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Windows Server 2012 R2 - is it supported?

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Installing Intella on Windows Server

Windows Server 2008 and 2012

Intella will run on Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2012. Be aware that by default the security settings on these platforms are heavily locked down.

The reason we say we formally do not support 2008 and 2012 is because a number of users were having issues setting up the security of these platforms to work with Intella (e.g. changing firewall settings). Those users were then pushing these questions about the Windows platform to Vound support. This meant we had to do a Webex session to fix their system for them so they could use Intella. This was time consuming and not really a support issue. It was also risky as we had to alter the platform security settings to make Intella run correctly. If they then got hacked it may be blamed on Vound. 

Therefore, Intella runs fine on Windows Server 2008 and 2012, but the user must take full responsibility for configuring the system. We cannot support the system settings. 

It should be noted that the Windows Server editions are not recommended to be used as a workstation as they are not optimized to do so. Windows 7 will run better and faster.

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Mark I was considering setting up a server to run Intella and Connect myself a short time ago but after a bit of thinking and research ditched that idea and just built a beast of a Win7 machine.


As far as I understand Intella is more read/write intensive so while more RAM and a good CPU will help to a degree, it's the speed and configuration of the hard drives that ultimately decide how fast the processing occurs. Also once the data is processed and is hosted on Connect the paradigm changes and it's now mostly RAM intensive.


Also if you are hosting Connect and also using the same machine to process Intella (and presumably other software) you run the risk of not being able to provide a constantly available resource for your Connect clients. I know during analysis work I frequently have to install new software to test, reboot, run scans etc and this all eats away at the RAM and can affect connectivity and reliability for Connect.


My solution was to build a new analysis machine with Core i7 CPU, 64GB RAM, SSD OS drive, RAID 0 4tb array, and 5 x 4TB WD RE drives for storage. My old analysis machine then becomes the Connect server, with 24GB ram and an older 4 core CPU. The processing occurs on the new analysis machine which is around 3 times faster to process, once finished the indexed data is copied over the network to the Connect server for clients to connect.


This approach also gives me redundancy in that the original indexed data is retained on my analysis machine and I have Acronis backing up the data folders on the Connect host nightly to capture any work my clients have done.


I think for reliability and compatibility it's a good idea to steer clear of server OS's for any sort of forensics work as most forensic software is designed with desktop OS's in mind.


My 2c plus GST :)

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One thing I'd like to add: since Windows Vista, Windows got a lot better in putting the free memory to good use, basically letting it work like a sort of disk cache. This means that the negative impact of using a slow drive such as a WD Green disk could be alleviated or even entirely masked by the data caching in the free RAM, as long as you don't have a peak in application memory usage and the disk data that is being manipulated fits inside the free memory.


I recently upgraded an older test machine from 8 to 16 GB of RAM. The time needed for an indexing test that I routinely perform on it (77 GBs of PSTs) went from 9 to 6 hours. The impact is probably higher on larger cases due to the random access on the database files in the case folder: random access isn't an issue for RAM but it is for spinning disks.

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  • 7 months later...

Hi all,


Have been giving this more thought.  We are getting bigger and bigger data sets that warrants the processing and memory capacitiies of a Server.  I've spoken to our IT and they can't put Windows 7 or 8 on the server, so it will come with Windows Server 2012.  The problems in the past, have these just been around the firewall on your past customer servers?


The server we are getting will be an 8-core box with 96GBs of RAM (which we can upgrade further at a later stage if need be) and the use os SAS 15k rpm drives. Another reason we are getting this server is that I have no space to add another high powered box, nor the backup capabilities.  The server instead will sit in our data centre and be fully managed by IT, with backups.


Are there any other things I should be looking out for when using Windows Server 2012?


Adam - you mentioned the use of Acronis.  How does this handle the case files that are locked by current Connect processes: are these backed up as well, or do you have to take Connect down first.



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Hi Mark,


We use Windows Server 2012 to run our Connect server. We have no issues with it. Our concern with the Server OS's has always been around the system security setup and not the OS itself.  If the user is capable of managing that part well they won't have any issues. 

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