Just added 3TB disk to Windows Home Server v1.0

I bought recently 3TB WD drive. You may know that drives over 2.19TB are not supported in Windows XP/2003 systems due to the lack of GPT support. Windows Home Server of course doesn’t work with drives more than 2TB size, but there are some workarounds.

First, you will need a driver for HBA that comes with WD drive. I found that it is HighPoint Rocket 620 and you can find Windows XP/2003 drivers here.

So, after you will connect drive, install drivers, you should see 3TB drive in the disk manager. The rest is fairly simple, just follow the following posts:

http://spackle.wordpress.com/2011/04/22/going-for-3tb-in-whs-v1/

http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1559559

For now, I’m running WHS v1.0 with 3TB drives with Drive Extender (didn’t needed to upgrade to 2011) nicely.

A little note: if Hitachi GPT Disk Manager doesn’t want to work with your disk, this isn’t a problem. It still installs GPT driver, so you can use disk manager to create GPT partition.

Why I will NOT upgrade to WHS 2011

I saw the this post (via @seandaniel) called “Why I plan on using the new Windows Home Server 2011” (a.k.a. “Vail”).

I have quickly ran my eyes over the blog post and well – I do NOT agree and I cannot accept the decision given the little I know.

Surely, I’m slightly different kind of persona and I am using WHS slightly differently and my priorities are different. For me it is a backup and storage machine that is used at home mostly. I’m accessing it very seldom from remote locations, just in case, when I need to grab some personal file.

So lets look at so called “just awesome stuff”.

  • Improved remote access

I’m rarely using it. It is improved so that I can modify it? How nice, but it is so unimportant to me. With two small children at home I really don’t have time to “modify” it and I consider such time as wasted. I mean really, it’s not related to anything what this box is supposed to do – keep your files available and safe.

  • Silverlight video streaming

I cannot imagine myself watching a Blu-ray RIP streamed via Internet and wireless connection, while I’m at hotel. Do you? One more nice to have that will be never used in my case. Most of the streaming is happening from WHS to Xbox @ home, when my kids are watching their content or myself – our personal stuff.

  • Silverlight photo streaming

I would consider this to be a nice feature, if there would be a chance to share it easy with multiple relatives or casual “Oh, please …” type of friends. I’m considering writing add-in myself that would allow anonymous (with ticket) access to the defined set of photos on the WHS. Silverlight? Why not, it’s not that difficult, when you have appropriate data on photos. So is the photo streaming a “Wow”? It is most appreciated if it allows “anonymous/ticketed” access, but otherwise – thanks, but no. Thanks. I know my photos well.

  • Moving files via remote access

Again, one nice feature, which will never be used by myself. If I’m about to touch any file, especially – delete. I will look (view it) carefully, if this is really the content I want to (re)move. I’ve done that locally over the shared folder and I’ll be continuing doing that.

  • DLNA media streaming

It would be much more appreciated, if it could become a full Media Center with data storage in one box. DLNA itself is nice, however the only devices that support DLNA at home are my PC’s, which happen to play the content nicely without DLNA.

Regarding data protection, the talk is slightly different.

What about the data on the server?  Server’s hold data, isn’t that data safe?  Yes of course it is.  You can backup that data to an internal, or better yet, external hard drive!”. At this point, I have only one question – so why do I need WHS then? I can have regular ***ux box with backup to an external drive. And also, considering theft/robbery scenarios, I prefer backing up critical data (photos and some videos) to Amazon (probably cheapest #cloud option) to keep the data out of home.

My main interest here is to have flexibility with hard drive management (I have replaced one dead drive, added some additional, replaced smaller with bigger one) and data availability without having to deal with limitations of RAID configurations or “Copy paste wizard”.

Sean, you say “I ultimately agree with the decision given what I know”. Well, you maybe agree, but you didn’t convinced me and, it seems, many others around the globe.

The question here is what is more important: you or customers?

Public cloud for private use?

Initially, I’ve been thinking that cloud services are for businesses and big corporations, but when you see price tags for the service (see more details for Microsoft Azure, Amazon EC2 and S3, Google) it becomes obvious that even home user can leverage those.

