Print 58 comment(s) - last by jacarte8.. on Jun 14 at 9:06 AM

Microsoft moves one step closer to the RTM for Windows Home Server

Microsoft's Windows Home Server is progressing nicely and has achieved Release Candidate stage. Microsoft states that the new build will be available to over 100,000 beta testers along with people who wish to sign up now and test the software.

For those not familiar with Windows Home Server, it is a software application that can be installed on any PC in a home network to allow other networked computers access to files. Users can also have secure web access to files from anywhere in the world with a secure Internet connection.

There will also be hardware products branded as "Powered by Windows Home Server" that simply plug into your home router to provide access to files. Microsoft likes to tout that new internal or external devices added to a Windows Home Server device won't be treated as F:, G:, H:, etc. Instead, total available space will be increased by the size of the hard drive added and divisions between physical hard drives will be transparent to the user.

The first question to spring to many potential users mind is how a Windows Home Server is different from a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device. Microsoft responds with:

More than just storage, Windows Home Server uniquely provides pre-defined shared folders, such as "Music" or "Photos" making it easier to organize and find your files. Windows Home Server also features simple storage extensibility, and built-in search capabilities... Also, in a Windows Home Server device with two or more hard drives, you can elect to duplicate folders. This prevents you from losing any photos, music, or other files stored in a folder that has "duplication" enabled, if a hard drive fails.

Pricing for Windows Home Server devices will be set by OEMs and will be available in the second half of 2007.

You can head over to the Paul Thurrott's Supersite for Windows to get an overview of Windows Home Server.

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I can't wait...
By colonelclaw on 6/13/2007 9:52:21 AM , Rating: -1
just think, a bluescreen in every room!

seriously though, Microsoft's borg-like tactics worry me sometimes. if their products were of a decent quality i wouldn't mind having more of them, but for me, they just aren't good enough

RE: I can't wait...
By imaheadcase on 6/13/2007 10:10:43 AM , Rating: 3
Look a cleverly disguised "I Hate MS post". Please move along.

WHS is a excellent product, it fills the void in home server market nicely. It has been getting good reviews all over the web. It will be a good money maker from MS.

RE: I can't wait...
By Cobra Commander on 6/13/2007 12:07:25 PM , Rating: 2
...and it wasn't even all that clever.

I just don't yet understand how this is better for any individual with either a great lean towards IT or significant-enough knowledge where they've been effectively 'doing this' for a while?

I presume this simplifies that for the Average Joe?

RE: I can't wait...
By wien on 6/13/2007 10:00:42 PM , Rating: 2
Well, the drive pooling is enough to make me want it.

I currently have a Linux server serving my files (samba), but it's a bit of a mess since the file system is spread out over 5 separate disks which I must manage space on separately. I don't really have any redundancy in case a drive fails either (for the non-important data). Adding drives is also a bit tricky since I have to mount them into the existing directory tree and move files around to take advantage of it.

Now, I know I could setup a system similar to WHS in Linux using software RAID (not really as flexible) or maybe a different filesystem (ZFS when that arrives), but I just can't be arsed to do the required research to setup and maintain a solution like that. Especially not if I can buy exactly what I need in a nice user friendly box from Microsoft.

If it wasn't for all the other services I have on my Linux server, it would be running WHS right now. I will probably switch eventually, and just virtualize my existing Linux box on top of WHS since there's nothing performance critical running there. Best of both worlds. :)

RE: I can't wait...
By Mitch101 on 6/13/2007 10:38:14 AM , Rating: 3
BlueScreen LOL. That has become the gayest comment since it rarely happens any more. I have seen it twice on my windows XP machine in the last what 5 years?

Anyone making that comment should get a etch a sketch instead of a PC.

RE: I can't wait...
By rushfan2006 on 6/13/2007 11:00:33 AM , Rating: 3
I'd have to agree with you there. Sometimes I think people who still "think" that Windows Blue Screens left and right are either : A) Really don't even know much about computers or technology at all but hey, the times we live in - it's far more "hip" to bash than to praise so they just follow suit, B) They are avid Apple fans...'nuff said, or C) They are just being silly or stupid - ie little kids playing around on the 'net, someone just bored, etc.

In all sincerity - I just call what I see...I've blasted MS plenty of times and I still think some of their software truly bites the big one, their licensing model and pricing causes me to bust out laughing all the time, etc. HOWEVER - In several years of ownership and use of XP both on multiple computers at home and at work - I can count on one hand how many BSoD's I've seen in XP (the actual count is about 3 btw).

The most severe case of BSOD was on a work laptop - in BSOD all the time, but we came to discover it had little to do with the OS at all - it was the version of the security software it was running, after that was fixed - it never blue screened again.

RE: I can't wait...
By Mitch101 on 6/13/2007 11:42:16 AM , Rating: 2
Mine was an overclock taken a bit too far and the second some X-10 software which made a mess.

Both were my own doing.

RE: I can't wait...
By HaZaRd2K6 on 6/13/2007 1:30:16 PM , Rating: 2
The only BSoD I've had on this machine (ever) was once when I moved it to a LAN party and the SATA cable came loose during a game. Windows tried to do a memory dump but failed so I knew immediately what it was. Nothing Microsoft could do about that, really. Although I'll never buy a Silverstone cable again...

RE: I can't wait...
By djc208 on 6/13/2007 1:59:47 PM , Rating: 2
Had it happen once, on my HTPC, ended up being the Nvidia drivers I was using (from their web site). Went to the older drivers on the disk and all was fine. Honestly had more problems with their drivers than I ever did with ATI/AMD.

RE: I can't wait...
By sapiens74 on 6/13/2007 5:09:01 PM , Rating: 2
all my BSOD are from me trying to push my CPU too far. Rarely do I get any BSOD, at home or at work where I manage over 250 boxes.

Its usually hardware related like heat, or poor drivers.

RE: I can't wait...
By jacarte8 on 6/14/2007 9:06:21 AM , Rating: 2
I agree, it's most of the time driver-related. I've had more kernel panics on my Ubuntu install than on my XP machine (Vista on the other hand...)

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