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Windows Home Server - Thoughts?


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#1
Ferrari

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Hi all,

I've done some research and Windows Home Server seems to fit what I need perfectly. I've read and watched many reviews and overall heard some pretty nice things said about it. I was wondering if any of Geekstogo's Members used it or could put their thoughts in about it. I plan to build a box for it or buy one of the OEM's boxes this Summer. What I like most is that you get to interact with the server through a console on any computer in the house, and it provides a GUI... which I know some don't like, but I'd rather have it.

Thoughts?

Here is a link to Microsoft's site for info on it if you are not familiar with it. Windows Home Server

Media Server

Store and organize digital memories and media in one central location. Stream the digital content to Media devices.

Backup Software

Effortlessly backup your home computers daily and automatically.

Data Recovery

Easily restore lost files or even entire hard drive contents in a few steps.

Document Management

Get complete access to files from both inside and outside the home.

Remote Access

Share photos and home videos with friends and family with the built-in secure and personalized website address.

Add-ins

Easily extend the capabilities of the Server using software add-ins. Expand storage capacity easily as your needs increase.


Again, thoughts appreciated. :)

Edited by Ferrari, 27 March 2010 - 12:15 PM.

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#2
Troy

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I thought Sari has one... she did a review on it for one of the home page articles?

Wait, I'll stop being lazy... Okay that just took me 10 minutes to find! (I probably could have used the search function, now that I think about it. But you know me - I always do things the long way around...)

http://www.geekstogo...ackup-solution/
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#3
Ferrari

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::Ferrari excitedly clicks link and starts to read::

AWESOME! :)
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#4
rfinterference

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I used WHS for about 3 months before migrating my data back to my 08 server. WHS has some very cool features like the ability to backup all the computers on your network to a central location and restore using a disk provided. It also allows you to use you Windows Media Center for media sharing. In addition the WHS adds your HDs to one large pool similar to raid without any additional benefits. It does have a very cool interface to manage WHS as the WHS is really meant to be headless.

Unfortunately as with so many Microsoft good ideas this one falls short of being a winner. The same function used to add drives to your data stores also makes it so you can only copy data to your WHS using network shares. If you try and copy things directly or by using remote desktop it will severely mess up the WHS "temporarily at least"
because what you are seeing on the network share is not an actual media or backup file but instead a tombstone identifying the physical location of the files. This greatly reduces the speed of moving large quantities of data.

WHS is a 32bit OS ONLY and as such you are limited on the amount of RAM it will use. You are also limited in the Server OS features you can use. The real breaking point for me was the down right terrible remote implementation and the fact that most of the good addons must be purchased from 3rd party software vendors. I only want to run one server at home and needed more functionality than I could achieve with WHS and data-store systems is very frustrating with terribly slow data transfers "even using gig hardware".

I did continue to struggle with using my WHS in place of my 08 server for a full 90days. I had intended on going for 120 but when I found out I could not use one of my new 1.5tb drives for the OS "you have to change the sector size on 1tb also" I gave in and pulled the plug.

I am planning on trying to revive the WHS soon as a VM to see what kind of tricks I can pull off running a WHS VM on my 08 box.
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#5
sari

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I know I don't use the full capabilities of mine at all, and keep swearing I'm going to learn more about it. I do belong to this forum, however; you may want to join and do some reading over there. (No, that's not against the TOU, because we don't have any specific forums here for WHS.)
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