Microsoft previewed its long-awaited Windows Home Server (WHS) product, a Window 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 at the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
Here’s the rundown of the facts on Windows Home Server:
Units are headless and embedded only — you cannot buy WHS and put it on an old PC.
There is no common web interface. Interaction is entirely client software based, or done over SMB.
It cannot directly stream media to Media Center Extenders, but it can stream media directly to Windows Media Connect-enabled devices.
It does not use RAID, but instead uses a RAID-like drive pooling system with built-in redundancy. Expanding capacity is as simple as adding additional drives internally or externally via USB. We can’t say for sure, but we have a feeling if you were to unplug that external drive, your data wouldn’t go with it since it’s probably spanned across the array.
The client software, which is installable only on Windows PCs monitors PC health, manages backups, and supports full disk images and versions. If your computer crashes hard you can pop in an restore CD and it’ll pull the disk image over the network.
Your WHS device gets registered with your Windows Live account and is made easily-findable by authorized parties (i.e. you and anyone you designate) while on the go. You can even connect to it via Live and pipe a Remote Desktop connection to a PC on your home network through this Home-finding Live feature.