View Full Version : What OS for server?

13-07-2009, 11:53 PM
Hi all.

Just brought 2x Dell Poweredge 2550. Both are the same specs see below.

Dell PowerEdge 2550 2U Rack Server
CPU: 2x Pentium III 1266MHz, 512KB Cache
RAM: 1GB ECC SDRAM (Max 4gb)
HDD: 5x Fujitsu 18.2GB Ultra 160 SCSI/SCA2/LVD (10,000RPM)
RAID: PERC 3/Di RAID Controller with battery backup
PSU: 2x 330W
NIC: 1x 10/100/1000, 1x 10/100
I/O: CD-ROM, 3.5" Floppy, PS/2 Keyboard, PS/2 Mouse, VGA, Parallel, 2x USB 1.1, 2x Serial, 3x PCI expansion slots (riser card)


What would the best OS be for them. Wanting to use it to sort files on and have it so mates can download files off it and also me from work ie: File sharing. Also have a user and password that has to be types in. Also mite host a website off 1.

13-07-2009, 11:57 PM
Depends a bit on what your needs actually are, but unless you're hosting an asp.net site you'd most likely be best off with some form of Linux - I'd recommend Debian stable.

14-07-2009, 12:02 AM
I have Windows XP pro SP3 on disc. all my files are windows based.

I havent really used linux before apart from trying out Freespire 1 time on a old pc.

14-07-2009, 12:09 AM
+1 for a linux distro...

Maybe throw apache on and set up Samba file sharing...

Speedy Gonzales
14-07-2009, 12:11 AM
You would need a server based OS wouldnt you?

14-07-2009, 12:34 AM
Yeh I can get Windows server 2003 cheap for work as we have upgraded. If its worth getting and will do what i want.

I have CuteFTP pro also that I use to upload files to a free website host and used it to trasfer files to my modded xbox.

We have Filezilla at work and i seen there is a filezilla server version anyone used it? http://filezilla-project.org/


14-07-2009, 12:39 AM
Filezilla is very good, would highly recommend it.

and Speedy-Linux can be anything, if you want it to be a server then it'll be a server OS;)

Speedy Gonzales
14-07-2009, 12:45 AM
Yup I meant for windows tho not Linux

14-07-2009, 12:48 AM
XP Pro will work fine for a file server, but not much else. There is a 10 concurrent connection limit.

14-07-2009, 07:41 AM
I am using XP home as my backup server as it was already on the comp I wanted to use and was too lazy to change it works fine for saving backups to

14-07-2009, 09:26 AM
I'm using a stripped down copy of XP on our NAS box, and it works fine. Anything else may require a server OS (Windows Home Server?).

14-07-2009, 01:36 PM
+1 for windows home server!

14-07-2009, 06:47 PM
From what I can see WHS is Server 03 with a mask...

Its pretty good value then isn't it?

14-07-2009, 07:21 PM
WHS was built from Server 03 - had a lot of the business server functions removed, and home user functions created.

Edited: In fact when it first came out, it actually said server 2003 on startup, then changed to Windows Home Server.

With the new home user functions ,this made it a LOT easier to setup for a person with no knowledge of how a server is set up / works.

Plus it gives you auto daily backups of the PC's connected, simple secure remote access (as long as your router can handle it ) to the files you want shared, and you can select who sees what + ten user accounts.

When you log into the server Via the WHS Console, it only gives you the "whats needed" to make and share folders, set permissions & general maintence etc.

To get into the real settings you either have to do it remotely Via a third party program, as I have - something like Team Viewer, otherwise you have to connect up a KB/Mouse and monitor.

Its designed to run headless.

14-07-2009, 07:51 PM
Thanks wainultech and blam.

I already have memeo backup pro. That auto backs up files as thay are made or when I connect my external hdd.

Mite look up WHS tonight.


14-07-2009, 09:00 PM
WHS is very easy to use and straight forward to configure backups etc.

