Old 31-08-2007   #1
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Why Home Server when have LAN?

I am putting a 3rd computer into my home based local area network. I've read about the coming windows product and how SAMBA is better.

My question is what advantage at all a home server would have over 3 computers all connected over the lan? My main function is to store and move large video files between 8-10 hard drives, no streaming video to the internet or to other TV's and what not. Just simple file sharing?

All 3 computers will be around 2MzH with 1 Gig Ram and all running win XP. Is there any advantage at all in learning about home servers or Samba?

Thanks /// bobbo.
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Old 31-08-2007   #2
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Re: Why Home Server when have LAN?

I think you got it wrong, Home Server as for a dedicated computer not for workstations.
Samba is what's used in UNIX/BSD to emulate Windows own file sharing.
I'd personally have a look at NAS solutions (Network attached storage) but you'll be fine with XP if you have no requirements of redudancy.
//Danne
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Old 31-08-2007   #3
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Re: Why Home Server when have LAN?

Quote:
Originally Posted by leaglebob
I've read about the coming windows product and how SAMBA is better.
Samba can be quite unstable i heard

Quote:
My question is what advantage at all a home server would have over 3 computers all connected over the lan? My main function is to store and move large video files between 8-10 hard drives, no streaming video to the internet or to other TV's and what not. Just simple file sharing?
Well you can use Windows home server to

- Host files for you
- Make backup of your clients for you
- Port pictures and videos to your xbox 360 or media player

The server will be usually 100% available so you can also have a centralized storage space, reachable from every client.

If you set up three clients in a network you require to have at least two client systems on to share files.

I'd take a look at FreeNAS. It works almost like a windows home server and can give very good results on old hardware.
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Old 31-08-2007   #4
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Re: Why Home Server when have LAN?

Dizzy--thanks. You are right==I want to use a pc as a storage device for two other computers. Seems to me if I just set it up across a home based wired LAN to share files, then no new software is needed and it can be used as a "back up" computer to access internet and what not. Regarding redundancy--if the same file is on two computers, isn't that redundant?==or do you mean something else??

Mr. Belvedere--I guess "ALL" software calls itself stable and wonderful and the results in the real world are totally mixed??

1--Now my LAN already "hosts" files--ie, they are available to the other computers on the LAN==isn't that all "host" means--or is there more?

2--Likewise, Backup to a location over a LAN is a menu choice I have seen, although I haven't used it yet.

3--I have no need to stream media, but seems to me this can be done over a LAN as well?

4--As far as being 100% available and/or two computers needing to be one==thats true of the server as well? If its not on, its not available?

I've read about FreeNAS and I would try to use that if I find I want a Home Server because a LAN doesn't work. Maybe it has matured over the last year or so but my reading showed alot of people not being able to get their systems to "see" the NAS. My experience with a two computer LAN tells me it does everything a Home Server does without anything new to buy, install or learn. BUT I know it is easy to not understand something until you buy it and play with it.

Any other ideas? //// bobbo.
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Old 31-08-2007   #5
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Re: Why Home Server when have LAN?

Quote:
Originally Posted by leaglebob
1--Now my LAN already "hosts" files--ie, they are available to the other computers on the LAN==isn't that all "host" means--or is there more?
No, you're correct. It doesn't really matter what is hosting your files, as long as they are available

Quote:
2--Likewise, Backup to a location over a LAN is a menu choice I have seen, although I haven't used it yet.
Well it's in there but you don't have to use it

Quote:
I have no need to stream media, but seems to me this can be done over a LAN as well?
Sure

Quote:
As far as being 100% available and/or two computers needing to be one==thats true of the server as well? If its not on, its not available?
Correct.

Quote:
My experience with a two computer LAN tells me it does everything a Home Server does without anything new to buy, install or learn. BUT I know it is easy to not understand something until you buy it and play with it.
Not really. I think your setup is okay for your requirements.
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Old 31-08-2007   #6
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Re: Why Home Server when have LAN?

