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Windows Home Server Details

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the just-the-storage-ma'am dept.

Operating Systems 234

phorest writes "Perhaps Microsoft read the comments from the Slashdot community on Windows Home Server? In any event Microsoft is opening up WHS for users to construct their own system after all; though I'd like to see the price of this OS release before making the jump. From the review: "At the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week... Microsoft previewed its long-awaited Windows Home Server product, a Windows Server 2003 R2-based server for consumers that dispenses with the complexities of most Windows Server versions and provides the core storage, sharing, and remote access functionality that digital media and home networking enthusiasts require... Microsoft will make WHS available in two ways: Bundled with new WHS hardware and software-only, the latter so that enthusiasts can install the system on the hardware of their choice... If you're building your own home server, Microsoft requires a 1 GHz processor or better, 512 MB of RAM or more, and as many disks as you think you need. The company will support multiple home servers on the same network, but it's still murky how that will work."

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Multiple Servers (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17558768)

The company will support multiple home servers on the same network, but it's still murky how that will work."

Easy... Lots of Money.

Re:Multiple Servers (1)

Ucklak (755284) | more than 7 years ago | (#17560264)

Yeah, multiple servers and only 10 connections.

Not that 10 connections in a home could be reached but it's possible.

w00t (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17558818)

I for one think this is a great idea and something I have wanted for a while. I currently do a cobbled Linux/rsync backup system, but it is no where as easy as this thing looks. This will make MSFT matter for the home geek.

First?! Hmm... (1)

nneonneo (911150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17558826)

I would actually be interested in having something like this, *if* it weren't from Microsoft, because I will bet you that it will be far too helpful for my tastes. Anyway, this would probably help the average user navigate the sometimes-confusing options for servers.

Re:First?! Hmm... (5, Interesting)

CDarklock (869868) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559052)

I really like all the things WHS says it will do, because it means I can put my mind on other things. I'm just not really sure how good a job it does.

Many of the things in WHS are things I've been saying I was going to do for years. "I'm going to set up a SAN for all our documents and pictures," I keep saying, "and I'm going to schedule nightly rolling backups for all the PCs in the house." Well, I just don't have time. But if I could go out and pick up a $1500 PC, click a few buttons, and be finished... I'd do it.

My major concern is the same as yours: will it actually do what I want? If it does, great, but what if it doesn't? At least if I buy $1500 worth of commodity hardware and cobble up a home-grown solution, I can make it do SOMETHING. So the hardware+software option looks like it might be a bad deal; I think I'll do better if I buy my own components with an eye toward the manual solution, in the event that the software proves inadequate.

Hey, I may work at Microsoft, but I'm not stupid. Since when is v1.0 of anything trustworthy? Screw the party line, I want my shit to work. I'll give it a fair shake, but if it rolls over and plays dead, it can stay there.

IdiotProof-Lockup (4, Interesting)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 7 years ago | (#17558840)

I really think that MS needs to lock up WHS to be idiot-proof tight. If you need to put software on it (plugins for mediacenters, game servers, etc.) you should have to burn it to a CD, put it in the server, and then go back to the interface to see what you're going to install, and confirm it by pushing a button on the server. Yes, it's a hassle, but makes sure it's near 99% idiot-proof. Clicking through boxes is one thing. Having to physically push different things should set off alarms for someone

Re:IdiotProof-Lockup (1)

trimbo (127919) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559902)

Have you seen the server management software for WS2003? It's pretty pointy-clicky friendly these days. Shouldn't be hard to make an even more decent UI around the management tools, but who knows.

Basic AIDA, folks. (4, Interesting)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 7 years ago | (#17558842)

Perhaps Microsoft read the comments from the Slashdot community on Windows Home Server?


More likely they are currently flooding the market with "educational" pieces designed to increase the public's awareness of a new category of product; its no coincidence that the forthcoming product will match what the public has been trained to expect of it in advance.

(Hint: look up "AIDA" as a marketing term sometime...)

Hmm? (2, Interesting)

joshetc (955226) | more than 7 years ago | (#17558844)

Windows Home Server = Windows XP Pro? I was under the impression that Windows 2003 was simply Windows XP with some goodies for servers, if they take that aspect out aren't they basically selling your Windows XP with a couple patches?

I don't see why they would market something based on Windows 2003 right now anyway, with Vista here / around the corner (depending on who you are)

Re:Hmm? (2, Insightful)

bealzabobs_youruncle (971430) | more than 7 years ago | (#17558980)

If you really thought that was all Windows Server 2003 was, you are confused.

Re:Hmm? (2, Informative)

kcurtis (311610) | more than 7 years ago | (#17558996)

I could be wrong, but I think I read at one point that XP and 2003 are different platforms -- but that XP64 and 2003 share code.

This is why the XP SP cannot be applied to XP64, but XP64 and 2003 share a service pack.

I think also that Vista is based off of 2003/XP64 not the 32-bit version of XP.

Mote like SBE for Home Media (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559122)

The SBE (Small Business Edition) is a streamlined (in terms of set up and interface) version of W2003. It's preconfigured for common uses for small groups, but it can be tinkered with however you like. They've hobbled it to make sure nobody with a large group uses it (in which case you should probably have an IT guy who knows what he's doing, and can set up W2003 properly).