WT: I did remember people mentioning that the boot screen for WHS was originally a Server 03 one:p

14-07-2009, 09:07 PM
Im just gonna jump in and say -1 for WHS, while its great and all ive had problems with it just through minimal usage. From experience its not the safest software to dump all your files on.

*waits for wainuitechs but but but but buts* :p

And it costs, try a linux first and see how you go

14-07-2009, 11:08 PM
Yep - I will disagree in the comment hueybot :p

I have put in about a dozen WHS's - none have ever played up, in fact the several I have put in the people were actually pleasantly surprised it didn't need any maintenance at all.

The first one I built when WHS first came out ( My own -November 2007) has only ever been turned off twice -to install more storage. ( from memory)

Edited: OH ! and 1 power cut, that was before I got a UPS onto it.

One I put in a business has never been turned off ( installed Jan 2008) and never given any problems.

My own Two WHS's only one has had a drive changed, and thats because it was a drive that was a little bit more noisy than I liked - upon saying that, the drive that was taken out is in a workshop PC, and never missed a beat.

Only had One awkward to setup - the persons router was rather old, and couldn't handle the UPnP required. Had to manually port forward and "fiddle" the router settings, but got it going OK in the end - that was for the remote access.

BUT - (theres always a but :lol: ) Nothing wrong with using Linux either - I have Ubuntu 9.04 working as a file server, it works fine (once I learnt how to configure it) - Linux just takes a bit more setting up if you are not used to it.

One thing I like about WHS backups is it backs up the WHOLE computer - if a drive fails on the PC - big deal, throw in another one blank one, boot from the recovery CD, it finds the backup / Server, and recovers the complete system, programs, files the lot.

Some other backup systems require the OS still to be installed first manually, then the data replaced, programs installed.

EDIT 2: As for Cost ?? its not expensive for what you get - $275 OEM From Ascent for example (http://www.ascent.co.nz/productspecification.aspx?ItemID=8250210)

14-07-2009, 11:50 PM
Yeh sounds good watched a couple of videos of WHS on youtube.

Oh and its here to. http://www.uec.co.nz/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=26208

14-07-2009, 11:53 PM
Id continue using it if it was as good as everyone cracks it up to be, but it isnt working for me.

If you do get it good luck, any problems you have youl find the answer here (http://www.wegotserved.com/)

15-07-2009, 08:52 AM
There is a free trial you can get that lasts for 120 Days - so if its going to play up, one would expect to do so in that time.

Slightly off topic - but hueybot - can you please remind me what problem you had ( have ) with it.

15-07-2009, 01:48 PM
WHS has issues on development due to its disk expander which is the protocol used for fault tolerance mirroring selected folders on more then 2 disks. I believe is used quite a bit of memory and cpu cycles. I have seen the retail version....

As a side note, on the RC, most if not all of 2003 functions still worked!!! If you used RDP instead of the admin console, you could select DNS, DHCP, WINS, user accounts etc.....

15-07-2009, 04:59 PM
Slightly off topic - but hueybot - can you please remind me what problem you had ( have ) with it.

I dont think I've really whinged on here about except this thread

I had trouble from the start though, I didnt install PP1 on first attempt and that resulted in issues meaning I lost a few hundred gig of data (which I could replace luckily)

Tried again with PP1 and was all good for a few months but then file conflicts struck and to this day no matter what i do they keep appearing. Currently the conflicts are stopping me from removing a failing hard drive. As soon as im able to salvage my stuff whs is getting tossed.

Anyway back on topic. I say if you have any experience with linux then go debian but if not give WHS a try and see if your lucky enough to have it work without issues like 99% of people or like me and lose hair over it

15-07-2009, 05:35 PM
As an educated guess I would say from whats been explained its the failing drive causing the problems, and possibly not the OS - Mind you I do know some people have had problems, and some of the time is been used on older PC's (read as old hardware).

One place I put WHS in, HP GAVE them a NEW Full Server (charity donation).:drool minus the OS - 4 x 160GB Drives -- Fare flies.