Whats the matter Mr Belvedere---too tired to state the obvious?? (smile!)

I think its the "not really" that I'm after?? Without more expertise than I have, I'm going to be thinking: a home server is just another computer on a LAN that can only do less than a desktop computer and nothing more than what a desktop computer can do.

In other words, there is nothing a home server can do that a desktop computer can't do, and a desktop computer can do alot more?? - - -But I'm only guessing at shadows. //// bobbo.
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Old 01-09-2007   #7
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Re: Why Home Server when have LAN?

My parents use the Asus WL-500g Premium as a file server, its not the fastest thing on earth but its small (its a router) and works well enough for that they are using it for.
Router + USB = NAS :-)
//Danne
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Old 01-09-2007   #8
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Re: Why Home Server when have LAN?

Thanks Dizzy - - that unit got a luke warm review at
http://reviews.cnet.com/routers/asus...-30650222.html

but good reviews from the readers. Well, why buy a router and a usb-hard drive ((I assume although use of attached hard drives was not mentioned in my quick review of the article)) to use as a file server when you already have a spare computer sitting around?

A spare computer that is until you try to update the Bios. This question may be moot as I've lost my motherboard due to a failed bios flash. I've already posted this issue, but sure is irritating how nothing is easy in this hobby of ours!!! /// bobbo.
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Old 01-09-2007   #9
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Re: Why Home Server when have LAN?

That's not the Premium
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/oth...g-premium.html
Keep in mind that custom firmware is more or less recommended.
At least that's what I've been installing on friends routers and my parets.
Unix knowledge is recommended..
//Danne
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Old 01-09-2007   #10
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Re: Why Home Server when have LAN?

Quote:
Originally Posted by leaglebob
Whats the matter Mr Belvedere---too tired to state the obvious??
If you want to use it that way, why not?

Quote:
a home server is just another computer on a LAN that can only do less than a desktop computer and nothing more than what a desktop computer can do.
A server is a server. It is focused on serving files. Pure data. You don't need keyboard and mouse for a server and a huge cpu isn't needed. You need fast disks and fast ethernet for servers. If you are not willing to spend dollars on it you can fall back on things like freenas or a asus router (which works great, but usb 2 isn't that fast).

If you plan to use your server as a backup desktop then that's ok, but don't expect good throughput and performance of the server part. You have to define the roles of your systems.
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Old 01-09-2007   #11
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Re: Why Home Server when have LAN?

Thanks Mr Belvedere--I take it then the advantage of a server is you can use a slower cpu? But my choice is really using a GIVEN computer system either as a server (ie, remove XP and install a server software package) or as a full computer. So, the cpu is the same in each case. I have accessed and used my connected computer over the lan with the monitor turned off and keyboard and mouse disconnected. I do not have it set up to "wake on Lan" but it does boot all the way to full use just by turning on the power button.

So--if you are creating a system from scratch, a server can use less expensive components, but if you are looking at using a given set of equipment, looks to me like they are interchangeable except when needed, the "shared computer" could also access the internet and what not. That all makes sense. Sounds like one advantage to a "shared computer" might be that it could download files overnight, or do video converting, while the other machines were turned off? If a server can only "serve" files, that would give GREAT functionality to the shared computer? I assume that a server can download and convert files in addition to simply serve what it already has??

Well, I already have XP so I see no reason to buy Windows HomeServer when its available, and I see no reason to try to learn some linux program. In my experience, linux distro's seem to work for some systems and not others? ((I have been following your discussion on newbie linux and its been very informative!)).

Thanks so much for your input and help. Please keep your good information flowing!! /// bobbo.
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Old 02-09-2007   #12
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Re: Why Home Server when have LAN?

Linux distros works fine as long as they are known to work (such as XWRT and OpenWRT) on the given platform/hardware. I wouldnt recommend it for desktop use though....
//Danne
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