Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 8th Jan 2007 23:34 UTC
Windows As part of his keynote address on Sunday at the annual Consumer Electronics Show, Gates showed off Windows Home Server (more info at Ars) - a consumer device to serve as a central storage place for digital photos, music and other media. The first products are due out later this year from HP and others. The goal is to get devices that can cost less than USD 500. In the first of a two-part interview, Microsoft's chairman talks about why the average person wants a server, why they won't need a degree in computer science to run it and what hurdles remain before consumers reach the true digital home.
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Market?
by mallard on Mon 8th Jan 2007 23:47 UTC
mallard
Member since:
2006-01-06

It seems to me that there is very little market for Windows "Home Server".
The people who would benefit from and would want such a thing are mainly computer "enthusiasts" and are almost certianly computer literate enough to buy an older PC off eBay, install a large hard drive in it and set up either the version of Windows it is invetably already licenced with or Linux as a file server.
It's not exactly hard in either case.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Market?
by n4cer on Tue 9th Jan 2007 00:02 UTC in reply to "Market?"
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

Anyone that has digital media or documents and wants to ensure they won't lose them due to a harddrive failure, tampering, mistaken deletion, etc., would benefit from a home server. It's largely a set-it-and-forget-it appliance that can provide a central location for your data, guards against data loss, monitors the systems on your network for security/reliability issues, makes it faster and easier to restore your systems, and enables remote access to them.

There's video here:
http://on10.net/Blogs/jesse/windows-home-server-will-live-in-your-c...

http://microsoftatces.com/archive/2007/01/08/microsoft-home-server....

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Market?
by archiesteel on Tue 9th Jan 2007 00:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Market?"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Anyone that has digital media or documents and wants to ensure they won't lose them due to a harddrive failure[...]

Except of course if the server hard drive fails. ;-)

I guess the ideal solution would be a solid state HD, but with the kind of capacity you need for this type of device it would cost over 1500$!!

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Market?
by n4cer on Tue 9th Jan 2007 00:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Market?"
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

Except of course if the server hard drive fails. ;-)

The server can have multiple drives for redundancy, or the data can be both on the PC and the server ensuring the data exists in at least 2 places.

Edited 2007-01-09 00:32

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Market?
by archiesteel on Tue 9th Jan 2007 00:48 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Market?"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Multiple drives is preferable (if more expensive), as having data in two different places can be a bit more complicated, especially for stuff that changes (home accounting data, for example). You'd need a versioning system, or at least rsync, to manage it. It can certainly be done, but it's a bit more complex.

I got the idea that the device is destined more for centralized storage than backup anyway (though it would certainly be useful for that as well).

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Market?
by Adam S on Tue 9th Jan 2007 16:23 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Market?"
Adam S Member since:
2005-04-01

Oy vey. Have you actually read any of the articles?

There is a lot of info on the redundancy available. From (http://www.winsupersite.com/reviews/whs_preview.asp)

"WHS aggregates all of the storage attached to the server into a single store pool, regardless of whether that storage is internal, external, or a combination. As you add drives to the server, the available storage pool simply increases. [...] Data is mirrored at the shared folder level, so that two copies of a folder are always stored on two different physical hard drives. It's quite different from RAID, Headrick says."

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Market?
by archiesteel on Tue 9th Jan 2007 21:21 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Market?"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

I hadn't read through it when I wrote the first message, I read that part afterward. That's the only thing I saw that I thought was pretty cool about MS's offering...is it enough to stave off the competition? I doubt it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Market?
by diegocg on Tue 9th Jan 2007 00:55 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Market?"
diegocg Member since:
2005-07-08

The server can have multiple drives for redundancy, or the data can be both on the PC and the server ensuring the data exists in at least 2 places.

So? The client also can get multiple drives for redundancy - it can even become a "standard practice" when buying a pc - and it's way cheaper than a separate server. And local filesystems can also do internal backups and versioning and all that, without buying a extra server, you know.

And if you want to replicate your data...why replicate it in a "server"....when the other computers in your house could use their unused disk space? Vista could add techonoloy to enable other computers in your house to store encrypted backups of other computers in your home...*THAT* would be interesting

Aditionally, since the server needs to store backups from *ALL* the pcs it means it'll need to have enought storage capacity...your disks in your personal pcs may be half-void but hey, because WHS needs to do backups of the half-filled part for N different computers you may need to go to the store and ask for a extra disk for your WHS server. Weeeee.

Backup devices are certainly useful in many cases, I'd see why you'd want something like WHS in a office. But I don't understand why people would buy WHS for their homes at all, not even enthusiasts. The one useful idea behind it for homes seems to be the fact that you can access the files while the another pc is powered off. And frankly, I'm just not buying a separate and expensive server + pay a extra license OS for that.

Edited 2007-01-09 01:04

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Market?
by n4cer on Tue 9th Jan 2007 01:18 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Market?"
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

So? The client also can get multiple drives for redundancy - it can even become a "standard practice" when buying a pc - and it's way cheaper than a separate server. And local filesystems can also do internal backups and versioning and all that, without buying a extra server, you know.

This is a possibility with Vista's Complete PC Backup, but this isn't as good a solution as maintaining the data on a server because you replicate the same steps per PC, and you waste storage space because you duplicate data that is the same accross multiple PCs.


And if you want to replicate your data...why replicate it in a "server"....when the other computers in your house could use their unused disk space? Vista could add techonoloy to enable other computers in your house to store encrypted backups of other computers in your home...*THAT* would be interesting.

Again, one of the reasons is wasted storage space due to the redundant storage of data that is the same accross PCs and devices on the network. Assuming that isn't an issue, another issue is that those disks are in use as much as you use your computers, so they're probability of failure is higher. There's also the question of what happens when one computer or multiple computers don't have enough reserved capacity to store backups for other PCs or devices.

Aditionally, since the server needs to store backups from *ALL* the pcs it means it'll need to have enought storage capacity...your disks in your personal pcs may be half-filled but hey, because WHS needs to do backups of the half-filled part for N different computers you may need to go to the store and ask for a extra disk for your WHS server.

WHS uses volume shadow copy services/single instance storage for its backups. Files that are common accross PCs and devices (OS and application files, etc.) will only be stored once on the server. Also, when changes are made to the files, only those changes (along with the original) are stored.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Market?
by diegocg on Tue 9th Jan 2007 01:44 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Market?"
diegocg Member since:
2005-07-08

another issue is that those disks are in use as much as you use your computers, so they're probability of failure is higher.