15-07-2009, 05:41 PM
I doubt it was my drive failing a when file conflicts started appearing. Although if it was then it must hold some kinda record for longest surviving "dying" hard drive

15-07-2009, 09:43 PM

the 2nd server. got it today. I have the other one setup on my desk ready to install a os.

God that these things are bloody monsters and heavy. 25kg's each. dont think my desk will be able to handle putting another server on it lol. going to have to work out a new spot in my room for them both.

Started both of them up at the same time and it sounds like to big turbos winding up. and when powering down the servers it takes ages to wind down.

15-07-2009, 11:22 PM
they will be loud, is that 2U?, forget about sleep!...LOL

16-07-2009, 09:08 PM
yeh 2U.

Hi I brought windows server 2003 r2 32bit off my boss today. :)

Also ordered 4gb of ram for the server and a 256mb for the raid controller. Going sell the old 128mb ram out of the raid controller and the 1gb 2x512mb of ram that was in the server.

Also Downloaded the server 2003 drivers off the dell site today. :)

Only thing I have to get now is a power cable for it as I was testing it with my printer power cable.

16-07-2009, 09:10 PM
coolness. What are you planning on doing with these?

16-07-2009, 09:21 PM
Storage and file sharing. maybe host a website later on.

17-07-2009, 09:29 AM
I have tried the OS as I wanted it for my work and some media backups. My main machine is a MBP and I'm mainly working on a VM. The OS was reasonably easy to setup and worked well with the backups.
Interestingly, when connected to the WHS I would get randomly BSOD,s in the VM, disconnecting the WHS and no problem. It took me some time to find WHS was the culprit. Since then I have dumped it and do backups on USB (enclosed)drives. I might look into Linux's options but don't know what would be suitable.

17-07-2009, 09:44 AM
The reason you were getting BSOD with WHS is it was never designed to work like that. It is a Home Server for PC backups, media streaming, file sharing over a LAN etc.

As I mentioned earlier on I have put in around a dozen, and none have caused any problems when used as they are designed to. If a person wanted other features then server 2003/2008 may be the option.

Use what ever works for the person.

17-07-2009, 09:51 AM
FreeNAS ftw

although i dont think it will do webhosting, i could be wrong

17-07-2009, 09:27 PM
From 0.69 onwards.

Sorry, this was a reply to Mirddes's post.

19-07-2009, 07:38 AM
The reason you were getting BSOD with WHS is it was never designed to work like that. It is a Home Server for PC backups, media streaming, file sharing over a LAN etc.

As I mentioned earlier on I have put in around a dozen, and none have caused any problems when used as they are designed to. If a person wanted other features then server 2003/2008 may be the option.
Use what ever works for the person.
PC(VM) and other PC's backups was the reason and main use over the LAN. So, in theory it should not affect a VM OS?

19-07-2009, 10:15 AM
I was referring to when it first came out. I know they heaps of problems with VM's as well as Wireless.

WHS was never meant to be in a Business/Office environment ( even though MS knew it would)
Since the average home user has enough problems with a general PC, a VM would be out of the question.

Out of all the LANS on home user sides that I have put in no one has ever asked or wanted a VM included.

Might fire up a VM on a workshop PC and see if I can replicate the problem.

Edited: After rereading the question - ( had my coffee now :) ) Since the VM is on the PC being backed up, any changes should be saved automatically to the WHS anyway.

The first backup always takes the longest, and every backup after that looks at whats been changed since last time, and makes the alterations as required.
Doesn't matter if its only 1 Document or 10 programs.

When its doing a back up, the "house" ( connector software) changes from Green ( healthy) to blue, if you double click and look it shows whats happening.

19-07-2009, 06:25 PM
Got a power cable today for it and a new dvd drive to replace the cd rom drive.

Got Windows Server installed on it and all up to date. Now I just have to buy a routor/firewall.

Sum photos of the server in my room.








19-07-2009, 06:40 PM
Hm nice. Might want to get a Gigabit router.

19-07-2009, 09:15 PM
Getting much sleep? :lol: