Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 15th Jun 2007 12:11 UTC
Windows Earlier this year, Microsoft announced its upcoming Windows Home Server product; a sort of beefed up NAS based on Windows Server 2003 SP2. A few days ago, Microsoft released the first release candidate for Windows Home Server, and since I was admitted into the beta program, I downloaded this release and transformed my trusty desktop x86 into a Home Server.
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Is that it ?
by coachz on Fri 15th Jun 2007 12:31 UTC
coachz
Member since:
2006-12-12

Can it run a web server and stream audio and video so I can have my own youtube internet radio station with podcasts or is this 1997 technology?

Let's move the business into the home where it belongs and stop paying ISPs crazy fees and dealing with their rules.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Is that it ?
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 15th Jun 2007 12:32 UTC in reply to "Is that it ?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Can it run a web server and stream audio and video so I can have my own youtube internet radio station with podcasts

Sure it can. Like I said, it's the full Server 2003 underneath.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Is that it ?
by John Nilsson on Fri 15th Jun 2007 17:26 UTC in reply to "RE: Is that it ?"
John Nilsson Member since:
2005-07-06

Which doesn't say much though. The requirements for a _home_ server is completely different than what Server 2003 is designed for.

We are not talking MCSA here. The usability requirements to keep this secure and operational with only your typical home user as administrator is interesting to say the least.

Edited 2007-06-15 17:32

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Is that it ?
by flanque on Sat 16th Jun 2007 11:46 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Is that it ?"
flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

That's why it has a simplified interface. They're building on top of a very good operating system, not trying to design it for an MCSA.

Maybe you should try it, then you'll be more informed.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Is that it ?
by John Nilsson on Sat 16th Jun 2007 14:22 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Is that it ?"
John Nilsson Member since:
2005-07-06

So they have a usable HTTP-server? I was under the impression that this was mainly focused on file-server and backup for the time being.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Is that it ?
by netpython on Fri 15th Jun 2007 12:56 UTC in reply to "Is that it ?"
netpython Member since:
2005-07-06

I think for any soho scenario a nas device with streaming capabilities is more costworthy.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Is that it ?
by Rayz on Fri 15th Jun 2007 13:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Is that it ?"
Rayz Member since:
2006-06-24

But it may not be as easy to set up, if you want it to automatically back up every machine in the house.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Is that it ?
by segedunum on Fri 15th Jun 2007 14:27 UTC in reply to "Is that it ?"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Can it run a web server and stream audio and video so I can have my own youtube internet radio station with podcasts or is this 1997 technology?

I fear you're going to be out of luck there. Microsoft does not want this competing against other version of Windows Server and other Microsoft products, just as they don't with SBS.

If streaming does go in in some form in the future, expect it to be annoyingly restricted.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Is that it ?
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 15th Jun 2007 14:30 UTC in reply to "RE: Is that it ?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

If streaming does go in in some form in the future, expect it to be annoyingly restricted.

You didn't read the article, did you, Segendendum? It says *right there* that you can stream audio, video, and graphical content.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Is that it ?
by cyclops on Fri 15th Jun 2007 14:34 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Is that it ?"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

I mean that I run into comparisons *made by others*.

so you can compare it then. I'm confused why even mention it.

Although I am shocked it cannot do something as simple as record Video.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Is that it ?
by cyclops on Fri 15th Jun 2007 14:37 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Is that it ?"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

"I mean that I run into comparisons *made by others*."

So you can compare it then. I'm confused why you even mention it.

Although I am shocked it cannot do something as simple as record Video, to play on another machine.

Seriously though I'm not even sure what use this may have. Your article just says its a very expensive fire server from a hardware; software perspective offering no *server* software to do anything...why not buy a NAS device for cheaper. It must do something.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Is that it ?
by Flatland_Spider on Sat 16th Jun 2007 05:41 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Is that it ?"
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

Paul Thurrott has a much more in depth preview of WHS on his site.

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

It's more then just a NAS. It's more of a portal to a home network. It doesn't record videos because a media center pc is supposed to do that then back it up to the WHS where it will get served.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Is that it ?
by segedunum on Fri 15th Jun 2007 15:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Is that it ?"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

You didn't read the article, did you, Segendendum? It says *right there* that you can stream audio, video, and graphical content.

I don't think you understand what streaming is, or what people mean by it. It isn't downloading files over a file sharing network, nor is it accessing something over a remote file share and CIFS, nor is it accessing something through a web interface either. That's so several years ago and so not interesting it isn't even funny. You don't need a Windows Server, or even a Linux one, to be able to do that. How long do you think I, and even people running peer-to-peer networks, have been doing that?

Hell, it's not even using things like Active Directory properly to make life easier for you, and giving you single sign-on on to your PC or any other device you own. Making sure that your PC and server passwords are the same so you have to do all the synchronising? Give me a break. I'll give you one guess why.

People want to stream audio and video in a meaningful way, and it's still quite a way from the functionality of something MythTV. Arguably, Microsoft's DRM commitments will stop them from really doing what people want. People want to rip their CDs and DVDs automatically to their server, bring up a meaningful menu on a client and watch any film they want without having to go and find the disc. They want it recording TV shows twenty to the dozen on that oh so brilliant storage so people can watch them whenever they want, and continue to watch them whenever they want (what was all that about linear storage again?)

Unless it does that then it's nothing more than a doorstop to just about everyone except people who think that spending money on a server that can't do proper RAID (pretty essential on a server that will never see a sys admin in the home), can't do automatic TV recording behind the scenes, doesn't have a means for ripping DVDs and their information for easy access is hip, cool and the latest thing.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Is that it ?
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 15th Jun 2007 15:20 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Is that it ?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Streaming simply means delivering media content as a stream of continuous packets to clients, so they can play it as if the entire content was right on their hard drive. This is *exactly* what Home Server does.

So yes, it streams. As was said in the article.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Is that it ?
by segedunum on Sat 16th Jun 2007 14:00 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Is that it ?"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Streaming simply means delivering media content as a stream of continuous packets to clients, so they can play it as if the entire content was right on their hard drive. This is *exactly* what Home Server does.

Running stuff off a remote file share just doesn't cut it as streaming media. Streaming media implies that you're sending meaningful data to a client that can make sense of it. As something called a Home Server, which Microsoft has touted as some sort of media hub for ordinary people, I just don't find that interesting or innovative at all.

It seems as though Microsoft can sell sand to the Saudi Arabians here.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Is that it ?
by tomcat on Sat 16th Jun 2007 20:49 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Is that it ?"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Running stuff off a remote file share just doesn't cut it as streaming media.

This isn't just file/print services. WHS provides full media streaming capabilities. Do yourself (and us) a favor and RTFA before you shoot your mouth off and leave no doubt about your ignorance wrt this subject.

Streaming media implies that you're sending meaningful data to a client that can make sense of it.