So? The "disk failure" is already happening in a replicated device in other computer in your home. Your data is safe, problem solved. Again, if you want to rely on "data replication" for doing backups in your home, the easier and cheaper idea (the idea that home users want) is to use unused space in all the pcs in your home to make encrypted replications, and save the 600$ that is going to cost you your "backup device". Dude, it's how P2P works, and it DOES work. If that's not enought for you, you aren't a normal user and you're considering proffesional backup solutions _anyway_. In fact, I don't know many people that has ever needed a "backup server". The recycle bin + the versioning build in vista is more enought for 99.9% of the rare home users that need "backups". And have I mentioned that hard disks just don't fail most of the time for most of the people?

This is a possibility with Vista's Complete PC Backup, but this isn't as good a solution as maintaining the data on a server

Sure. And Joe User has been able to buy complete and expensive backup solutions for a long time. I just don't think he is going to do it.

Guys, what I'm arguing is that I don't see WHY Joe User wants a backup server. I can see LOTS of uses for it - in offices and enterprises. You know, "backup" is not a new thing to the industry and lots of proffesionals use it because they actually need it. But WTF, do you really think Joe User is going to think "oooh, a backup device, i'm wasting 500$ on it just in case my hard disk breaks!"?? f--k, joe user doesn't _know_ that hard disks can fail, and he doesn't care.

Reply Score: 4

RE[7]: Market?
by n4cer on Tue 9th Jan 2007 02:57 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Market?"
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

Guys, what I'm arguing is that I don't see WHY Joe User wants a backup server. I can see LOTS of uses for it - in offices and enterprises. You know, "backup" is not a new thing to the industry and lots of proffesionals use it because they actually need it. But WTF, do you really think Joe User is going to think "oooh, a backup device, i'm wasting 500$ on it just in case my hard disk breaks!"?? f--k, joe user doesn't _know_ that hard disks can fail, and he doesn't care.

I've had at least 3 harddrives fail among Joe Users that I know. My dad is now running a mirrored RAID set after losing data to harddrive failure. I bought a Seagate Baracuda not long ago that was as good as DOA and had to be shipped back for replacement (Vista warned me the drive was failing not long after I installed the drive). Joe User likely doesn't know he needs a backup solution if he has never lost data. When he does, he'll understand the need for it. But knowing he needs it, doesn't mean he wants to spend a lot of time setting it up, thus the various options MS offers (Windows Backup, CPC Backup, OneCare, WHS, etc.). Take your pick depending on your needs or choose another solution if you care to manage every detail.

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Market?
by Rayz on Tue 9th Jan 2007 08:51 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Market?"
Rayz Member since:
2006-06-24

Guys, what I'm arguing is that I don't see WHY Joe User wants a backup server. I can see LOTS of uses for it - in offices and enterprises. You know, "backup" is not a new thing to the industry and lots of proffesionals use it because they actually need it. But WTF, do you really think Joe User is going to think "oooh, a backup device, i'm wasting 500$ on it just in case my hard disk breaks!"?? f--k, joe user doesn't _know_ that hard disks can fail, and he doesn't care.

Well, I think that Joe User does care about backups, but that on its own is not really going to make him shell out money for the server. He would probably just buy some sort of USB drive if he has only one machine.

I think what your argument is missing here, is the family case, where the household has two or more machines (there are three PCs at my house, all in use pretty much all the time). I think this is the market that MS is aiming for. Rather than having a separate backup unit for each one, then this would be a much cheaper and efficient solution.

You could also use one of those NAS drives, but the WHA can also be used to schedule automatic backups for each machine, so the family don't have to remember to save their important stuff. And it looks as if the server is smart enough to figure out the files which are the same on each box, and only save them once; no need to save three complete Windows installations; just the differences between each one. The server also supports versioning as part of the backups, so if Lucy has overwritten her school project folder, she can actually go to the backup, and pick up the individual folder from a given day, and just restore that.

The server can also administer accounts on the network. The network health check is a nice feature as well, you can get an alert when the kids of fiddled with the firewall settings on their machine for example.

Oh, and it allows you to remote desktop into any machine on your network, from any location with an internet connection; Microsoft will apparently be giving a free IP for any WHA owner with a Live! account.

The real question is cost. We're talking about a headless box with a ho-hum processor; I can't really see it costing that much more than a large NAS drive, but we shall see.

Could the same setup be done under Linux? I'm sure it could?

Could Joe User do it under Linux? That, I'm not so sure about.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Market?
by Bryan on Tue 9th Jan 2007 02:13 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Market?"
Bryan Member since:
2005-07-11

Actually, redundent storage shouldn't be an issue. Home Server uses a technology called Single Instance Storage--SIS--which only stores one copy of each unique file. So if you have Office 2007 installed on three different machines, for example, the program files will only be back up once. Likewise, most of the things in the Windows directory shouldn't be copied more than once. Supposedly, this technology has enabled Microsoft to store as much as 19 TB of data in as little as 300 GB in some of there test data sets.

Perhaps a better description is here:

http://www.winsupersite.com/reviews/whs_preview.asp

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Market?
by DittoBox on Tue 9th Jan 2007 00:45 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Market?"
DittoBox Member since:
2005-07-08

Solid State drives fail too. In fact many flash-based devices have a certain number of writes they can execute before they start to get stale...

Physical degeneration occurs in everything; somethings just survive longer than others.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Market?
by archiesteel on Tue 9th Jan 2007 00:49 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Market?"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Solid State drives fail too.

True. I wonder which one would last longer if the server is always on and doesn't move...

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Market?
by diegocg on Tue 9th Jan 2007 00:59 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Market?"
diegocg Member since:
2005-07-08

You mean WHS will keep on 24h/365d, doing noise and eating power? Now that would be a good reason for *not* buying it.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Market?
by jayson.knight on Tue 9th Jan 2007 02:23 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Market?"
jayson.knight Member since:
2005-07-06

"You mean WHS will keep on 24h/365d, doing noise and eating power?"

Most modern PCs are almost silent, and power consumption of a PC with no monitor isn't much more than a couple of lights. I leave my 2 workstations on 24/7, and it's maybe an extra 5 bucks a month.

Or just tuck the server away in a media closet somewhere?

Regardless, very flawed argument.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Market?
by trenchsol on Tue 9th Jan 2007 14:01 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Market?"
trenchsol Member since:
2006-12-07

It is easy to set up mirroring (RAID 0), even without hardware RAID controler.

DG

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Market?
by Lettherebemorelight on Tue 9th Jan 2007 00:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Market?"
Lettherebemorelight Member since:
2005-07-11

There are a lot of NAS boxes already out there that do this simply by adding your own hard drive. Taking into account the cost of the MS OS and the beefy hardware needed to run it, finding people to fork over that extra cash is going to be a lot more difficult than MS would ever admit to.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Market?
by n4cer on Tue 9th Jan 2007 00:40 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Market?"
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

There are a lot of NAS boxes already out there that do this simply by adding your own hard drive. Taking into account the cost of the MS OS and the beefy hardware needed to run it, finding people to fork over that extra cash is going to be a lot more difficult than MS would ever admit to.

