After lots of fits and starts, I've finally pulled the trigger on some home server hardware and am looking for ideas on how to set it up.
Ideally, the server would be used to store and serve up the following:
-Photos (tens of thousands and growing)
-Soon to be created DVD library
-Important home related documents
My home network is both wired and wireless and supports gigbit ethernet. We have multiple Xbox 360's that are used for games and netflix, would like to use them to watch the DVD's, stream music, etc. We also have a MyBook Live 2TB NAS that we currently store all of our pictures and mp3s on. We have 2 HP laptops running Windows 7, a few Nooks, and in January we'll be getting a Surface Pro.
I've ordered the following (should be delivered today):
HP ProLiant N40L Ultra Micro Tower Server System AMD Turion II Neo N40L 1.5GHz 2-Core 2GB (1 x 2GB) 1 x 250GB LFF SATA 658553-001
Two Western Digital WD Green WD20EARX 2TB 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive - OEM
Kingston 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM ECC Unbuffered DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Server Memory Model KVR1333D3E9SK2/8G
I have access to Microsoft employee discounts on software, and I'm very familiar with most of their products (I'm a .Net Architect/Developer by trade) so I'd like to stick with stuff I know (and could customize or build add-ins for).
My software options appear to be:
WHS2011 (seems to be pretty solid, but no longer supported)
2012 Server Essentials (very new and unknown)
Windows 8 + Media Center (seems to have issues with various audio codecs when streaming to 360s - no word on a fix yet)
Windows 7 Professional (seems to be very solid as a media center)
I'd like to not have to have 2 PC's - one as a home server and one running WMC, but I'd like to get as much functionality in one box as possible.
Something that I thought might be possible, but I have NO experience with (and am unsure that my hardware would be very good for it) would be putting something like Hyper V on it and virtualizing a Windows 7 MC and either WHS2011 or Server 2012 Essentials. Is that worth even trying?
I'd love to hear others suggestions/experiences/recommendations.