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PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:52 pm 
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I need a little help in regards to what software packages to use for my server setup.

I am planning to use WHS 2011 for all my client backups and strongly considering Stablebit Drivepool for my pooling needs. I was thinking of installing Server 2008 R2 as my base and the WHS2011 in VM for the client backups.

Question is, how well is Stablebit for pooling? I had considered Flexraid, but if I can get good pooling options for less, then I can go with that option. Most of my data like movies and such would be static so I would not need any duplication for those. But for data protection, what are some good options to consider for parity? I don't have any RAID cards or anything to create an array so a software method would be better for me.

I feel a bit lost in figuring out the software solutions so I am seeking some help here. Looks like WHS2011 would be best for my client backup needs since I have a few XP boxes.

Also, what is HHS2013? I've read about it in some posts but don't know what it is or does. And for media streaming, I would guess Remote Potato would be good, no? I am thinking to setup the Server 2008 R2 box for VPN and set it up as a domain controller that way I can access everything via VPN whenever I am away from home.

Any help through this jungle? :)


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 6:14 am 
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I use Stablebit Drive Pool Software on my WHS2011 and WS2012E servers and its an excellent easy to use pooling software program. I actually install this on all my WHS2011 builds because it works that well and is very user friendly when you lose a drive or a drive goes missing. The other benefit to Stablebit Drive Pool is that if you want to move the pool to another computer or server running Stablebit Drive pool you can. Back in April I migrated my primary WHS2011 server to WS2012E then I installed Stablebit Drive Pool and connected my drives and the pool was recognized. I had to setup the shares then rename some of my WHS2011 folders and was done in a very short period of time but it was a big relief to see how easy the migration was.

HSS2013 or Home Server Classic 2013 is a must have! It keeps an eye on the actual health of your hard drives and keeps you informed when a hard drive is about to fail so that you can replace it in a timely manor. This is different from monitoring the health of the file system which WHS2011 will do for you but WHS2011 does not monitor the actual health of the physical hard drive hardware and that's where HSS2013 comes in.

I am a heavy user of Remote Potato which allows you to stream your media online. There are apps for mobile devices that work with Remote Potato. So this is an application for remote media viewing. Now WHS2011 has a similar option built into it but Remote Potato blows it away because it supports a wider range of video formats. You can also view pictures and play music with it but I use it mostly for Streaming Media online. While a dual core processor will work I recommend a quad core processor to make Remote Potato run well since it can stream up to 3 connected pcs at once and the transcoding can be a heavy lift for the CPU.

I would also recommend you go with at least 4GB of ram and if your going to be running virtualization applications then more RAM would be better but if your just going to run a server with WHS2011 and no virtualization then 4GB will do just fine and you will most likely only utilize about 50% of the RAM.

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Migrated from WHS2011 to WS2012E: HIGHLANDER

~ Norco 4220 Enclosure
~ Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5
~ AMD Phenom II X4 995 3.2 GHz
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 1:51 am 
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Comp1962 wrote:
I use Stablebit Drive Pool Software on my WHS2011 and WS2012E servers and its an excellent easy to use pooling software program. I actually install this on all my WHS2011 builds because it works that well and is very user friendly when you lose a drive or a drive goes missing. The other benefit to Stablebit Drive Pool is that if you want to move the pool to another computer or server running Stablebit Drive pool you can. Back in April I migrated my primary WHS2011 server to WS2012E then I installed Stablebit Drive Pool and connected my drives and the pool was recognized. I had to setup the shares then rename some of my WHS2011 folders and was done in a very short period of time but it was a big relief to see how easy the migration was.

HSS2013 or Home Server Classic 2013 is a must have! It keeps an eye on the actual health of your hard drives and keeps you informed when a hard drive is about to fail so that you can replace it in a timely manor. This is different from monitoring the health of the file system which WHS2011 will do for you but WHS2011 does not monitor the actual health of the physical hard drive hardware and that's where HSS2013 comes in.

I am a heavy user of Remote Potato which allows you to stream your media online. There are apps for mobile devices that work with Remote Potato. So this is an application for remote media viewing. Now WHS2011 has a similar option built into it but Remote Potato blows it away because it supports a wider range of video formats. You can also view pictures and play music with it but I use it mostly for Streaming Media online. While a dual core processor will work I recommend a quad core processor to make Remote Potato run well since it can stream up to 3 connected pcs at once and the transcoding can be a heavy lift for the CPU.

I would also recommend you go with at least 4GB of ram and if your going to be running virtualization applications then more RAM would be better but if your just going to run a server with WHS2011 and no virtualization then 4GB will do just fine and you will most likely only utilize about 50% of the RAM.