At least, that's what it sounds like. I think SBE is about $1k at retail, I think, with promo/NFR versions down in the $400-500 range.

I'm going to guess $600 for the retail software. We'll see how close I was when it really ships.

Re:Hmm? (0, Flamebait)

stubear (130454) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559130)

Why does crap like this get modded up as informative? Windows 2003 is NOT Windows XP with some goodies for servers. I'm always amazed at how uneducated Slashbots are when it comes to Microsoft products yet they insist on talking about them and modding morons like this up.

Re:Hmm? (1)

GeckoX (259575) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559880)

You'd be better received if you offered up facts rather than what could be construed as baseless ranting.

And of course using the term 'uneducated Slashbots' really isn't going to garner you any favors around here...ahh, but you knew that already didn't you?

Re:Hmm? (3, Informative)

ErMaC (131019) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559150)

Server 2003 is a whole lot more than XP Pro. Where as Windows 2000 Professional and Windows 2000 Server shared a lot of underlying tech, XP Pro is a whole different internal version (windows 5.1) than 2003 (windows 5.2), and the additional functionality added by 2003 R2 makes it do even more.

Re:Hmm? (2, Informative)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559212)

Windows Home Server = Windows XP Pro? I was under the impression that Windows 2003 was simply Windows XP with some goodies for servers

You're apparently very well informed. That would explain why Microsoft dropped the XP-based Vista code and spend two extra years porting it on top of the 2003 codebase.

Simply put: Windows 2003 is not just XP with "server goodies", it's a major improvement in terms of modularity, security and contains a lots of improvements centered around running in an enterprise environment.

Re:Hmm? (4, Informative)

Nik13 (837926) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559280)

It's NOT WinXP. In fact, it's not "just another version of windows" at all! It's a network appliance (based on win2003, but it's not 2003 either), aimed primarily at backups and sharing files. Headless and all that. Pretty well made seemingly - uses the Single Instance Storage (SIS) so only one copy of the same file is kept across multiple backups, and very expendable (better than RAID). There was a video about it on channel9 yesterday.

I'd get one if I didn't already have a server to do this stuff (and more).

Re:Hmm? (4, Funny)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559780)

WHS is for media? Are you sure Microsoft didn't mean "VHS" or...is it still Beta? :)

Video Interview from Channel9 (2, Informative)

N8F8 (4562) | more than 7 years ago | (#17558876)

Re:Video Interview from Channel9 (1)

binaryspiral (784263) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559018)

How did this interviewer get his job? And more specifically what job does he do?

He's dumb as a post.

Re:Video Interview from Channel9 (2, Insightful)

x2A (858210) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559836)

"He's dumb as a post"

A post on slashdot?

New Apple Base station (4, Interesting)

moofo (697416) | more than 7 years ago | (#17558884)

By the way, the New Apple Airport Extreme Base station supports sharing USB 2 Hard drives on the network. 50 Users Limit and there is a small utility to put privileges.

That makes an almost solid state device to:

Provide wireless Access (N) in your home
Act as router (3 ports)
Share USB printers
Share storage

To me, it's a more integrated and "out of the box" solution.

I know, it can't serve webpages...

But still, it seems a little easier for laymen.

Re:New Apple Base station (1)

Lectoid (891115) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559094)

I just looked at it on apples site. I wonder why it doesn't have gig capable ports on it. I have a 5 year old G4 with gig ethernet. I believe about every other apple product has gig ethernet on it now.

Re:New Apple Base station (1)

moofo (697416) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559356)

Unfortunately, no.

"Three RJ-45 10/100BASE-T Ethernet LAN ports for connecting computers or network devices"

Even the AppleTV is 10/100

Re:New Apple Base station (1)

GeckoX (259575) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559800)

The AppleTV is 10/100? You've got to be joking right? I can understand on the phone...got to try to keep the price down a wee bit somewhere.

(Aside: It's still ludicrously expensive for a phone, especially given it's expected limitations. I know, tonnes will buy it anyways...but I'm finding a strange attitude. Apparently the general opinion is that this is a reasonable price for a phone...but a similar price for a 60GB PS3 is insanely high...imho, this makes the PS3 look down right cheap.)

But 10/100 only for a media centre? Wtf? Ah well, at least I don't have to look any further to know that I want nothing to do with that bit of kit.

Re:New Apple Base station (1)

mosschops (413617) | more than 7 years ago | (#17560360)

I wonder why it doesn't have gig capable ports on it.
Especially as the wireless is now faster than the wired! It's a show stopper for me, and I'm gonna wait until they fix it...

Re:New Apple Base station (2, Interesting)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559152)

I know, it can't serve webpages...

Can it back up the data on the USB drive automatically? Can it share other devices like scanners? What would be a cool application of this is if it could read music off of the USB drive directly and only need a computer (or a wireless remote) for control. Combine AirTunes and a USB drive. Sort of like a Sonos box with the advantage of built-in storage.

-b.

Re:New Apple Base station (1)

moofo (697416) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559314)

Backup automatically, I doubt it, but you get nifty features to mount the drive automagically to workstations.

I guess you could backup it in a easy fashion with a shell script from any workstation.

The Apple webpage says that you can share Hard Drives and printers (More than one of each type) using a USB hub. I doubt scanners would work.

For the "read music directly from the USB drive", just get an AppleTV and store your music on it, that's exactly what you are looking for. I'm sure there will be hacks to put bigger drives in it. Hell, I'm sure sme geeks will figure out a way to put Linux on both the AppleTV and the Airport Extreme.

FYI. Look at the Airport Express as well. You can connect a third party remote to it now, but you still need a computer ;-)

Re:New Apple Base station (1)

Damek (515688) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559604)

And as soon as you realize you want to run BitTorrent, SoulSeek, or some other p2p for all those files you have on your attached storage, and to help fill it up as well, you can just get a Mac Mini et voila, instant server. And there's your scanner sharing, too, if you have a linux or OS X computer that can access shared scanners. AFAIK, there's no (cheap) way to access networked scanners on Windows machines. Someone please correct me?

Re:New Apple Base station (1)

moofo (697416) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559754)

You're right.

That's why I have a rack in my appartment, with 4 machines.

1. Media Server
2. P2P Machine
3. Webserver
4. Backup Server :-) There should be a Mac OS X Server Home Datacenter for users like me

For the scanner sharing, there is always the Keyspan box that can share USB devices on the Network. But Mac Os X scanner sharing is really good.

Re:New Apple Base station (1)

dagamer34 (1012833) | more than 7 years ago | (#17560416)

Yeah, if I was able to run Bittorrent on a WHS machine, I would be stoked. No longer would I need to leave my laptop on to run torrents.

Re:New Apple Base station (4, Informative)

mspohr (589790) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559678)

The Linksys NSLU2 network storage link is a handy little unit (less than $100) that will share USB drives and serve web pages. It's open source so of course it runs Linux http://www.nslu2-linux.org/wiki/Main/HomePage [nslu2-linux.org] and an amazing number of applications have been ported to it.

Re:New Apple Base station (1)

moofo (697416) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559824)

The case is less slick than the Apple Base station. For 80 bucks more you get a router + Wifi access point. You especially get no hacking to do whatsoever to get it to work. :-)

IMHO, the Apple Deal is hard to pass, but I guess it depends on your needs.

(OK, I guess I'm an Apple fanboi)

Well ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17558906)

Price for "Cheapo Depot" server hardware: $800
Price for MS XP: $100
The look on the face of the 14 year old that pwnes your sorry ass in less than five minutes by using the zero-day exploit of the day: Priceless

=)

You have to be crazy to pick WHS (-1, Troll)

viking80 (697716) | more than 7 years ago | (#17558908)

I have used windows for many years, including setting up networks.
I tried to set up Windows server 2003 as a file server and a web server.
This is a file server for other Windows boxes only.

I could not get the file server to work. Then I tried the web server. Works, but to access the pages, the users have to use windows user logon. Gave up on this too.

Had basically *no* experience with linux. Installed Mandrake Linux, picked Samba and Apache.

It all worked flawlessly right away.

In addition, windows always become unstable after a few weeks of running. The Linux box has now run for two years, and no issues.

If you pick windows for a server you have to be crazy.

Re:You have to be crazy to pick WHS (2, Insightful)

(A)*(B)!0_- (888552) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559108)

"If you pick windows for a server you have to be crazy."
Because you couldn't get Windows setup on your own (with your stellar credentials of being some guy on the Internet) we must conclude that only the crazies are using Windows? That's a very poor argument. You never even come close to explaining why you couldn't get the setup working. Your comparison to how you setup a Linux server is meaningless because we don't know what caused you problems with the Windows server;

Based on your language of "picked Samba and Apache", I am guessing you just didn't know what you were doing.

Re:You have to be crazy to pick WHS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17559200)

Yep. That's it. Attack the guy's competency. Sounds like another community, not the famously n00b-friendly Windows one....

Re:You have to be crazy to pick WHS (1)

(A)*(B)!0_- (888552) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559628)

Well, do you believe because some guy on the Internet said he had problems with Windows server and didn't have problems with Mandrake that that settles the whole debate and Mandrake > Windows for the server market? I use Linux exclusively on my servers and I certainly don't buy that argument.

In evaluating the comment, don't we need to know how competent the guy is?

Re:You have to be crazy to pick WHS (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17559136)

Huh, I've set up lots of 2003 servers as file and web servers with no issues.

My windows boxes don't become unstable after weeks of running.

If you only had the 2nd problem, I would have guessed you had a bad driver.

Since you also had the first problem, my guess is you are just clueless.

Editing some .conf files is easy for Apache and Samba, but no easier than the windows GUI settings.

Linux, BSD, Windows, all work fine as servers if you aren't an idiot.

Re:You have to be crazy to pick WHS (5, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559232)

Linux, BSD, Windows, all work fine as servers if you aren't an idiot.

And Macs work great if you are! ; )

Re:You have to be crazy to pick WHS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17559692)

Its Bill's old tried and true: "you must be a luddite if you can't operate X"

Until I can ssh into a command line shell on an out-of-the-box windows machine and get something done, it is useless to me. Windows is a toy operating system designed to showcase multimedia single-user applications (aside from its real purpose to generate revenue for MS). Interoperability and POSIX OS compliancy is a joke - it only really networks well with itself. Sure you can share files between other windows boxes, but you can't easily share cpu resources - and the FOSS community had to come up with a solution (Samba) before you could share files from a Windows box on a hetrogenous network.