I don't consider a 1.8GHz Sempron w/ 512MB RAM beefy (what the HP unit contains -- it's unknown what the minimum specs will be, but I imagine it'll be similar to Windows Server 2003). $500 puts it in line with many NAS units, and this can handle multiple PC's and devices on your network without duplicating data that is the same accross devices.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Market?
by AdamW on Tue 9th Jan 2007 07:20 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Market?"
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

The NSLU2 goes for $100.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Market?
by mallard on Tue 9th Jan 2007 00:32 UTC in reply to "RE: Market?"
mallard Member since:
2006-01-06

It's not the server itself I don't see the need for, its a special version of Windows for it.

An older (P-III) PC can be bought for ~$50 from eBay, a 400GB HDD for ~$100. Therefore you could easily set up a home server for ~$150.
Such a PC would likely be already licenced for Windows (even Win98 would work well enough) and a suitible Linux distro can be obtained for free.

I contend that the average person has no need or desire for a server, so those who want one will almost certianly have the expertise to set one up.

Why do we need a special version of Windows?

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Market?
by n4cer on Tue 9th Jan 2007 00:55 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Market?"
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

It's not the server itself I don't see the need for, its a special version of Windows for it.
An older (P-III) PC can be bought for ~$50 from eBay, a 400GB HDD for ~$100. Therefore you could easily set up a home server for ~$150.
Such a PC would likely be already licenced for Windows (even Win98 would work well enough) and a suitible Linux distro can be obtained for free.


It depends ou what you think "easy" means. The goal for WHS is to allow people to get the benefits of a home server without having to be an admin. If you know how to cobble together a server and don't mind doing so, WHS isn't likely targeted at you.

I contend that the average person has no need or desire for a server, so those who want one will almost certianly have the expertise to set one up.

When the average person loses the data he deems important because he didn't keep regualr backups or know how to setup a RAID array, etc., he'll wish he had, and probably will look for a solution such as WHS.

Why do we need a special version of Windows?

Because it's a purpose-specific product and will be priced according to the functionality offered and the market. It also doesn't need to be in lock-step with general Windows releases.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Market?
by mallard on Tue 9th Jan 2007 01:17 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Market?"
mallard Member since:
2006-01-06

It depends ou what you think "easy" means.

"Easy" as in "connect the large hard drive as the secondary master or externally via USB, right click on the icon in 'My Computer' and set up sharing.".
Although with Linux it will be "install the OS, install Webmin and set up sharing from there", slightly more complex.

(Note that the box only needs a monitor for this short proccess. VNC or Remote Desktop can be used for maintanance.)

Even if you first have to install the OS it won't take more than an hour or two.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Market?
by n4cer on Tue 9th Jan 2007 01:30 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Market?"
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

"Easy" as in "connect the large hard drive as the secondary master or externally via USB, right click on the icon in 'My Computer' and set up sharing.".

Average User: What's secondary master mean? You mean I have to open the box!? I just want to not lose my family photos. Can you install it for me? Oh, USB, that'll backup all my PCs right?

Even if you first have to install the OS it won't take more than an hour or two.

In that time, you could be well on your way backing up your systems with WHS.

Edited 2007-01-09 01:31

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: Market?
by mallard on Tue 9th Jan 2007 01:58 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Market?"
mallard Member since:
2006-01-06

"Average user" has nothing to do with it, they have no need or desire for a server. Most of them only have one PC, if they want backup, a USB pen or external hard drive would serve just as well.

I re-iterate: I see no need for "Joe Average" to have a "home server". There is a strong correlation between those that want/need this sort of thing and those that could set it up.

I meant to connect via USB to the server (I thought that was obvious). Even connecting it internally is a simple matter of following the instructions that are generally provided with hard drives or are easily found on Google.

In that time, you could be well on your way backing up your systems with WHS.

If someone put together a specialized Linux distro for this sort of thing, which I'm sure they will if it takes off, the set-up time could be reduced to a few minutes (using a LiveCD-based approach). The backup is nothing special, nothing that a cron job or "Scheduled task" couldn't do.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Market?
by n4cer on Tue 9th Jan 2007 02:20 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Market?"
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

If someone put together a specialized Linux distro for this sort of thing, which I'm sure they will if it takes off, the set-up time could be reduced to a few minutes (using a LiveCD-based approach). The backup is nothing special, nothing that a cron job or "Scheduled task" couldn't do.

And who will market this specialized distro so that average users can buy a box, plug it in, walk through a few configuration steps, and be done? A cron job or scheduled task would likely take more time and disk space for the backup, and backup is still only one aspect of WHS.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Market?
by Bit_Rapist on Tue 9th Jan 2007 03:14 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Market?"
Bit_Rapist Member since:
2005-11-13

I re-iterate: I see no need for "Joe Average" to have a "home server".

At one time certain execs at HP thought there was no need for the average person at home to even have a computer. We all see how accurate that one turned out to be!

Joe User already has a server at home, a lot of people are sharing out music and videos over their home LAN using shared folders etc.

The fact that routers have become common place in the home shows that joe user is capable of learning and connecting the dots when the package is fairly straightforward.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Market?
by mallard on Tue 9th Jan 2007 07:15 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Market?"
mallard Member since:
2006-01-06

Again, "Average User" has no need or desire for a server.

Those that need/want a server are the same people that know how to install a hard drive or set up a "Scheduled task" to backup their documents.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Market?
by Rayz on Tue 9th Jan 2007 09:31 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Market?"
Rayz Member since:
2006-06-24

"Easy" as in "connect the large hard drive as the secondary master or externally via USB, right click on the icon in 'My Computer' and set up sharing.".
Although with Linux it will be "install the OS, install Webmin and set up sharing from there", slightly more complex.


Well, that's easy; but how about setting the large hard drive to automatically back up all the connnected machines at midnight?

Or getting it to only back up files that differ on each machine?

Or getting the hard drive to support remote desktops?

Or supporting versioned backups so that the wife can just look at the her backups and pick out one file from one particular date to restore?

Edited 2007-01-09 09:33

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Market?
by raver31 on Tue 9th Jan 2007 01:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Market?"
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

Does that whole idea not negate the actual reason for having digital rights management in the first place ?

I for one dont want people like you copying my new movie/new song/new novel onto a server anywhere !

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Market?
by Rayz on Tue 9th Jan 2007 09:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Market?"
Rayz Member since:
2006-06-24

I have a question, dunno if you can answer it or not.

The autobackup is a nice feature, but doesn't that mean leaving all the machines on all the time?

Same with the remote desktop function. When the average user takes his family, on holiday, he doesn't want to leave the other machines in the house switched on, just so that they can remote desktop in.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Market?
by Coxy on Tue 9th Jan 2007 10:56 UTC in reply to "Market?"
Coxy Member since:
2006-07-01

I think they must have just been looking at US markets and how Americans live... not everyone lets there kid have a computer when he's three, not everyone wants to play 'games' on a games console or media centre PC with the family all sitting round waiting for their turn. I can see Ökos wanting this - sitting amongst their wooden toys... this will be something for Assis.

Reply Score: 1

?
by SK8T on Mon 8th Jan 2007 23:51 UTC
SK8T
Member since:
2006-06-01

WHY does HE want that?

I've read why he is thinking this would be a good idea. (And I don't agree to it).

I think it's $$$

Edited 2007-01-08 23:52

Reply Score: 2

RE: ?
by ronaldst on Tue 9th Jan 2007 02:03 UTC in reply to "?"
ronaldst Member since:
2005-06-29

@SK8T

And if he can deliver the features I want, he may get some of my money. ;)

Reply Score: 2

...
by Hiev on Tue 9th Jan 2007 00:00 UTC
Hiev
Member since:
2005-09-27

I think it is a good idea, an easy to setup and cheap storage servers is what I need, I waste lots of time backing up date everytime I need to format my pc or laptop.

Reply Score: 3

RE: ...
by elektrik on Tue 9th Jan 2007 03:45 UTC in reply to "..."
elektrik Member since:
2006-04-18

Well, let's hope you're not going to use that Home server to backup your data because you're formating your Windows O.S.....since that is probably what your Home server will be running ;-)

Reply Score: 0

It's a good idea...
by archiesteel on Tue 9th Jan 2007 00:09 UTC
archiesteel
Member since:
2005-07-02

...but as I said in the previous thread on this, I think MS will have its competition cut out for it. Linksys and other hardware manufacturers could offer the same solution at a lower price using FOSS OSes (whether it's Linux, one of the BSDs or OpenSolaris). After all, you just need a fast HD (for video streaming), Ethernet/WiFi connectivity, and a nice Web interface for setup and maintenance.

Reply Score: 5

RE: It's a good idea...
by jayson.knight on Tue 9th Jan 2007 02:39 UTC in reply to "It's a good idea..."
jayson.knight Member since:
2005-07-06

But you forget one VERY important factor in all of that: Windows has very strong brand recognition, especially when it will no doubt integrate much better (and easier) into existing Windows home networks. That alone will sell almost everyone on it, including someone like myself who would actually prefer a NAS based solution. But if it plays better with my Windows machines, why not?

I see this space heating up quite a bit. A good indication of this is look how popular consumer level NAS solutions are now...even just a year or so ago no one outside of a server room had ever even heard of NAS, now my grandma even knows what that means.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: It's a good idea...
by archiesteel on Tue 9th Jan 2007 03:33 UTC in reply to "RE: It's a good idea..."
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

But you forget one VERY important factor in all of that: Windows has very strong brand recognition, especially when it will no doubt integrate much better (and easier) into existing Windows home networks. That alone will sell almost everyone on it, including someone like myself who would actually prefer a NAS based solution. But if it plays better with my Windows machines, why not?

Yes and no. Windows' name recognition won't necessarily translate into more sales, because it's not really a popular brand other than by the fact that it's installed on any PC out there. The only MS brands to do well in a *competitive* market are Xbox and Hotmail/MSN (but that's not really a consumer product).

As for making it work better with Windows than competitive product, this would mean that MS would take advantage of certain hidden protocols or APIs, which would open it wide to another anti-trust lawsuit. There's no reason why a Linux/BSD device with Samba couldn't do just as good a job (for cheaper in license fees). If there's one thing Unix-like systems are, it's storing data and serving it over a network, and that's exactly what this box would do.

As I said, I don't think it's a bad idea, and if MS can start the ball rolling I think it's another great opportunity for others to jump in with FOSS-based devices.

A good indication of this is look how popular consumer level NAS solutions are now...even just a year or so ago no one outside of a server room had ever even heard of NAS, now my grandma even knows what that means.

Maybe your grandma is thinking of something else. From the NAS disambiguation page on WP... ;-)

# Network access server, also known as a terminal server
# Network Application Support
# Network-attached storage
# Network Audio System

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: It's a good idea...
by n4cer on Tue 9th Jan 2007 03:44 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: It's a good idea..."
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

As for making it work better with Windows than competitive product, this would mean that MS would take advantage of certain hidden protocols or APIs, which would open it wide to another anti-trust lawsuit. There's no reason why a Linux/BSD device with Samba couldn't do just as good a job (for cheaper in license fees).

They don't need to take advantage of hidden APIs or protocols, just use APIs that are native to the Windows platform, like VSS.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: It's a good idea...
by archiesteel on Tue 9th Jan 2007 04:10 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: It's a good idea..."
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

They don't need to take advantage of hidden APIs or protocols, just use APIs that are native to the Windows platform, like VSS.

Yes, that's the point I was making. This doesn't give MS a competitive advantage. Serving files and providing other network services can be done by a competitor using FOSS software.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: It's a good idea...
by n4cer on Tue 9th Jan 2007 05:00 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: It's a good idea..."
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

Yes, that's the point I was making. This doesn't give MS a competitive advantage. Serving files and providing other network services can be done by a competitor using FOSS software.

Functionality is only part of the solution. If they can't match usability and provide a packaged product that's easy to setup, and that people actually know is available, WHS still wins.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: It's a good idea...
by archiesteel on Tue 9th Jan 2007 05:05 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: It's a good idea..."
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Functionality is only part of the solution. If they can't match usability and provide a packaged product that's easy to setup, and that people actually know is available, WHS still wins.

Why wouldn't they be able to match usability and provide an easy setup? It's not rocket science.

I know you're a die-hard MS supporter, but that doesn't change the fact that MS has a hard time penetrating new markets, and if there's any interest in this kind of device, it's only a matter of time before competitors jump in.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: It's a good idea...
by n4cer on Tue 9th Jan 2007 06:24 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: It's a good idea..."
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

Why wouldn't they be able to match usability and provide an easy setup? It's not rocket science.
I know you're a die-hard MS supporter, but that doesn't change the fact that MS has a hard time penetrating new markets, and if there's any interest in this kind of device, it's only a matter of time before competitors jump in.


It may not be rocket science, but it doesn't always happen. Look at MCE vs similar solutions. How many competing solutions are marketed so the average user actually knows they're available? How many are available as a packaged product that allows the user to get started with minimal configuration? Many advanced users who have used competing products for their free cost of acquisition and/or tweakability have either switched completely to MCE or chosen it as the system they use for their family, in part, because it was less hassle, well integrated, and well supported. The same factors will apply to WHS vs its competition.

