Windows Home Server

Microsoft is now talking about their Windows Home Server project and the first equipment is being readied for market. A ZDNet article pointed to Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows as having some of the best information available in an article found at: The Supersite Article

The article indicates that Microsoft thinks that the enthusiast crowd will be early adopters of this technology. I thought that a poll of THG Forumz Readers might be interesting.
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  1. I more than likely will, if it acts as a Domain Controller and is significantly cheaper than Small Business Server.

    If not, no dice.
  2. Considering that XP Pro has IIS (you just need to Installing it by "Adding" Windows Components) I'm not sure what the benefit would be other than having a more user friendly GUI (most home 'server' users aren't running Datacenters or anything that would required a dedicated Network operating sytem).

    But then again this is Vista and not XP we are talking about so MS may have taken IIS functionality out of the 'Home' editions of Vista.
  3. It's an OEM-only, 2003 R2 server-based, with all the fancy services stripped out, intended to be so simple that "mom can use it". This means that it's not going to be a DC, and it also means that most "enthusiasts" will not be using this product -- you just can't buy it by itself, and need to buy an integrated box to get it. Real enthusiasts would be more inclined towards solution that they can be much more selective about, and mix & match and customize in implementation.

    This is Microsoft's answer to Linux as provided on several commercial NAS boxes. I believe that it should compare well with them as they currently stand from a performance standpoint, and ease of use and maintenance, but probably not in price. Moreover, there are some signs that ultimate performance might be somewhat compromised in the name of convenience and ease of management. (This might to some degree be mitigated by faster future HD's, e.g. the upcoming Hitachi 1 TB ones.)

    Assuming that MS doesn't fully cripple it for this role, I think that a Vista-based home-brew solution could actually perform better and be easier to obtain for the real enthusiasts. Of course, such enthusiasts also have Linux and older Windows OSs to choose from, as per their wishes and needs.

    This product seems like a good one from the ease of setup perspective, and there's a good market for that, but it's not exactly the "enthusiast" market, as the article says, this isn't designed to make a geek happy.

    So my answer is an unqualified "no", I'm not going to be buying a custom box to get this OS to do stuff that I can already easily do with several other means, and probably out-perform in the process.
  4. No DC, then I'm sticking with SBS.

    The backup features looked handy, though.

    (BTW, I did read that it's available both OEM and at retail)
  5. While there is some mention of "retail availability", I'm not sure that that implies that WHS will be available as a standalone buy, beyond the "OEM" packaging that you can sometimes get anyways.

    In any case, what exactly would a retail / standalone WHS package get me? Dumbed down interface? Don't need it. ... I'm at a loss for what else it really does for me. It's limited to 10 connections, comparable to XP Pro and not really an issue for many homes even with XP Home with 1/2 that.

    Is it going to be a really cheap way to get a Windows OS for such purposes? That would be really great, but from what I've read, it's going to be priced like a cheap Windows server, which means not really cheap.

    So I think that the "value proposition" is going to be the dumbing down and simplification of multiple decisions that this implies with an off-the-shelf box that someone else has planned out and designed -- again, not the sort of user that comes to my mind when I think of a computer "enthusiast".

    Vista on the other hand does have some interesting things to offer for DIY file server builders -- SMB 2.0, improved networking stack, and automatic network tuning.
  6. What I'm looking for is a single authorization repository ie a domain controller. I'd love to find one at home.

    I've had a bitch get SAMBA working at home
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