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Rendering of Velocity Micro WHS in silver and black  (Source: Velocity Micro)

Rendering of Velocity Micro WHS in a black and red color scheme  (Source: Velocity Micro)
Another system builder prepares to introduce servers to general consumers

Velocity Micro has leaked details of its upcoming Windows Home Server system, or WHS for short. The upcoming Velocity Micro WHS encompasses consumer friendly design and features enterprise-class thermals and stability.

Expect the Velocity Micro WHS to include hardware for vertical and horizontal placements. Velocity Micro is hush on the noise levels, but claims the new WHS is very quiet with some form of exotic cooling for the unnamed, single-core Conroe-based processor.

An Intel chipset and DDR2 memory join the Conroe-based processor. Velocity Micro has not revealed which Intel chipset it is specifically, but claims a high-performance Intel chipset with PCI Express-based Gigabit Ethernet and SATA 3.0Gbps are inside the WHS system. Intel has a large inventory of chipsets that fits the bill, including the most recent Bearlake-family, last-generation Broadwater-family or even the 946-series that is still chugging along.

"The WHS is another piece to our digital home initiative: cable cards, home theather, desktop, living room form-factor ... and it's not the last one," said Chris Morley, director of product development, Velocity Micro.

As Velocity Micro is a custom system builder, expect the WHS system to have build-to-order options with varying storage capacities, up to several terabytes of storage. Additionally, the Velocity Micro WHS system will have an eSATA port for external storage expansion. Velocity Micro plans to release an external storage enclosure that matches the WHS system design by Q1’2008.

Expect Velocity Micro to have the WHS ready in time for the official Windows Home Server launch in the September-October timeframe.

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Big question is...
By FITCamaro on 7/19/2007 2:15:50 PM , Rating: 2
How much room for hard drives?

RE: Big question is...
By KristopherKubicki on 7/19/2007 2:17:21 PM , Rating: 2
I'm told "several terabytes"

RE: Big question is...
By Xerio on 7/19/2007 2:26:40 PM , Rating: 2
What is "several"? 2, 10, 100???

RE: Big question is...
By noxipoo on 7/19/2007 2:28:38 PM , Rating: 2
100 isn't several, 2 is more like it.

RE: Big question is...
By TomZ on 7/19/2007 2:32:59 PM , Rating: 2
Common use of "several" is meaning "more than two."

RE: Big question is...
By GaryJohnson on 7/19/2007 2:35:30 PM , Rating: 2
2 would be 'a couple of'.

RE: Big question is...
By Xerio on 7/19/2007 3:47:05 PM , Rating: 2
I was being sarcastic, but that was my point.

RE: Big question is...
By boobot on 7/19/2007 3:53:50 PM , Rating: 2
a few.

RE: Big question is...
By leexgx on 7/20/2007 8:17:31 PM , Rating: 2

RE: Big question is...
By Jeff7181 on 7/19/2007 6:06:21 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, how many? Come on Kristopher... stop hold back news from us. >.>

RE: Big question is...
By KristopherKubicki on 7/19/2007 7:35:05 PM , Rating: 2
Velocity would not reveal anything more specific than that.

RE: Big question is...
By FITCamaro on 7/19/2007 2:29:53 PM , Rating: 2
Ok but is that assuming you use 1TB drives? And like the other guy said, is "several" 2-3 or 6-7?

I want a server that has room for at least 6 hard drives. If not 8. Its not a server if it only has room for 4 drives. That only leaves room for 2TB of space at best if you want redundancy. 1 drive for the OS and apps, 3 1TB drives in RAID 5.

RE: Big question is...
By TomZ on 7/19/2007 2:38:42 PM , Rating: 2
I couldn't find any specifications on the 'net about the number of internal drive bays, but I doubt it will be in the 6-8 range. But I did find this information which might help:

[Velocity Micro] will also be selling an expansion module with the goal of making it easy to add extra hard drives.

Also, the storage can be expanded through USB and eSATA connections.

RE: Big question is...
By imaheadcase on 7/19/2007 9:20:13 PM , Rating: 2
The HP model will hold 6 hardrives, but others only hold 4. I'm sure this will be similar.