Reply Score: 3

RE[8]: It's a good idea...
by Rayz on Tue 9th Jan 2007 14:11 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: It's a good idea..."
Rayz Member since:
2006-06-24

I know you're a die-hard MS supporter, but that doesn't change the fact that MS has a hard time penetrating new markets,

It's not a new market though is it? It's an extension of a market that they pretty much own; home users. Can't see how a Linux-based solution is going to get around that. If Linux was making any headway on the home desktop, then it would have a chance.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: It's a good idea...
by Rayz on Tue 9th Jan 2007 10:50 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: It's a good idea..."
Rayz Member since:
2006-06-24

Using the APis is less than half the story; FOSS still has to come up with an easy to use system that covers the same functionality.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: It's a good idea...
by archiesteel on Tue 9th Jan 2007 14:34 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: It's a good idea..."
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

We're talking about a server here. All you need is a good web interface. As far as functionality goes, it's not rocket science. Please provide some actual arguments to support your unbridled enthusiasm for all things MS.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: It's a good idea...
by Rayz on Tue 9th Jan 2007 19:51 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: It's a good idea..."
Rayz Member since:
2006-06-24

Please provide some actual arguments to support your unbridled enthusiasm for all things MS.

Dear oh dear ...

Reply Score: 0

RE[8]: It's a good idea...
by archiesteel on Tue 9th Jan 2007 21:23 UTC in reply to "RE[7]: It's a good idea..."
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

So, in other words, you *dont* have any arguments to support the actual statement?

Dear oh dear, indeed.

Reply Score: 2

RE: It's a good idea...
by Karitku on Tue 9th Jan 2007 07:15 UTC in reply to "It's a good idea..."
Karitku Member since:
2006-01-12

True, there has been lot of similiar smaller scale systems. Mostly they been network devices with HDD inside. But fact is that those lack several things that Home Server will have, mainly backup. Also i have tested few and found them hard to use and very buggy. It seems that many manufacturer takes FOSS solutions, throw them in to box and call it final product. Instead they should take time to develop and test systems

Reply Score: 1

Personal home servers
by unavowed on Tue 9th Jan 2007 00:10 UTC
unavowed
Member since:
2006-03-23

I think that in an ideal world having home servers would be good, as all your data would be stored locally, within the owner's control.

It would further push the idea of a peer-to-peer Internet instead of a one with a dominant privileged-server/unprivileged-client architecture, which is sadly getting somewhat popular nowadays.

It would lead to everyone having their own external IP address, and not being at the mercy of their ISP (think incoming port blocking).

Personally I don't like the idea of capitalist corporations having unrestricted access to my mail, photos or other personal information on their centralised servers.

My opinion is that home servers would be good for the internet users at large, even if it's Microsoft that backs them.

That said, it is hard to judge if all of this would be feasible to implement.

Reply Score: 3

This is an opportunity for Linux...
by Nezumi on Tue 9th Jan 2007 00:12 UTC
Nezumi
Member since:
2006-04-02

I would love to see a distro targeted towards this sort of thing. I wonder if the *buntu community are the most likely to have a go...

From what little I know of Linux it seems to speak to just about anything. I have seen a number of reviews of SOHO NAS on Toms Hardware and they all run Linux. This includes product from companies like Intel.

The lack of DRM could also be a strong selling point if marketed correctly.

One could possibly start of with simple file + print and have the option to add functionality as needed.

I'm sure Apple could also come up with a very nice product as well...

MS as a rule don't enter a market unless they can make money. It may not be an instant money maker but the long-term possibilities must be there...

The market for this type of device is wide open at the moment and could be genuinely disruptive (in a good way!)

Reply Score: 5

Milo_Hoffman Member since:
2005-07-06

There are LOTS of distros that do this sort of thing....most with web-ONLY management interfaces that require zero command line etc...

ClarkConnect, and SMEServer for 2 good ones that I have experiences with.

Reply Score: 2

John Nilsson Member since:
2005-07-06

This project recently crossed my radar:
http://www.nslu2-linux.org/

Reply Score: 2

iTV
by Finchwizard on Tue 9th Jan 2007 00:16 UTC
Finchwizard
Member since:
2006-02-01

I think this is where the iTV or whatever it will be called when announced will make a bit of a inroad.

I'm sure people don't want multiple computers to update constantly with Virus updates and patches etc.

Whereas the iTV just pulls off all you Videos, Photos etc off your computer, which makes it much easier to watch them comfortably.

What I would like to see in these devices is the ability to record TV and things, I love my TViX box where I can dump movies and songs, pics onto a hard drive, and watch them on my TV, but if I could record TV straight onto the hard drive, it would make a killing.

Reply Score: 1

Linksys NSLU2 and other NAS devices
by flav2000 on Tue 9th Jan 2007 00:32 UTC
flav2000
Member since:
2006-02-08

There are NAS devices and routers that supports plugging in USB hard drives and acts as a server. I don't see how Windows Home Server has a large market.

For example, I just help a friend set up a Linksys NSLU2 device with external USB one touch hard drives.

For the average joe, isn't it easier to run one of these devices and plug in more USB HDs as needed rather than running a Windows Home Server edition?

On top of that, I would believe the size and cost of devices such as the NSLU2 would be less or equal to the cost of the Windows server.

The only reason I can see a *need* for MS Home server edition is that, due to DRM restrictions, only a MS server with DRM serving support would allow media playback on other computers on the same network.

Reply Score: 1

jonsmirl Member since:
2005-07-06

NSLU2 is the way to go. I run it and Twonky. A complete media center and home server for less than $200. Plus it is silent and draws hardly any power.

Haven't tried gmediaserver yet.
http://www.gnu.org/software/gmediaserver/

Maybe I can get rid of twonky and be 100% open source.

Reply Score: 1

jayson.knight Member since:
2005-07-06

"There are NAS devices and routers that supports plugging in USB hard drives and acts as a server. I don't see how Windows Home Server has a large market."

You just answered your own statement...look at the size of the market for consumer level NAS devices right now, that space is exploding. If MS can get terabyte sized systems offered for under a grand w/ WHS running on it, they'll succeed and then some.

Reply Score: 3

First Impression
by 47ronin on Tue 9th Jan 2007 00:51 UTC
47ronin
Member since:
2006-04-03

The first thing that came to mind... triple the amount of zombie PCs, except now running on server-grade systems. The ultimate botnet, now streaming everyone's personal info, photos, and videos... wonderful!

Reply Score: 5

vanfruniken
Member since:
2006-07-18

It seems Microsoft is now recognizing the need for full-fledged network server capability in the home, after having wilfully crippled this functionality in the Windows home version.

Also, even though I kinda like the idea of a cheap headless box somewhere in a corner, it will take even more price drops in hard disk capacity before we get HUGE hard disks, with enough redundancy to counteract the possibly detrimental effects of a single point of failure for all the PCs around the house.