Yeah, and this is meaningful data. Streaming WMV, WMA, and other media formats, etc.

As something called a Home Server, which Microsoft has touted as some sort of media hub for ordinary people, I just don't find that interesting or innovative at all.

Who cares about whether YOU think it's interesting or innovative. You're not the target market for this product. It's designed for the unsophisticated home user who simply wants to plug in a device and perform minimal configuration in order to get it up and running. This kind of user doesn't want to set up a NAS appliance or configure Linux as a home server. How many people will buy it? I have no idea. The difficult part about targeting the unsophisticated user is that they may not even realize what they need/want, so how do you reach them? Whether or not it's a success will depend entirely upon the quality of MS marketing, not its viability as a product, IMHO. It's viable.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Is that it ?
by PlatformAgnostic on Fri 15th Jun 2007 16:02 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Is that it ?"
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

Oh my lord... you clearly haven't tried any of this stuff, but you're so certain that it doesn't work at all. You are so stridently ignorant!

WHS is meant to be used with Media Center and the XBox360 as well as through the Windows Media Player library. I have only used a bit of Media Center, but I know that Microsoft has all of these streaming video technologies and it is clear that WHS has features to work with them.

What makes you think that ripping DVDs to WMvs on the server is that hard? If you don't want to wait for Microsoft to negotiate with the content producers to do it, just use the same tools you were going to use for ripping the DVD on Linux or Windows.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Is that it ?
by cyclops on Fri 15th Jun 2007 16:25 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Is that it ?"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

Because the only think mentioned is its a file server, the only feature mentioned is some LVM technology which is hardly impressive. Its a *one* page article.

I'll except I'm ignorant, does it come with *anything* that might be of advantage to a home user over a hard drive enclosure, or even a pen drive.

The answer given is nothing!

can you record programs on WHS and stream programs live through to your main computer. I suspect the answer is no, because when its mentioned its completely ignored, and yet this seems an obvious thing for a home server to do, mine does it.

Perhaps you should spend more time learning to use these Windows products, than insulting others so you could actually comment.

Edited 2007-06-15 16:28

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Is that it ?
by Flatland_Spider on Sat 16th Jun 2007 06:01 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Is that it ?"
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

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

A more full preview of what WHS is.

Reply Score: 1

v RE[5]: Is that it ?
by cyclops on Fri 15th Jun 2007 18:25 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Is that it ?"
RE[5]: Is that it ?
by segedunum on Sat 16th Jun 2007 14:10 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Is that it ?"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Oh my lord... you clearly haven't tried any of this stuff, but you're so certain that it doesn't work at all. You are so stridently ignorant!

Might I suggest you wander into the home of an ordinary group of people and ask yourself what's going to work, in light of this thing being called Home Server?

WHS is meant to be used with Media Center and the XBox360 as well as through the Windows Media Player library.

Wow. That's really making me get out of bed. Sadly, it's a long way from the sorts of things that something like MythTV can do in terms of indexing all your content as well as being a central point recording, indexing and playing back television independent of location and with central storage.

I have only used a bit of Media Center, but I know that Microsoft has all of these streaming video technologies and it is clear that WHS has features to work with them.

The Windows Media Services you apparently have to set up yourself. Not very good on a Home Server.

What makes you think that ripping DVDs to WMvs on the server is that hard?

Because there's no explicit mechanism to do it, and that's what people want to make a device like this useful?

If you don't want to wait for Microsoft to negotiate with the content producers to do it, just use the same tools you were going to use for ripping the DVD on Linux or Windows.

For something called a Home Server, it's not really good enough - is it? I mean, why do people need it if ordinary Joe user needs to rifle through half a dozen applications anyway?

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Is that it ?
by n4cer on Sat 16th Jun 2007 00:20 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Is that it ?"
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

In addition to PlatformAgnostic's comments, WHS also includes Windows Media Services. So, yes, you can stream media over the internet just like any other Windows server.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Is that it ?
by segedunum on Sat 16th Jun 2007 14:16 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Is that it ?"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

In addition to PlatformAgnostic's comments, WHS also includes Windows Media Services. So, yes, you can stream media over the internet just like any other Windows server.

Which you need to set up yourself. Not particularly great for a Home Server which requires little set up and no maintenance from people who don't employ sys admins.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Is that it ?
by Flatland_Spider on Sat 16th Jun 2007 05:59 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Is that it ?"
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

The technology is Windows Streaming Services, and it is included with Windows Server 2003. It just needs to be installed. The only lock in is that is used Windows Media encoding, so the end user needs a player that is capable of playing windows media streams.

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/forpros/server/server...

As for Active Directory, he says that the full functionality of Windows 2003 server is there, so if a user so chooses a domain can be setup. An AD domain is not needed. I've had the ability to setup an AD domain on my own LAN for years, but I don't do it. There isn't any advantage over just running a standard work group. Plus the overhead on AD is pretty heavy, as AD really requires three servers to run effectively.

What you really want is a media center pc rather then a Home server. WHS is designed as a compliment to the MC pc.

As for RAID, buy a full SAS hardware controller and do it right. A full version of Win2003 is under the hood.

Reply Score: 0

Just for Fun
by cyclops on Fri 15th Jun 2007 13:06 UTC
cyclops
Member since:
2006-03-12

"Windows Home Server requires, at least, a 1Ghz processor and 512MB of RAM. However, my machine only has 448MB of RAM, and it still works fine and fast"

That really removed that myth; Thats rather a lot of power for a home server.

Although I'm even more bemused by this.

"An inevitable comparison I have ran into every now and then is that between WHS and Apple's Time Machine. This comparison reminded me a lot of that between Front Row and Media Center; namely, completely unfair and pointless. Front Row is just a flashy front end to QuickTime, iTunes, DVD Player, and so on, where Media Center is a complete solution, which adds a lot of functionality to Windows. I feel the same about comparing WHS to Time Machine: WHS allows for a whole lot more than Time Machine, and inevitably, it seems more complex than Time Machine."

What does it mean? From your description Time Machine seems a better solution. So I will do a comparison can you run Windows Media Center on the server and access it remotely from a front-end on my main PC like I can with MythTV. So I can record my programs on my server, and access them from my machine.

Edited 2007-06-15 13:18

Reply Score: 2

RE: Just for Fun
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 15th Jun 2007 13:18 UTC in reply to "Just for Fun"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

That really removed that myth"

What myth?

From your description Time Machine seems a better solution.

What? I am not saying which one is better; I'm just pointing out that you cannot compare the two. That's all.

Say I can record my programs on my server, and access them from my machine.

You could set MCE to save your TV recordings on the server shares, yes, and yes, you can stream them afterwards, too.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Just for Fun
by cyclops on Fri 15th Jun 2007 13:28 UTC in reply to "RE: Just for Fun"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

Windows Home Server requires serious hardware

You did compare the two, one was a complete(sic) solution tied to the OS the other offered a more modular approach. From your comparison Time machine is the better design.