Someone could make Windows useful - on par with linux/unix - but I doubt that will come from Redmond. They have no interest in doing so. Then again, with the unrealistic pricetag, interoperability issues and moby failures (security, OS bugs, and spy/disable-ware), why would anyone put anything mission critical on a Windows platform anyway?

Windows is snake oil. I said it when I loaded 3.1, I continue to say that today, and nothing out of Redmond has proven me wrong.

Re:You have to be crazy to pick WHS (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559230)

Just because you don't understand it doesn't mean that it doesn't work. W2003 is not your typical desktop OS. I'm sorry you blew four figures on an OS that you couldn't figure out.

As for stability, I've had an XP Pro machine doing file and print services for four years straight except for occasional sp upgrades and patch restarts - say once every month or two. It has never crashed (BSOD), and runs 24/7 otherwise, though its really only loaded during the workday, "serving" 3 client machines.

Re:You have to be crazy to pick WHS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17559516)

So what you're really saying is that your XP Pro machine has been running solid for a month or two.

Re:You have to be crazy to pick WHS (2, Interesting)

oatworm (969674) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559236)

Assuming you didn't try to set it up to do a domain, here are some quick tips... and I can't believe someone modded you insightful, either. Good heavens.

1. To share files on Windows Server 2003 in a workgroup environment, you have two choices. You can either create a login for each person that will access them on the server or you can set the NTFS permissions to "Everybody->Read" on your shares. Make sure that share permissions are "Everybody->Full Access" - this actually isn't a security hole since Windows Server 2003 grants the least permissions it can based on what you give it, which means it'll run off NTFS permissions instead, which are far more flexible. This will also give you one place to look for permissions issues, instead of trying to guess how NTFS and share permissions are working together that day.

2. You probably didn't set your IIS page to allow anonymous access. This is as easy as right-clicking on the web site in IIS, choosing "Properties", then going to "Directory Security", clicking the first "Edit" button at the top, and then checking the "Enable anonymous logon" box.

I'm not a big fan of Windows, but it's not THAT difficult. That's not to say you didn't do better by going with Samba and Apache, either.

Re:You have to be crazy to pick WHS (1)

stubear (130454) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559302)

You sir are an idiot. I've set up a file/print/web server on Windows 2003 and had no trouble whatsoever. IIS works just for hosting my portfolio site and all the computers can access the file/print server wirelessly. Once I get my XPS M2010 (waiting on Vista) I'll be able to connect my XBOX 360 to the mix as a MC extender and store all the TV shows on the server. I had no trouble setting up the latter with the beta of Vista Ultimate. By the way, I'm just a graphic designer and was able to to all this with no problems whatsoever and no CS degree or certifications required.

Shutup. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17559410)

Oh shutup. Windows has never been difficult in allowing it to share data.

At the MOST you have to say "Yes, I know it's dangerous to share my pr0n". Click Yes and you're sharing.

Drop the OSS fanboy attitude.

I call BS (1)

iceperson (582205) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559438)

Setting up a windows server is about as straight forward as you can get. Setting up a linux anything on the other hand is a complete crapshoot that works only when the planets are in alignment with all the hardware you have. I gave up my last attempt after spending days trying to get any of the network adapters (both wired and wireless) I had working in linux.

Re:You have to be crazy to pick WHS (5, Insightful)

shaneh0 (624603) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559472)

Like others have said: This is Microsofts fault how?

IIS isn't that difficult. Changing the setting from integrated windows security is, seriously, 2 or 3 clicks from the control panel.

And what do you mean you couldn't get the file server to work? That's as simple as SHARING A FOLDER and giving it appropriate security settings.

And no, it's not "idiot proof" but you're talking about a SERVER PRODUCT. A standard license runs for $999. It's meant for PROFESSIONAL ADMINISTRATORS, it's NOT meant for the home. Thus, WHS.

And by the way, had you actually paid $999 for the legit license (which, I'm guessing, you didn't) you could've called Microsoft and gotten help. I don't know what's worse, complaining about pirated software not working right (assuming you didn't buy the license), or giving up on $999 software after, apparently, hardly giving it a shot (assuming you did buy the license).

Re:You have to be crazy to pick WHS (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 7 years ago | (#17560398)

And what do you mean you couldn't get the file server to work? That's as simple as SHARING A FOLDER and giving it appropriate security settings.

The default server role screens that come up lead you away from the easy way to accomplish many tasks. They also changed basic things about how the windows UI and the windows Server UI work in 2003 to make it sufficiently confusing for people who have basic experience with the older windows server products. The "Manage your Server" interface from 2000 is still there, for example, but "My Computer" is hidden by default, and the control panel is different, so it isn't easy to find the old way.

Personally, I much prefer configuring a Debian Linux server to a W2k3 server. Sure, it's not all graphical, but it's straightforward with basic knowledge, and hasn't changed for years. Plus it takes about 2 minutes to get to the point where I'm back in a comfy office chair doing the setup compared to the good 30 minutes standing in front of a rack for w2k3 before you can get a remote desktop.

Neither way is sufficient for a home user. If Microsoft doesn't fix their confusing settings UIs, I doubt they'll sell many of these home server things. The wizards had best be much easier than the ones in W2k3 also, because they're confusing as hell if you don't know what you're doing now.