Appreciate the response! :) I am using one of the Supermicro servers (equivalent to a Norco 4224) that I bought a few months ago as my primary media server, and I upgraded it with x2 Quad-core Opteron CPU's with 16GB of RAM.

Looks like I will do fine then in using Drivepool and Remote Potato. Speaking of which I did a test run of RP on Server 2008 R2 and had my brother help me test it outside the network (several states away) and streaming an MP4 video my CPU usage was about 45-50%. Other 1080p rips stayed around 20-30%. Not shabby at all, but more testing will be needed soon. I may end up just using RP and just disable the media function in WHS2011 and simply add the domain name to be pointed to RP.

Currently now I am working on a test box to give Drivepool a run to see how everything works and to learn it a bit before putting it into actual production. And HSS2013, that sounds like a good tool in the arsenal to keep an eye on the hard drives; that will be very handy.

Time to get back to experimenting!


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 2:25 am 
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I run Remote Potato on an EX485 with and E5200, 2GB of RAM running WHS2011 and it actually runs quite well much to my surprise. My primary server has a Quad Core Processor so it never breaks a sweat. One thing I will say is that both my mother and son have had difficulty getting a steady stream mostly because of internet issues on their end. I have connected to it with an Android Phone using Sprints lousy 3G and I mean that's horribly slow yet I was always able to stream well so figure that one out.

Now you do not have to install Remote Potato on your server, you can install it on a client and still use your domain name to make the connection all you need to do is setup the file locations and your good to go. I sort of went overboard with Remote Potato, I have a large family and it occurred to me if they all hit my site at the same time things could get messy since Remote Potato can only do 3 streams at once so I have setup multiple Remote Potato sites to allow for this. Everyone knows if one site is not working try another.

You will like Stablebit Drive Pool and its good your testing it out on another unit before making a decision but I predict you will not be running it long before you start using it in your primary server. What I liked most about it was when I migrated from WHS2011 to WS2012 that after installing Stablebit Drive Pool it recognized my Pool and I was able to put it to use. I had to rename some of the WHS2011 folders but other then that I just setup up my shares and told the server where the files were and it was painless and the fastest migration I have ever experienced.

Good Luck with your experimentation your going to like what you see for sure. Oh yea Stablebit also allows you to have multiple pools and supports the larger then 2TB Drives. Good times await you for sure.

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Migrated from WHS2011 to WS2012E: HIGHLANDER

~ Norco 4220 Enclosure
~ Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5
~ AMD Phenom II X4 995 3.2 GHz
~ 8 GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 1:51 pm 
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I've been working with Drivepool and so far I really like it. Easy to add and remove hard drives, especially with hot swap bays as soon as I add one it shows up right away.

I also did a test on duplication on one of the test folders I created, with a few text files enabled for duplication. I removed the drive that the original text files were copied to and as expected DP reported that drive as missing. But I did this on purpose, as I wanted to see if I could pull up the text files that was duplicated on the remaining drive and sure enough, it was there! Nice!

Thing is, say if the drive that had the original files were replaced with a new drive with nothing on it, would the duplicated file be copied to the new drive? I know that if the folder was not duplicated that the files would be lost, but I am just seeing how it would do with duplicated files being available on a new drive.

I would work with this more but have to waste time going to work now. Durn it!! lol

It would be kinda nice in a way (but definitely no deal breaker) if when the pool is created, the list of drives that made up the pool would disappear in Explorer to where only just the one drive pool showed up. That would make the display much cleaner.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:44 pm 
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See I told you that you would like Stablebit Drive Pool. Having all he drives in the listing is actually useful for identifying problem drives and their locations should you opt to actually name the drive with its location. If a drive goes missing you will see exactly which drive it is based on its name or if a drive needs to be repaired. Imagine if you would a large server with a huge compliment of drives. I should also mention its possible if you want to store other information on the drive other then what is in your storage pool that you can. This is pretty cool in that if you have a drive with data on it and then add it to your pool Stablebit does not go and format the drive. It leaves your data alone then creates a pool folder. Then if you like you can move that data into the pool or just leave it. Very flexible, very friendly and its just plain works.

The best thing I found about Stablebit Drive Pool is that you can pull your drives from the server and installed them in another computer or server running Stablebit Drive Pool and it will see the pool and start to manage it for you making migration a very easy task. So if you are running your test server for any length of time and then build a new server you can just install Stablebit Drive Pool on the new server, move the drives and your pool will be there. Then all you need to do is add the shares and point the shares to the relocated pool and your done.

