Friday, February 08, 2008

Windows Home Server - centralize your storage and access

I was browsing the HanselMinutes site for interesting podcasts to listen to while going to work and I found one entitled Windows Home Server. First I thought it was one of those Home versions, like Windows XP Home which ended up being total crap. But a home server? So I got curious and listened to it.

Apparently Windows Home Server is meant to act as a central point to your data, providing easy backup solutions and storage management well above what RAID can do. Also, there is a central console that you can use to manage and also connect to the computers in your home. I found interesting enough the way they plan to combine Microsoft Passport with a dynamic DNS for your computer, allowing you to connect to your home via browser, waking up computers that are shut down and accessing them as well.

But the most interesting technology seems to be the Windows Home Server Drive Extender, a technology that takes all drives available of any type and adds all of the storage to a single namespace that you can access. You select which part of the data will be duplicated, which means the server will choose multiple drives to store your important data, leaving downloaded movies and music alone and saving space. Even more interesting is that the server backup system itself uniquely stores clusters. So, in my understanding, if you have 10 computers with Windows XP on it, all the common files will have the same clusters and will only be stored once!

This technology seems more useful and powerful than Windows Vista and considering it is based on the Windows Server 2003 technology which itself was based on Windows Server 2000, the minimum requirements are really low, like an old 1Ghz computer.


Viorel Mocanu said...

This article generated a test run, and I love it. :D

I think it's even applicable for work filesharing.

Siderite said...

I also thought it would be a great way to centralize the data in an office. The branding of the product suggests to me that they want to implement an even more "professional" version of the Drive extender to one of their enterprise server Windows versions.