WHS (Windows Home Server) + XBMC = Fun

  Thread Rating:
  • 1 Votes - 5 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Post Reply
ultrabrutal Offline
Posting Freak
Posts: 952
Joined: Feb 2005
Reputation: 0
Location: South of Heaven
Post: #16
I have the MediaSmart with 4 * 1000 GB and upgraded to 2 GB RAM. I can copy movies to the server in 3-4 minutes and they stream perfectly. My other NASes (Synology and DNS) could take up to 30 minutes to copy a movie to them.
The WHS now also handles my mail, backups and more
find quote
mpw222 Offline
Senior Member
Posts: 117
Joined: Mar 2008
Reputation: 0
Post: #17
I've been using WHS for nearly a year now, and while it had a shaky start, most bugs have been patched and it now works extremely well (with xbmc or otherwise). The corruption bug was inexcusable (to the poster above, that's why utorrent gave you problems) and the duplication service (demigrator) caused really poor performance at first, but that was all fixed with the "PowerPack 1" service pack. Today I generally get 30MB/s writes, even to duplicated shares, and that's using Vista (other OSes are even faster).

Sure it costs money, and there are plenty of other solutions that would serve files via SMB or NFS for free, but that sort of sells WHS short. It's not as cool as ZFS, but the WHS storage pool is in some ways more useful for a home file server. You don't have to allocate drives to pools or worry about matching drive sizes for to do something like raidz. Also, since the storage pool just uses normal ntfs partitions, you can easily retreive your data should anything go wrong.

The backup service for XP and Vista PCs is extremely good - light on resources single instance storage of files that are duplicated on multiple PCs in the home, braindead easy to set up. The https access to your files and RDP over https to your home network is also pretty slick.
find quote
sicon99 Offline
Member
Posts: 67
Joined: Oct 2008
Reputation: 0
Post: #18
Random question, for price im either debating doing a raid of 4tb drives inside a htpc case and have it all in one or is it better to do it in a separate box with free raid or unraid?
find quote
Geeba Offline
Posting Freak
Posts: 1,797
Joined: Sep 2006
Reputation: 0
Location: UK
Post: #19
sicon99 Wrote:Random question, for price im either debating doing a raid of 4tb drives inside a htpc case and have it all in one or is it better to do it in a separate box with free raid or unraid?

Would you want a RAID whiiiiiring away under your TV Confused noisey and hot!

I'd go with a server in a spare room or attic space and stream to a small/quiet htpc in the lounge area personally... Nod
find quote
sicon99 Offline
Member
Posts: 67
Joined: Oct 2008
Reputation: 0
Post: #20
Geeba Wrote:Would you want a RAID whiiiiiring away under your TV Confused noisey and hot!

I'd go with a server in a spare room or attic space and stream to a small/quiet htpc in the lounge area personally... Nod

Probably a pretty good call!

I guess that opens up my options for htpc cases (one i was looking at had 8 bays Tongue)


Next question is unraid worth it or just use freeraid?
find quote
mach4 Offline
Junior Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 2008
Reputation: 0
Post: #21
For those who have WHS
Does WHS get connected to XBMC as SMB or UPnP?
Thanks
find quote
mpw222 Offline
Senior Member
Posts: 117
Joined: Mar 2008
Reputation: 0
Post: #22
mach4 Wrote:For those who have WHS
Does WHS get connected to XBMC as SMB or UPnP?
Thanks

SMB. It's simpler and more flexible.
find quote
mach4 Offline
Junior Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 2008
Reputation: 0
Post: #23
mpm222
thank you for the info
find quote
jpast45 Offline
Junior Member
Posts: 4
Joined: Dec 2007
Reputation: 0
Question  follow-up question
Post: #24
I stumbled upon this thread and thought i would throw my hat in the ring so to speak;
I bought one of those media smart servers to store all my videos and music on because it looked very cool and i got a great deal on it from work. after playing with it, i loved it, but it did not support x64 operating systems as clients, which is what i was running on all other pc's except one. not a big deal since i dont need automatic backup or anti-virus monitoring.
With xbox 360 it worked swimmingly for audio, video not so much due to limited codecs. the breaking point for me was my xbox. i use xbmc for EVERYTHING! and when i set up the network share, xbmc was able to see it, but when trying to connect it asked for a password. i tried no password, and i tried creating an account, no dice. my other major issue was that it seemed to be very slow when running utorrent in the background whether it was inactive or not. I returned it and fixed up a duron 2100 in a server case with 4 hard drives totaling just shy of 1.5tb

I really hate how much space it takes up in the closet, and the media server would take up so much less. it was quite a while ago that i played around with it, but do you know if they fixed the xbmc issues somehow?I dont think i could live in a house that didnt stream all my media to any TV i have (as long as theres an xbox under it lol)

I have nothing in the closet with it except the 2 printers and network cable, i dont even use a kb/mouse or monitor, i just remote it.

What im basically looking for is a way to make it take up less space and not look like an eyesore, while still keeping me productive media and torrent-wise. will the media server satisfy that now or am i still clinging to an impossible dream?
sorry for the long post, you guys just seem to have good opinions and knowledge of the WHS situation.
find quote
Geeba Offline
Posting Freak
Posts: 1,797
Joined: Sep 2006
Reputation: 0
Location: UK
Post: #25
Any server based machine will ask for a user/password to connect to it... Confused I just set up an account user:xbox - pass:xbox1, when you add the source you just add the username and password to the source adding window in xbmc your browsing from... never had any problems... mines built around an old P4 3.2Ghz 2Gb RAM machine that used to be my desktop, spent a bit of time setting it up and it flys... currently its supporting 6 HDD's which total roughly 2.6TB. It runns alot more than just a torrent app too.