RE: Big question is...
By PitViper007 on 7/20/2007 5:01:39 PM , Rating: 2
Do you have any other info on the HP one? I'm gonna look it up myself but if you have info....


RE: Big question is...
By TomZ on 7/20/2007 7:23:06 PM , Rating: 2

Correction to the other poster: the HP server only has 4 internal drive bays, not 6.

RE: Big question is...
By Spivonious on 7/19/2007 2:39:59 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah but with the way WHS works, isnt' RAID a thing of the past? I'll have to do some reading on what happens if a drive fails.

RE: Big question is...
By GaryJohnson on 7/19/2007 3:01:46 PM , Rating: 2
As I understand, it uses "Windows Home Server Drive Extender" (WHSDE?) as opposed to RAID.

WHS uses folder level redundancy. Each folder has multiple redundant copies, each stored on a seperate physical drive.

Some articles seem to indicate that it always keeps 2 copies of each folder, while others seem to say that the number of redundant copies is configurable by the user (per folder) and is only limited by the number of physical drives you have.

RE: Big question is...
By darkpaw on 7/19/2007 5:35:05 PM , Rating: 2
It is configurable, can have no redundancy or a copy on every drive if you want.

RE: Big question is...
By leexgx on 7/20/2007 8:24:02 PM , Rating: 2
i may have an look at windows home server as the "Windows Home Server Drive Extender" (WHSDE?) heh with RAID 5 if you lose an disk total performace of the array be poor untill its rebuilt

as it save me having to Move all my data off of an smaller disk when i wish to fit an bigger disk as it seems all you have to do is tak an disk out (HOT or not) and Drop the new disk in and it auto start copying data

i seen some NAS box's come with this but it runs linux and handles error states very badly and risk of loesing all data

RE: Big question is...
By DeepBlue1975 on 7/19/2007 2:47:05 PM , Rating: 2
Mirroring is not the only way of getting redundancy.
I like raid 5 much better, and my liking it is directly proportional to the quantity of drives integrating the RAID. :D

RE: Big question is...
By darkpaw on 7/19/2007 5:36:07 PM , Rating: 2
RAID 5 is definately more effecient, but doesn't allow mixing and matching whatever drives you happen to plug into the system. WHS is setup to be as easy as possible and can toss in more storage whenever you want and don't have to worry about matching drives.

Exotic cooling
By PAPutzback on 7/19/2007 2:26:53 PM , Rating: 4
You don't need exotic cooling. The most heat is going to come from Hard drives. One big slow turning fan can keep the entire thing cool. I am running it on a 2.4 P4 with 2G DDR ram and have decided to go to and older 2.0 with 512 of SDRAM. Why? Because for transferring files for a typical home network you really only need a gigabit card and network and 512 is the minimum to install WHS on. There are people running these on VIA chip sets and 400Mhz celerons. The O.S. and drives should be the most expensive parts. I would think that any OEM with any sense would use the cheapest CPU with the lowest TDP out.
Check out the WHS forums here.
There is a good thread under hardware that will let you see what people with different hardware specs are using the server for.

RE: Exotic cooling
By JCheng on 7/19/2007 2:39:38 PM , Rating: 2
FYI, I'm running it on an Athlon M-XP 2200+ with 512MB and the console and website feel quite sluggish.

RE: Exotic cooling
By MonkeyPaw on 7/19/2007 6:59:40 PM , Rating: 2
I ran it on a PIII 1.0ghz with 512mb RAM. Install took ages, but once configured, I didn't notice any performance issues. I would typically max my network speed during file transfers, and the console seemed responsive enough. Never tried the web-access feature though.

RE: Exotic cooling
By nerdboy on 7/19/2007 3:12:37 PM , Rating: 2
512 meg is a little low if thats the minimum for whs. If it takes 512 just for whs then you going to want a gig because it does take some ram to move files. I would put in a least 1Gb, depending on how many users you plan to access this device you might want more. Microsoft stuff just works better with a gig or more.

RE: Exotic cooling
By Xerio on 7/19/2007 3:58:01 PM , Rating: 2
Just look at the harware requirements for all the other MS operating systems (past and present). To get acceptable performance you need quite a bit more than MS says you do. 1gb of RAM is probably the real-world minimum, as well as at least a 1.5GHz P4 (or equivalent).

