Windows

Windows Home Server released to manufacturing


MicrosoftIn case you haven't heard the news yet, Microsoft has announced that Windows Home Server has just been released to manufacturing (RTM). Work on it has been wrapped up and handed over to its OEM partners.

So far, HP, Gateway, Fujitsu-Siemens, Lacie, Medion, and Iomega have all announced products based on WHS, so you can expect to see products under these brands out in the market around late September and early October.

The evaluation version (with 120-day evaluation period) and the system builder version will also be headed into the distribution channels and be made available in the next few months. French, German, and Spanish versions will be finalized shortly, and OEM products will be hitting retail shelves come this fall.

Windows Home Server is designed to act as a central hub at home for storage of one's treasured music, videos, photos, and other files. It comes with automatic backup and restore, as well as remote file-access capabilities.

Details on the planned systems were scanty at least, but it is known that Iomega is planning a device that will contain up to four hot-swappable drives.

You can read more at the Windows Home Server blog, as well as from these news sources:

Microsoft wraps up work on Windows Home Server (InfoWorld)

Windows Home Server On Its Way To Manufacturing (PC World)

Windows Home Server Completed, Microsoft Says (Windows IT Pro)

I recently relented and purchased a 400 GB hard disk to consolidate my data from across half a dozen old hard drives and various DVD media. It is definitely much neater this way, but now I find myself worrying on the likelihood of hard disk failure, since it now contains all my eggs so to speak.

What about you? What are your strategies for your personal storage?

About

Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.

13 comments
senju
senju

I am really excieted about it! I want to test it out using WHS as a back server and connect it to several frount end systems like AppleTV, Itunes, PlayStation3, Xbox360 with Media extentions.

toxic psychotic avenger
toxic psychotic avenger

What is the benefit of this over Win 2K? I run a P2P network with the data residing on a "Server" (a node pc w/ share priveleges. I use a DVD RW to backup data regularly. Except for the 10 cpu limit on the "Network" I have been happy with this for several yrs. Does WHS add anything better to this equation? Is there a better way to do what I have accomplished? Appreciate any feedback.

Jaytmoon
Jaytmoon

The only real difference of WHS fromyour setup is the WHS client side back up service. Once "properly" configured, it will back up selected files on its own. I'm not sure how you accomplish this now, but when I was backing up on a p2p network, I was selecting folders or Indiv files and cut/pasting them to the destination drive. That was a Pain... when dealing with a larger number of files. I just hope that MS has worked all the bugs out of the automated backup scheme. It was not reliable during beta testing.

mrjoyce
mrjoyce

I currently use a server mainly to run a shared printer and scanner. Will WHS do this?

rye_guy
rye_guy

I've been testing the WHS beta and RTM release. My gripes? WHS is great for backup...except it nags daily, won't back up FAT32 volumes, and won't connect to 64-bit systems. Also, the system won't serve as a media center, with terrible video support. It's a server, right? Hide that server-only box in a closet, of course...except I don't have an A/C-equipped closet at home, people. Do you?

Jaytmoon
Jaytmoon

I actually do have an ac outlet in a "linen" closet. If I did not, its an easy task to extend an existing ac outlet nearby to a new location. With a wire "fish" and some 16 or 18 Ga romex, a drywall saw, a $3.00 outlet box and plug with a cover, your good to go. If you want to get fancy, you'll need to run a clean line from a blank space off your breaker box (not recomended, too much work). If you can build a server or pc, you can do basic electrical work. Just remember to turn off the breaker for that outlet's branch!) :-) BTW, I also beta tested WHS. It's just that. A very basic file backup system. If you want to stream video's and such, go with a robust server os from MS or open source. Regrettably, after the recent Vista release, I don't give this release much faith of success.

paulmah
paulmah

What are your strategies for your personal storage?

j-mart
j-mart

An old box is all you need. To get a samba server, firewall or even a Web server is a fairly easy thing to set up. Hardware and software will be cheap and once you have it all working will run without fuss for years

Dumphrey
Dumphrey

a little network NAS device. Old 1 Ghz celeron box with 512 MB pc 133 ram. (Free, it was laying arround). FreeNas as the OS, linux based, web config front end, 45 MB footprint, supports raid etc. Was a small learning curve here for its disk management process. (Free) Gigabit network card ($30). 10 GB HAD for the OS (old but I low level formated it, and its jsut for OS, not data) (free) and 2 500 GB WD HDs for data ($370ish for both at time of purchase). This system is quite, unobtrusive, effective, and uses linux for AAA. It can also use LDAP, RADIUS, or AD for AAA. It sits in a corner, a power cord and network cable is all there is to let you know its even in use.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I'm using a budget external IDE drive box with built in network card as a cheap NAS. It also get's backedup to a similar sized secondary drive in my workstation. Personal documents are stored on flashdrive and synced to almost every machine I have just to be sure I don't loose that two gigs.

cab
cab

Prior to Windows Home Server, I put a second drive on my PC and my wife's PC and backed up files from one to the other. I also backed up my laptop to my PC and certain highly used files to the laptop. I am using WHS and it is great.

SoTexCisco
SoTexCisco

I use a Linux Server for my Home Server. Why spend hundreds on Windows. Linux is fast even on an old PC. It's fast enough to serve up MP3 files without skipping a beat. And backup to a second disk with Rsync gives me peace of mind. (It might be overkill, but I haven't researched this deeply. I'm just starting.) I don't know if it works with Vista. Right now that's not a problem because our IT dept is waiting for SP1 before considering implementing Vista. We (four of us) all use XP at home.

Astromusicman
Astromusicman

I usually get a (relatively) cheap IDE (or SATA) raid adapter. Although this doubles the cost of adding a disk drive to a system, it does give me some peace of mind as far as hardware failure. Since I keep data and OS on different drives, the data is fairly safe. I haven't had a problems with this setup yet.