On Sat, 22 Mar 2008, Les wrote:
Hi, everyone, I currently have four systems on my home network. I have them all configured as standalone systems, but the burden of backing them up etc. etc. is becoming too much. I want to set up a full network with server and common user directories. Currently I have 2 Linux only systems, one windows only system, and one dual boot. I have been monitoring (and sometimes helping, occasionally kibbutzing) the mailing list, so I believe I can figure out most of it by now. However, here is my question. I have one older low-end system, and one dual cpu system that is on all the time, either of which could be the server. However, the dual cpu system is where I do most of my work, including dual boot to windows. This makes it a bad prospect for a network server. I could configure and run XP pro in a virtual setup, but I am leery of making the full change to network server, with a virtual windows client and doing work on the server (compiling and running programs with occasional resets to clean up my big goofs). I am leery of using the older system simply because I suspect it is approaching mechanical, support, and electrical end of life (over 6 years old). Buying a new system is possible, but adding yet another 300watts to my system load would be tough. I think I would need to add wiring to the house. So, the question becomes do I trust the older system, make my system the server, adopt the remaining system (currently running f8) as a server, or should I just throw down the cash and get yet one more system for a server. Also I am thinking that having a common server would make backuppc simpler and support, backup issues and so forth would be much simpler. Could I continue to have the mail setup as it is with each system downloading email from my ISP? Setting up a mail server is not something I want to do for our home stuff. ` I suspect that on this mailing list there is someone who has been faced with a similar situation, so please if that person reads this, give me your experienced opinion.
Well, I got opinion. Experience may be questionable, but I got opinion. 8-)
As I read it, you just want a file server/disk server with none of the trimmings. For a server which just supports backup, durn near anything should work just fine, as long as you stuff enough disk capacity in and keep a nice UPS online. Should you prefer to keep the user files live on the new server, you would have slightly more complexity but your files follow you around.
Guessing a bit in the dark, I'm tempted to suggest take your lightest cpu machine for the server. Put a big disk in, and run both NFS and Samba so it doesn't much matter whether or not you are working under Linux or Windows.