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Open source alternatives to Windows Home Server

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Gareth Halfacree 19th July 2012, 15:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryun
This is a great article and all but personally I'm going to be using WHS 2011 until it is irresponsible to do so, or is incompatible with the majority of the OS's in the house. So the choices presented here may very well be irrelevant when I do have to pick a new server OS.
True, but short of inventing a time machine and seeing what choices are popular in 2026, this was the best I could offer.
faugusztin 19th July 2012, 16:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by edzieba
Don't forget Windows 8 as a WHS replacement. With Storage Spaces and ReFS you handle the disk pooling end of things, and DLNA/uPnP is still handled by WMP. These being the two most-used features of WHS, Win 8 is probably sufficient for many users.

Did you actually look at performance of Storage Spaces and ReFS ? With parity drive performance takes a nose dive (read 30MB/s max), the drives cannot be accessed separately like in drive pooling...
In short, Storage Spaces/ReFS is pretty much on-the-fly expandable software RAID with not so good write perfomance.
Ryun 19th July 2012, 18:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryun
This is a great article and all but personally I'm going to be using WHS 2011 until it is irresponsible to do so, or is incompatible with the majority of the OS's in the house. So the choices presented here may very well be irrelevant when I do have to pick a new server OS.
True, but short of inventing a time machine and seeing what choices are popular in 2026, this was the best I could offer.

Absolutely, what were you thinking NOT making a time machine? =P

Seriously though, I didn't know about these choices before so again good article (bookmarked it for 2026 viewing). If nothing else I'll have a good baseline when that time comes.
Gareth Halfacree 19th July 2012, 19:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryun
Absolutely, what were you thinking NOT making a time machine? =P
Meh, I'll build it tomorrow.
faugusztin 19th July 2012, 19:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Meh, I'll build it tomorrow.

Nope. Yesterday. Like
HA_gwzx39LQ
Risky 20th July 2012, 09:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin
Did you actually look at performance of Storage Spaces and ReFS ? With parity drive performance takes a nose dive (read 30MB/s max), the drives cannot be accessed separately like in drive pooling...
In short, Storage Spaces/ReFS is pretty much on-the-fly expandable software RAID with not so good write perfomance.

Isn't it pretty much what we had with Drive Extender in WHS1?
faugusztin 20th July 2012, 10:03 Quote
And that makes 25-30MB/s write speed acceptable how ?
Risky 20th July 2012, 10:29 Quote
I'm just saying I don't have a massive problem with the write speed on my WHS1 box. I haven't taken a look at any detailed analysis on SS/ReFSperformance but I'd be interested to see how it looks.
apexwm 20th July 2012, 13:48 Quote
It's too bad that many have been locked in to WHS over the years, and based on Microsoft's track record they would prefer to leave customers hanging rather than treat them as customers. But regardless, the solutions posted here are very good. Right now I use a CentOS 6 server running on a Pentium III 667 which does a wonderful job. Even though it's just for home use, it is nice not having to mess with security patches once a month. Linux is meant to run for hundreds of days uninterrupted and is most commonly used on supercomputers, so it's definitely suited for home use.
Cleggmeister 20th July 2012, 22:29 Quote
Probably the best and most comprehensive article in ages, right on the money Gareth.

Nicely cues up an article on clients/renderers in a domestic network - music and video streamers, etc...? That's up my street for sure, what say everyone else?
dark_avenger 21st July 2012, 03:53 Quote
I personally use unRAID which I have found to be good, fair bit of community writing plugins, etc for it as well.

Looked at Amahi and may have to give it a bit more of a try as it looked pretty good as well.
dancingbear84 21st July 2012, 07:46 Quote
Last night I installed Linux server 12.04, plex media server and then amahi. After a mild panic when I realised the server had taken over dhcp duties and the server static IP was in the dhcp range I called it a day and had a beer or 2. I'll pick up the potential IP clashes again tonight, ideally I would just change the IP of the HDA, but I suspect it won't be that simple. It never is. So far, I'm quite impressed with it though, I'm quite excited about playing with the drive pooling stuff.
faugusztin 21st July 2012, 08:48 Quote
@dancingbear84: just let it take over DHCP dutties. It is better that way. It is even in the FAQ :
http://www.amahi.org/faq/is-the-hda-supposed-to-be-the-dhcpdns-server-for-my-home-network

Unfortunately, for changes in the IP address you will have to remove the whole amahi profile and create a new one... It is a stupid limitation of Amahi for now, maybe later they will be able to come up with a better solution.
dancingbear84 21st July 2012, 09:15 Quote
Thanks for that, I ended up turning of DHCP on the router and letting Amahi do it. I guess I will create a new HDA and reinstall it later. It is a bit of an oversight not allowing the HDA to change its IP but I guess there is a lot of back end stuff going on that uses it.
faugusztin 21st July 2012, 09:17 Quote
Yes, that is what they said about it (it is somewhere in the documentation/FAQ as well). They got a lot of places where names and IP's are put, so according to them it is not that easy to do. I guess somewhere in future they will make it possible, but for now, it is only possible this way.
dancingbear84 21st July 2012, 21:44 Quote
So the guys at Amahi have helped me out, and told me where to edit the settings to change the DHCP allocation pool. I'm really impressed they were right on it, and I can carry on using the HDA.
Harlequin 21st July 2012, 21:50 Quote
and something that MS (unless you have paid support or something ) likely wouldnt do.... another `thumbs up` for opensource!
dancingbear84 21st July 2012, 22:38 Quote
Definitely. I am rapidly becoming a HUGE fan of opensource, Linux server, Amahi, Plex (OK not strictly 'Open Source'), Ubuntu netbook edition. I'll keep Windows as my main OS though.
Burnout21 22nd July 2012, 10:03 Quote
I've bounced around between win7 installs and Ubuntu for just over a year now. I stripped everything windows out of my house and went pure FOSS March 2011 just as I went freelance.

