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Thread: Home network?

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    Default Home network?

    I need some help setting up a somewhat advanced home network. I have a media PC, an xbox 360, laptop, and printer that Id like to network to a home server. Id also like to add a few workstations to the server and am wandering if that will be possible using microsoft home server (do you need multiple license for this?). The server would need to support 2 to 3 workstations as well as host HD storage for the media PC and for a survaillance camera system. Any recomendations on the best way to do this and what to use for the server? thanks!

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    Member Help2Go Moderator Mich's Avatar
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    Can't give too much information here because I'm not overly familiar with home server.

    From what I can see you would have to purchase the actual physical server and set it up, you can't just buy the software, the windows home server is just a box for file storage/file sharing and file backup. You access/control it with a remote console from your pc. If that's what you're looking for then it doesn't seem like a bad idea.

    It seems to support 10 pc's, again though this is for file back up reasons. It also only supports certain versions of windows: XP Pro SP2, XP Media Center Edition 2005, XP Tablet Edition SP2, Vista Ultimate, Vista Business, or Vista Enterprise. Not xp home or vista home.

    Not entirely sure what you're looking for in a server but you might want to do some reading up on it before deciding.
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    Mich,
    thanks for the reply. Ive been doing a lot more reading into the subject and I dont think WHS will do what I want. Its a shame, I dont want or need the comlicated setup up of full blown server, but the backup features and the ability to run multiple thin clients, or workstations from one PC.
    It seems like this would be a popular home choice, maybe it just hasnt caught one. But the ability to take one computer and have multiple people accessing it seems logical. You can do work in the office, and you kid can do homework in their room, and the wife can listen to music in the living room, without having three PCs.
    Anyone have experience with Server 2003? Is it going to be overly complicated for what I want?

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    Member Help2Go Moderator Mich's Avatar
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    The WHS basically acts like generalized file server for your whole home. It can also monitor all your systems for virii and spyware, it also backs up all the systems for you that are connected to it, it can act as a print server by the looks of it, you can also use it with the 360. It *is* a separate machine, just not one with a monitor/keyboard/mouse. Everyone would still have their own pc's (up to 10 pc's total).

    You would install it on your current network, it would show up as a computer on your network to access/store files on. You would connect to it remotely through your own pc to manage it (scheduling backups of systems/restoring backups, checking the other computers' status etc.), you could also connect through/with its help to your other physical computers in the network remotely.

    What is does not do is act as a domain controller. You would still be running on a workgroup (by the looks of it). You do not manage users through it, you do not manage your internet connection through it, you do not authenticate through it. It is not a terminal server.

    The only thing that it doesn't seem to do for what you want is run as a terminal server for your thin clients.

    It also turns out that you can purchase it OEM from quite a few places so you could use your own machine if you wanted to.

    As for server 2003, if you aren't familiar with administering a server I wouldn't recommend it. It is a domain controller, you would have to manage active directory, have to set up terminal services for your thin clients, manage dns and dhcp settings on the server, I would also assume you would want to IIS services as well. Oh and there's that whole Server 2008 being released *very* soon thing as well.
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    Thanks again Mitch. After some reading and your reply, I think Ill stay away from server 2003 oe the new one. I could probably figure it out eventually, but I do not want the hassle. Looks like this will be a two system solution for me :cry:

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    Quote Originally Posted by skrassow
    ..You can do work in the office, and you kid can do homework in their room, and the wife can listen to music in the living room, without having three PCs.
    I'm rather confused as to what you wish to accomplish here. In your first post it seems as though you want some kind of central storage device to where you can store your files (music, kids homework, home security video feed) and in the quote above you don't want multiple machines just one.

    No matter which route you go through, you will have to have a machine for each person unless you want to share 1 physical machine.

    If all you're looking for is a central storage device to store everyones data then look at buying a NAS device ( http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/category/category_slc.asp?Recs=10&Nav=|c:207|&Sort=4 )

    This basically turns a hard drive into a network drive, no operating system (not including the possibility of built-in software that's on the device). On most of these devices you can setup shares (folders, i.e. "homework" "music" "pictures") and then you go to each "client" computer (your kids/wife/mom/whoever) and "map a network drive" to whatever share you want to access. What this mapping will do is create a drive letter in "My computer" to whatever share you choose. So for instance your share on the NAS device is "pictures". You would map drive letter R: to \\nasdevicename\pictures and every time they opened "My Computer" and browse to the "R:" drive, there's the picture folder and it's contents. Same goes for each different share you have.

    I can also guarantee that whatever software comes with your security camera(s) will allow you to those images to the local drive of whichever machine you have it installed on. The beauty of this, the software doesn't know "R:" (from the example above) is a network drive, it thinks it's a local drive so then if you saved your security streams to drive "r:" anyone connected to your network could watch it later.

    If you want more specific help, tell us EXACTLY what you would like to see done and what your budget is like and I could even put something together for you rather easily.

    Hope this helps..

    Partie

    P.S.

    The 10 connection limit on XP is easy bypassed by changing the tcpip.sys file to allow more concurrent connections and is NOT against licensing. If this something that strikes your interest please let me know and I'll post details.