Reply Score: 1

phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

1 TB for under $400 US is too expensive for you? ;)
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070105-8559.html

Reply Score: 1

Why "Home Server"???
by enegeo on Tue 9th Jan 2007 01:28 UTC
enegeo
Member since:
2006-03-06

I don't know if it's usefull or if there's a market fot it.
What I really know is that the word "Server" doesn't mean anything to Mom or Dad, or our friend average Joe. If they really want to make "Consumer products" they must start naming them like that... why not something like "Home Center", "Media Center Storage"...
I don't know, it just doesn't sound friendly.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Why "Home Server"???
by jayson.knight on Tue 9th Jan 2007 02:45 UTC in reply to "Why "Home Server"???"
jayson.knight Member since:
2005-07-06

I seriously doubt that'll be the final name, it's much too simple compared to MS's other product names...perhaps something like "Windows Vista Networking/Storage/Backup/Bake You A Cake/ (Starter/Premium/Ultimate) Edition 2007" would better fall in line.

Reply Score: 2

The last thing we need
by blitze on Tue 9th Jan 2007 01:56 UTC
blitze
Member since:
2006-09-15

Is another computer, running in the home running 24/7

Gee, in an era where energy costs are set to climb dramatically as resources get low, Mr Gates comes up with this great idea. Will he be including renewable energy generation systems to deal with the juice something like this will require?

Not enough that the average US/Australian home has 3 or more Televisions, Air Conditioning, and other electrical crap that isn't necessary and a large drain on the planets resources.

Anyone needing backup solutions should probably be better served by using USB raid system or the likes if they need and also an OS that doesn't include pervaisive DRM and a crap file system (NTFS, New Technology File System) what a joke.

I bet this would just help BG get DRM in the home and also client based licensing pricing based on how many devices/computers you run of this sucker. How many Chinese and Indians could he get to buy this for their homes, then we could see the wonderful effects on the planet as the waters close in around us.

Reply Score: 5

RE: The last thing we need
by pauld on Tue 9th Jan 2007 08:16 UTC in reply to "The last thing we need"
pauld Member since:
2006-02-24

That was exactly my first thought. I don't think we or the environment really need to have more 24/7 machines running. In one room we replace all light-bulbs with energy-saving ones, in the other room we install a nice new server that someone wants us to have, and that perhaps improves our life a little... but probably not for the long run.

In the office we replace a dozen of servers and virtualize them because we realize the power, heat and environmental implications... and now we just move them to the homes :-(

I'm always wondering how much people *think* about running servers at home. Sure; you learn a lot from it, you have a bit of bandwidth so you can useful things as well... and the server itself was probably not that expensive - but it still consumes more energy (and 200/300 eur/$ a year?) than the average lightbulb you just replaced.

I don't really care about this if it's just the average geek doing this (could be me) - if MS wants every household to have this, I'm much more worried.

And they indeed make good botnets...

Reply Score: 3

n4cer
by raver31 on Tue 9th Jan 2007 01:57 UTC
raver31
Member since:
2005-07-06

why does every post that n4cer guy makes look like an advertisement ?

Reply Score: 2

RE: n4cer
by n4cer on Tue 9th Jan 2007 02:12 UTC in reply to "n4cer"
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

why does every post that n4cer guy makes look like an advertisement ?

Why does every other post look like an advertisement for Linux?

Reply Score: 1

RE: n4cer
by blitze on Tue 9th Jan 2007 02:14 UTC in reply to "n4cer"
blitze Member since:
2006-09-15

Because he has this undying belief that MS will provide a simple data storage/conectivity centre for the home that will be bullet proof and never need updating or management utilities. Much unlike any other product that Microsoft has released onto the market.

This is why it will not happen, that coupled with the high costs MS will demand and that given to average Jo it will become an abused/hacked POS in very little time. Computing can deliver such a device but Microsoft can not.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: n4cer
by n4cer on Tue 9th Jan 2007 02:35 UTC in reply to "RE: n4cer"
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

Because he has this undying belief that MS will provide a simple data storage/conectivity centre for the home that will be bullet proof and never need updating or management utilities. Much unlike any other product that Microsoft has released onto the market.

I actually believe it will require updating and management, but most of this will happen automatically via Windows/Microsoft Update. And of course, you can add storage as necessary, and it's much easier to slide in a hotpluggable drive bay than it is to deal with internal storage on multiple PCs.

Computing can deliver such a device but Microsoft can not.

Computing can't deliver such a device because technology changes, and the device would need to be updated at some point no matter who made it. Part of the value of WHS is that it can be updated to improve how it works and what it offers, and maintain compatibility as your client devices change.

Reply Score: 4

MS smells money just like Xbox 1 and Zune 1
by ubit on Tue 9th Jan 2007 01:59 UTC
ubit
Member since:
2006-09-08

I don't expect much from the first version of this product, but version 2 will definitely make them money or else they wouldn't even be talking it up.

Reply Score: 2

Not mine...
by Bobmeister on Tue 9th Jan 2007 02:13 UTC
Bobmeister
Member since:
2005-07-06

My FREE server is an old Dell hand-me-down running Linux (free) with no Windows trouble...runs for months at a time and does a of the services needed. Who would spend 500 bucks to pay MS for yet another license?

These guys just won't quit....people keep saying that Linux isn't ready for the desktop (been using it that way happily for 5 years now)...but it's for the SERVER...well...here we go....make it a Linux server and keep Uncle Bill out of it....

Geez....

Reply Score: 1

bubbayank
Member since:
2005-07-15

Reading the Ars summary, they've really got some excellent ideas. Apple needs to make a similar box. I totally love the idea of syncing files(no, .Mac doesn't count for syncing gigs across machines), account info and backup.

One can certainly homegrow some of this, but it's that last 10% that kills you...

Reply Score: 2

jayson.knight
Member since:
2005-07-06

Right now, yes it is...but that's because this market really doesn't exist yet, and isn't that the point of creating new products...to "create" a new market for them?

Five years ago, the market for Media Center type OS's didn't exist, yet the market for them is huge now. Ten years ago people scoffed at the idea of having a gaming hub (ala XBox/PS, etc) doing anything more than just playing games, yet now they run full blown OS's and can be used as a full fledged media hub. Just a couple of years ago, homes with more than 1 PC were the exception, now they are the norm.

The reason most of us don't see this as a marketable product is because we are technically savvy enough to do what everyone else is saying here...buy a used PC, install whatever OS we want on it, configure it, etc. The rest of the world doesn't care about stuff like that...just give them a turnkey solution that plugs into an existing network and configures itself, et voila...instant market. My own father (who's as technical as a nun) has been asking me questions about something similar to this for a while now...he wants a setup where he can have all of his movies/music/photos/etc centrall stored, and can be accessed throughout the house from a variety of devices (other PCs, TV's, A/V equipment, etc) without needing to trudge around loading up discs, fiddling with equipment, etc.

