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Windows Home Server virtualized

Windows Home Server virtualized

I have a Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) HTPC. I've been considering getting Windows Home Server to complement the HTPC. While I'm still learning about the features/benefits of WHS, I'm curious to know if there are any caveats to running Windows Home Server within a virtualized environment.

Asked by: Guest | Views: 76
Total answers/comments: 2
Guest [Entry]

"Windows Home Server is designed to do a few things well:

Automated backup of connected computers
Centralized store of media to be shared among computers over the network
Remote access (via a web interface) to allow you to access shared folders and computers while not at home
Disk management (Storage pooling)

Part of backups is having a sense of redundancy, otherwise if one drive fails you could lose important data (within the home server). WHS handles this by making sure that folders/shares that you designate 'important' (aka Replicated) are automatically kept on two physically separate disks (if available). In a virtualized environment, WHS wouldn't be able to make sure that files were duplicated on separate physical disks (unless you set something up through your XenServer, which defeats the purpose of using WHS for disk management anyway).

If you're not going to use WHS for disk management, then you're primary uses for WHS are going to be remote access and centralized backup/storage. Remote access will work well whatever it's hosted on. Centralized backups will happen auto-magically whenever you specify. If you're not using WHS for remote access or centralized storage/backups, then it's a waste of money. You can put shares on any virtual machine and make it accessible to your network to complement your HTPC, you don't need a Windows Home Server for that.

If however, you're going to use centralized backups, then get it. WHS works effortlessly with backing up your Windows based machines and makes it easy to manage multiple machines for a home user."
Guest [Entry]

"There is one reason that running WHS in a VM is a great idea: it allows you to make your WHS resilient to hardware failures. For example, how quickly will you recover from a PSU failure?

A significant problem is that if your VM host's OS drive fails, you can't restore a backup, because you can't run the VM. But you can avoid that problem, too:

The trick is to make each virtual WHS disk be a whole, physical, external disk. If your VM host ever fails, just disconnect the WHS disks and plug them in to any computer that has VM software installed. Even a basic laptop is powerful enough to get your WHS up and running right away.

(I wrote this up a couple years ago here, BTW: http://blogs.msdn.com/jaybaz_ms/archive/2007/10/17/windows-home-server-on-a-virtual-machine.aspx)"