In a house with 3 Windows laptops, 2 Mac laptops, 1 Windows Desktop and a lone Debian file server; time absorbed in home administration was getting out of hand.
The lone Debian file server runs on an old PC desktop. Last year in a weak moment in between jobs I decided to reconnect with my Unix side and re-commission the old Dell clunker into a file server. Load up internal hard drives and install. A week later, in the process of installing a new, yet massive 300Gb data drive I broke the file server and spent two days self-administering Unix just hoping the family's data was not in bit heaven.
Self-administration at home is OK when you have time and like fixing things. If time poor, don't do it.
And backups. In our house, I am the only person who backs up on anything like a regular basis.
Windows Home Server to the rescue!
Someone kindly sent me an email link to this little beastie, lovingly made in the cold land of of warm beer and Beatrix Potter: TranquilPC low power Windows Home Server appliances. The email arrived at a time where I had access to a credit card, and extracted me from the funk of indecision, otherwise known as procrastination, of 'build vs. buy' my Windows Home Server. Buy.
One HTML form later: and a 1Gb RAM + 1Tb Hard Disk is flying the reverse kangaroo route to Australia.
Within 5 minutes, the Windows Home Server is on and working on our network.
Next post: Backups and Firewalls
If you cannot wait for the next episode, read Paul Thurrott's comprehensive review: http://www.winsupersite.com/reviews/whs.asp
Note: I've been an Unix/Solaris/Linux sys-admin since 1988. I now use MacOS X to get my vi/cron fix.