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View Poll Results: What OS to use for SageTV server rebuild?
Server 2003 (32bit) 1 2.08%
Windows 7 Home Premium (32bit or 64bit) 32 66.67%
WHS V1 13 27.08%
WHS (Veil) V2 2 4.17%
Voters: 48. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 01-08-2011, 10:32 AM
nettech_gt nettech_gt is offline
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What OS for server rebuild?

I recently installed SageTV 7 and the commercial detector plugin for my HD100. Since all my tuners are HDPVRs and record primarily in HD it takes comskip on average 4 hrs. to process a 1 hr. show. After doing some reading on the comskip and SageTV forums I have come to find that I will need to upgrade my CPU/MB/RAM in order to process TS files quicker. (currently I have a P4 2.4 GHz w/ 1 GB RAM) I want to be able to process multiple (2 or 3) shows at a time and have each file be processed in about an hour. It is my understanding that comskip supports processing multiple files by assigning one file per available CPU core. So I have started looking at what CPU/MB to get. For what I want to be able to do I think I'm going to a get a quad core CPU. (not sure which brand or model yet) (suggestions welcome)


Since I'm upgrading my CPU/MB I will need to reinstall my OS. So what I would like to know first (before I spend too much time researching CPU/MB brands/models), should I continue using Server 2003 Standard 32bit? (even though I have had no major issues) Or should I “upgrade” to one of the following:


Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit or 64bit ( I already have access to both)


WHS V1 (Would need to purchase)


WHS V2 (Veil) (Would need to purchase when it comes out)




I initially built my SageTV server using Server 2003 because I got it free (when I was a student) and because compared to my next best option at the time (XP Pro) it seemed because it is a server OS and therefore designed to be running 24/7 it would be more stable. However it is the oldest of the options and will stop getting support in a couple years. (2014) If I'm going to go through the effort of rebuilding my server I would like to “future proof” it as best possible.


Windows 7 seems like a good possibility as I already have both 32 and 64 bit. Do I get better performance of the multi cores when using a 64 bit OS? My main concern is stability. I have only just started using it on my other computers and while I like it so far I don't have very much experience with it yet. Who has been running a Windows 7 server for 6 months or more and can vouch for the stability?


WHS (both versions) seems like another good option. However it would be an additional cost. Also I'm not sure about driver comparability for my RAID card (3Ware 9500S) or the HDPVRs (3)


I would also like to use my SageTV server as a NAS (mainly for backup images of my other computers) So I have been thinking of either buying another RAID card and building another RAID 5 array. Then have my other computers wake up overnight and create the back up image to the new array. Or possibly using VBOX and running a virtual free NAS server within the SageTV server then I would create a software array using ZFS. (Allowing me the ability to add more drives as needed. With out having to replace all the drives and not having to use all the same size drives.)
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  #2  
Old 01-08-2011, 12:18 PM
stevech stevech is offline
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I'd vote for Win 7 except I've found the "new and improved" workgroup folder sharing and access restrictictions to be an undocumented, unwieldy PITA. Especially if there are also XP machines on the LAN.

I have mine working but even as a geek, it took me far too long to get working by trial and error. (5 computers, mix of XP/Win 7 home prem.)

Of course, skip 64 bit due to driver issues and no real benefit.

WHS is dead-ended now, by Microsoft.

My server simply has two big drives in RAID1 (motherboard), mirroring. I don't trust RAID5 controllers at the consumer level. And with RAID1, an unplugged drive is bootable/usable. Too hard to change computers with RAID5 because the disk format is proprietary to that vendor's card.

Last edited by stevech; 01-08-2011 at 12:20 PM.
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  #3  
Old 01-08-2011, 02:00 PM
zoundz zoundz is offline
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I just rebuilt mine on Win 7 Pro 32 Bit. I would recommend Pro over Home Premium. In particular, Home Premium will not function as a remote desktop server, so running headless requires using VNC. While I love VNC, I have found that remote desktop is much more civilized for a headless system. UAC should be totally shut down IMHO. It's not necessary, but it makes the whole system a lot easier to deal with. 32 bit solves a lot of driver problems, although it can only run 3.25 GB of mem. Shouldn't be a problem for a system that is primarily a SageTV server. If you want to run FCP and record 32 channels of audio while you are recording 5 programs on SageTV and playing Warcraft and watching HD recordings on 3 extenders, I have no recommendation for you.

Last edited by zoundz; 01-08-2011 at 02:02 PM.
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  #4  
Old 01-08-2011, 02:07 PM
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Fuzzy Fuzzy is offline
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I, too, would recommend Win7. It really is the best OS MS has ever made. The only problems are typical legacy issues that you'd have with any major-version overhauls (like the aforementioned network sharing). If you've got all win7/2k8 machines, the new sharing is transparent. If not, you may find it easier to disable to newer sharing security systems and go back to simple xp style shared folders.