And by the way, had you actually paid $999 for the legit license (which, I'm guessing, you didn't) you could've called Microsoft and gotten help. I don't know what's worse, complaining about pirated software not working right (assuming you didn't buy the license), or giving up on $999 software after, apparently, hardly giving it a shot

Incidentally, when you buy Server 2003, it's usually pre-installed on a server, and it comes with no free tech support whatsoever. I agree though. If you just dropped some cash on a non-refundable product, you wouldn't toss it in the bin, you'd figure it out. He probably pirated it.

Re:You have to be crazy to pick WHS (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17559956)

The Linux box has now run for two years, and no issues.

I know, your home server has been very stable and reliable and for the most part of these two years, I have tunneled my hacking attacks through it. Keep up the good work!

Re:You have to be crazy to pick WHS (1)

GeckoX (259575) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559998)

My experience, and that of many others, does not line up with yours.

This has been done millions of times now. It works. We're not talking NT4 here.

The hour for that kind of baseless FUD is well past. 8 years ago you would have had a point, but you've missed a few boats since.

Further, it is complete bullshit that someone who can't even get a windows 2003 server up and running with basic file sharing and web services would have an easy time setting up Mandrake, Samba and Apache.

I'm sorry, but your FUD is showing through loud and clear.

Re:You have to be crazy to pick WHS (2, Insightful)

cjjjer (530715) | more than 7 years ago | (#17560162)

I have used windows for many years, including setting up networks. I tried to set up Windows server 2003 as a file server and a web server. This is a file server for other Windows boxes only. I could not get the file server to work. Then I tried the web server. Works, but to access the pages, the users have to use windows user logon. Gave up on this too. Had basically *no* experience with linux. Installed Mandrake Linux, picked Samba and Apache. It all worked flawlessly right away. In addition, windows always become unstable after a few weeks of running. The Linux box has now run for two years, and no issues. If you pick windows for a server you have to be crazy.
Two problems with this:

A. "I have used windows for many years, including setting up networks"
B. Flagged as "Insightful"

Sorry dude but if you say you have "set up many windows networks" I have to wonder if you are full of shit. My home network server runs WINS, DNS, DHCP, HTTP (.NET and PHP), SQL Server, MySQL, ISA, Active Directory and a DFS and the only time I have to reboot is when I decide to run a Windows Update, it has never just gone down unless I made it go down. This all on a 1.8ghz, 1gb ram on Windows 2003 Standard. Oh yeah I have had no training in Windows Networking (a developer) and this is the only Windows Network I have set up. All this based on reading stuff off the internet when I got stuck.

If I had moderator points I would have flagged you as a troll since that's all you are doing. I would assume that people have flagged this comment as insightful because you mentioned how bad Windows was and how good Linux is without realizing what you said didn't make any sense.

Not to me anyway.

Re:You have to be crazy to pick WHS (1)

dtanderson (1012279) | more than 7 years ago | (#17560220)

I have setup a Windows 2003 server as a file server with no problems. Each person only has access to their files.

Re:You have to be crazy to pick WHS (1)

damienl451 (841528) | more than 7 years ago | (#17560272)

You know, setting up a Linux server can sometimes be a real pain in the neck too. I have some experience with Linux (helped set up a couple servers, been using it for years on all my computers,etc.), and I can assure you that I've seen some freaky stuff that got me scratching my head... Like the time all I wasn't able to access any directory because the site admin's script didn't get rid of some control characters that ended up messing up the /etc/passwd file read bad. Or when the SAMBA team "updated" their software and changed the way groups are handled, which is why I'm still running FC5 on my server at home. Compare what you have to do to set up Apache (edit the config file manually,etc.) to what you *should* have done to solve your problem on Windows, and you'll see that ease of use is not what's making most people use Linux.

Re:You have to be crazy to pick WHS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17560342)

Then you're an idiot. Fileserver? No need to do anything at all! It's always there by default. In explorer just type \\servername\sharename (or \\computername\\c$ and such to use the administrative shares which are already there). Want more? Create the new shares where you want 'em (with the permissions you please), and of course make sure they have the required NTFS permissions too. The *only* thing I can imagine possibly getting in the way is a firewall.

Web server hard? Go to add/remove programs -> windows components -> Internet Information Server. Done! How hard was that? Need to change something? Go in MMC under IIS manager, and change stuff to suit your needs.

In many years of IT work, I've never seen either fail to work out of the box (or after selecting IIS in add/remove programs), not even once. And we've never had stability problems with this. Sounds like the usual Win9x-era BSOD FUD.

I can't say my install experience of just apache was nearly as smooth. Services not installed by default (didn't even know linux had services), ports not open, server not started, nothing configured, no idea where the web server's root directory/folder was at (htdocs or whatever you want to call it) - not like the installer tells you (and seemingly it changes from a distro to another), had a VERY hard time to get to the default page in firefox (apache just wouldn't serve the default page for reasons I couldn't figure out). Had to google for guides and stuff. It was a nightmare. I don't believe anyone with no experience with linux could just pick it up like that on the first attempt, configure it all properly (and have it all properly secured), stable and all. Tons of the stuff I read made no sense to me (things like the "wheel group" under BSD, or chmod this some number or whatever). I wouldn't even know where to start for samba, setting permissions, creating shares and such. I'd have to find some really good tutorials, take a course, or find some very good books and read for a while. And I'd doubt my work a lot - just might get hacked for not securing something right.