You misunderstand can your run Windows Media Center on your Headless; keyboardless; mouseless Home Server and access it remotely on your main machine. Like you would MythTV on Linux. It seems an obvious thing for a *home* server, or make use of Windows Media Center Extenders.

Edited 2007-06-15 13:32

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Just for Fun
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 15th Jun 2007 13:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Just for Fun"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

You did compare the two,

What? I did *not* compare them. That's the whole point. I said they were two different products, filling different needs.

one was a complete(sic) solution tied to the OS the other offered a more modular approach. From your comparison Time machine is the better design.

Time Machine != Home Server. Time Machine can be compared to VSC, and even then, Time Machine is the crude, simplistic design. Home Server is in a completely different league, as it is a *server operating system*.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Just for Fun
by sukru on Fri 15th Jun 2007 14:02 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Just for Fun"
sukru Member since:
2006-11-19

"What? I did *not* compare them. That's the whole point. I said they were two different products, filling different needs."

You do not need to repeat it, cause I don't think it will make any more impact.

There are always people who think "If there is a similar product by Apple, it must be much better than Microsoft's in comparison", or "Of course Java doesn't do that. The fact .Net has it must be a serious design error", etc. (OK to be complete, there are Microsoft fanboys like me too).

I believe those kind of "prejudices" are hard to suppress, so don't feel a need to repeat your case several times (it degrades the value).

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Just for Fun
by jcardoso on Fri 15th Jun 2007 14:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Just for Fun"
jcardoso Member since:
2007-06-15

I am not saying which one is better; I'm just pointing out that you cannot compare the two. That's all.


Then why did you start the following paragraph as follows?

An inevitable comparison I have ran into every now and then is that between WHS and Apple's Time Machine.


That implies a comparison of two totally disparate products and is there to just antagonise Mac users.

One is a server product, the other is an OS feature. I can't for the life of me figure out why you even brought Time Machine into your review.

Edited 2007-06-15 14:10

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Just for Fun
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 15th Jun 2007 14:23 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Just for Fun"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

That implies a comparison of two totally disparate products and is there to just antagonise Mac users.

I do not mean *I* make the comparison; I mean that I run into comparisons *made by others*.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Just for Fun
by jcardoso on Fri 15th Jun 2007 14:47 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Just for Fun"
jcardoso Member since:
2007-06-15

I do not mean *I* make the comparison; I mean that I run into comparisons *made by others*


Pointless all the same.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Just for Fun
by BluenoseJake on Fri 15th Jun 2007 15:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Just for Fun"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

He was saying that people compare the two products, that's it, not that Thom's was a comparison, but that they are compared.

Reply Score: 2

RAID
by sb56637 on Fri 15th Jun 2007 13:31 UTC
sb56637
Member since:
2006-05-11

Doesn't the combined hard drive pool create a higher probability for data loss? If only one hard drive fails, the entire file system is destroyed, correct?

Reply Score: 3

RE: RAID
by segedunum on Fri 15th Jun 2007 14:36 UTC in reply to "RAID"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Doesn't the combined hard drive pool create a higher probability for data loss? If only one hard drive fails, the entire file system is destroyed, correct?

Bingo.

This basically means you really do need to back the thing up, or you shouldn't really rely on the thing. It's quite a poor set up really. I'd rather Microsoft just got themselves a proper software RAID implementation.

Reply Score: 4

v RE[2]: RAID
by PlatformAgnostic on Fri 15th Jun 2007 15:03 UTC in reply to "RE: RAID"
RE[3]: RAID
by segedunum on Fri 15th Jun 2007 15:26 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: RAID"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Segedunum, I've seen you post many things here at OSNews, in various Mono forums, and in a couple of other places. You often seem to have a smug, self-assured tone when spouting complete BS that you manufacture from speculating off of the worst possible interpretation of limited data.

Can you tell me what this has got to do with having linear storage versus something like a proper well known RAID storage solution in Windows Home Server for the purpose for which it is intended?

If you don't like what I have to say about various things then that's entirely your problem. If you think they're wrong then you're more than entitled to say why, and that's how discussion happens. Otherwise I have no time for people who seem to get very upset about what's being pointed out over some emotional attachment and can't respond any better.

I realize that this is personal, but your arrogance about the "right" solution.....

If you can justify the solution that Windows Home Server has taken, given that it is intended to store gigabytes or terabytes of peoples' media (if they can get any media on there) and photos that ordinary people expect to just be there, and if you have anything useful to say, by all means say it.

I'll go back to the original point. With Windows using linear storage, if you have a hard drive failure, you will lose it. If you use RAID0 or string physical LVM volumes together, the outcome is the same. No new miraculous technology from Microsoft Research is going to make reality any different.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: RAID
by PlatformAgnostic on Fri 15th Jun 2007 15:43 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: RAID"
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

If you have a hard drive failure, you should only lose the data on that drive. You don't lose the whole filesystem. If you lost the whole FS every time one drive gets corrupted, what would be the point of the "duplicate this data" feature?

I realize that I'm being emotional, and personal, but people like you really tick me off because they repeat false information and negative interpretations when they are not justified by any facts. You're obviously not a moron, so I think your tone could be improved if you ask Socratic questions rather than making incorrect statements. That way, if you're wrong, you can gracefully accept new facts rather than looking like a recalcitrant ass.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: RAID
by cyclops on Fri 15th Jun 2007 19:27 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: RAID"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

@PlatformAgnostic "I realize that I'm being emotional, and personal, but people like you really tick me off because they repeat false information and negative interpretations when they are not justified by any facts. You're obviously not a moron, so I think your tone could be improved if you ask Socratic questions rather than making incorrect statements. That way, if you're wrong, you can gracefully accept new facts rather than looking like a recalcitrant ass."

Come on we love your insults. I listening tell me about this low level technology(sic). You batter with no content the opposition yet don't even know what a server in the home *is*, or why one would be used?

I'm seeing this basic functionality thats been around since 1998 on Linux...and thats it, and every Linux Distribution can *act* as a server. What does Windows Home Server offer out of the box. I'm sure it must act more than file server.

It doesn't seem to include the functionality of apache, thin client; MythTV; FTP; email.

I actually noticed you cut and pasted from the wikipedia entry. Why do you show such ignorance.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: RAID
by CrazyDude0 on Sat 16th Jun 2007 05:58 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: RAID"
CrazyDude0 Member since:
2005-07-10

I'm seeing this basic functionality thats been around since 1998 on Linux...and thats it, and every Linux Distribution can *act* as a server.

Cyclops - you have been a long time linux shill and this just proves it.