At first no major issues were to be found, the first hipcup was blu-ray. I had been running blu-rays on my windows box under total media fail, but in the time I switched we hadn't watched any films due to being too busy.

So to overcome the headache i bought a HP microserver and built a HTPC around that with my Blu-ray drive and installed Win7 for such purposes. Then software updates in December 2011 that required me to buy another version of Total media fail caused me to walk out and buy a BD player for the same cost, but zero hassle.

Then came my requirement for CAD, up to this point all my work was purely graphic and mathematical however I do require Solidworks in my trade so I installed Windows yet again, and that gaming twitch hit me so my main comp went back to windows.

Its really bloody annoying, because dual booting is to much hassle, VM's are handy but no replacement for an actual GUI environment. Every machine listed below had a version of ubuntu on it, depending on its critical nature it varied between 10.04 LTS and 11.10

Workstation (Windows)
Main computer (Windows)
Microserver (windows) (Replaced old Ubuntu server)
Mobile workstation (Windows)
ultrabook (Ubuntu)

If you ask why my server isn't linux, then I raise you this. Have you tried transferring 4Tb of data from a NTFS to EXT4 file system under linux? The NTFS driver is a joke running at ~10mbits. Last time I did it, it took 3 days. Unless someone has reworked the driver recently I am not interested.


Will I be going back to FOSS for everything, no not really but soon Ubuntu will be making a big return around here. I want to RAID 5 or 6 my server but when I had a chance HDD prices shot up so that's on a the back burner. So when a decent deal can be had on 4 HDD's then that will be the return of linux to my server.

On the workstations I run only FOSS under windows with the exception of Solidworks, allows far easier document control.


I've just noticed this is more of a rant about FOSS than the article, but I what came to mind when I read the article. What I will add is Ubuntu 12.04 is still buggy when it comes to file sharing.
faugusztin 22nd July 2012, 10:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Burnout21
If you ask why my server isn't linux, then I raise you this. Have you tried transferring 4Tb of data from a NTFS to EXT4 file system under linux? The NTFS driver is a joke running at ~10mbits. Last time I did it, it took 3 days. Unless someone has reworked the driver recently I am not interested.

I am just doing that, and i get 30-100MB/s with my WD20EARS/EARX in Ubuntu 12.04 using ntfs-3g depending on the file position on the drive and the target drive usage (i am using greyhole, so the files are distributed right out and that slows some transfers down). And that is with pushing all that through locally mounted samba shares.

And i have no issues with Samba, what are your issues with file sharing ?
dancingbear84 22nd July 2012, 10:41 Quote
I transferred about 100gb of mkvs last night from ntfs on w7 to ext4 on amahi, grey pool but with only 1 disk at the minute, I was getting about 60MBps using a 5 port d-link desktop switch and cat 5e.
I had noticed very slow speeds initially of around 10MB so changed the mtu from 1500 to 9014 to match the desktop settings, enabled jumbo frames on windows, rebooted and voila 60-70MB. Happy days.
Anakha 22nd July 2012, 22:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin
I am just doing that, and i get 30-100MB/s with my WD20EARS/EARX in Ubuntu 12.04 using ntfs-3g depending on the file position on the drive and the target drive usage (i am using greyhole, so the files are distributed right out and that slows some transfers down). And that is with pushing all that through locally mounted samba shares.

And i have no issues with Samba, what are your issues with file sharing ?

Why not use a crossover cable between two machines with Gigabit networking (that's most motherboards these days), one running the nice and fast Windows, the other running Linux. Use RSync or something similar to do the transfer and you don't have to worry about SMB slowness or getting NFS mounts under Windows.

Just a thought.
faugusztin 22nd July 2012, 22:49 Quote
Huh ? I think you misunderstood.
Disk 1 has ext4, this is the target drive. Disk 2 has ntfs, this is the source drive. I could get full speeds by direct copying without any issues.

But because Greyhole pooling works on SMB level, i have the Samba and Greyhole server running, Samba shares are mounted locally through the loopback (read Samba shares from 127.0.0.1). I then copy the files from the ntfs-3g mounted NTFS drive to the Samba share, which saves the files to the ext4 drive(s) in pool. I am pretty sure the network loopback is a better choice than physical network ;).

Anyway, i am not sure what performance issues Burnout21 had, i get full read speeds from the NTFS drives. Sure, write speeds could be bad, but who in their sane mind would write to NTFS drive in Linux ?
Anakha 22nd July 2012, 23:55 Quote
Sorry, yes, I was talking about Burnout21's issues. I think I replied to the wrong comment.
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin
Anyway, i am not sure what performance issues Burnout21 had, i get full read speeds from the NTFS drives. Sure, write speeds could be bad, but who in their sane mind would write to NTFS drive in Linux ?
Exactly. It's not even supported by default (ISTR you have to go to some lengths to enable write support for NTFS, as it's "fragile").
StudioRecorder 23rd July 2012, 00:10 Quote
hey guys just wandering if someone can clarify something about this article. it talks about open sourc eversions whs, but only lists individual ones for particular abilities of whs. im looking for something that will not only serve as a backup server for windows and osx devices but also a content server/streamer ( movies music etc) to xbox's and pc's.... does any of the open source os's/programmes above do both these tasks ?
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