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Windows Home Server

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  • ManipUni

    Was Windows Home Server a failure?

    The last update was on 1999 and Amazon UK as one example don't even stock boxes with Home Server installed. There also wasn't much buzz in general about the product (even when it was new). Compared to Apple's Time Capsule which you can pick up from virtually every retailer stocking Apple bits.

     

    Companies who are building similar products aren't using Home Server, instead opting for unknown faceless software.

  • Bas

    WHS wasn't out in 1999. The latest update for it was released yesterday. 

     

    Amazon UK as one example don't even stock boxes with Home Server installed.

     

    Huh?

     

    Companies who are building similar products aren't using Home Server, instead opting for unknown faceless software.

     

    Acer, HP, Asus, VIA and Lenovo are all using WHS for their Time Capsule-like solution. And then there's some smaller outfits like Tranquil.

     

    No idea if it was a commercial failure. Seeing how they're making a new version (it's in beta), it can't have been that bad. I just wish they hadn't botched up the whole reliability thing at launch and then waited a year or so to patch it.

  • W3bbo

    Bas said:

    WHS wasn't out in 1999. The latest update for it was released yesterday. 

     

    *snip*

     

    Acer, HP, Asus, VIA and Lenovo are all using WHS for their Time Capsule-like solution. And then there's some smaller outfits like Tranquil.

     

    No idea if it was a commercial failure. Seeing how they're making a new version (it's in beta), it can't have been that bad. I just wish they hadn't botched up the whole reliability thing at launch and then waited a year or so to patch it.

    WHS's main selling point is centralised backup, which Time Capsule does far far simpler.

     

    WHS is missing out on 'desireable' features, here are a few I've requested in the past:

    • Windows Media Center Server - the server houses the TV tuners and makes recordings and stores programmes centrally, so WMC in Windows streams programmes off the server.
    • WSUS Lite - far easier than downloading gigabytes of updates for all machines separately
    • Roaming profiles within a home network environment would be useful, but Microsoft would have to make the process much simpler to administer. Even with SBS you can make one tiny change and suddenly the 'easy' tools become useless and you have to use MMC.
    • TS Gateway - I understand WHS has a TS gateway built-in, but it's rendered useless because the Home SKUs of Windows have the RDP server disabled for non-assistance tasks. Of course to get this working requires home users have a publically routable static IP address, a non-evil ISP, and know how to configure a home router.

  • spivonious

    The next update to it is currently in "Preview" status. Codenamed Vail.

     

    WHS isn't super popular, but I still know a couple people who bought the HP Media Smart server. I had a home-built WHS system for a while, but once my free trial ran out, I moved "server" functionality to my desktop. No need for 2 people to have 5 PCs. Smiley

     

    I think we'll see Vail-based WHS boxes catch on much faster.

  • blowdart

    W3bbo said:
    Bas said:
    *snip*

    WHS's main selling point is centralised backup, which Time Capsule does far far simpler.

     

    WHS is missing out on 'desireable' features, here are a few I've requested in the past:

    • Windows Media Center Server - the server houses the TV tuners and makes recordings and stores programmes centrally, so WMC in Windows streams programmes off the server.
    • WSUS Lite - far easier than downloading gigabytes of updates for all machines separately
    • Roaming profiles within a home network environment would be useful, but Microsoft would have to make the process much simpler to administer. Even with SBS you can make one tiny change and suddenly the 'easy' tools become useless and you have to use MMC.
    • TS Gateway - I understand WHS has a TS gateway built-in, but it's rendered useless because the Home SKUs of Windows have the RDP server disabled for non-assistance tasks. Of course to get this working requires home users have a publically routable static IP address, a non-evil ISP, and know how to configure a home router.

    The remote control functionality does not need a static IP address. It coems with dynamic DNS out of the box, and it configures the router via uPNP.

  • Bas

    W3bbo said:
    Bas said:
    *snip*

    WHS's main selling point is centralised backup, which Time Capsule does far far simpler.

     

    WHS is missing out on 'desireable' features, here are a few I've requested in the past:

    • Windows Media Center Server - the server houses the TV tuners and makes recordings and stores programmes centrally, so WMC in Windows streams programmes off the server.
    • WSUS Lite - far easier than downloading gigabytes of updates for all machines separately
    • Roaming profiles within a home network environment would be useful, but Microsoft would have to make the process much simpler to administer. Even with SBS you can make one tiny change and suddenly the 'easy' tools become useless and you have to use MMC.
    • TS Gateway - I understand WHS has a TS gateway built-in, but it's rendered useless because the Home SKUs of Windows have the RDP server disabled for non-assistance tasks. Of course to get this working requires home users have a publically routable static IP address, a non-evil ISP, and know how to configure a home router.