In other news, an incompetent idiot calls others crazy for picking something he doesn't understand but works fine for everybody else...

NAS anyone? (4, Interesting)

Library Spoff (582122) | more than 7 years ago | (#17558926)

I appreciate people wish to share photos etc online with friends and family.
The slashdot crowd take old pc`s and turn em into servers.

Surely the way forward for home users is networked storage that probably use less AC than a PC?
Especially as we are now seeing combined adsl-router-NAS with built in raid. Is there then less chance of getting owned than with a MS based system? I know server 2003 that this is based on is more secure than previous MS offerings, but still...

Re:NAS anyone? (2, Interesting)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559320)

If all you want is a NAS, why not go with something from Buffalo [buffalotech.com] ? I've never used one myself, but it's a simple Linux-based NAS. From what I hear, you can also buy a version of these things that can be heavily modified, including installing debian or gentoo. But if you want something easy, the Buffalo products themselves aren't supposed to require much expertise.

Re:NAS anyone? (1)

oatworm (969674) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559486)

There's also FreeNAS [freenas.org] . The rub here, though, is that, at least when I last tried it, it's the only thing that should be installed on the box. On the other hand, if you have an old PC and a couple of hard drives, it'll let you make a software mirror between them and share files on it. I won't claim my experience with it is authoritative, but it was pretty easy to figure out.

That Ease of Use Thing (2, Insightful)

blueZhift (652272) | more than 7 years ago | (#17558946)

This sounds pretty good, and depending on pricing, something I could use. I can, and have cobbled together various backup sever solutions over the years, but who has time for all of that? Having the choice of a hardware bundle or loading my own custom server sounds like a pretty easy path. Aside from pricing, the only other issue of concern to me is how buggy with the first releases be. I wonder if this will easily integrate with an Xbox 360 at some point. It might be just the thing to address the 20GB hard drive limitation right now.

Cold day in hell (3, Informative)

Divebus (860563) | more than 7 years ago | (#17558958)

Great move but it'll be a cold day in hell when I let Microsoft manage what's on my home server. Not being a deliberate troll or flamebait, I'd look for them to sell out and start locking up my media files. I just would approach this with a long stick - or just keep using my home-brew server.

Huh. (0, Redundant)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 7 years ago | (#17558962)

I still wouldn't buy that.

Is it going to be easy.. (1)

Shiptar (792005) | more than 7 years ago | (#17558992)

To convince folks that when they go out and buy a new machine they really need 2?

Sure, you can get it retail, but the product doesn't seemed designed or targeted at people who would install it themselves.

I know burning data to DVDs is tough these days, but still, it doesn't seem like an easy sell...

What does this do (3, Interesting)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559054)

that I can't already do with share level access and the appropriate client application? Does it handle sharing removable drives better (i.e. mp3 players)? Will I be able to create NT domains with it? Will mapped network drives finally stop periodically vanishing?

I mean, really, does any home user need the kind of performance a networking OS brings? You're gonna have at most 10 computers hooked up to the darn thing. Now, otoh, it might be a cheap way to build a domain :).

Re:What does this do (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559288)

Now, otoh, it might be a cheap way to build a domain

Yes, but I don't like being master of my domain.

Re:What does this do (1)

tef (1042040) | more than 7 years ago | (#17560218)

As far as I've read, it will auto backup all machines on the network so you can do remote restores if one of the workstations dies. And supposidly, if there is the same file on 2 different machines, it only backs it up once so its not hoggging up room.
So your windows xp install, will only be backed up once for however many machines you have.. Will save a tone of room for backups.

512MB RAM (2, Informative)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559082)

Why does something that's essentially a glorified NAS box need 512MB RAM?! This seems a bit bloated for what it does. If you want a good home/small-office server solution, why not go with something like SME Server 7? [smeserver.org] It's free, runs fast, takes about 10 min. to install and can be setup not *just* to be a NAS box - you can install whatever you want since it's a LAMP box.

-b.

Re:512MB RAM (1)

ErrataMatrix (774950) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559398)

If it's running windows it does

Back when (1)

wetfeetl33t (935949) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559088)

Back in my day we had Samba, and we were grateful for it!

Its a trick, get an axe..... (0, Troll)

gentimjs (930934) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559102)

"based on windows 2k3 server" ... so the target users will think "ok, it wont lock down my content like vista will" .... but unbeknownst to them, will have (as usual) more than its share of "critical" fixes neccessitating a service pack in the first 8 months. A service pack that just happens to "upgrade" you to vista-style DRM shit and lock-down existing files.

Tread carefully..

Purest, refined bullsh*t (3, Informative)

NSIM (953498) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559342)

A service pack that just happens to "upgrade" you to vista-style DRM shit and lock-down existing files.

There is nothing, repeat nothing in Vista that locks down non-DRM content, you can rip CDs and DVDs with the same tools you used in XP and Vista does nothing to them. How long will mindless knee-jerk anti-MS folks continue to push this BS.

Here's a challenge, find one example of Vista applying DRM to non-DRMed content, come on, just one example!!!!

Re:Purest, refined bullsh*t (1)

kseise (1012927) | more than 7 years ago | (#17560046)

Would like to, but I don't have it installed. Stupid VM limitations. Ubuntu FTW!