When you want to remove a drive from the Pool it give you a quick option where you can remove the drive quickly and Stablebit Drive Pool will duplicate the storage pool later. So if you have a drive that needs to be removed and say replaced you do not have to wait for a long period of time, this comes in very handy when a drive is having a serious issue.

It just a very nice Pooling Software that one can easily become addicted too.

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Exploring the possibilities!

Migrated from WHS2011 to WS2012E: HIGHLANDER

~ Norco 4220 Enclosure
~ Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5
~ AMD Phenom II X4 995 3.2 GHz
~ 8 GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
~ 3 Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 1:38 am 
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Comp1962 wrote:
See I told you that you would like Stablebit Drive Pool. Having all he drives in the listing is actually useful for identifying problem drives and their locations should you opt to actually name the drive with its location. If a drive goes missing you will see exactly which drive it is based on its name or if a drive needs to be repaired. Imagine if you would a large server with a huge compliment of drives. I should also mention its possible if you want to store other information on the drive other then what is in your storage pool that you can. This is pretty cool in that if you have a drive with data on it and then add it to your pool Stablebit does not go and format the drive. It leaves your data alone then creates a pool folder. Then if you like you can move that data into the pool or just leave it. Very flexible, very friendly and its just plain works.

The best thing I found about Stablebit Drive Pool is that you can pull your drives from the server and installed them in another computer or server running Stablebit Drive Pool and it will see the pool and start to manage it for you making migration a very easy task. So if you are running your test server for any length of time and then build a new server you can just install Stablebit Drive Pool on the new server, move the drives and your pool will be there. Then all you need to do is add the shares and point the shares to the relocated pool and your done.

When you want to remove a drive from the Pool it give you a quick option where you can remove the drive quickly and Stablebit Drive Pool will duplicate the storage pool later. So if you have a drive that needs to be removed and say replaced you do not have to wait for a long period of time, this comes in very handy when a drive is having a serious issue.

It just a very nice Pooling Software that one can easily become addicted too.


Indeed! Well for now I have a test AIC 24-bay server that I am testing DP on, which has WHS2011 installed. My primary server is the Supermicro 24-bay in which I have Server 2008 R2 installed and I plan to install DP to that pretty soon. I want to create shares that's separate from the default WHS2011 folders. So from what you are saying, if I created a pool on the test server and then transferred the drives to the primary server, that same pool should be there. That's so cool, especially for TB's of data and would save some time in transfer times over the network.

One more question I have, what do you do for data protection? Do you have a parity-based software in place, or do you just use the duplication on the more important files? The majority of my files and videos will be static so no need to duplicate those. May not have to worry about looking into Flexraid after all, plus DP is more cost effective for what I need to do.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 2:32 am 
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I duplicate everything on my server including the Client Backups. I have servers at home and away from home. From time to time I will copy data to a portable drive and move the data to another server so that it exists in two locations and is duplicated in both locations. For my most important files I will archive them on optical media. I never make backups of my movie collection because its just too large and I have the original disks.

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Migrated from WHS2011 to WS2012E: HIGHLANDER

~ Norco 4220 Enclosure
~ Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5
~ AMD Phenom II X4 995 3.2 GHz
~ 8 GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
~ 3 Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 1:05 pm 
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Okay, looks like I am sold on using Stablebit, its intergration with WHS2011 is tight and updates instantly whenever any drive changes are made. Plus having HHS2013 installed helps to keep tabs on all the drives (like it indicated my old 120GB OS drive has some bad sectors and will need replacing soon). Using the trial currently but will buy the license in about another week or so (got the usual monthly obligations to take care of first like rent and all..).

I also figured out how to hide the individual data drives in Explorer, and that was by mounting the drives as NTFS folders and removing the drive letters. This conserves the use of the letters, especially once the server fills up with alot more drives. Plus, in Stablebit I can still see the separate drives (I removed them out of the pool) and can still access them individually, and in Explorer. I am going to do the trial of the Flexraid RAID feature and see how well that works out. Based on what I have read on other forums, the combo of the Flexraid RAID function with StableBit for pooling works together nicely and may eliminate the need for the duplication feature of Stablebit. Any important stuff I will simply backup and store offsite anyway (screw the cloud, I'm staying on earth..lol).

Looks like I finally have it figured out!! Once I have done a bit more testing and configuring I am going to migrate this setup to my primary server running 2008 R2. That way I can have both pooling and protection functions on both servers.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 1:16 pm 
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When you purchase your license the first one costs like $20 and each additional license is $10 so figure out how many licenses you might need.

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Exploring the possibilities!

Migrated from WHS2011 to WS2012E: HIGHLANDER

~ Norco 4220 Enclosure
~ Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5
~ AMD Phenom II X4 995 3.2 GHz
~ 8 GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
~ 3 Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8


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