As anyone who has talked to me, or attended a TechNet event over the last few months can tell you, I am a big fan of Windows Home Server. I even blogged about how during my vacation I got my geek on and got it up and running at our house to ensure the photos and other valuable information that translate into our family's precious memories are kept safe. The fact is that it was possible to download a 120-day trial of Windows Home Server for quite a while now but it was not something that you could go out and buy yourself or get in a pre-installed and pre-configured machine. Today, all of this has changed!!
As of today, the HP MediaSmart Server powered by Windows Home Server is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other vendors. Looking at the price points, this is going to be one of those geek must-have gifts for Christmas. In addition, you can also contact your preferred system builder in Canada and ask them to build you a Windows Home Server machine just they way you want it. Since it is built on the Windows Server 2003 platform, wide support of hardware components is available. I was able to load LAN and other drivers onto the Windows Home Server operating system on my home-built machine without any problems, but remember to use the Windows Home Server Console to administer it on a day-to-day basis.
In case you're wondering what it is, Windows Home Server is a “stay-at-home” server that delivers the benefits of powerful server technology used by many people at work within a simple, easy-to-use solution for the home. It automatically backs up Windows XP-based and Windows Vista-based home computers each night, provides a central place to organize digital documents and media, and includes a free Windows Live Internet address to access the home server from virtually anywhere and share content with friends and family. It also monitors the health and security status of home computers and can stream media to other devices in the home, such as Xbox 360, allowing people to enjoy digital music, photos and videos on their television.
One of the most exciting things about Windows Home Server is the fact that there is a rich developer community out there producing Add-Ins to extend the functionality of the product. The recent Code2Fame Challenge produced some interesting winners. Furthermore, Windows Home Server also has a number of key blogs that allow you to find out more about how to add functionality yourself and share information about how you are using Windows Home Server:
- Windows Home Server Team Blog - from the folks that build the product
- The Windows Home Server Blog - run by Philip Churchill and great place for resources on Windows Home Server
- We Got Served - run by Terry Walsh and also an excellent Windows Home Server resource and the place to check for Add-Ins
Also check out Channel 10, the place for all really cool geek stuff including Windows Home Server. It is one of my home pages in IE7, as well as the Home Server Team Blog, and, of course, this blog.
Like I said before, Windows Home Server is a must-have holiday gift for the geek and his family!!!