Re:Purest, refined bullsh*t (1)

NSIM (953498) | more than 7 years ago | (#17560178)

Would like to, but I don't have it installed. Stupid VM limitations. Ubuntu FTW!

Well, I've been running it for about 18 months and it has never done anything to my non-DRM content except play it without hesitation.

Home servers cost (2, Informative)

Seismologist (617169) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559138)

I haven't RTFA, but knowing what prices MS charges for their products, why would anyone buy into it... I can't see how a home server from MS would be any less complicated than setting up a Redhat Linux server, especially when Redhat has gui's for just about configuring everything... Plus Redhat, oh sorry, Fedora, is free. Just wondering out loud here.

Re:Home servers cost (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 7 years ago | (#17560184)

an't see how a home server from MS would be any less complicated than setting up a Redhat Linux server

+1 Funny.

What if (1)

D3viL (814681) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559140)

Waht if I think I need 0 disks?

Re:What if (1)

shaneh0 (624603) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559568)

That's fine. Although, I would add one more for redundancy.

Xbox 360? (1)

shaka999 (335100) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559180)

Do any other NAS type boxes work with the 360? Thats the one thing that seemed unique about WHS was that you could use it to store media for the 360.

Real Rocket Science (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17559260)

The company will support multiple home servers on the same network, but it's still murky how that will work."

1973 called. It wants its system interconnectivity dilemmas back.

Opportunity for Hardware OEMS and Linux! (2, Interesting)

businessnerd (1009815) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559264)

So now since MS is going to spend a ton of money on marketing the idea of home users running file servers, I think this is a perfect opportunity for the likes of Dell and HP to sell their own, less expensive HomeNAS. They take a NAS device, that they already make for the enterprise, throw on a lightweight Linux. Throw on some Samba, Apache, etc. Write some easy to use "Wizards" to make it really easy for the normal Windows user to connect their PC's, upload files, and do things like schedule backups, and you have a much lower cost solution than the likes of Microsoft. On top of that, it's more secure, more stable, and the software is OSS!

Re:Opportunity for Hardware OEMS and Linux! (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559474)

Honestly, I've been wishing someone would provide appropriate hardware for a home server for a long time. Save the price of any sound hardware, an expensive processors or video cards. Give me a cheap but well-made small system with lots of hard drive space. It doesn't need lots of processor or RAM, and it would be fine. Just 500GB-1TB of storage, ethernet, and otherwise just enough hardware to get Linux installed. All I want is a NAS/Apache/E-mail server that I can ssh into, and maybe a serial port that will open to a terminal, just in case.

Re:Opportunity for Hardware OEMS and Linux! (1)

NSIM (953498) | more than 7 years ago | (#17560288)

So now since MS is going to spend a ton of money on marketing the idea of home users running file servers, I think this is a perfect opportunity for the likes of Dell and HP to sell their own, less expensive HomeNAS. They take a NAS device, that they already make for the enterprise, throw on a lightweight Linux.
Those NAS servers from DELL and HP already run Windows Storage Server, so certifying the new MS Home Server is a no-brainer. Certifying LINUX and supporting it is non-trivial, especially if the target market is Joe Consumer who is a long way from ready for LINUX (that or LINUX is a long from ready for Joe Consumer) That said, these boxes are probably overkill for home server applications anyway.

Welcome to the year 2000 microsoft (1)

geoff lane (93738) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559338)

Had a home server for years. It used to run Fedora, but I upgraded to Solaris 10.

Why is it that Microsoft is always five years behind the times?

Let's talk security (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559524)

One thing's for sure. Servers are amongst the most interesting pieces of hardware you can hijack. They run 24/7, they usually have a good bandwidth (ok, not necessarily so for home servers) and they usually also have lots of storage space.

The target audience for those server systems are home users. Who not necessarily have any clue when it comes to security. Actually, it is quite likely that the people buying this kind of system will not have a lot of knowledge in the IT area. And of security.

The systems will also be very similar, if not identical. Unlike Linux boxes, which can almost never be hijacked cookie-cutter style, this would open the venue for boxes which are most likely easier to hack than current implementations of servers.

Not necessarily because MS does a worse job than OSS developers. But it's just like with the other MS systems. The possible gain from a working exploit is incredible, so the effort will match it. And twice so if you can rely on the system running 24/7 and having lots of storage.

I predict a completely new kind of problem for the 'net.

Re:Let's talk security (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17559682)

Duh. M$ is building a botnet.

Simpler shorter translation (1)

Alsee (515537) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559536)

dispenses with the complexities of most Windows Server versions and provides the core storage, sharing, and remote access functionality that digital media and home networking enthusiasts require

They sure used a lot of words to say:
"stripped everything except DRM services"

-

Microsoft's attemp to change how we use hardware.. (1)

109 97 116 116 (191581) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559662)

With this home server coupled to what I know about Vista, how it works, and it's licensing stipulations, I have arrived at a conclusion as to what Microsoft wants you to think in regards to computer hardware and it's use in the future.

Knowing that Vista's licensing currently allows limited hardware alterations before requiring a new license, this server is almost a necessity. It seems to me that Microsoft wishes to alter the traditional role of the Personal Computer from it's current form, an upgradeable freely chosen conglomeration of hardware designed to function as a unit, user customizable based on what the user deems is necessary or desirable to a format where content is stored on this home server, and fed to your new box that is practically disposable. This server coupled with Vista is in my opinion what Microsoft thinks the world should have, rather than an all powerful PC with it's potential for upgrades. It looks like they want to close the gap between what a game console and a PC is to the home user. If they could do this I can imagine many marketing positives in this regard. Likely the biggest is a single product line gets all new engineering time.

