WHS or Server 2003 or Server 2008

djgizmo

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I'm looking to build/buy a media server by the end of the summer to help centralize a few things. I'm looking for a recommendation of course :)

My needs are..

A) I want a centralized backup of all home my computers (1-2 desktops, 2 laptops)
B) I want a centralized area where I can share my files on the network.
C) Ability to rip DVDs to a central location where my Popcorn Hour can view them.
D) Ability remote into any computer via this server is a wonder feature as I often have to for business / practical needs.

The ability to auto backup all my computers on a regular basis has a big plus for me in regards to WHS. Does Server 2003 or 2008 have that feature?

Same question for D)
 
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fuelvolts

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I've got a Windows 2008 server in my house. For automated backup I use synctoy scheduled with task scheduler. All free. Backups are run every night @ 12:00. In fact, I can hear my server's HDs crunching now.

It all depends on the cost of the server software. I only use Windows Server 2008 because it was free from my college. The cost of Server 08 might be way too much retail to be practical. Even for my needs, Server 2008 is over kill because I'm only using it for file serving. I'm only using it because it's the only extra free license I have.
 

djgizmo

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So synctoy will go out to all the computers in your home and back them up?
 

DeaconFrost

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So synctoy will go out to all the computers in your home and back them up?
Once you set it up once, it will, as long as you aren't expecting a system backup. I use SyncToy at home to keep game saves, .pst files, favorites, etc....just the things that are stored on C that are important....backed up to our Server 2008 box.
 
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is there a tutorial for this kind of thing? just got server 2008 installed on an extra box cause it was free for me as well...=) not familiar with it at all yet
 

griffinhart

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I'm looking to build/buy a media server by the end of the summer to help centralize a few things. I'm looking for a recommendation of course :)

My needs are..

A) I want a centralized backup of all home my computers (1-2 desktops, 2 laptops)
B) I want a centralized area where I can share my files on the network.
C) Ability to rip DVDs to a central location where my Popcorn Hour can view them.
D) Ability remote into any computer via this server is a wonder feature as I often have to for business / practical needs.

The ability to auto backup all my computers on a regular basis has a big plus for me in regards to WHS. Does Server 2003 or 2008 have that feature?

Same question for D)

All of these are filled by WHS. And with the WHS add in's you can do much more.

You'll LOVE the back up and restore features.
 

MrGuvernment

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ya and financially the best solution, server 2003/2008 is far overkill for your needs.
 

BigTy

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WHS

The first time you have to recover a drive you will say man this one feature alone was worth the $100.00 I paid for this OS.
 

vischo

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Yes, Windows Home Server.

Although, Server 2008 does have some killer features, you're requests are suited by WHS.
 

l3ender

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I'm also currently looking at the differences for a file server I'm building. What does Server 2008 have over WHS? I already have a copy of Server 2008, but not WHS.
 

vischo

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WHS is a modified SBS 2003, therefore the differences would be the difference between Server 2008 and Server 2003.
 

griffinhart

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The primary difference is in how it's managed and that it can do Data deduplication out of the box.

It should be entirely possible to get Server 2008 to do the majority of functions WHS does natively. It will just take a lot more time, money and effort to achieve it. At a minimum, you would also need Data Protection Manager to get a similar backup ability along with some fairly strong knowledge on Application development to do some of the things WHS does immediately.

It's also worth mentioning that the next version of WHS will be based on Server 2008 as well.

If anyone has the time and spare equipment to test it, I highly recommend downloading the trial of WHS and seeing for yourself what it does. Considering that this is a consumer product, It's amazing how many features this thing has that I would LOVE to have at my office.
 

Dan_D

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WHS is a modified SBS 2003, therefore the differences would be the difference between Server 2008 and Server 2003.
More than that. The feature set is a bit different. WHS doesn't have all the features found in Server 2003. It is pretty stripped down comparitively. However, for the home user, it will normally be a better fit.

I'm about to upgrade to Server 2008 R2 myself.
 

griffinhart

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WHS doesn't have all the features of 2003, like Domain support, but most features can be installed and used. Then again, if you set up a 2003/8 server and install Data Protection Manager 2007, to have similar backup and deduplication support you can't use the server as a domain controller anyway.

Ultimately, a full server OS can do somethings that WHS can't and WHS has some things that the full server OS can't. For doing what the OP wanted, WHS doesn't just handle it, but it handles it EXTREMELY well and it's much easier to set up and manage.
 

scobar

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I guess, who really needs to setup AD/Domain at their house?

WHS will do what most home users need to do.

If it can't you could prob run a virtual machine on top of it in VS2005 to be a DC.

http://www.wegotserved.com/

They have an add-ins section that should satisfy most power users. I used mine strictly for a file server so I have not played with many add-ons.
 

geiger

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WHS connector can be installed on a domain member...

For a simple CIFS guest access enabled server WHS hands down.

I am a hardcore WMC user with a CC enabled system.

I went through many iterations of configs before manning up and just buying the OEM WHS CD:
1.Openfiler hosting the DVD library, NTLM2 + Samba = fail
2. iSCSI volume on 2k8 non domain member server = fail
3. WHS server = win!
 

Dan_D

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WHS connector can be installed on a domain member...

For a simple CIFS guest access enabled server WHS hands down.

I am a hardcore WMC user with a CC enabled system.

I went through many iterations of configs before manning up and just buying the OEM WHS CD:
1.Openfiler hosting the DVD library, NTLM2 + Samba = fail
2. iSCSI volume on 2k8 non domain member server = fail
3. WHS server = win!
My needs are a little different. For most people, I do recommend WHS rather than Server 2008.
 

djgizmo

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Thanks to everyone who replied.

It makes the decision process easier when getting such great answers from people who have been there already.
So next step is to build a cheap media server with lots of drive space. Wonder if ockie is selling anything ;)
 

geiger

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My needs are a little different. For most people, I do recommend WHS rather than Server 2008.
Hehe, all my PCs are on my domain, except for my MCE box.

My rule of thumb is:
1. Full blown HTPC, domain is good.
2. MCE HTPC + Extenders, domain not so good.
 

scobar

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Thanks to everyone who replied.

It makes the decision process easier when getting such great answers from people who have been there already.
So next step is to build a cheap media server with lots of drive space. Wonder if ockie is selling anything ;)
I think protias is selling 500gig hard drives.
 
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