by David Hartsock for Daves Computer Tips
If you’ve been with us for for any length of time you may have noticed we cover Windows Home Server from time to time. As a matter of fact I’ve been running Windows Home Server (WHS) version 1 here at DCT Central since it was released in late 2007. It has been a positive experience which has greatly simplified backups, file sharing, and media streaming here at DCT Central. It quietly sits in a back room humming along day-to-day providing backup and file sharing to the household with little or no user intervention, which is exactly what you want in a server!
In late 2009/early 2010 Microsoft announced development of the “next” version of Windows Home Server. The new version was to be based on Microsoft’s capable Server 2008 platform (version 1 was based on Server 2003) and promised an upgraded 64-bit architecture, streamlined interface, improved backup, and improved addin integration. Being the geek that I am I couldn’t wait! Rumors flourished and almost everyone had a hope or wish for the new server OS.
WHS 2011 was released to manufacturing (RTM in tech speak) in April. Some features that were in the want/hope category made it, but others did not. Some in the “community” felt that Microsoft missed the boat and dropped key features while others felt decisions were made that irreversibly affected WHS in a negative manner. In the next few articles I plan to discuss WHS 2011, its’ installation, setup, and backups. Beginning below I’ll start with my decision to move from WHS to WHS 2011 and the choices I’ve had to make. Hopefully you will follow along in the next several articles – I think you will find them interesting!
Why Move to WHS 2011 or Have a Home Server at all?
I’ll just say this up front; if you have more than one home computer, like to share media to your other computers or TV’s, or want a great and simple backup plan you really need a home server! The assurance that you always have an up to date backup should be reason enough, and the totality of the remaining features is icing on the cake. Microsoft has dropped the software price significantly and at the time this article was published
Windows Home Server 2011 can be had for as little as $59.99! If you have an unused PC with a 64-bit 2GHz CPU, 2GB RAM, and at least 160GB hard drive you can be up and running in short order! If you don’t it won’t be hard to find an unused PC from a friend or family member that meets the minumum requirements and it doesn’t have to look pretty. If you are feeling adventurous you can build one for next to nothing!
Microsoft has a great product page where you can try out the WHS 2011 Dashboard online and gather a little more information about the features, but here is a short list of some great new or improved features over the previous version:
All in all these are pretty strong improvements, but WHS 2011 isn’t without controversy!
This excerpt is shared with permission from davescomputertips.com.