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Choosing the best Windows OS for dedicated MultiServer?

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On to the next question... As I migrate from Legato (EMC) Networker 6.0.x on an old tape-based system to Retrospect 7.6 on a new disk-based system, I need to choose the best Windows OS to run it on. (I have four Linux CentOS clients as well as the Retrospect host to backup each night.)


The new machine is a Dell PowerEdge R200 with dual Xeon 2.33Ghz processors, 4GB RAM and (2) 1.5TB disks partitioned into a 100GB RAID 1 array for the OS, Retro software and catalog storage, and the remaining 1.3GB on each drive will be the data store. It will be running Retrospect, anti-viral and nothing else.


(Yes, I'm worried about losing a disk in this situation. Once the system is in production, I'll be going back and adding an external four drive expansion bay and more disks to spread the backups across, but for now I'll be crossing my fingers.)


I'm concerned about locking the machine down, remote access to manage it, and money. I know Retrospect will run on XP or Vista. It will also run on Windows 2003 Server or Windows 2008 server.


1. Will the Web editions of the server software work fine? The Microsoft website says Web editions are for web serving only, but it also implies single-application use, and the Standard version is not only much more expensive, but includes 5 CALs which I have no use for.


2. When I last used Retrospect (7.0, two years ago) I was surprised that it couldn't run as a service then. But in looking over the knowledge base at EMC, it seems that even 7.6 still doesn't run as a service. Does this mean I have to leave the Retrospect user logged in all the time to have Retrospect run properly?


3. Basically, for a dedicated Retrospect server, is there any advantage using a server product over XP or Vista? I kind of like the idea of ServerCore in 2008 Server Web Edition installing a minimal OS. Win2K8 server would also presumably need less patching to bring it up to date.


I have a Win2K3 (not-R2) Standard X64 license already, so that would be $0. Alternately I can pick up a copy of XP Pro or Vista Business for $130, or a license for Win2K3 R2 Web Edition or Win2K8 Web Edition for about $400. Which of these choices do you think would be the most stable and easiest to work with in a dedicated-to-Retrospect role?


I know that's a mouthful, but I'm not really current on the state of Windows OSes and could use your advice. Thanks. -Gary

Edited by Guest
Fixed typos.
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In the case of XP. what is the best way to securely handle remote access? The major advantage of using a server OS for my application is the remote admin terminal server access. In XP, do people generally use VLC, the built-in RDC screen sharing or something else? And how can I secure it against "others" apart from XP's firewall?


(This is probably a noob question but I'm not as well versed in Windows as I used to be -- been a Linux-head for a while now.)

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I run XP Professional SP3 and control Retrospect via RDP. Works well. The backup server is physically located in our comms room which no one has access to - so no real worried about the user/service thing.


I have set my machine up to auto login with a user account and then lock itself using a screen saver so the GUI cannot be interfered with.


2003 Web edition should work fine, M$ have just stripped the AD functionality from it - although it offers little benefit to XP Professional in my opinion except where you need more than 10 concurrent IIS sessions.


Hope that helps.



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