“Momentum for Windows Home Server remains strong.”
That is, the momentum exerted by my hand in throwing it towards the: rubbish bin / boss / pfy / <insert enemy here>
Microsoft has slashed the OEM price of its Windows Home Server software by 30 per cent. The firm said on Friday that the channel would get more “value” out of the system builder version, the pricing for which changed on 1 November. Of course, many will wonder – in these head-in-the-cloud days – why such a product is desirable …
people like me now just buy a NAS (like my excellent Zyxel NSA-220) which although running Linux is easily hackable and offers things like mirroring disks,streaming media,web server etc. All for the price of the WHS software alone (disks extra !!).
NAS's are generally small, quiet,energy efficient and don't need constant updating for security and bug patching. And they are happy running as servers to Windows clients (and Mac's and Linux desktops).
All in all, everything the WHS wants to be but isn't !!!
Most users are barely savvy enough to keep their systems patched and their AV up to date let alone build a server and install WHS on it. Those that are smart enough may well turn to some flavour of Linux because it's free and robust. Even if you don't go down the LInux route, for home use an old Win XP Pro machine with suitably configured shares will do the job quite nicely when it comes to back-up and file serving. In which case, who will pay in excess of £100 for a WHS icence? Not many I bet.
I have tried WHS at home. It works and it's reliable enough, but there's nothing there that makes me want to buy it and the only advantage I can see is automated backups (for which there's probably some very good freeware alternative available).
When I see WHS appliances being sold at £500 or more I have to laugh. I built mine for £80.
I've got 2 old XP machines (1ghz and 1.3ghz) running network shared files for backups, a file server running XP for my file swapping, and my main access machine running XP & TightVNC. 3 NAS boxes on my system, with a NSLU2 providing my FTP.
Why pay for a server O/S when xp is cheap and plentiful (and more or less secure with a good hardware AND software firewall).
Have WHS for over 1 year now and no troubles with it. This is the best M$ product I have used so far (not saying much, considering its company). Does all it is suppose to do and does it well. I have used the restore capability at least 4 times and it worked 100% each time. I currently have 4.5TB of storage in it, mostly loaded with videos (mpeg rips of dvds) as well as music and photos, all setup on duplicated folders. I just bought an IstarHD to connect between the server and the HDTV. It's call V-O-D, video on demand.
As much as I despise M$ crapware, this is an exception.
WHS isn't compelling when you consider that:-
1) NAS boxes do a lot that WHS does out of the box.
2) Linux based NAS boxes can be hacked to do more.
3) A redundant win machine can be repurposed as a Linux based NAS/media server.
4) WHS isn't terribly extensible.
It's only compelling feature is that it should work out of the box but in reality it's not the seamless experience that it should be.
I fink MS would be better off giving it away free with Vista Home versions. You buy a new machine with Vista, you can make use of the old box in a way that doesn't require XP and sort-of adds to the Vista experience. Mind you, that's not the sort of marketing wheeze that MS do. Selling two incomplete OSes for the price of one incomplete operating system?
Mines the one with Cygwin in the pocket.
TBH it's not a bad product. I was going to pile 2k8 on the box I've got, but after installing and setting up I found I had no real use for it. Loads of nice shiny options to play with, but in a home environment they just aren't needed.
I've got the 120 day trial running atm, and it's doing everything I need it to, and a few extra things that are rather useful. I would guess most tech-savvy folks will install 2k8 or 2k3 server, but having done that in the past It's more arse for a home setup than needed.
me wrote: "Have WHS for over 1 year now and no troubles with it. This is the best M$ product I have used so far (not saying much, considering its company). Does all it is suppose to do and does it well. I have used the restore capability at least 4 times and it worked 100% each time."
So you are saying that every 3 months, or sometimes less, you have to restore the system, and you think that is good? You Windows fanboys really have to set your standards low.
You do realise that if you were using just about any decent NAS box, or server running any other operating system, the only time you'd have to restore is when the hardware dies of old age?
Nope, haven't seen WHS on sale here - but I bought the Time Capsule (500GB) on OS X leopard. It streams my media via 802.11n to the AppleTV. It backs-up via Time Machine the laptops, and when a system update (?) broke 10.5.5 on one laptop last week I seamlessly was able to scroll back and restore the MacBook.
I actually think it is a pretty good product. The market is there - a household with a few PCs - but you may be right in thinking that the people who should be using it, just don't care (until their drives die).
There is a bit of propaganda here saying if it costs money (and is MS) it must be bad. But price and functionality wise, a pre-built WHS device and a fully featured NAS are fairly comparable. If you build it yourself of course it costs less if you don't buy SW, but it also costs more than people think if you want to build something with low power consumption.
I am tech savvy and am weighing up NAS v WHS and WHS is winning for me - it does what it needs to do and it can be tinkered with - it's w2k3 ffs!
* Am wearing my penguin proof flame retardant suit.
The restore capability isn't about restoring the WHS OS, but the automated backups of the client OS on other machines, and the ability to restore from those backups very easily.
The exact reason for having to restore the client OS (XP etc) wasn't given - so maybe that reflects more on the client OS than WHS which you though.
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