Windows Home Server is a solution for home users who want an integrated data backup solution. I have 5 computers in my home and synching through rsync etc is a pain. I want to really try Home Server if i can put 2 500 GB drives in it and it automatically synch all my required folders and duplicate them.

I think it is worth the price for me. If you want to hack Linux scripts to do it, go do that. But tell me one single integrated solution at this cost and then we will talk.

Otherwise don't always come off as negative against products from Microsoft. Learn to keep hate away because it clouds a person's judgement.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: RAID
by netpython on Sat 16th Jun 2007 06:47 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: RAID"
netpython Member since:
2005-07-06

I think it is worth the price for me. If you want to hack Linux scripts to do it, go do that. But tell me one single integrated solution at this cost and then we will talk.

Have a look at http://www.bacula.org/

Even windows clients are supported.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: RAID
by cyclops on Sat 16th Jun 2007 08:12 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: RAID"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

"I'm seeing this basic functionality thats been around since 1998 on Linux...and thats it, and every Linux Distribution can *act* as a server.

Cyclops - you have been a long time linux shill and this just proves it."

source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logical_Volume_Manager_%28Linux~*~...

quote:
LVM is an implementation of a logical volume manager for the Linux kernel. It was originally written in 1998 by Heinz Mauelshagen

If you want to do a Linux vs Windows smackdown I'm more than willing to do so, but don't link it to my thread as though its relevant.

I have described in detail exactly what I need from a home server, a project I'm involved with right now, and WHS simply does not have the basic functionality for me to do so. If it has it would have been an potentially better choice, but it falls short.

My comments have all been trying to get to the bottom of what this product does on a fairly sparse article.

Again just to make it clear. WHS might make a fantastic file server/gateway/Media streamer...but it has no features that are compelling for me in any way, and the *one* selling feature mentioned in this article offers minor technology I have had for years.

Edited 2007-06-16 08:31

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: RAID
by bigpook on Sat 16th Jun 2007 11:29 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: RAID"
bigpook Member since:
2006-09-24

Just passing through and thought I would ask. I use rsync to backup my home directories from multiple machines to a centralized server running raid 1. I use cron to schedule it and it works flawlessly for me.

Not sure about eveything else though and yes I am biased towards linux. I would rather use my free time to get a linux server going then pay money for a proprietary solution. But thats me, if WHS works for you then more power to you.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: RAID
by segedunum on Sat 16th Jun 2007 14:59 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: RAID"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Windows Home Server is a solution for home users who want an integrated data backup solution.

Yep, and it stores your critical date, media, photos (and possibly your life) in a backup system and in a storage system that will go wrong at some point. Once it does go wrong, it's doubtful that the average Home user will trust it again.

I'm just wondering if Microsoft is trying to create a market for an proper add-on backup solution, like they always do. It isn't going to work here.

I think it is worth the price for me. If you want to hack Linux scripts to do it, go do that.

You don't even need to do that. You just set up another Windows machine you have to do file sharing, and/or then you buy a cheap piece of PC backup software that you can get nowadays to back up to an external hard drive of some kind. It would be far, far cheaper and far more likely to actually work reliably.

Otherwise don't always come off as negative against products from Microsoft.

The trouble is, no one can work out what WHS actually does:

- File sharing on CIFS shares. Yep, people can do that.

- Data backup. Yep, people can buy some reasonable software for their PCs to do that now, and they don't have to faff about with a network in the home to do it.

- Running media off CIFS shares. Errrr, yep, people can do that and don't need to buy WHS to do it.

I'm at a loss with this thing. Some people seem to think that it's the greatest thing since sliced bread, but for the slightly technically minded people they are already doing even more than what WHS offers, and more reliably probably, and for the non-technically minded it's just too much effort for the thing not doing very much.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: RAID
by segedunum on Sat 16th Jun 2007 14:22 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: RAID"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

If you have a hard drive failure, you should only lose the data on that drive. You don't lose the whole filesystem.

That's extremely reassuring ;-).

If you lost the whole FS every time one drive gets corrupted, what would be the point of the "duplicate this data" feature?

I realise that the way Microsoft has done this is through some selected mirroring, but really, that's only going to happen on designated default folders or folders users nominate for mirroring themselves. That's a manual process that users in the home just aren't going to have time for.

Storage for this sort of thing needs to be pretty damn reliable if Microsoft expects people who are just out to buy a TV to buy a Home Server in addition.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: RAID
by n4cer on Sat 16th Jun 2007 18:34 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: RAID"
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

I realise that the way Microsoft has done this is through some selected mirroring, but really, that's only going to happen on designated default folders or folders users nominate for mirroring themselves. That's a manual process that users in the home just aren't going to have time for.


All shares created via the WHS Console are duplicated by default. The user has to explicitly disable duplication to risk data loss.

Edited 2007-06-16 18:42

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: RAID
by Hiev on Fri 15th Jun 2007 15:58 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: RAID"
Hiev Member since:
2005-09-27

What did you spect?

I mean, the guy ain't nothing but a VB6 programmer and maybe a wanna be System Admin.

http://ponsaelius.blogspot.com/2007/05/right-click-popup-menus-on-l...

Edited 2007-06-15 16:08

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: RAID
by PlatformAgnostic on Fri 15th Jun 2007 19:56 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: RAID"
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

I have nothing against VB6 programmers. Many currently influential programmers got their start doing something in BASIC. It is, after all, a programming language with all the logic that entails.

Trying to puzzle out the inner workings of the runtime is surely an interesting and educational exercise as well--one which the advanced VB programmers end up doing when they want to add their own objects to the runtime or to optimize pieces of their code. Alex Ionescu, for instance, got his start by digging into the guts of VB (moving rapidly to reverse engineering kernels).

I do have a distaste for wannabe SysAdmins, though. You are not elite just because you can set up a couple of scripts and edit some config files. I consider most knowledge gained in doing this to be trivia since it can't be transferred to radically different systems.

Reply Score: 0

RE[5]: RAID
by cyclops on Fri 15th Jun 2007 20:00 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: RAID"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

"I do have a distaste for wannabe SysAdmins, though. You are not elite just because you can set up a couple of scripts and edit some config files."

I find it ironic that you make such statements in a thread about a product geared towards those very people.

BTW you looked up what a server is yet?

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: RAID
by Hiev on Fri 15th Jun 2007 21:03 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: RAID"
Hiev Member since:
2005-09-27

I don't care who have used VB6 or don't, is not the point, you see, if you read the link the first you will see is a line like this one:

"I ended up going back to doing some Visual Basic (classic that is, not the abomination of VB.Net)"


Who ever think VB classic is better in comparition to VB.net or who ever think VB6 is better than, well "something", ain't really in a possition about argu over a delicate subject like RAIDS, Virtual File systems or anything beyond, Is my opinion and I really couldn't care less if the guy (or you) wants to live his own lie.