The market is definitely there, folks have been wanting something like this for a while, but are simply unaware of the terminology behind it like "server" or "OS" or whatever...they want their data in a central location, and to be accessible from anywhere at any time w/o having to worry about the intricacies of how to go about doing it.

Reply Score: 5

Close, but no cigar.
by SpasmaticSeacow on Tue 9th Jan 2007 02:55 UTC
SpasmaticSeacow
Member since:
2006-02-17

Let's forget that alot of potential users have ISP server agreements that technically prohibit using one of these (as stupid as it may sound, but read your Verizon or Comcast TOS).

The thing is that the MS vision is a unit that's basically a PC with Windows and just enough web-sugar on top to permit remote admin without their usually obtuse admin stuff.

That's fine and dandy, but the fact of the matter is that it still leaves you with something that is still more difficult to setup than current NAS products (including FreeNAS for you Linux fans), hardware that uses considerably more power and that is more expensive. On top of that, it's running an operating system with all sorts of superfluous bits to it that just means that there's that much more places for things to go bad.

I'll buy that a NAS is a good idea. Unfortunately, my impression from reading Microsoft's marketing copy on it is that they don't get it.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Close, but no cigar.
by phoenix on Tue 9th Jan 2007 06:26 UTC in reply to "Close, but no cigar."
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

(including FreeNAS for you Linux fans)

FreeNAS runs on FreeBSD. ;) From the website:

Welcome to FreeNAS
FreeNAS is a free NAS (Network-Attached Storage) server, supporting: CIFS (samba), FTP, NFS, RSYNC protocols, local user authentication, Software RAID (0,1,5) with a Full WEB configuration interface. FreeNAS takes less than 32MB once installed on Compact Flash, hard drive or USB key.
The minimal FreeBSD distribution, Web interface, PHP scripts and documentation are based on M0n0wall.

Reply Score: 2

Preview of WHS with screenshots
by ubit on Tue 9th Jan 2007 04:38 UTC
ubit
Member since:
2006-09-08

I'm not sure if anyone posted this yet. This has screenshots of the UI in WHS.

http://www.winsupersite.com/reviews/whs_preview.asp

Reply Score: 3

Ta but no ta very much
by Havin_it on Tue 9th Jan 2007 04:56 UTC
Havin_it
Member since:
2006-03-10

Thanks, but I already have a Home Server(TM). It cost me all of £100 off eBay, provides a generous amount of storage with hardware RAID5 failover, and provides every type of server (web, database(s), SSH, rsync, Samba, Bittorrent, print/scan to Windows and Linux clients, Radius for my WLAN) I currently desire, and anything else I might need in future -- guaranteed.

Oh, and besides all the above provided by Linux, it came with a copy of Windows NT 4.0 Server thrown in. But I haven't found a use for that yet :/

Yes, I'm aware that the above sounds arrogant and flamebaity as f***. But honestly, I don't see the point of this.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Ta but no ta very much
by Rayz on Tue 9th Jan 2007 12:32 UTC in reply to "Ta but no ta very much"
Rayz Member since:
2006-06-24

Yes, I'm aware that the above sounds arrogant and flamebaity as f***. But honestly, I don't see the point of this.

Is it possible that it isn't being aimed at you?

Reply Score: 1

license
by netpython on Tue 9th Jan 2007 08:11 UTC
netpython
Member since:
2005-07-06

how many PC's are allowed to connect?

Reply Score: 5

RE: license
by archiesteel on Tue 9th Jan 2007 14:46 UTC in reply to "license"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

That's a very good question.

Reply Score: 2

RE: license
by n4cer on Tue 9th Jan 2007 18:35 UTC in reply to "license"
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

how many PC's are allowed to connect?

10.

Reply Score: 2

Deja vu
by d_Yn on Tue 9th Jan 2007 08:28 UTC
d_Yn
Member since:
2005-07-06

Isn't he the same guy who wanted 640k ram in my machine? Oh well...

Reply Score: 1

More $, like MCE (well, 05+)
by cerbie on Tue 9th Jan 2007 08:30 UTC
cerbie
Member since:
2006-01-02

I get the thing, but what I don't get, or like, rather, is MS making another different product for it!

Make a Home and a Pro and leave it at that. Include these features as extra for the Pro, with nice wizards for the job, rather than making another OS product for it. Or have these features in an add-on product.

It's becoming a dizzying array of products, for what appears to be the purpose of turning PCs into appliances by software choices, despite flexibility in hardware.

Reply Score: 1

Home Server? External back-up drive!
by h3rman on Tue 9th Jan 2007 09:43 UTC
h3rman
Member since:
2006-08-09

First, most people had no PC.
Then, they had one PC.
Then, their kids had PCs too.
A house full of PCs.
Here comes BG with a 'great' idea: connect all these PCs on a home server.

Now, why would anyone want/need a server, consuming energy, probably making noise too, connected to the TV in order to watch downloaded movies (which is most of the substance in BG's idea), if for a tiny fraction of the cost of all that, you can burn it to a CD or DVD to watch it on the DVD-player that you, usually, already have?

If it's the back-up thing, isn't it...

a) way cheaper,
b) less space-consuming,
c) less energy-consuming,
d) easier to carry around,
e) easier to hide/put in a (fireproof?) vault when you're out of town,
f) perhaps even more reliable,

..to just use an external back-up hard disk drive?
Isn't there a nice program for Windows to periodically, automatically, back-up all photo's, home video's, etc. on such a drive?

Reply Score: 3

Anyone who uses a Windows "server" ...
by deb2006 on Tue 9th Jan 2007 10:29 UTC
deb2006
Member since:
2006-06-26

... must be insame or has to have too much dough. If I need a server in my home I use a Linux or a Solaris box.

No Windows, no Mac.

Reply Score: 1

Bit_Rapist Member since:
2005-11-13

... must be insame or has to have too much dough. If I need a server in my home I use a Linux or a Solaris box.

No Windows, no Mac.


Thats neat but it has absolutely nothing to do with the article or what is being discussed.

Thanks for playing though.

Reply Score: 3

I agree with Flav2000 (Linksys NS unit)
by polaris20 on Tue 9th Jan 2007 11:07 UTC
polaris20
Member since:
2005-07-06

It's $80, and 2 320GB USB drives, will run you $200 total. That's $280 for 640GB of storage.

And having set up a couple of those and the more expensive Linksys NAS device (EFG250) I doubt they're that much more difficult if at all to set up than WHS would be. It's all web-based, "click here" check boxes.

Reply Score: 1

Less than $500?
by DevL on Tue 9th Jan 2007 11:22 UTC
DevL
Member since:
2005-07-06

No problem, as long as you don't use Windows. A versatile home server can easily be built using a Mini-ITX system and Linux/BSD.

