Monday, March 5, 2012

Move to Amahi File Server

Out with the old.  In with the new. 

For the past couple of years, a Windows Home Server has been an important part of my file backup solution.  I store many terabytes of backup data on my WHS file server.  I also use it to host the files that we share here at Lumacraft’s office. 

But WHS v1 does not support Advanced Format hard drives, which are quickly becoming the norm, and feeding new disks to your file server on a regular basis is part of life for a digital imaging professional.  While WHS v2 does support AF disks, incredibly, Microsoft dropped support for WHS's best feature, Drive Extender

My research suggested that it was time for me to move to a Linux based file server solution, specifically Amahi Home Server running on Fedora.  I found this handy comparison between Drive Extender and Greyhole, the similar technology used in Amahi.

I finally made some time for this project yesterday.  I was very pleased that the entire process of setting up the new server and getting it running took only a couple of hours.  I have set up dozens of Windows machines over the years, but this was my first time with a Linux based system.  Kudos to the dedicated people who created Amahi and made the setup process so streamlined. 

Provided that you're an IT enthusiast with an intermediate level of experience and knowledge, and even if you're a hard core MS user like me, Amahi can help you to quickly and easily overcome the problems with WHS, and to reinvigorate your home server.

Once all of my backups are safely moved over to the new server, I am looking forward to exploring Amahi’s rich feature set and the various add-on apps that are available.  If I make any discoveries worth sharing, I will post them here.

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