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  (Source: AnandTech)
Newegg lists Windows Home Sever OEM for $190

Microsoft is finally ready to roll with its Windows Home Server software platform. The Redmond, Washington-based software company pushed out a release candidate version of the software in June and released it to manufacturing in mid-July.

Microsoft Windows Home Server (32-bit) is now available to purchase by anyone looking to turn an old PC into a multi-functional storage/media/backup/remote access hub. Newegg lists the OEM version of the software on its website for $189.99.

Windows Home Server doesn't feature outlandish system requirements and will likely run just fine on a machine that is four or five years old. The bare minimum requirements are a 1GHz Pentium III processor and 512MB of RAM and many users have found much success with similar hardware.

For those that would prefer to buy a pre-built Windows Home Server system, there are plenty of solutions on the way. HP has a $599, 500GB EX470 server and a $799, 1TB EX475 server while competing solutions from Velocity Micro are also in the works.

Other companies who will produce Windows Home Server systems include Fujitsu-Siemens, Gateway, Iomega LaCie and Medion.

For more information on Windows Home Server and all of its features, be sure to check out AnandTech's preview.

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Whats the difference.
By Kefner on 10/11/2007 11:16:28 AM , Rating: 2
Whats the difference between using Windows Server and an old copy of XP. I took an old pc, put and old copy of my Windows XP on it (have vista, and wasn't using my older XP license on anything) and I use that as my home server. Maybe Windows Server is just easier to work with, but for me, I don't see the benefit. I understand that you don't need a very powerful PC for Windows Server, but you don't for XP either. Not bad mouthing it, just curious if there is some great benefit of using Server over XP for a simple home server.

RE: Whats the difference.
By Sunbird on 10/11/2007 11:56:40 AM , Rating: 2
Yes there is, can make images of other PCs drives over the network for backup purposes, it can spread and duplicate files (that you designate) over the drives in the server providing a RAIDish safetynet for important files. And a few other things...

RE: Whats the difference.
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 10/11/2007 12:00:58 PM , Rating: 2
All my user PCs already have local RAID.

RE: Whats the difference.
By TomZ on 10/11/2007 12:32:34 PM , Rating: 2
Machines with RAID still need to be backed up, if you want to prevent data loss. RAID decreases the probability of failure, but it doesn't decrease it to zero. There are a number of failures that could cause data loss even with RAID, e.g., power supply dies and takes out both HDDs together.

RE: Whats the difference.
By omnicronx on 10/11/2007 12:37:43 PM , Rating: 2
not if you run raid 1+0 =D
Doesn't everyone have enough money for 4 hd's per computer?

RE: Whats the difference.
By cochy on 10/11/2007 12:47:50 PM , Rating: 2
You still need to backup to protect against data corruption. Corruption spreads across the whole RAID no matter how many disks you have.

RAID doesn't replace physical backups.

RE: Whats the difference.
By omnicronx on 10/11/2007 1:03:00 PM , Rating: 2
not always =D... RAID disk arrays, store and evaluate parity bits for data across a set of hard disks and can reconstruct corrupted data upon of the failure of a single disk.

obviously raid doesn't replace physical backups, but it sure all hell minimizes the need to do so. Chances of irreversible data corruption with raid 1+0 is very small unless you are using old hardware and multiple drives fail (in which the failed drive would have to be the mirror of the drive that failed ) ;)

RE: Whats the difference.
By TomZ on 10/11/2007 1:29:36 PM , Rating: 2
What if you delete a file by accident, without sending it to a recycle bin? RAID won't save you there - all it does is replicate your mistake across multiple drives. :o)

RE: Whats the difference.
By Donkeyshins on 10/11/2007 4:36:43 PM , Rating: 3
Sorry. There is no failsafe data storage solution that can't be defeated by simple stupidity.


RE: Whats the difference.
By mindless1 on 10/12/2007 4:58:05 AM , Rating: 2

But you're always find some tool that says you should make daily backups to DVD and HDD and immediately drive to some offsite location to store that in a fireproof, waterproof, nuclear blast proof station on the moon.

Practically speaking, morons that try to suggest 1 in 1 billion failures completely miss the point. Computers and data are meant to make our lives easier, not the other way around.

RE: Whats the difference.
By TomZ on 10/12/2007 6:30:11 AM , Rating: 1
I do a lot of file management as a part of my job, and in my experience, accidently deleting a file is actually not uncommon at all - maybe 1/100?

Also FYI, it's easier than most think to lose a RAID1 volume. I had a drive power connection come loose once in a RAID1 volume, and due to a very stupid design of the Promise RAID BIOS and a little carelessness on my part, I ended up losing the entire volume of data.