Honestly though, an entry-level Mac Mini works like a charm as a home server. Small, silent and easily expandable by adding an Iomega MiniMax or a LaCie Mini.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Less than $500?
by Bit_Rapist on Tue 9th Jan 2007 15:28 UTC in reply to "Less than $500?"
Bit_Rapist Member since:
2005-11-13

Honestly though, an entry-level Mac Mini works like a charm as a home server. Small, silent and easily expandable by adding an Iomega MiniMax or a LaCie Mini.

Sounds like a pretty pricey server with limited storage space out of the box.

For the same money you could get a NAS (granted with more limited functionality) solution from someone else with prob 500 or more gigabytes.

Reply Score: 2

Roaming Profiles
by REM2000 on Tue 9th Jan 2007 12:01 UTC
REM2000
Member since:
2006-07-25

One feature i would have liked to have seen in the home server is roaming profiles. The ability for users on the network to hot seat between all of their computer's whilst keeping their settings and files.

Reply Score: 1

You need this - the man says
by gonzalo on Tue 9th Jan 2007 12:22 UTC
gonzalo
Member since:
2005-07-06

But I wonder... Do I?

Say I have 5+ computer's at home. Most probably I'm somewhat geeky and have my own solution for a home server... and it probably isn't Windows based.

Or it may be I've got 2-3 computers under my roof. Maybe it's mine, my partner's and the kids'. Maybe it's mine and my brother's. Or I'm sharing an appartment with a couple other students and we have each our own. Most of the time, we won't want a home server. I do not, ever, trust what my roommates may have in their machines. Much less what the kids do. I gave them their own computer so that they wouldn't touch my stuff.
Sure, we all share our internet connection, but that's it.

Perhaps there's only one box at home, you know "the computer", which is still pretty common. I'm certainly not going to buy a home server.


No, I'm not saying no-one would want this. There's, as has been said, the guy who wants to set up a multimedia hub (but would probably be better off with other solutions which do exist already and are cheaper), or that couple who work at home together each with their own machine (though they probably use Macs but that's another story). Yes, there may be a market for something like this.... but yes, it is quite limited.

Reply Score: 1

Of course Gates wants a server in every home
by ido50 on Tue 9th Jan 2007 12:26 UTC
ido50
Member since:
2006-02-06

How else can he eliminate the Mac/Linux enemy and take complete control of our lives, if not by creating an unnecessary dependency between the PC and the server?

As days pass by, I believe more and more strongly that MS does intend to eliminate software as a product and create a client-server method of computing, where no software is actually installed on a user's PC, and programs are executed through net servers which only MS and their "licensed software distributers" provide software for. That's not some crazy idea I have, that's what they said in a MS Israel lecture over here about a year back.

"Mikrosopht. Because we control you!"

Reply Score: 1

So Gates Wants a Server in Every Home?
by hal2k1 on Tue 9th Jan 2007 12:42 UTC
hal2k1
Member since:
2005-11-11

//a consumer device to serve as a central storage place for digital photos, music and other media. ... The goal is to get devices that can cost less than USD 500.//

Here you go Bill.

http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/peripherals/linksys-dual-bay-nas-drive-h...

$179. No DRM. Perfect.

The very best bit ... no Windows either.

Reply Score: 2

archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

$179. No DRM. Perfect.

To be fair, the device doesn't do everything that WHS does out-of-the-box, however it shows that Linksys and others do have a leg up on MS as far as this market is concerned.

You do bring up a good point, though. No DRM. Seeing as how Vista is crippled with DRM, it's a reasonably question to ask: will WHS also support MS' submissive stance towards Hollywood and the RIAA?

Reply Score: 2

already done that
by misterdirk on Tue 9th Jan 2007 12:56 UTC
misterdirk
Member since:
2007-01-09

A few weeks back I bought a dual P111 tower server on ebay Australia for the equavalent of USD90 plus another USD10 for a 5.1 soundcard and a cheap Nvidia AGP video card.

I simply inserted The Ubuntu dapper disk and restarted. All my hardware was automatically detected. The only likely issue is buying a supported wireless card. The RAID array appears as a single disk "sda1" and you simply follow a normal installation with a separate "home" folder . It is a simple matter of going to www.ubuntuguide.org and following the multimedia installation howtos. Mint Linux, a multimedia-enabled Ubuntu fork, is also available as a download.

Linux also supports mirrored software RAID if you have a couple of ATA disks.

Proper servers are far better than regular desktops for media servers because the components (ECC ram, fans, power supplies, motherboards, SCSI disks) used are designed for continuous use and are far better quality than in mainstream desktops. No cheap ATA/SATA disk will survive long with continuous use. A passively cooled $2 Geforce 2 is quite adequate as video card.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: ?
by twenex on Tue 9th Jan 2007 13:45 UTC
twenex
Member since:
2006-04-21

And if he can deliver the features I want, he may get some of my money. ;)

Yes, if he could deliver some of the features I wanted at a decent price with decent functionality that you can't get cheaper and with more assurance of it actually [/i]working[/i] once in a while, he might get some of mine, too.

I realise we're in hell-freezes-over territory here.

Reply Score: 3

300 million people x 500 USD
by aGNUstic on Tue 9th Jan 2007 14:03 UTC
aGNUstic
Member since:
2005-07-28

More or less.

Do the business math.

Yurtle, read Willy G., sits on the top of his turtle stack. His next target ... a MickeySoft logo on the moon.

I find it so humorous that when Apple as-well-as other business and Linux does something interesting MickeySoft `innovates`.

Reply Score: 4

World Domination
by jgotsch on Tue 9th Jan 2007 19:32 UTC
jgotsch
Member since:
2006-06-01

Blah! Why MS? There are already plenty of NAS solutions out there that are much cheaper. Just because Bill Gates has a smart home doesn't mean anybody else wants (or cares) for one.

MS will eventually try to squeeze out Tivo...cable television companies....telephone companies...

Just like they did w/ the XBox in the video game industry. World domination is the MS goal.

Reply Score: 1

rcsteiner
Member since:
2005-07-12

I have a 250GB Buffalo Linkstation Pro running at home with a 250GB USB disk as its dedicated backup.

Works just fine for streaming music, for backing up the Windows, OS/2, and Linux boxes on my LAN, and for storing general files, running central applications, etc.

It's smaller than a PC, runs Linux and Samba, and works like a toaster. No worries, no fuss.

http://www.buffalo-technology.com/products/product-detail.php?produ...
http://www.trustedreviews.com/networking/review/2006/08/20/Buffalo-...
http://www.pcw.co.uk/personal-computer-world/hardware/2163167/buffa...
http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/reviews/index.cfm?reviewid=485

Edited 2007-01-09 22:50

Reply Score: 2