I put mine in the loft/attic to as its not only cooler up there I cant hear it ether...
find quote
mpw222 Offline
Senior Member
Posts: 117
Joined: Mar 2008
Reputation: 0
Post: #26
The first thing you want to do is update your copy of WHS with the Power Pack 1 update, which fixed a ton on stuff, including adding support for Vista x64 (not XP x64, but there isn't a particuarly good reason to use that OS). It also fixed a nasty data corruption bug and significantly improved performance all around.

Regarding the utorrent slowness, PP1 should help out performance, but you should consider creating a directory on your D: drive (just a normal folder not one in the WHS storage pool) to house incomplete torrents. uTorrent can be configured to move completed torrents to a different folder, so you can still have them moved to a managed folder, but this way you avoid excessive work for the demigrator service that is repsonsible for folder duplication and moving files around within the storage pool.

Finally, how are you creating the user and shares in WHS? You need to create user with a password in the WHS Console and grant that user permission to the folder with your media in the console. This is just a friendlier version of the process you would normally go through to share a folder via SMB in Windows. After you do that, verify that you can reach that share from the PC you're going to run XBMC in the OS. On Windows for example you could type \\<servername>\<sharename> into the address bar in explorer (Ubuntu and OS X can both read SMB shares too). If that works, you should be able to add it to the sources list in xbmc.
find quote
jpast45 Offline
Junior Member
Posts: 4
Joined: Dec 2007
Reputation: 0
Post: #27
Quote:verify that you can reach that share from the PC you're going to run XBMC in the OS
when you say this, are you meaning you're running xbmc from a computer? i am using a couple xbox 1's to stream video to my tv.

I had the same problem with sharing media from vista, thats why my current custom server has XP (used to have 2000, which is the best OS ever, but it didnt support the software raids i needed).

If you people are saying you have no problem using the hp's mediasmart server with xbox1 and they now support vistax64, i should see no reason to build a new server, when i can purchase something smaller and more convenient for a bit more.
Just out of curiousity, are there any hard drive diagnostics you would recommend running on them? obviously you cannot boot from a eurosoft pc diagnostic disk, so you would have to use some in-OS diags. and i would prefer to know. and a follow-up question, if you have a failing hard drive, is it easy enough to replace with a new one in terms of copying the information? since they are all by default in a raid 0.
I know most of these questions belong on a MSS or WHS forum, but just thought you guys would know
find quote
Cru Offline
Junior Member
Posts: 15
Joined: Feb 2005
Reputation: 0
Post: #28
I have been using WHS for about a month now and I love it. Like everyone said it does an amazing and simple job of protecting your media and backing up any home networked computers.

I was hoping to get some help or ideas for streaming video from a remote location using an Xbox (Home = Server ~ Away = Xbox). I have been using the FTP Manager with WHS and connecting that way, but I find it is way too choppy with video playback. Photos and Music work great though.

Can I do something with WHS to make this work (or is it limited with it's UL speeds) or should I switch to Ubuntu Server or FreeNAS?

BTW it is a custom built box... Athalon XP 2500+, 1gig ram, 4TB Storage and Gigabit.
find quote
mpw222 Offline
Senior Member
Posts: 117
Joined: Mar 2008
Reputation: 0
Post: #29
Cru Wrote:I have been using WHS for about a month now and I love it. Like everyone said it does an amazing and simple job of protecting your media and backing up any home networked computers.

I was hoping to get some help or ideas for streaming video from a remote location using an Xbox (Home = Server ~ Away = Xbox). I have been using the FTP Manager with WHS and connecting that way, but I find it is way too choppy with video playback. Photos and Music work great though.

Can I do something with WHS to make this work (or is it limited with it's UL speeds) or should I switch to Ubuntu Server or FreeNAS?

BTW it is a custom built box... Athalon XP 2500+, 1gig ram, 4TB Storage and Gigabit.

Unless you have a pretty good internet connection, you're going to be limited by upload speed. Even a low quality TV rip off p2p is 350mb for a 44 minute show, do the math and it comes out to almost 1.1mbps. To make things worse, video bitrate may vary throughout the file, meaning some sections may double or triple that (though caching on the xbmc side would help with this). In most areas of the US the fastest consumer net connections have 384 or 512kbps of upload speed, though there are certainly exceptions (anywhere with fios or docsis 3.0 cable). Test your bandwidth (google speakeasy speedtest).
find quote
Cru Offline
Junior Member
Posts: 15
Joined: Feb 2005
Reputation: 0
Post: #30
mpw222 Wrote:Unless you have a pretty good internet connection, you're going to be limited by upload speed. Even a low quality TV rip off p2p is 350mb for a 44 minute show, do the math and it comes out to almost 1.1mbps. To make things worse, video bitrate may vary throughout the file, meaning some sections may double or triple that (though caching on the xbmc side would help with this). In most areas of the US the fastest consumer net connections have 384 or 512kbps of upload speed, though there are certainly exceptions (anywhere with fios or docsis 3.0 cable). Test your bandwidth (google speakeasy speedtest).

Thank you for that website.. I ran the test and this is what I am getting
(9516kbps Download and 972kbps Upload). I read a couple posts saying that WHS can be a little slow with UL (not sure if this is true) so I thought that maybe a different software would improve the stream.

Would you recommend another way of streaming instead of FTP?
find quote
Post Reply