The reason was that when the drive dropped out of the array, the stupid BIOS reset all the RAID settings (sector size, etc.), which prevented the data from being accessed until I could restore all those settings exactly to their default settings. Since I didn't have all the settings written down (how could I have known to do that?), I ended up using trial-and-error, trying all combinations of settings. No combination ever worked, even after hours of trying. I ended up formatting the volume and restoring data from my last backup. I lost maybe a day or two of work and e-mails.

So, LOL to you and your overconfidence that RAID will save the day!

RE: Whats the difference.
By mindless1 on 10/12/2007 4:55:25 AM , Rating: 2
Ok, but instead of playing devil's advocate, how about giving users responsiblity for their decisions?

Fact is, RAID has done a great job of keeping my data intact for many years. I do make periodic backups to (formerly other offline HDDs before DVDRW came along, then DVDRW for critical stuff and still removed HDDs for the rest).

This is where permissions come in, you don't give everyone full permission to a filestore.

RE: Whats the difference.
By TomZ on 10/12/2007 6:20:17 AM , Rating: 2
That's just stupid. Were you thinking at all when you wrote that post?

So basically you are saying that backups deprive users of their freedom/right to lose files due to mistakes, LOL!

Also, I don't see how permissions help solve the problem, unless you, for example, make document areas write-only. This would mean that a user could only create new files, and each time they save, they would have to save it as a new file. Is that what you're suggesting?

Think before you post!

RE: Whats the difference.
By mindless1 on 10/13/2007 4:06:33 AM , Rating: 2
YOu need to read again, and note I have lost no data.

Basically I'm saying (thanks for trying to imply otherwise, but if you had a valid argument you wouldn't have to try to put words in my mouth!) that if you make a stupid mistake and you admin the store, don't go crying to someone that there's some other fault. I'm saying that if you give anything more than read privledge to someone who shouldn't have it, that also falls under stupid mistake, as this should have another redundant backup if the user does need write privledge.

Does it dawn on your now that I didn't write "write-only" privledge, it was read-only. Write privledge is not to the central filestore, that is to a removed per-user area.

RE: Whats the difference.
By glennpratt on 10/12/2007 1:53:47 PM , Rating: 2
RAID and backups solve too distinct problems. RAID prevents downtime, backups prevent data loss.

Let's make a ridiculous analogy. Say your car is your hard drive and your data is your ability to travel. Backups are like insurance and RAID is like buying too cars. Insurance takes longer and you might have to get a rental, but in theory it's always there. Two cars can still easily be simultaneously stolen, burned or driven into a wall and leave you with nothing.

RE: Whats the difference.
By glennpratt on 10/12/2007 1:55:35 PM , Rating: 2
Um, too should be two. Twice...

RE: Whats the difference.
By Blight AC on 10/12/2007 10:33:25 AM , Rating: 2
What's the point of paying a premium and getting 4 HDD's for each PC when you can use that money to buy WHS and get similar redundancy, plus additional functionality (Web Server, File Share) and the addition of smart backups, where only one copy of a particular file is saved (so if you have 3 WinXP PC's only 1 copy of the Windows files is saved, reducing the amount of space needed for that redundancy).

RE: Whats the difference.
By omnicronx on 10/11/2007 3:33:49 PM , Rating: 2
Don't confuse raid with what WHS has, it's not raid, it just acts like raid 0(somewhat). By that i mean if you have a 200GB drive and a 300GB drive, WHS will combine both drives to act like one 500GB drive (you will just have 1 big c: drive), with no duplication or splitting of data across drives. When i was testing the beta i was using 3 150GB drives because thats all i had hanging around. Pretty cool if you ask me, so many people have extra hardware like HD's just waiting to be used and don't want to be hassled by the headaches and extra costs of a raid setup.

RE: Whats the difference.
By ninjit on 10/11/2007 3:50:25 PM , Rating: 3
It's called JBOD
"Just a bunch of disks"

RE: Whats the difference.
By TomZ on 10/12/2007 6:52:16 AM , Rating: 2
No, calling it JBOD means you misunderstand how it works. Instead, think of a higher software layer that automatically manages placement of files/folders onto physical drives and has the capability to mirror certain folders onto 2 different drives. In addition, it gives you the ability to roll back to previous versions of a particular file. That's quite a bit more that JBOD.

RE: Whats the difference.
By ninjit on 10/13/2007 1:56:27 AM , Rating: 2
No, you didn't read what I was responding to.

omnicrox wrote:
WHS will combine both drives to act like one 500GB drive (you will just have 1 big c: drive), with no duplication or splitting of data across drives.


He maybe wrong and Windows Home Server does actually do mirroring, backup, etc. I don't know I haven't used WHS myself.