Edited 2007-06-15 21:08

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: RAID
by Wrawrat on Fri 15th Jun 2007 21:51 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: RAID"
Wrawrat Member since:
2005-06-30

Whoever mixing programming and technical competences isn't really in position to talk at all. Two completely different worlds.

As for Drive Extender, it looks pretty much like dynamic volumes with drive autoconfiguration... However, the replication feature is interesting. It looks like the OS is capable enough to copy protected data over different drives, even though they are sharing the same pool. Not bad.

That said, I believe concerns about the single pool configuration are legitimate. If all drives are sharing a single dynamic volume on a single filesystem, corruption could trash the whole system, unless the filesystem structure is backed on that system partition. Any words on that?

As for the "death of drive letters"... About freaking time. Welcome in 1970, heh.

Although I prefer the flexibility of setting up my own server (lots of fun with Linux, Xen and services), WHS is getting an interesting solution for the average Joe that just want to manage his home network. I just wonder if they are going to spoil everything by adding DRM, protected paths and the like...

Reply Score: 2

RE: RAID
by PlatformAgnostic on Fri 15th Jun 2007 14:56 UTC in reply to "RAID"
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

No... the file system is not destroyed because WHS doesn't use anything like RAID. Unplugging a drive will make it "missing" from the perspective of the server, but only the files on it seem to be inaccessible. I don't have one of these with me (and I don't really have the hardware to run it on), but perhaps Thom can tell us if the drives are in fact just NTFS drives with some metadata related to the server.

That's what the whole "duplicate items" feature is about (see thom's review). That feature would be pointless if the whole FS were unusable with the loss of one drive.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: RAID
by Luminair on Fri 15th Jun 2007 16:19 UTC in reply to "RE: RAID"
Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

This is correct. WHS isn't rocket science, it just stores files on a hard drive. If you set it to duplicate the files, it stores the files on two hard drives. If you kill a drive, naturally the contents are gone. The end.

Reply Score: 3

Great Review
by TaterSalad on Fri 15th Jun 2007 14:08 UTC
TaterSalad
Member since:
2005-07-06

WHS looks pretty nice. I must have been mislead by previous stories on this as I thought Microsoft was going to sell the WHS as an all-in-one package with the OS and hardware. But if they sell it as just the OS thats good for the rest of us with spare boxes laying around.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Great Review
by Flatland_Spider on Sat 16th Jun 2007 06:13 UTC in reply to "Great Review"
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

They're going to do both. It will be available as software, and it will be available as a sealed box item from HP an such.

Reply Score: 1

Sounds nice, but...
by anomie on Fri 15th Jun 2007 14:38 UTC
anomie
Member since:
2007-02-26

Well, thanks for the review. It sounds pretty cool, but (in my mind at least) there is FOSS available that does it cheaper and better.

I'm glad you quoted 'old' in the 'old' computer bit, because of course the term is relative. I can install a functionality equivalent FOSS OS / NAS+ on a significantly less powerful box than what you tested with.

To each his own. If the pricing is right, I'm sure Windows enthusiasts will put the WHS to good use.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Sounds nice, but...
by Doc Pain on Fri 15th Jun 2007 21:15 UTC in reply to "Sounds nice, but..."
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"To each his own. If the pricing is right, I'm sure Windows enthusiasts will put the WHS to good use."

Additionally, I fear MICROS~1 targetted criminals will take advantage of WHS's functions, too, which will add bad use to the good use you mentioned... just a lection from the past that's going to be repeated.

Reply Score: 2

Work with Macs?
by C_Forq on Fri 15th Jun 2007 14:41 UTC
C_Forq
Member since:
2007-06-15

I think this would be handy, but can't find anything about it working from OS-X. Does this work well to backup and transfer files to and from Apple machines?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Work with Macs?
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 15th Jun 2007 14:44 UTC in reply to "Work with Macs?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I think this would be handy, but can't find anything about it working from OS-X. Does this work well to backup and transfer files to and from Apple machines

As is said in the article, the shares on the WHS machine are simple CIFS shares, meaning any machine with SAMBA and the proper user credentials can access them. On top of that, you could manage the machine too on a Mac with the Remote Desktop Client for Mac->Windows.

There is, however, not a Mac-native version of the Connector software (yet?).

Reply Score: 1

May you clarify the data redundancy?
by post.messages on Fri 15th Jun 2007 14:43 UTC
post.messages
Member since:
2007-06-15

I downloaded WHS and plan to play with it too. But... maybe not... can you clarify the data redundancy/recovery options?

Setting shares as protected or not seems confusing. If I have a 200GB and protected all of it, then does it report as having 100GB available?

Do you know the algorithm for protecting the shares? Is it software RAID5 or 1? Let's say you have a 60GB Ghost file under a protected share. If your 160GB drive fails, I would think your protected 60GB Ghost file would be lost as all you have left is about 20GB from your 40GB hard drive.

Reply Score: 2

C_Forq Member since:
2007-06-15

From an article I read on another site the system they use for protection is straight out of Microsoft Research, and not an implementation of RAID. I haven't found anything on the details of it though.

Reply Score: 1

post.messages Member since:
2007-06-15

I think I remember reading something a ways back too. It sounded good at the time but reading this article and his two different-sized hard drives made me think if the pool was really a good solution for data protection. For ease of use I totally like the idea though.

I wonder if you want to have full RAID-type data protection under WHS that you'll have to have at least 3 hard drives of the same size. Easy for me to keep track of but not for the average user - for which this product is aimed.

Without proper hard drive configuration, this could really setup an average user for failure under false expectations.

They could have a protected 'home movies' share and their large videos from their HD camcorder disappear when their biggest of two hard drives crash.

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

They could have a protected 'home movies' share and their large videos from their HD camcorder disappear when their biggest of two hard drives crash.

I am assuming WHS will warn you of this. I'm not sure though.

Reply Score: 1

Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

It should be as easy as reading the SMART data from the drive. I'm not sure if Windows tracks this though. You'd think it would warn the user about an impending drive failure.

Reply Score: 1

StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm not sure how it is with the newest hardware, but I've found SMART to be pretty unreliable.

Reply Score: 2

PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

This is clearly not RAID, and you don't get protection for large media files unless you mark them for duplication. But if you truly have so many videos that need preservation, perhaps a different backup solution is needed, because it doesn't seem cost-effective to use 2X space to store your videos twice. The backup feature is more geared toward documents and photos, which are smaller and often more valuable.

Reply Score: 2

cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

"I wonder if you want to have full RAID-type data protection under WHS that you'll have to have at least 3 hard drives of the same size. Easy for me to keep track of but not for the average user - for which this product is aimed."

Thats not how all raid works at best your describing the most basic mirroring. Also you get none of the advantages of hardware raid, but again the article is pretty sparse.