RE: Exotic cooling
By TomZ on 7/19/2007 4:17:41 PM , Rating: 2
It depends on the particular OS. XP runs fine on 512MB, but Vista really should have 1GB, in my experience. The amount of RAM is pretty important in the case of Vista. Vista runs decently on slower processors, but not if you have a small amount of RAM.

RE: Exotic cooling
By Xerio on 7/19/2007 4:24:11 PM , Rating: 2
I guess it really comes down to what you need. If you are just surfing the web and using word processing software, the minimum requirements are good. I use Photoshop all the time, so 1gb is the minimum for me in XP and 2gb in Vista. But that's me.

RE: Exotic cooling
By Chadder007 on 7/19/2007 4:25:20 PM , Rating: 2
But a Server of this nature wouldn't actively run any resource hogging apps in the background. You are just storing data to it basically. More RAM shouldn't be needed if you just have a few computers uploading to it.

RE: Exotic cooling
By Xerio on 7/19/2007 4:27:51 PM , Rating: 2
Gotcha. Makes sense.

RE: Exotic cooling
By PAPutzback on 7/19/2007 5:04:29 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. If you start addin the addins I am sure it would take more. If I can find 512 sticks of SDRam that will work in a Dell optiplex gx 240 I'll upgrade it.

RE: Exotic cooling
By MonkeyPaw on 7/19/2007 7:01:56 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, that's were Celerons and Semprons come in handy. I think an AMD-based solution would be the most efficient, since it uses CnQ and has less expectations from the northbridge. All you need is a cheap IGP and a good memory controller.

By PAPutzback on 7/20/2007 8:34:16 AM , Rating: 2
I dunno if it helps but, judging by the other replies here I may have one of the crustiest hybrid setups:
Mobo: Asus P2B
CPU: 1.3 GHz Celeron Via Powerleap Slocket Adapter
Memory: 512MB PC100
Graphics: ATI Rage Fury Pro
Storage: 1x 80GB IDE (OS, and software partition and the rest allocated to data) & Highpoint Rocket Raid 1540 with 3 150GB SATA Drives
Network: Belkin Gig-E card.

^ Spare parts to the extreme

Today, I just put it through minor stress test- I had two machines pulling down two different DVR-MS files off of it at the same time over the wired LAN Then, I used a wireless laptop to remote desktop into it to check out how stressed it was via taskmgr. It never registered more than 50% CPU Usage, and usually hovered in the teens.

By PAPutzback on 7/20/2007 8:36:40 AM , Rating: 2
And even slower. Plus a comparison

I'm running two boxes for comparison.

Intel PIII 1Ghz CPU
512 MB RAM
1 x 120GB HDD
2x 250GB HDD

'Not so basic...'
Intel Core 2 Duo [Something]
1x120GB HDD
2x250GB HDD

Performance differences?
The first one takes longer to come on (how often do you do that with a server? Once every few months). Other than that performance is fine on both systems - I am really impressed how my basic system stacks up compared to the latest hardware. So go for it, dig out your oldest stuff and get the Home Server show going...

By SmokeRngs on 7/23/2007 11:13:26 AM , Rating: 2
I think I have a 486SX 33 laying around somewhere. Getting up to 512 meg of RAM would be a bit difficult, though. ;)

Actually, the slowest I have that would be considered viable would probably be a dually PII 266 system. I'm pretty sure I can stick 512 meg of RAM into that. Otherwise the next slowest would be a PIII 600 or PIII 800 system.

I've always been good at getting older hardware to work decent with newer software. It may not run the best, but it will run.

By sirius4k on 7/20/2007 1:20:46 AM , Rating: 2
Can I have one... please? :) The Black one would be nice :rolleyes:

1 core? WTF?
By GZeus on 7/20/2007 1:54:59 AM , Rating: 2
"...for the unnamed, single-core Conroe-based processor."

Forgive my ignorance but is there a "single-core Conroe"???

Also, if I'm not mistaken, WHS recommends a dual-core processor for future proofing against possible updates requiring 2 cores.

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
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