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Windows 7: Windows Home Server 2011 is Ready for Release

31 Mar 2011   #11
Tinkerdog

Windows 7 64bit
 
 

For those who miss Drive Extender, you can try out Amahi at

Amahi Home Server - Making Home Networking Simple

Version 6 is basically free, with paid subscriptions for advanced apps. Version 5 is ALL free and still available online.


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31 Mar 2011   #12
DeaconFrost

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

None of the 3rd party alternatives work as well, or offer the compatibility that WHS does. I don't see a reason to skip the product just because of Drive Extender. I bought a PCI-E RAID card for $70 that will accomplish roughly the same functionality, without as much wasted space.
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31 Mar 2011   #13
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DeaconFrost View Post
None of the 3rd party alternatives work as well, or offer the compatibility that WHS does. I don't see a reason to skip the product just because of Drive Extender. I bought a PCI-E RAID card for $70 that will accomplish roughly the same functionality, without as much wasted space.
The entire point of Windows Home Server was a drop dead simple to use file server for home users who don't know how to setup and manage servers. For enthusiasts and such, buying a RAID card and setting up and managing their own RAID configuration will be tolerable...but for the intended market of Windows Home Server....I think this is way over the top.

It's like saying that Linksys would release a new router that didn't have 2 interfaces, so instead, you can just buy a barebones box, put 2 network cards into it, install Linux on it and set up IP Masquerading for routing traffic to the Internet. This is a very doable solution and offers more benefits, however it's not for the average joe.
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31 Mar 2011   #14
DeaconFrost

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

I know, we've gone back and forth about the RAID card in a home server before. The problem is, WHS didn't sell too much to "the average joe". For those that did, they bought a preconfigured box, and WHS 2.0 will be sold the very same way, most likely with one of these 3rd party plug-ins already installed, ready to go. For the other segment, like us enthusiasts, adding in a RAID card or installing a simple plug-in won't be a big deal.

All I'm saying is...DE's removal won't be a deal killer in the end. The community was afraid of that early on, but those fears have gone by the wayside.
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01 Apr 2011   #15
bobtran

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DeaconFrost View Post
I know, we've gone back and forth about the RAID card in a home server before. The problem is, WHS didn't sell too much to "the average joe". For those that did, they bought a preconfigured box, and WHS 2.0 will be sold the very same way, most likely with one of these 3rd party plug-ins already installed, ready to go. For the other segment, like us enthusiasts, adding in a RAID card or installing a simple plug-in won't be a big deal.

All I'm saying is...DE's removal won't be a deal killer in the end. The community was afraid of that early on, but those fears have gone by the wayside.
I really wouldn't bet any hard earned money on that....I am waiting to see and doubt that this somewhat more limited version will even get the level of acceptance that V1 did. Add in the negative perception/reaction from the dedicated users and developers of V1 and this product line may be DOA but we will have to wait and see....one thing for sure, Microsoft will not tell us one way or another if this product is seeing better or worse numbers than V1(especially if the numbers are worse).

I suspect that the need for raid will bump the cost out of the price range that the average home owner will be willing to pay which is a death blow to this product but I guess no one at Redmond was thinking about that when they made this decision.

I personally will be sticking with my V1 until it fails and providing it is available, I will by another copy of V1.
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01 Apr 2011   #16
msongs

 
 
what is a home server for?

and what does it do? hmmm
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02 Apr 2011   #17
jimbo45

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers
 
 

Hi there
I'm not a particular supporter of this product - I tend to think "Over simplified" and "Dumbed Down" stuff not only eventually leads to disappointments in the end as the user who after getting a little bit more knowlege and experience will try and attempt to make this product deliver MORE than it was actually intended to deliver but also the product itself doesn't help towards better understanding of computers and networking in general either.

These days with CHEAP 2 and yes even 3 TB disks out there now a "Bog standard" W7 system can have 12 TB available and with Multimedia network disks etc with fairly simple shareability so I can't really see WHS 2011 having a huge number of sales.

The sort of person this product seems to be aimed at might still be running XP or whatever with maybe 2 or at the most 3 home computers sharing say a stand alone networked multi-media drive and a printer or two.

I really can't get to excited about this offering somehow.

Most people messing about with Networks at home will either try a REAL server (say W2008 or W2K3 - still a good option even now) or a FREE Linux offering .

Those who want stuff straight out of the box will probably be fairly satisfied with a "Bog standard" W7 installation which with these new large stand alone network drives should provide all the sharing they need -- and remember stand alone Network enabled drives are not connected directly to any particular machine so the original problem with shared drives was that the Computer sharing the drive had to be left on -- now this isn't necessary any more so IMO W2011 Home server seems a redundant product.

Sorry for negativity here -- I'm all in favour of innovation etc but I just think this type of product has passed its sell by date -- better (and often simpler) to say nothing of cheaper options out there.

Cheers
jimbo
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02 Apr 2011   #18
DeaconFrost

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bobtran View Post
I suspect that the need for raid will bump the cost out of the price range that the average home owner will be willing to pay which is a death blow to this product but I guess no one at Redmond was thinking about that when they made this decision.
Everyone who has their doubts about it seem to be forgetting on major point. Most WHS boxes in existence were not home brew systems...they were prebuilt OEM systems. Take a look at all the RAID-enabled NAS units out there as well. The features of the OS itself are worth the upgrade, and when you add in the fact that most will be sold by OEMs in a pre-built system, probably with one of the 3rd party plug-ins installed off the bat, the product shouldn't do any worse than 1.0.

We often tend to forget that as enthusiasts, we don't always seem the market from the total scope. If the OEMs will offer 2.0 pre-installed on systems that are priced competitively, it will sell. Considering it was developed along side of Small Business Server Essentials, and will have many of the same features...that should only mean good things for third-party support and add-ons.

