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I was thinking about purchasing a HP StorageWorks X510 Data Vault to use as a general purpose media server. I noticed that the system uses Microsoft Windows Home Server, would it be possible to upgrade to Windows Server 2008? Eventually, I would like to run a few virtual machines on the server.

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closed as off-topic by Falcon Momot, Bryan, Jenny D, Dennis Kaarsemaker, Nathan C Jul 6 '13 at 18:40

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions about hardware or software used in a home setting are off-topic because they require answers that may not be practical for the business and support professionals here. You should try asking on Super User instead." – Falcon Momot, Bryan, Jenny D, Dennis Kaarsemaker, Nathan C
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

What did Microsoft say when you asked them? – John Gardeniers May 26 '10 at 4:41
up vote 1 down vote accepted

With limited memory capabilities (2 GB PC2-6400 unbuffered DDR2 800 MHz Maximum) and no video output included you might be a little hard pressed to install and configure Windows 2008.

This device is specifically built for the Windows Home Server. You would be better off building a custom server that can handle what you want to achieve.

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I believe Windows Home Server is based on Windows Server 2003 and is very specifically setup for 'limited' home use. In terms of "Upgrade" - Microsoft doesn't sell upgrade packages, they sell software assurance which entitles the owner to install newer versions of the software. I don't believe Home Server has software assurance available. In short, in order to get Windows Server 2008 you would likely have to buy it(several hundred dollars).

You mention tinkering with virtual machines. I'm not up on the specs of the x510 but I'd guess it uses a lower powered / older generation CPU(older than Core 2 Duo) and probably doesn't have very much RAM(you have to think 4GB+ if you want to do much virtualization - comfortably) - a very common setup in small dedicated servers.

If you are looking to play around with Windows Server/software and virtualization, a economical option is to get/build a desktop based on Intel Quad core or newer CPU with 4GB RAM(make sure you can grow to 8GB+ just in case) and get a Technet subscription from Microsoft. The Technet subscription gets you access to all the major MS titles for testing and development purposes (aka lab / learning / playing around).

Good luck - hope this was helpful!

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There is no connection between Software Assurance and whether or not one version can upgrade another. Software Assurance is merely one of the many possible licensing methods. – John Gardeniers May 26 '10 at 4:44

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