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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RE: What Will ISPs do When They See a Server?
By DaveLessnau on 6/13/2007 3:05:08 PM , Rating: 2
Just for completeness, here's item six in Cox's Policy statement for their home internet service:

Servers. You may not operate, or allow others to operate, servers of any type or any other device, equipment, and/or software providing server-like functionality in connection with the Service, unless expressly authorized by Cox.

RE: What Will ISPs do When They See a Server?
By cochy on 6/13/2007 6:28:26 PM , Rating: 2
Oh well, lame ISP. Anyway Windows Home Server HTTP server is secure meaning that the traffic is encrypted. Your ISP will never know you have a Windows Home Server.

By jacarte8 on 6/14/2007 8:56:55 AM , Rating: 2
You really know nothing about IP traffic if you think the ISP doesn't know you're running a server if your traffic is encrypted.

Https means they *probably* can't see the content, however it will generally take place along port 443, so if your IP address is serving connections across port 443, Cox will (if they're interested) know that you're serving across it.

In my experience though, ISPs don't care if you're serving data, but you'd better not be using a ton of bandwidth trying to do so...

By jacarte8 on 6/14/2007 9:00:20 AM , Rating: 2
The reason they'll never know you're running Windows Home Server is that in that TOS, it doesn't mean you can't run a server Operating System on your home network...

The TOS means you can't host data and serve it to the internet as a whole. If you limit the server use to when you're away from home and don't advertise its availability, you'll be ok.

"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet.  A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis

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