I would think about your needs before deciding 32 vs 64 bit. As for drivers, that shouldn't be a problem with any current hardware, as WHQL requires 64-bit support to get a cert. The only problem would be Firewire tuning, which isn't WHQL certified anyways. If you think you might at some point in the future, want 4GB or more, then installing 64-bit now will save another reinstall later. The only other downside of 64-bit win7, is that there are two program files folders - 'C:\Program Files' and 'C:\Program Files (x86)' - but once you realize that, it is moot.

The Win7 caching system is greatly improved over previous version of windows, so even if you don't have the intention of loading up your ram with a lot of programs, extra RAM will help stabilize drive access.
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unRAID Server: i7-6700, 32GB RAM, Dual 128GB SSD cache and 13TB pool, with SageTVv9, openDCT, Logitech Media Server and Plex Media Server each in Dockers.
Sources: HRHR Prime with Charter CableCard. HDHR-US for OTA.
Primary Client: HD-300 through XBoxOne in Living Room, Samsung HLT-6189S
Other Clients: Mi Box in Master Bedroom, HD-200 in kids room
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  #5  
Old 01-08-2011, 02:14 PM
david1234 david1234 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoundz View Post
I just rebuilt mine on Win 7 Pro 32 Bit. I would recommend Pro over Home Premium. In particular, Home Premium will not function as a remote desktop server, so running headless requires using VNC. While I love VNC, I have found that remote desktop is much more civilized for a headless system. ...
Out of the box, Win7 Home doesn't support remote desktop at all, so I'm one more vote for Win7 Pro.

As a desktop system, I haven't run into any driver problems with the 64bit version (other than an HP printer... they won't upgrade they're drivers, so I won't buy HP anymore!)
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  #6  
Old 01-08-2011, 02:18 PM
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Fuzzy Fuzzy is offline
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I've never been happy with RDP's lack of true console sharing, so I mostly use VNC for server management - which works on any version.

I do use RDP from my phone when conencting to my home desktop, so I can log in to a background session, so it doesn't mess with what my wife is doing at the desk - but aside from that, VNC is far better for managing a running server, than RDP.
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unRAID Server: i7-6700, 32GB RAM, Dual 128GB SSD cache and 13TB pool, with SageTVv9, openDCT, Logitech Media Server and Plex Media Server each in Dockers.
Sources: HRHR Prime with Charter CableCard. HDHR-US for OTA.
Primary Client: HD-300 through XBoxOne in Living Room, Samsung HLT-6189S
Other Clients: Mi Box in Master Bedroom, HD-200 in kids room
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  #7  
Old 01-08-2011, 05:34 PM
stevech stevech is offline
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I use VNC instead of remote desktop. That's easy. Also lets me do remote access via port 80 behind corporate firewalls for really remote access.
VNC is sessionless so there's no login/logout or conflict with logged in user, etc.

UAC is on for my Win 7 home premium. I like it. Not an issue.
Also Microsoft Security Essentials (dumped Norton)
But rule 1 is there's no email or brower willy nilly Internet surfing using the PC that Sage is on.

Last edited by stevech; 01-08-2011 at 05:37 PM.
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  #8  
Old 01-08-2011, 06:51 PM
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Fuzzy Fuzzy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david1234 View Post
Out of the box, Win7 Home doesn't support remote desktop at all, so I'm one more vote for Win7 Pro.

As a desktop system, I haven't run into any driver problems with the 64bit version (other than an HP printer... they won't upgrade they're drivers, so I won't buy HP anymore!)
Yeah, that's funny. I have the same problem. In fat, my HP printer (Photosmart 8450) has win7 drivers, but they are basic. I lost the ability to print double sided using the duplexer module - so I actually have a winxp VM set up in VMWare that I only use when I need to print something double sided.. silly really. I also have to use thie (or an old samsung laser printer I've got) to print on postage from stamps.com. The next printer probably won't be HP either, mainly because of these issues.
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Buy Fuzzy a beer! (Fuzzy likes beer)

