Windows Home Server

By Deane Barker on August 30, 2007

Windows Home Server: I must have totally missed this. It was announced in January.

Introducing Windows Home Server, a new way to simplify how you keep and share your family’s photos, videos, and music.

This smart hub lives in your home and connects all the important people in your life to the good stuff that’s on your computers. You can pump your family’s tunes to your Xbox 360, share baby pics over the Web, and even get on your home server when you’re not home. Friends and family can see and share any files you want, whether they’re in another room or another country.

The Wikipedia page has more information:

  • Centralized Backup – Allows backup up to 10 PCs,[6] using Single Instance Store technology to avoid multiple copies of the same file, even if that file exists on multiple PCs.
  • Health Monitoring – Can centrally track the health of all PCs on the network, including antivirus and firewall status]
  • File Sharing – Offers network shares for commonly used files like MP3s and videos with network-attached storage.
  • Printer Sharing – Allows a centralized print server to handle print jobs for all users.
  • Previous Versions – Takes advantage of Volume Shadow Copy Services to take point in time snapshots that allow older versions of files to be recovered.
  • Headless Operation – No monitor or keyboard attached to the device itself, much like a firewall or router.
  • Remote administration – Provides a client UI to remotely perform administrative tasks. Also allows Remote Desktop connections to the server.
  • Remote Access Gateway – Allows access to any PC on the network from outside the home.
  • Media Streaming – Can stream media to an Xbox 360 or other devices supporting Windows Media Connect.
  • Data redundancy – Guards against a single drive failure by duplicating data across multiple drives.
  • Expandable Storage – Provides a unified single and easily expandable storage space, removing the need for drive letters.

I need this. The lack of something like this has really stopped me from having more than one PC in the house. We had two PCs for a while, but everyone’s email was on one of them, so everyone used that one, thus completely nullifying the value of the second machine.

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  1. I have had this installed for some time and I absolutely love it. I know that the final release version will be sold with hardware preinstalled, which is a good thing because it took about 2.5 hours to just run through the installation process on an old computer I had lying around.

    I love the folder mirroring. Instead of installing two drives and mirroring them, it allows specifying mirrors at the folder level and it just makes sure to keep a duplicate copy on a separate physical hard drive.

  2. I missed it too. That looks pretty cool. One of my wife’s biggest complaints about our digital life is that everything just disappears into my computer (a.k.a. the abyss) only to see the light of day when I get around to it. I’d probably even be more interested if I hadn’t finally just come up with my own backup solution that seems to be working fairly well.

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