Reply Score: 2

post.messages Member since:
2007-06-15

Reading peoples responses to mine. Maybe I am misunderstanding the purpose of WHS.

For me, I have a NAS box and (try) to put all data there. I do ghosts of my client machines and put those images on the NAS too. I back up the NAS to an external hard drive and take it off site.

I thought WHS was going to function as the home network's NAS for media and data files and backups for client computers.

I think more and more average people are going to have gigs of photos and large video files they get from their HD HDD camcorders.

In terms of my comments on RAID I was just trying to think out loud if WHS can be configured in a way to provide 100% redundancy like RAID 1+ subsystems. Which I am sure it can but will there be enough information there to assist the average Joe in making sure he has enough hard drives to cover his butt.

I guess I am just going to have to install this and see for myself ;)

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Setting shares as protected or not seems confusing. If I have a 200GB and protected all of it, then does it report as having 100GB available?

The pie chart clarifies more on this, as it shows a slice for data, and a slice for redundancy data; the redundancy data slice is exactly the same size as the total amount of data I have set to duplicate.

Do you know the algorithm for protecting the shares? Is it software RAID5 or 1? Let's say you have a 60GB Ghost file under a protected share. If your 160GB drive fails, I would think your protected 60GB Ghost file would be lost as all you have left is about 20GB from your 40GB hard drive.

It's not RAID, it's something else called Drive Extender:

http://blogs.technet.com/homeserver/archive/2007/02/15/the-death-of...

Reply Score: 1

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

It's not RAID, it's something else called Drive Extender

Oh, praise be. It's LVM logical volumes or RAID 0 with some RAID 1 - or at least their idea. The only redundancy they have on here is that designated folders seem to be replicated, so in a manner of speaking, some of it is mirrored........... Probably not a good idea considering that people add hard drives to maximise storage, which is what they'll expect, but if they want some form of redundancy then they'll have that space taken away anyway.

The travailles and tribulations of linear storage versus mirroring versus RAID are very well known. You can't have your cake all ways and try to eat it.

This sort of thing, probably in a home even more so, needs to be cast iron reliable. They should have just built themselves a solid software RAID subsystem rather than some half-baked understanding of redundancy and storage from the bowels of Microsoft Research.

Hell, they should have ported ZFS ;-).

Reply Score: 3

No RAID1?
by AndrewZ on Fri 15th Jun 2007 14:49 UTC
AndrewZ
Member since:
2005-11-15

I think any home server solution without RAID1 is asking for a trip to paintown. Joe average will start to consolidate music, photos, videos ona single disk, which will then fail and lose everything. Recipe for unhappy users.

Reply Score: 1

RE: No RAID1?
by PlatformAgnostic on Fri 15th Jun 2007 15:13 UTC in reply to "No RAID1?"
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

presumably you'd also have music and photos on your client machines as well, so you won't lose those. And you'd want to duplicate them on extra drives on the server for added safety.

Joe Average's videos could be a problem.

Reply Score: 2

RE: No RAID1?
by Luminair on Fri 15th Jun 2007 16:23 UTC in reply to "No RAID1?"
Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

WHS mirrors data you choose to have mirrored. It does not mirror data you do not choose to have mirrored.

Reply Score: 2

Not very green...
by pauld on Fri 15th Jun 2007 16:26 UTC
pauld
Member since:
2006-02-24

Still... I hope that not everyone will have servers at home (WHS or anything else), or it will likely have environmental implications. At the same time people try to replace their lightbulbs to energy-saving ones, save energy in general... they buy extra computers because MS thinks we all need an extra machine at home? :-S (They already wanted us to have a media center as well, ...)

It won't even save you money, if you do streaming and so on yourself instead of getting services from an ISP. It seems that people tend to forget the cost of power - and old computers for instance are in most cases not less consuming... (http://www.climatesaverscomputing.org/ shows that the industry just started with the more environmental friendly approach)

I must be a treehugger ;-) Anyway, the product seems interesting for small businesses. (The new share and redundancy approach.)

Edited 2007-06-15 16:37

Reply Score: 2

Reguarding RAID / Drive Extender
by sieb on Fri 15th Jun 2007 17:03 UTC
sieb
Member since:
2005-07-06

I've been beta testing this since the beginning. WHS creates a storage pool out of the total amount of storage you have available. The two drives do have their own drive letter assigned to them as part of Drive Extender's directory structure, but they are not physically partitioned separate drives (like you would see in Disk Manager). Instead, it creates a single folder, ala shared folder, and lumps all of the what looks like the files, in there. The actual files themselves though, are in a folder on one drive or the other, or both if you set the folder to replicate.

Reply Score: 3

post.messages Member since:
2007-06-15

The actual files themselves though, are in a folder on one drive or the other, or both if you set the folder to replicate.


Interesting. So what does the situation look like if I have this: protected share called backups with one 40 Gig drive and one 160 Gig drive. Does WHS report Gigs free for shares? If so, what would it report for the backups share assuming the drive pool was empty? I then try and copy over a 60gig Ghost image to the backups folder. Will it say file too big since it would not fit on the 40gig drive?

Have you noticed any functionality in WHS where one could do a continuous replication of the WHS drive pool to an external drive or NAS? From the little I know of WHS, it seems like it will be a great system for supporting client computers. So if its data redundancy is not strong enough for certain people (ala me), if I could move that data over to a RAID NAS in realtime then that would suffice. I suppose one could fake it out be setting up a RAID system in the machine and presenting it to the OS as one drive. But then you loose the benefit of WHS simple drive expansion. Choices, choices.

Reply Score: 1

n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

Interesting. So what does the situation look like if I have this: protected share called backups with one 40 Gig drive and one 160 Gig drive. Does WHS report Gigs free for shares?


WHS reports "used space" for the share as well as free space for the pool and total used space for all shares, duplicated files, system files and PC backups.

If so, what would it report for the backups share assuming the drive pool was empty? I then try and copy over a 60gig Ghost image to the backups folder. Will it say file too big since it would not fit on the 40gig drive?


I'm assuming that if the share was setup for duplication (as is the default for all shares), you'd get an out of space notification because WHS ensures that data marked for duplication always exists on at least 2 seperate harddrives. However, if the share was not setup for duplication, WHS would automatically copy the data to the drive with the available space.

Reply Score: 2

Is this the new Windows install procedure?
by jello on Fri 15th Jun 2007 18:21 UTC
jello
Member since:
2006-08-08

When I read this (in the article):
"The installer will erase all your hard drives, and warns multiple times before doing so..."

I imagined a scenario that could happen a few years from now:
"For the sake of improved security the new MS-Windows-Vista 2009 comes with a new installer which will erase all your hard drives..."

It would be like:
"You shall have no other operating system besides me..." ;)


Back on topic:

OK, this way MS makes sure people are not using WHS for other purposes than it was designed,but what happens if somebody has to reinstall WHS?