unRAID Server: i7-6700, 32GB RAM, Dual 128GB SSD cache and 13TB pool, with SageTVv9, openDCT, Logitech Media Server and Plex Media Server each in Dockers.
Sources: HRHR Prime with Charter CableCard. HDHR-US for OTA.
Primary Client: HD-300 through XBoxOne in Living Room, Samsung HLT-6189S
Other Clients: Mi Box in Master Bedroom, HD-200 in kids room
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  #9  
Old 01-09-2011, 07:44 PM
stevech stevech is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy View Post
The next printer probably won't be HP either, mainly because of these issues.
I've bought HP inkjets for years (as they want us to). This time, unhappy with HP's declining and crummy QA in hardware and lousy software, and on a friend's recommendation, I bought a $99 Epson Workforce 630. The document feeder is important to me. Very happy with hardware and software, esp. good networking such as: Hit Scan To PC-PDF on printer. Choose which networked PC to store on. Done. No sitting at PC with clunky software. Also Scan to JPG and Scan to eMail. I use WiFi 11n, but it has ethernet and USB too.
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  #10  
Old 01-09-2011, 10:42 PM
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Fuzzy Fuzzy is offline
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Well, I'm still VERY happy with the 8450's photo printing. It's a 8 color printer, so the photo quality really is amazing. And the basic drivers still handle that great (heck, even printing form the card reader is really good).
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Buy Fuzzy a beer! (Fuzzy likes beer)

unRAID Server: i7-6700, 32GB RAM, Dual 128GB SSD cache and 13TB pool, with SageTVv9, openDCT, Logitech Media Server and Plex Media Server each in Dockers.
Sources: HRHR Prime with Charter CableCard. HDHR-US for OTA.
Primary Client: HD-300 through XBoxOne in Living Room, Samsung HLT-6189S
Other Clients: Mi Box in Master Bedroom, HD-200 in kids room
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  #11  
Old 01-10-2011, 01:23 PM
MattHelm MattHelm is offline
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Is there any reason not to use the Windows 7 Home Premium version for a sever? Just asking.


I have backup and VNC (or Logmein Hamachi) software, so don't need/use those features.
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  #12  
Old 01-10-2011, 01:27 PM
rochurch rochurch is offline
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I had been planning for Vail, but after they removed the disk span RAID replacement I lost all inspiration. So I went Win 7 Pro 64 bit. Had to buy a USB-UIRT since you can't firewire change a cable box in 64 bit, but speed and performance are worth the tradeoff.
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  #13  
Old 01-10-2011, 02:14 PM
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gplasky gplasky is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rochurch View Post
I had been planning for Vail, but after they removed the disk span RAID replacement I lost all inspiration. So I went Win 7 Pro 64 bit. Had to buy a USB-UIRT since you can't firewire change a cable box in 64 bit, but speed and performance are worth the tradeoff.
Speed and performance of what? SageTV and java is 32 bit. Unles you're running many multiple applications you're really not gaining much and you lost firewire channel changing, which I'm pretty sure was faster than IR tuning.

Gerry
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  #14  
Old 01-10-2011, 03:27 PM
david1234 david1234 is offline
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The only reason I know of for favoring 64bit in a Sage server is being able to put an obscene amount of memory in.
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  #15  
Old 01-10-2011, 08:59 PM
Oats Oats is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nettech_gt View Post
I initially built my SageTV server using Server 2003 because I got it free (when I was a student) and because compared to my next best option at the time (XP Pro) it seemed because it is a server OS and therefore designed to be running 24/7 it would be more stable. However it is the oldest of the options and will stop getting support in a couple years. (2014) If I'm going to go through the effort of rebuilding my server I would like to “future proof” it as best possible.
I would stick with this thought and continue to use Server 2k3 over Win7 as Win7 will use more resources and give you nothing in return.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nettech_gt View Post
WHS (both versions) seems like another good option. However it would be an additional cost. Also I'm not sure about driver comparability for my RAID card (3Ware 9500S) or the HDPVRs (3)
WHS v1 is Server 2k3 small business with modifications. Anything that works on 2k3 should work on WHS v1.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nettech_gt View Post
I would also like to use my SageTV server as a NAS (mainly for backup images of my other computers) So I have been thinking of either buying another RAID card and building another RAID 5 array. Then have my other computers wake up overnight and create the back up image to the new array. Or possibly using VBOX and running a virtual free NAS server within the SageTV server then I would create a software array using ZFS. (Allowing me the ability to add more drives as needed. With out having to replace all the drives and not having to use all the same size drives.)
First, I think it is a waste of money and electricity to run raid in this situation. I would get 2 drives, one for backups, and one that backs up the backups once a month and is stored off site. It will cost you less and your data will be safer.

Second, this is exactly what WHS was built for. It will automatically wake and backup all your PCs as often as you want, and will use less space than what you are using now because it only saves one copy of files that are on multiple computers. This saves a lot of space if your PCs are set up with the same OS/Programs/etc. The down side is WHS v1's C: drive can't be backed up. WHS v2 will be able to do this. Everybody will tell you WHS v2 is dead because they removed drive extender, but it is still a cheap server OS with a fantastic automated backup for your PCs.