But the functionality he describes as "like RAID 0" is JBOD, he just didn't appear to know that term, and I was informing him of such.

RE: Whats the difference.
By mcnabney on 10/11/2007 4:04:51 PM , Rating: 2
You are actually wrong. It will control multiple disks and span files across them, but you can mark files/folders for extra backup protection. So you can mark your family pictures so that they are copied onto 2 or more drives to protect against drive failure, but the DVD images are just stored anywhere since if they are lost you can just re-image the disk. It certainly isn't RAID 0 since it is not striping, it isn't RAID 1 since everything isn't backed up, but it does provide some backup ability that JBOD doesn't.

RE: Whats the difference.
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 10/11/2007 11:59:14 AM , Rating: 3
For the average joe-pc user, WHS automates a lot of the stuff an average tech-savvy user (like most of the posters here) can do with any basic machine and a little planning - and more importantly, knowledge of what to do and when. (Whew, that was one sentence.) It does add a health monitoring feature, but that might be to up-sell. If you have automated updates, or do them yourself regularly, then there is not much here for you.

I would spend the money to add a hard drive ot two to the mule I already have (Windows Server 2003).

RE: Whats the difference.
By psyph3r on 10/11/2007 12:13:45 PM , Rating: 2
yea, it's me in a box. I charge fifty dollars +5 dollars per gig per month to do what this software does....might have to consider offering it as a "Service Upgrade" muahahaha...

it'll make my life easier and I could expand since I won't have to make visits every month to every customer. this sounds delightful to get rid of several systems abandoned at my house for a small up charge. setups and upkeep of standard servers in a USER environment was too much of a pain in the ass before.

RE: Whats the difference.
By mindless1 on 10/12/2007 5:03:28 AM , Rating: 2
Are you on crack? For $50 + $5/gig a month you could just automate uploads to your website. All it takes is a reasonably wide (broadband) pipe, but who would spend that sum without even having broadband?

I was harsh, hey if people are willing to pay it you are entitled to it. It's about what they value and in some scenarios it's worth that fee and much more (business uses), but today the topic is a home server OS instead.

RE: Whats the difference.
By mindless1 on 10/12/07, Rating: 0
RE: Whats the difference.
By TomZ on 10/12/2007 6:33:18 AM , Rating: 2
You missed the point. The purpose of health monitoring is to let you know of problems before they become serious, e.g., your HDD getting ready to die. It also warns you about less serous things like unapplied OS updates. It's more proactive compared to the approach you advocate, which is to fix it after it completely breaks and where you've probably had some downtime and maybe lost some data.

RE: Whats the difference.
By mindless1 on 10/13/2007 4:10:23 AM , Rating: 2
You seem to miss the point. I don't need health monitoring. Health monitoring is only important to those without a solid redundancy plan. I won't bat an eye if a drive fails right now, it makes no difference if I had a few days notice.

As for warning about unapplied OS updates, did I ask for that? No. Do I care? No. It's not like we can't check that anyway and do so cautiously instead of being nagged to install something that occasionally causes more problems than it solves.

You imply problems (using the strategy you claim important) while I don't have these problems ignoring your strategy. One way has proven better than the other.

RE: Whats the difference.
By BitJunkie on 10/14/2007 1:11:28 PM , Rating: 2
I'm going to say you miss an ever bigger point. While it's nice to assume that the world revolves around ourselves, there are other people out there in userland who might have different needs.

Maybe for example someone else doesn't have a bullet proof redundancy plan, maybe they don't even understand what redundancy is all about. In which case having a system tell them the world is about to end is a good thing.

If you don't need it, don't use it. But your kind of technological fascism that dictates what should be in a mass market product is kind of laughable. The same way you spouted endless bollocks about Vista being bloated, other people have different needs and usage models. If you don't need it, go find a different solution.

RE: Whats the difference.
By kirbalo on 10/11/2007 12:14:52 PM , Rating: 4
One thing that's different, and a showstopper for me, is that you can't connect to it with an x64 system. WTF? I can understand that the WHS is 32 bit...fine. But any x64 based system CAN connect to a XP 32 bit box without a problem. Both XP x64 and Vista x64 use NTFS, so it really doesn't make much sense to me why this is so limited...and for $189?

Too bad...I'll wait for x64 compatibility to justify close to $200.

RE: Whats the difference.
By deeznuts on 10/11/2007 1:03:00 PM , Rating: 2
They are working feverishly for the 64 bit connector/thingamabobber. Read it on the official whs forums. But it might be months away. Sucks I guess, but my only 64 bit machine doesn't need backups, actually none of my machines really do, I wipe my comp clean quite often anyway, so I'll be purchasing one of these days.

"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer

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