Will it erase the whole hard drive or is it intelligent enough to go into "repair install" mode and preserve the data?

Reply Score: 2

n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

OK, this way MS makes sure people are not using WHS for other purposes than it was designed,but what happens if somebody has to reinstall WHS?
Will it erase the whole hard drive or is it intelligent enough to go into "repair install" mode and preserve the data?


There is a Server Reinstallation option in setup.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Is that it ?
by Bit_Rapist on Fri 15th Jun 2007 19:14 UTC
Bit_Rapist
Member since:
2005-11-13

Inside my SERVER I have 3 TV cards.

Thats not a server, at least not in the traditional sense.

Can I record 2 programs on my server, remotely administered by my PC, and have a third channel streamed to my desktop PC, out of the box.

Probably not, but you can likely set the storage space on your server as a target for you recorded data to be stored.

Reply Score: 2

RE: RE[7]: Is that it ?
by cyclops on Fri 15th Jun 2007 19:39 UTC in reply to " RE[6]: Is that it ?"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

"Inside my SERVER I have 3 TV cards.

Thats not a server, at least not in the traditional sense.

Can I record 2 programs on my server, remotely administered by my PC, and have a third channel streamed to my desktop PC, out of the box.

Probably not, but you can likely set the storage space on your server as a target for you recorded data to be stored."

It is most definitely a server in the traditional sense, and defiantly a requirement that both segedunum and I have highlighted, as essential for a *home* server, because its such an obvious thing to have on a *home* server.

"Server: an application program that accepts connections in order to service requests by sending back responses."

sounds to me exactly a server.

Edited 2007-06-15 19:48

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: RE[8]: Is that it ?
by Bit_Rapist on Fri 15th Jun 2007 19:58 UTC in reply to "RE: RE[7]: Is that it ?"
Bit_Rapist Member since:
2005-11-13

It is most definitely a server in the traditional sense, and defiantly a requirement that both segedunum and I have highlighted, as essential for a *home* server, because its such an obvious thing to have on a *home* server.

No its not a server in a traditional sense, traditionally servers serve data to clients. They don't record TV shows.

What you are talking about here is really a hybrid between a media center type PC and a server, more of a media appliance which allows you to interface with your cable/sat inputs and then offers a way to access that content from other machines in your house.

Sounds great and I agree it would rock but don't try to play the guy off as not knowing what a server is when you obviously are talking about something that most people are not going to associate with server functionality.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: RE[9]: Is that it ?
by cyclops on Fri 15th Jun 2007 20:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: RE[8]: Is that it ?"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

" No its not a server in a traditional sense, traditionally servers serve data to clients. They don't record TV shows.

What you are talking about here is really a hybrid between a media center type PC and a server, more of a media appliance which allows you to interface with your cable/sat inputs and then offers a way to access that content from other machines in your house."

Seriously look up the definition of server. Look up MythTV and how it works. Don't be ignorant.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: RE[10]: Is that it ?
by Bit_Rapist on Fri 15th Jun 2007 20:19 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: RE[9]: Is that it ?"
Bit_Rapist Member since:
2005-11-13

Seriously look up the definition of server. Look up MythTV and how it works. Don't be ignorant.

I don't need to look up the definition of anything, I've been working with servers for years and while what you are describing sounds great and I could see a market for it, I wouldn't expect everyone to associate that functionality with a server.

I've studied mythTV, was going to build one myself but have not found the time to do it yet. Appears to be an awesome software package and beyond install/setup headaches I've heard nothing but good things.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: RE[11]: Is that it ?
by cyclops on Fri 15th Jun 2007 20:37 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: RE[10]: Is that it ?"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

Then I will post one.

In information technology, a server (also called a server application) is "an application program that accepts connections in order to service requests by sending back responses."

This is not a *dedicated* ftp server or a web server although I assume with additional software you could use it as one. This is a *home* server. What can a home server be used for...well I described it.

I have a fundamental problem in seeing any value of this product over a dedicated NAS box, or a hard drive enclosure.

The only benefit I see is for hobbiests wanting a cheap copy of windows server 2003 to learn some basic admin skills...and I think they should really use Server 2003 for that, the type of people PlatformAgnostic likes to ridicule, and I think I know why.

This is not about MythTV, its just used as a benchmark for what would be a compelling use for a home server, of which there are very little.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: RE[12]: Is that it ?
by Bit_Rapist on Fri 15th Jun 2007 21:24 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: RE[11]: Is that it ?"
Bit_Rapist Member since:
2005-11-13

I have a fundamental problem in seeing any value of this product over a dedicated NAS box, or a hard drive enclosure.

The software stack is where this product gets its edge, ease of data backup is the biggest benefit I see to this package, also the pooled storage for people who know how to plug in a hard drive but might not be sure how to do the rest.

For the crowd of people who don't want to take the time to setup and configure a server for home use this might be a good buy, just plug in and do some minimal configuration before using it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: RE[12]: Is that it ?
by n4cer on Sat 16th Jun 2007 01:05 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: RE[11]: Is that it ?"
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

This is not about MythTV, its just used as a benchmark for what would be a compelling use for a home server, of which there are very little.


Though Media Center is not included in WHS, nothing prevents you from adding that functionality. If there is currently a third-party media center server application available, it'd probably work with WHS. If not, one can certainly be built as WHS is meant to be extended and supports most Windows apps OOTB.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: RE[13]: Is that it ?
by segedunum on Sat 16th Jun 2007 14:47 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: RE[12]: Is that it ?"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

If there is currently a third-party media center server application available, it'd probably work with WHS.

I know Microsoft fondly believes that they're going to create a third-party addons market for WHS, in the same way that they've done with Windows in the business arena, but they're totally wrong. It's a different world.

Home users are not going to spend money on a plethora of additional software just to make WHS do what it should do in the first place.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: RE[10]: Is that it ?
by cb_osn on Fri 15th Jun 2007 20:41 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: RE[9]: Is that it ?"
cb_osn Member since:
2006-02-26

Seriously look up the definition of server. Look up MythTV and how it works. Don't be ignorant.

I find it interesting that you were just complaining, seemingly sincerely and probably all teary eyed, about Microsoft supporters who continuously expel vitriol in Linux/GPL/Free Software oriented threads.

And yet here you are, not even 24 hours later, attempting to derail a Microsoft thread about a home backup/file server by promoting a piece of Linux software that doesn't even fit into the same category.

Way to go.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: RE[11]: Is that it ?
by cyclops on Fri 15th Jun 2007 20:53 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: RE[10]: Is that it ?"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

"I find it interesting that you were just complaining, seemingly sincerely and probably all teary eyed, about Microsoft supporters who continuously expel vitriol in Linux/GPL/Free Software oriented threads.