That said, this might be a positive thing in the future, if hardware technology is released at a faster and faster rate, it may be a good thing to create a nearly disposable PC, except for the environmental concerns (which isn't a small issue).

I have many non-hardware-enthusiast friends who usually buy a cheaper big name PC with the thought that within a year or two they can upgrade to an exponentially better PC for similar money or less, in the end saving likely 50% of buying that real smoking PC the first time around. It works for them, and they always have a newer PC.

109 97 116 116

I've already got a "home server" (2, Interesting)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559712)

I've got a Mac Mini at home that's set up as a fax server, a fileserver with an external USB 2.0 hard drive, a print server, a web server, and an ssh portal. Setting it up was ridiculously easy: - One click to enable printer sharing. - One click to enable file sharing - A few clicks and keystrokes to make non-admin accounts and home folders for my wife and I Then I did a couple slightly geeky things like partition the external drive and write a cron job to rsync to my web host nightly that most people wouldn't be doing, but the Mac Mini, even without a special "server" OS, is a great way to get a cheap, reliable, Unix-based server. Heck, I've even got mine running as a development server with PHP/MySQL and RoR (thanks to Locomotive [raaum.org] ). And to make me feel less guilty about having a computer running 24/7, it's running the ClimatePrediction.net BOINC project. In the future, when I get an iTV, I'm definitely going to be having iTunes running in both of our separate user accounts so that we can stream our stuff to our TV. Lately I've been hooking my Powerbook up to our TV using S-Video and the headphone jack. The only problem I can see using iTV is videos I acquire through, *ahem*, alternative distribution methods will require some conversion before they're viewable. However, season passes to shows through the iTunes music store means I can finally, FINALLY, tell Comcast where they can put their $70/month internet access. From what I've read about the Windows Home Server, it doesn't give me much more capability than my Mini, other than it can be installed in tower enclosures

What would be the diff between (1)

majortom1981 (949402) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559748)

What is the difference between windows home server and a windows xp pro machine with sp2 with shares and permissions setup on it or windows vista home premium with media center or windows media center 2005?

My Opinion (1)

guysmilee (720583) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559874)

People seem to focus on what this competes with only on the software side (i.e. apache, samba, etc). In the long run windows home server will compete much more with things like "my space", "iblogger", and google ... it will give MS the foothold they need to do things google can't do with their search technology ... and allow some really cool things myspace etc could never compete with. MS gave those windows laptops away for a reason ... it's not becuase the care about apache, samba, etc ... they want to take over blog-land!

Nevermind, its 2003 with a dumbed down interface (1)

majortom1981 (949402) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559894)

Nevermind. This windows home server is windows 2003 with a much easier interface. It basically makes serving things out and general server stuff much easier. It can take automatic backups of all the pcs on the network (i mean full images), gets rid of drive letters and stuff liek that. IT has a whole bunch of new "microsoft technologies" . But its basically a much easier and non comp geek friendly server.wich doubles as a computer backup solution.

MythTV? (0)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559928)

Anyone want to tell me why Linux isn't already up to the task?

And I imagine "ease of use" is one, but are there any other reasons, assuming I refuse to use DRM which hasn't been thoroughly cracked (DVDs)?

Re:MythTV? (1)

majortom1981 (949402) | more than 7 years ago | (#17560070)

This is different. Much different. This will take automatic full image backups at specific intervals. IT has a dumbed down interface to makeseting it up much easier It gets rid of drive letters sort of like dfs but based on a different tech. Basically no matter what physical drive the data is on it will all look like its in the same place. supposedly microsoft states this is not based on dfs. It stores things differently sort of like raid but not using raid tech. Also the servers will intergrate with windows live this also monitors the health of every windows based pc on your network . also these boxes will have no keyboard ports. They will only have an ethernet port, and a power cord port. just like nas devices.

beefed up nas device (1)

majortom1981 (949402) | more than 7 years ago | (#17560118)

This is beefed up network storage. ITs more like a nas device then a server. This will have no monitor conenctions or keyboard ports. People read the link paul thurrott explains the whole thing on his site. Its sounds interesting. especially for people who know nothing about computers.

Home Networking Enthusiast?? (1)

D+iz+a+n+k+Meister (609493) | more than 7 years ago | (#17560140)

This is a hobby for some people?

hmmm..i've had one of these for years (1)

jackdaw (147212) | more than 7 years ago | (#17560200)

been doing this for about 5 years now, using old pc's and various flavors of linux...

hardware appliance? (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 7 years ago | (#17560282)

And when the crappy eMachines PC you bought for $299 dies, what happens to your data? What about those backups... oh yeah, there aren't any.

This type of niche is best filled by an appliance, with real HW. Wait, that means it will cost money, which puts it out of the niche market.

Re:hardware appliance? (1)

majortom1981 (949402) | more than 7 years ago | (#17560372)

Did you even read the article. The box is not a standard pc. its basically a nas device. It has no monitor ports no keyboard ports. Just an ethernet and poiwer port. This is basically a smart nas device for the home.
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