“Bigger is always better”

Our home is a constant growing network. With all this equipment I realized I had lost control over it. So i decided to make a networkmap over it. I am actually in chock..

networkmap

I consider us to be a fairly normal family, wife, teenage kids and a techfreak husband.
I gotta find a way to shrink this.. NAS will shut down this weekend and one Switch would be sufficient with some new cables.

Anyone wanna buy a NAS, laptop and a 16 ports 3Com switch.. please..?

Who am I kidding!
To qoute my brother from a discussion we had on Skype last night:
“You know bigger is always better!”

One small step for mankind..

whstink
But a giant step for me replacing my old NAS with Windows Home Server.
Why in gods name can’t a torrent client be built in from the start, what’s so hard about it?

Here’s an excellent guide how to set up uTorrent as a service and getting the web GUI to work.

Hello HP and microsoft?
– Built in support for torrents
– Download manager
– Customizable GUI for the remote access, changing pictures, tabs etc.
– built in “step-by-step” support for creating a  FTP sevice
– built in “step-by-step” support for creating your own website

I would like to se the above add-ins supported from HP from start.

Cred for PVconnect mediaserver
Cred goes to HP though for now shipping their MediaSmart Servers with PVconnect mediaserver allready built in. A step in the right direction.

whsload
As it is now, we’re a long way from any ordinary family setting up Windows Home Server out of the box for other things then sharing their xmas pictures..

Next step on the geek agenda: Moving my FTP over to WHS

WHS v NAS

whs

So after a week of tinkering with my new HP MediaSmart Server EX470 I’m ready to pass judgement..

The first mistake I did was comparing it to a NAS – it’s not, not by a longshot actually.
A NAS is more “Out of the box” relying on firmware rather then servicepacks and add-in software.
Yes, WHS could be “out of the box” if you only want to take regular backups, share pictures and set up user accounts. But, if you had a NAS what you really want to do is replace it with this very hot looking piece of machine (yes it looks very hot with all it’s blue lights)

The 2GB RAM upgrade
whsmem
So the first thing i did was pull it apart, upgrading to 2GB of RAM, using the excellent guide at Home Server Hacks. Easy enough, and no one should be afraid to do this. Actually I’m pretty sure even my brother could have done it with the proper coaching.. Or maybe not, but my wife could have done it.

Yes you can!
upgrade the memory on HP MediaSmart Servers without voiding the HP warranty.
Check out the official statement from HP confirming this

ram

With 2GB of RAM in place I started my tinkering. In three days i have allready used the factory reset feature (reinstall the server) six times (!). That’s how I do things, I install, test, install, try again etc and keep at it untill I’m satisfied. And the I reinstall once again just cuz I’m bored..

So what about the WHS v NAS?
Actually, right now it’s like 1-1 I still think the NAS handles torrents, logs, FTP etc much better (or should I say more out of the box). But on the otherhand when it comes to media sharing WHS smacks the NAS senseless. It can even stream album covers and playlists to the Playstation 3 for example. With some tinkering of course.. That’s just it, if you can’t handle tinkering with your stuff the WHS will never replace the NAS. But with the community out there creating add-ins etc. it’s only a matter of time before my NAS powers down for good.

The WHS can do everything a NAS can and more, it has better hardware and potential as I see it – but it all requires a fair amount of tinkering. If you can’t stand that, a NAS is still the better choice.

right now my NAS still runs my FTP and torrents. But my WHS runs pretty much everything else, webpage, remote access to my clients,backups, files, media shares etc.

My wife says it’s our new lovechild..
She’s almost right, it’s a lovechild allright, but it’s all mine..