want to have to remove drives from the computer or do a lot of work.
4) Can grow or shrink the drive pool / virtual disk / raid array at any time with any brand or type of drive.
5) Allows for redundancy for critical data. Preferably not by using parity or an entire mirrored drive, although might make an exception depending on implementation. e.g. Raid with 2 or 3 parity drives might be acceptable, but usually lacks one of the other items listed above.
6) Must view all drives installed in the server as one giant virtual disk.
7) Fast enough to stream HD content from virtual drive.
8) Recoverable data if Server OS disk is damaged or fails.
9) My MB is X48 chipset and I don't believe I have ECC memory so raid might be a bust.

I would like to be able to set this up to work not including software installs in less than 2 days. In other words it might take longer the first time but the process should be fairly simple and easy to repeat.
 
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Zedicus

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to get that set up you will need
zoneminder for cameras,
backup pc with incremental schedules and a backup pool
fogproject for restoring bare metal
and some sort of software raid. rather you used MDADM or ZFS would be up to you.

this will NOT be a CLONE of your windows set up but the end goals will be very similar. zoneminder has a web gui and video streems, a year ago we had the live feed on android.
backup pc also has a nice web gui, set up and configure incremental backups with dedup and have it wake the machinesor use fog to send WOL packets.
fog is a bare metal clone system.
software raid native to linux or ZFS will gro any drive pool with any disk. (optimal or not)
 

Lost-Benji

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So then I look to MSE 2012 but the price is quite high.


Hyper-V sounds interesting but I have never used it. Might be useful for me though.

Machine will be Q9450 with 8GB ram and some sata expander cards.

Hyper-V is great but wont work on the s775/s771 generation. The CPU doesn't support the required features for Hyper-V on Win8 or Server 2012.
 

Zedicus

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also, if you want more of a JBOD disk pooling, with out any type of RAID hard or soft. linux handles that somewhat natively.

if for some reason you are looking into hyper-v, you should really consider proxmox or even the free version of esxi. Proxmox has the most wide hardware support as its based on a pure linux kernel with additions. where esxi is a hacked up linux kernel and mini distro. we use esxi with vsphere at work. feature wise proxmox is inbetween esxi with vsphere and bare free esxi.
 
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Hyper-V is great but wont work on the s775/s771 generation. The CPU doesn't support the required features for Hyper-V on Win8 or Server 2012.

I would double check that. I have a Q6700 next to me that is running Hyper-V Server 2012 as host and guests.
 

Britgeezer

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WHS 2011 with Drivepool is handling 4 drives 2 x 2TB and 2 x 3 TB with a 5th drive for server backups..

Don't understand the issue.
 

Lost-Benji

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I would double check that. I have a Q6700 next to me that is running Hyper-V Server 2012 as host and guests.
It would appear you are correct, my bad.

  • I have six different servers sitting here with 771 Xeons, No SLAT.
  • I have a Q8200 in my file server, No SLAT.
  • I have a E8400 in a desktop, No SLAT
All running Windows 8.

I have a system being run up at moment for server 2012 and will confirm this little page that I have found.
http://www.aidanfinn.com/?p=12679
Mind you, the blogger states the following:
No Execute Bit turned on in the BIOS (DEP – Data Execution Prevention)
This one states the opposite and sounds correct.
http://www.altaro.com/hyper-v/hyper-vs-actual-hardware-requirements/
 
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It would appear you are correct, my bad.

  • I have six different servers sitting here with 771 Xeons, No SLAT.
  • I have a Q8200 in my file server, No SLAT.
  • I have a E8400 in a desktop, No SLAT
All running Windows 8.

I have a system being run up at moment for server 2012 and will confirm this little page that I have found.
http://www.aidanfinn.com/?p=12679
Mind you, the blogger states the following:
This one states the opposite and sounds correct.
http://www.altaro.com/hyper-v/hyper-vs-actual-hardware-requirements/

I think you overlooked one thing that is stated in both articles and that is:
In summary, you DO NOT need a SLAT capable processor to run Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V.
and
If you will be employing Client Hyper-V (a component of Windows 8), SLAT is required.

So you should be able to run Hyper-V on those processors if you switch to Server 2012 from Windows 8.
 

Justintoxicated

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to get that set up you will need
zoneminder for cameras,
backup pc with incremental schedules and a backup pool
fogproject for restoring bare metal
and some sort of software raid. rather you used MDADM or ZFS would be up to you.

this will NOT be a CLONE of your windows set up but the end goals will be very similar. zoneminder has a web gui and video streems, a year ago we had the live feed on android.
backup pc also has a nice web gui, set up and configure incremental backups with dedup and have it wake the machinesor use fog to send WOL packets.
fog is a bare metal clone system.
software raid native to linux or ZFS will gro any drive pool with any disk. (optimal or not)

So this sounds pretty good.

Unfortunately I don't think zoneminder has all the features I use with BlueIris so that might be a pretty serious downgrade, but I will look into it more. Maybe I will try to set this up on my laptop with a broken screen.

I still won't be able to do folder level redundency right? That's also a key feature I would lose. I forgot to sign up for technet yesterday though so so much for being able to try WSE 2012 before I buy :(.
 
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