For some time I was looking for a solution to backup my data on the Windows Home Server. I have a lot of photos and home videos with family or public events and of course I don’t want to loose those in case of any fire, flooding or theft. While typically thieves don’t steal paper photographs, they will do that by stealing the computer inside the house. In case of fire or flooding – both, physical and electronic copies could be destroyed easily. Today, to protect most vital data, I’m trying (yes, that doesn’t happen regularly) to copy the data to the external hard disk and move it to the remote location (office Smile). It works, but not as good as I would like to.

Yesterday, after a little hint, I stumbled upon Cloudberry backup solution for WHS. The interesting thing was that it allows to backup data to the well known clouds: Amazon and Azure.

There are other “backup providers” like KeepVault, which have similar pricing (at the moment I’ve looked at) and backing up to the hard drive that is stored remotely might be more price efficient than using cloud solutions in the long term, but it is obvious that there are interesting use cases for cloud services for private usage.

One obvious benefit that CloudBerry Lab backup solution has over the KeepVault to me – is the ability to choose preffered online storage provider. Amazon and Microsoft seem to be strong players in the cloud market, therefore I think there is a bigger chance that they and their services will live longer.

Update:

Later I have noted that there is a possibility to get a free license if you’re blogger (see FAQ). So, as a result of posting this blog post, I’ve received nice holiday gift – a free Cloudberry backup for WHS license. Big thanks to Cloudberry Lab.

National & Regional discrimination by publishers

When I read the articles like this one: “Are US Publishers Using E-books to Undermine Territorial Rights?” – I can think only of two things:

  • Regional (or even racial) discrimination actively implemented by publishers
  • Unwillingness to change under the pressure of globalization

What kind of underdeveloped person you have to be, to say the following: “If you can prevent a cardholder from buying an American print edition, you can do the same with an e-book.”. You cannot prevent anyone from buying “American” print edition. I can do that easily, just by going to the same amazon.com.

And I pretty much understand what the person has in mind by saying: “It would upset the whole publishing dynamic if one let the digital edition seep into another market.” – we (publishers) would have less to do, less money earned and finally our business can disappear as such.

However there are couple other things that I do see, which is common to all the publishing industry (including movie, etc.):

  • Technically speaking people in different regions are discriminated by not allowing them to acquire the goods on a better price. In many cases you can see that “The rest of the world edition” costs multiple times more than “American edition”. What is it that I’m forced to buy more expensive product? Am I greener than those in “America” or what?
  • On multiple occasions you can see that products (books, movies, etc.) may be available in “American edition”, but not in Lithuanian, Croatian or whatever else “smaller country edition”. Once again, I’m not a native English speaker, but still I enjoy movies and books in English. Is there any problem? Why I’m not allowed to buy those?
  • Everybody wants to get rich, right? So, why not to charge 5 times for the same thing? Remember the DVD’s. Everything is done to claim more money for the same thing (book, movie, etc.). It is like a firm monopoly on charging multiple times for the same thing. And can anyone tell me, why I’m in the “Region 5”? Well, I don’t like to be 5 …

Today, internet and globalization changes many things: from creation, to production, to delivery. I’m buying the books (or e-books) in the markets, where those are cheaper or available. The same applies to movies. It seems that Blu-ray is going to die before birth and at the same time HD content is available online for streaming or even purchase. And again, internet makes these available to anyone on this planet with an internet connection.

Publishers can try to play old games, but those are not appropriate anymore. If people cannot buy something in one place, they will buy it in another – half a world around. If they will not be able to buy for a reasonable price there – they will just download it.

Charles Darwin said once:

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”

So the publishing industry either will adapt to the situation or will be extinct.

That’s all.

Stuff to read [7]

Technically, you can go on further with partitioning, possibly filtered indexes (depending on data volume and stats) and of course – SQL Server Broker could do very nice here as well

Why people assume that everyone in the world should have an iPhone?

Fix available for ASP.Net vulnerability

As you probably know (you should’ve known Smile) there was a vulnerability in ASP.Net discovered that could allow information disclosure. There is already fix to this problem. Read more here:

I would recommend to apply those ASAP, according to your security update installation policy. It is especially important, if you haven’t applied any mitigation (described here) before.

Stuff to read [3]

  • Often smart things are simple ones or another way for checking for nulls. Check here
  • Calling a service bus HTTP Endpoint with Authentication using WebClient – here
  • Discounted $10 today (09/13/2010) for a book Pro OpenSolaris is available here. Is it still used? According the netcraft.net – not much anymore
  • Checking if remote (HTTP) file exists – here
  • Design-Time friendly ViewModels with MEF – here