Some of you also forget that WHS was never intended for enthusiasts, or those who have the access to and capabilities of installing a regular server OS. WHS was intended for people like my in-laws, who have 5 computers in the house, and need a way to share pictures and music, while keeping their systems backed up. Those people by a system off the shelf, walk through the quick setup wizards, and be done with it. I run one as well, so three houses can easily share digital photos from all our events. 1.0's remote file screens are horrendous, so the new and improved capabilities will be very welcomed.
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02 Apr 2011   #19
jimbo45

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers
 
 

Hi there.

I just don't see what this product does thats significantly better than plugging in to your Router hardware a network drive or two where you can share to your hearts content and backup your system and data whenever you want.

Most routers have 4 LAN inputs available which is potentially 12 TB (4 X 3 TB) of online NETWORK data capacity at the current state of the art for AFFORDABLE CONSUMER GRADE Network LAN drives -- should be PLENTY for even the most avid video user. That's in addition to any amount of data each LOCAL machine has. I've seen 2 TB LAN drives in PC world in the UK at around 135 GBP.

(Note these are CONSUMER GRADE - not the robust SCSI type of devices found in commercial server environments - but they are 100% satisfactory for typical home type use).

If the devices are WIRELESS enabled --even better so long as the Wifi connection is fast enough for any Video streaming -- just SHARING data should be perfectly fast enough.

Even rank beginners these days also know about backups - usually its because they haven't done a backup for a while or have made large changes to a system BEFORE backing up that they get into trouble and lose data.

Most even basic users can easily run a stand alone restore if required by booting a decent backup program from a USB stick that can read any network enabled disk drive and restore their own OS image. Acronis for example does this quite easily as do others.

Network stand alone printers have also been around for AGES so no problems there either.

Having an extra OS and Machine in the equation for a "Mom and Pop" type of installation where people just want to share files / multimedia over a LAN or share printers (or both) just appears to me to be more trouble than the benefit derived from installing it -- I'd rather have a fully enabled OS than a hobbled very limited capacity one if I need to install this type of stuff.

Also if the Server gets into probs --what then.

Cheers
jimbo
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02 Apr 2011   #20
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DeaconFrost View Post
All I'm saying is...DE's removal won't be a deal killer in the end. The community was afraid of that early on, but those fears have gone by the wayside.
Time will tell and we will see. I disagree however and I think that dropping a feature like this is going to drop interest in this product. I mean, HP had the "best selling" home server on the market with their Media Smart line and they have gotten out of this segment. I listen to a number of tech podcasts each week and I don't feel that fears have gone by the wayside at all. Most people who were heavy supporters of the products are now backing alternatives.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
Hi there
I'm not a particular supporter of this product - I tend to think "Over simplified" and "Dumbed Down" stuff not only eventually leads to disappointments in the end as the user who after getting a little bit more knowlege and experience will try and attempt to make this product deliver MORE than it was actually intended to deliver but also the product itself doesn't help towards better understanding of computers and networking in general either.
The type of users this was geared towards are those who don't want a better understanding of servers and networking. They want a simple easy to setup server that allows drop dead simple adding of space if they run out and a method of changing out a smaller hard drive for a larger one as their data needs grow. I mean, you could argue that home SOHO routers are overly simplistic and that people instead would be better server learning how to configure a box with 2 network cards, install Linux and run IP Masquerading. But that is not what these people want. I think you are confusing enthusiasts with average users.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
Most people messing about with Networks at home will either try a REAL server (say W2008 or W2K3 - still a good option even now) or a FREE Linux offering .
Well, if the average joe messing around with Networks at home doesn't know about Technet, Windows servers are out of his price range...most likely. Linux servers are great and are free. But lots of people don't have the skill set or wherewithall to stick with Linux and learn it. They don't like the command line and feel it's antiquaited and not sophisticated enough like their GUI based desktop.

And even for people like me, who support servers for a living...sometimes I don't want to be bothered with doing all of the same stuff at home. A coworker of mine (who is a Linux and Windows server admin) recently bought an HP Media Smart Windows Home Server for his home. He wanted the simplicity, he wanted to stream to his Xbox360 and he wanted backups of his desktop machines. This product fit the bill perfectly and easily met all of his needs. Even I considered for $100 for an OEM copy of WHS to replace my current file server at my house since my space is running out and a small super quiet power efficient headless box would have fit the bill perfectly. But now, I'm going to just stick with alternatives as the primary whiz-bang feature of a simple product is gone.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DeaconFrost View Post
Most WHS boxes in existence were not home brew systems...they were prebuilt OEM systems.
And one of biggest players in the market, HP with the Media Smart lineup have gotten out of the game.

I will have to wait and see what other vendors show up to fill the market space. The only other vendor, aside from HP that I see at NewEgg selling a pre-build OEM Windows Home Server system is Acer.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DeaconFrost View Post
Some of you also forget that WHS was never intended for enthusiasts, or those who have the access to and capabilities of installing a regular server OS. WHS was intended for people like my in-laws, who have 5 computers in the house, and need a way to share pictures and music, while keeping their systems backed up. Those people by a system off the shelf, walk through the quick setup wizards, and be done with it. I run one as well, so three houses can easily share digital photos from all our events. 1.0's remote file screens are horrendous, so the new and improved capabilities will be very welcomed.
Yes, it's for people who want simplicity, but need the functionality of a centralized storage server like us tech enthusiasts have demanded for years. I've had a dedicated file server box on my home network now for over 12 years. There is almost nothing of any significance stored on my desktop computers. I could just about format at will and not lose a single thing.
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 Windows Home Server 2011 is Ready for Release




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