    How does time capsule perform the whole centralised backup thing?

  • wkempf

    I saw far more talk about WHS than I did Time Capsule. Further, the talk about WHS was much more positive than the talk about Time Capsule. I'll concede this is likely due to the circles I'm in and the information sources I read, but in the end I doubt that there really was much difference between these. Both are niche "devices". Not many home users are really that interested in running a server, even one dedicated to backup (note that WHS does a whole lot more). If they bother with backup at all they either just use an external drive, or possibly make use of a backup service like Carbonite. In their niche, however, I'm sure both products do very well. WHS is a great system and I know several people who run it.

  • Zeus

    I love my WHS setup on my own server, where I let it back up my computers, store all photos, music and videos in a centralised location, hard-drive setup is a snap, I have KeepVault installed to backup my really important stuff remotely ... all in a relatively simple setup and I am thinking I did this whole reply in on sentence, snappy, eh?

  • AndyC

    W3bbo said:
    Bas said:
    *snip*

    WHS's main selling point is centralised backup, which Time Capsule does far far simpler.

     

    WHS is missing out on 'desireable' features, here are a few I've requested in the past:

    • Windows Media Center Server - the server houses the TV tuners and makes recordings and stores programmes centrally, so WMC in Windows streams programmes off the server.
    • WSUS Lite - far easier than downloading gigabytes of updates for all machines separately
    • Roaming profiles within a home network environment would be useful, but Microsoft would have to make the process much simpler to administer. Even with SBS you can make one tiny change and suddenly the 'easy' tools become useless and you have to use MMC.
    • TS Gateway - I understand WHS has a TS gateway built-in, but it's rendered useless because the Home SKUs of Windows have the RDP server disabled for non-assistance tasks. Of course to get this working requires home users have a publically routable static IP address, a non-evil ISP, and know how to configure a home router.

    I'm kind of struggling to see how WHS backups could be 'simpler'. I don't have to do anything, it just works.

  • Evok

    AndyC said:
    W3bbo said:
    *snip*

    I'm kind of struggling to see how WHS backups could be 'simpler'. I don't have to do anything, it just works.

    even if it weren't simpler, (which they seem both the same to me in ease of use as far as backups go) it's a no brainer to go with WHS. A nearly identical version of windows server 2003 standard for $150? hell yes.

  • JoshRoss

    Failure is subjective. I purchased one from hewlett packard, within a year it had an electrical problem and stopped working. So, from my perspective it was a failure. However someone has my money, and they might have a different opinion on the subject.

     

    -Josh

  • Ray7

    JoshRoss said:

    Failure is subjective. I purchased one from hewlett packard, within a year it had an electrical problem and stopped working. So, from my perspective it was a failure. However someone has my money, and they might have a different opinion on the subject.

     

    -Josh

    Mmm. Not sure you can really count a hardware failure as a problem with Windows Home Server.

     

  • Bas

    AndyC said:
    W3bbo said:
    *snip*

    I'm kind of struggling to see how WHS backups could be 'simpler'. I don't have to do anything, it just works.

    That's kind of why I'm wondering what time capsule does simpler. Maybe you don't have to install software for it on each client?

  • Ray7

    Bas said:
    AndyC said:
    *snip*

    That's kind of why I'm wondering what time capsule does simpler. Maybe you don't have to install software for it on each client?

    Well you don't have to install anything because Time Capsule is just a dumb disk with a router attached. All the clever stuff is done by the TIme Machine software. 

     

  • AndyC

    Ray7 said:
    Bas said:
    *snip*

    Well you don't have to install anything because Time Capsule is just a dumb disk with a router attached. All the clever stuff is done by the TIme Machine software. 

     

    Ok, but how is that 'simpler' than WHS? What exactly am I missing that is apparently so obvious?

  • Bas

    AndyC said:
    Ray7 said:
    *snip*

    Ok, but how is that 'simpler' than WHS? What exactly am I missing that is apparently so obvious?

    I'm hoping W3bbo will come back to explain.

  • LarryLarsen

    I think Home Server is one of our best products. There's an update that's been in beta for some time now. I've got plans to meet with that team on their Vail release so if you have more questions leave them here.

  • Bas

    LarryLarsen said:

    I think Home Server is one of our best products. There's an update that's been in beta for some time now. I've got plans to meet with that team on their Vail release so if you have more questions leave them here.

    Basic stuff, but I'm most interested to know if anything has been done to improve the performance of the console (it can take minutes before being logged in) and if the performance and usability of the remote access website has improved.

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