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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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 Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: Market?
by diegocg on Tue 9th Jan 2007 01:44 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 Parent Score: 4

RE[7]: Market?
by n4cer on Tue 9th Jan 2007 02:57 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 Parent Score: 3

RE[7]: Market?
by Rayz on Tue 9th Jan 2007 08:51 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 Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: Market?
by Bryan on Tue 9th Jan 2007 02:13 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 Parent Score: 2