And yet here you are, not even 24 hours later, attempting to derail a Microsoft thread about a home backup/file server by promoting a piece of Linux software that doesn't even fit into the same category.

Way to go."

Thanks for that. Vista IMO has two features over its predecessor, only one of which is interesting to me that has any real value, on is parental controls, and the other is Media Center which is what I want. I am perfectly happy for you to click on my handle to confirm; dispute this.

MythTV is a good application, but is a nightmare to configure and set up, and is arguably better for configuration; commercial removing and its add ons are superb, but its front-end is a nightmare. I'm desperate to compare the two.

Wow I show interest in a thread because it may have contained something I was interested in.

Oh and you know what I did it without pretending that I was a Vista user.

http://www.osnews.com/permalink.php?news_id=17827&comment_id=236634

Edited 2007-06-15 21:03

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: RE[10]: Is that it ?
by cyclops on Fri 15th Jun 2007 21:39 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: RE[8]: Is that it ?"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

@Bit_Rapist Completely off-topic, I wasted about five posts trying to understand what Windows Home Server is. I've just gone wireless spurred on by an Increase in bandwidth, and I was making too many posts about wireless on linux without actually trying it.

I used to have an Xbox for separating play from work stuff, but it was getting increasingly less use after I got a X800 graphics card, so I gave to away.

I'm looking at getting a set up of a box in my living room for about 250. I was looking at a mythTV box, not for storage, but to replace my PVR and Hard drive media, and the one thing that kills me is I can't send .avi files to it remotely.

Now I know I can put together a system for 250, and would use for various proxy servers; PVR functionality; Compiling remotely; background downloading; console; backup; remote viewing etc etc, but I could do the useful stuff probably in Vista, my concerns being DRM in TV Shows; Maintainability...and Vista getting out of date.

Now what I would use it for would be the hybrid device you where describing as...and more. but a server is not a piece of hardware, its an application, but the application I an describing in this is a server just because both server and client can sit on the same machine does not stop it being a server. I would remotely access the box through a web page. I've wasted the another 5 posts on this, and I notice segedunum has too.

The only feature of note is this LVM equivalent which I believe is only a minor feature, which is default software on linux for 9 years, and isn't a compelling feature. I just don't see the point of using this software as it stands other than trainee sys-admin.

Edit
====
Sorry you replied before be. I don't think its true of backup, with all the one-touch backup devices out there, and my posts focus on the software stack which is limited to well backup;FTP;Streaming;Gateway and precious little else. Although I do think it could be *more* useful for desktop to laptop migration users, but even then why not simply share a directory on XP.

Edited 2007-06-15 21:53

Reply Score: 3

interesting.
by cylent on Fri 15th Jun 2007 20:23 UTC
cylent
Member since:
2007-04-26

isnt this Linux's pitch line?
Windows Home Server allows you to turn an 'old' computer into a central server for in the home.
/me is confused.

Reply Score: 1

RE: interesting.
by grat on Sat 16th Jun 2007 01:56 UTC in reply to "interesting."
grat Member since:
2006-02-02

isnt this Linux's pitch line?
"Windows Home Server allows you to turn an 'old' computer into a central server for in the home."
/me is confused.


Exactly. This box, which the majority of the linux community is thumbing their nose at, is aimed directly at the heart of linux. You think the Novell agreement is bad news? This is worse.

Yes, you can take random old hardware, and throw linux (or BSD) on it, and create all kinds of things. My "server" is a combination NFS/Samba/MySQL/Apache server (and supports my MythTV system). In short, it does everything I need a home server for.

It took a fair amount of time and knowledge to set up.

If Joe Average wants similar functionality, if he's fairly clueful, he'll browse around, looking at linux. He'll pick a distro, install it, break a few things, maybe ask around the 'net for help, probably get berated for not understanding emerge as the greatest thing ever, get insulted for not knowing the difference between NFS and Samba, and if he's persistent, after time, he has a working server, and more importantly, he now has a decent understanding of Linux.

This may eventually spill over into other projects, both at home and work, and the linux community (hopefully) has a new member.

Now, he can pony up $NNN in cash to Microsoft for a copy of WHS, get a system that's got menus, instruction manuals, and point-click wizards to set up most of that functionality. Apache? Don't need it, use the MS portal. MySQL? Won't need it, since he won't be building a mythTV box, he'll be using Media Center which "just works" with Windows Home Server. He can manage all the computers in his home, do backups, painlessly expand disk space, and if a drive fails, well, disk is cheap these days.

But nowhere in this process does he become exposed to open source, and the chances of him exchanging his Vista Ultimate desktop for Ubuntu are about nil.

WHS isn't about cutting edge technology, it's about the Windows Experience, and it's about making sure that Linux remains perceived as "too difficult".

Yes, I know Linux isn't that much harder than Windows, an in a number of cases, it's substantially easier. But it's perception that matters.

Reply Score: 2

Decent Preview
by tux2005 on Fri 15th Jun 2007 21:00 UTC
tux2005
Member since:
2007-04-03

The review or preview seemed decent enough, the features it does provide seem somewhat worthwhile but to me it doesn't sound like it does enough to really justify someone setting it up. Most of the people I know that have tried MediaCenter find it kind of cool for about a week and then they never use it anymore, my MythTV system was a hell of a lot more work to setup (and requires it to be something of a hobby to keep going) but still gets a lot of use several months after initial setup.

This solution sounds like it basically does a simple file server and not much else? It has some tools for backing up but these tools existed before, I've used them before (non-foss too). The storage pool concept sounds kind of interesting and more details would certainly be nice but how exactly the protected shares should work is a bit difficult to understand.

As for the Timemachine comparison stuff, not comparing the two sounds fair. You wouldn't compare a Toyota Yaris to a Ferrari Enzo, they are both cars and both provide transportation but they're in totally different classes. Pointing out that comparing the two doesn't make any sense seems like a very fair point to make.

Overall the review sounded fair, if a little short on specifics (understandable since it's beta atm), but I'm not sure there is much justifiable reason for buying one of these systems?

Reply Score: 1

Anti-consumer "features"
by Supreme Dragon on Fri 15th Jun 2007 21:49 UTC
Supreme Dragon
Member since:
2007-03-04

This is an MS product, so it must have many anti-consumer "features". How bad is the EULA? How much control of your computer do you have to surrender to use this "Windows Home Server"? Is the DRM "feature" included? I am sure "Windows Home Server" users will have much fun with WGA and activation. Remember, if the software is not abusing you, then it is certainly not an MS product.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Anti-consumer "features"
by raver31 on Sun 17th Jun 2007 09:37 UTC in reply to "Anti-consumer "features""
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

You touched on a point there.
Imagine your home network has 8 machines on it, and you have a legally downloaded film.
This should be prevented from streaming to the rest of the machines by DRM.
How many times will you be allowed to backup and restore the film you paid good money for ?

Reply Score: 2