I would keep using Server 2003 until WHS v2 is released, and then think about using WHS v2.
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  #16  
Old 01-11-2011, 10:31 AM
nettech_gt nettech_gt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oats View Post
I would stick with this thought and continue to use Server 2k3 over Win7 as Win7 will use more resources and give you nothing in return.



WHS v1 is Server 2k3 small business with modifications. Anything that works on 2k3 should work on WHS v1.



First, I think it is a waste of money and electricity to run raid in this situation. I would get 2 drives, one for backups, and one that backs up the backups once a month and is stored off site. It will cost you less and your data will be safer.

Second, this is exactly what WHS was built for. It will automatically wake and backup all your PCs as often as you want, and will use less space than what you are using now because it only saves one copy of files that are on multiple computers. This saves a lot of space if your PCs are set up with the same OS/Programs/etc. The down side is WHS v1's C: drive can't be backed up. WHS v2 will be able to do this. Everybody will tell you WHS v2 is dead because they removed drive extender, but it is still a cheap server OS with a fantastic automated backup for your PCs.

I would keep using Server 2003 until WHS v2 is released, and then think about using WHS v2.
Thank you Oats for your detailed comments.

I'm still leaning towards WHS V2 (Veil) as it seems (right now) to be the best fit despite the additional cost. (we'll see when it come out) However I'm very curious why so many have voted for Windows 7 yet there have been very few comments to back up why its better (compared to how many votes for it) then Server 2K3 or WHS.
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  #17  
Old 01-11-2011, 12:46 PM
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Fuzzy Fuzzy is offline
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Well, win7 vs 2k3, I'd say win7 for a few reasons - hardware support - newer generation kernal - cost.

Win7 vs WHS has a lot of the same comparisons (with the exception of cost).

Stability should not be a concern, there is nothing in win7 that makes it any less stable than server, in fact, it's the same basic OS as server 2k8. The only think that would make win7 less stable would be it's common use as a general desktop OS - which won't be the case here. Plus, if you want to add another client at some point, win 7 has by far the best video playback pipeline around.. all you'd need is a monitor (also potentially need a newer video card, though even the recent IGP's have full H.264 accelleration).
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unRAID Server: i7-6700, 32GB RAM, Dual 128GB SSD cache and 13TB pool, with SageTVv9, openDCT, Logitech Media Server and Plex Media Server each in Dockers.
Sources: HRHR Prime with Charter CableCard. HDHR-US for OTA.
Primary Client: HD-300 through XBoxOne in Living Room, Samsung HLT-6189S
Other Clients: Mi Box in Master Bedroom, HD-200 in kids room
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  #18  
Old 01-11-2011, 04:44 PM
Oats Oats is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy View Post
Well, win7 vs 2k3, I'd say win7 for a few reasons - hardware support - newer generation kernal - cost.
Hardware support and cost aren't an issue since his hardware works on both and he already owns both.

Quote:
Stability should not be a concern, there is nothing in win7 that makes it any less stable than server, in fact, it's the same basic OS as server 2k8. The only think that would make win7 less stable would be it's common use as a general desktop OS - which won't be the case here. Plus, if you want to add another client at some point, win 7 has by far the best video playback pipeline around.. all you'd need is a monitor (also potentially need a newer video card, though even the recent IGP's have full H.264 accelleration).
While Win7 would be plenty stable it isn't as good for a server as an OS designed for server usage. Remote desktop, better security, Windows updates that don't require reboots, etc.
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  #19  
Old 01-11-2011, 06:15 PM
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Fuzzy Fuzzy is offline
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Remote Desktop isnt' the best way to manage a sage server - as some of the tasks don't work well in a background RDP session. VNC is far better for sage server remote admin for this reason. Security is basically exactly the same between server and 7. windows updates only need to be installed when you choose to. It's not like a production server that needs REAL 24/7 uptime, and downtime is expensive. It is just something that needs to be somewhat scheduled. Honestly, there are plenty of people here (myself included) that never even bother with the windows updates, unless I'm going to have the system down already for hardware upgrades (adding yet MORE hdd's.. :-)
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Buy Fuzzy a beer! (Fuzzy likes beer)

unRAID Server: i7-6700, 32GB RAM, Dual 128GB SSD cache and 13TB pool, with SageTVv9, openDCT, Logitech Media Server and Plex Media Server each in Dockers.
Sources: HRHR Prime with Charter CableCard. HDHR-US for OTA.
Primary Client: HD-300 through XBoxOne in Living Room, Samsung HLT-6189S
Other Clients: Mi Box in Master Bedroom, HD-200 in kids room
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  #20  
Old 01-12-2011, 07:37 AM
lpitman lpitman is offline
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Where is Linux in the Poll Questionaire?
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