Windows Home Server

Who of you guys is working with Windows Home Server (WHS)? Last weeks I've been working with this in my spare time. I've grabbed an old pc, added some harddisk space and memory and installed this product. Now I'm figuring out all of the possibilities.

Of course there's the most important feature: Backup. Every night the WHS server wakes up all of my pc's and laptops and makes a backup. Once my work laptop was stolen and I did lose data... I had a hard time back then, but that won't happen again. My laptop might still get stolen, that's a risk of living near Amsterdam, but I won't ever my data again.

The second feature I really like, is the ability to have a share to place your files on. By default it creates different folders like Photos, Music, Movies etc. And there's an even greater feature related to that. Some of you probably have a server at home as well. You have to admit that you have been struggling with harddrives and free spaces right? Well, I've added several harddisks to this machine and it just combines them all to one virtual harddrive. There's never the problem that one harddrive is full. Just add a harddrive and you can add files to the shares again.

Then there's the feature of accessing your server from the internet. You can easily set up the server to be accessible from the internet. Microsoft even offers a friendly url like: From this site you can access your shares and even remote desktop to your home computers, if they support RDP.

Now it would be great to have CRM on this installed as well right? It would be wonderful to have your own home CRM system which contains all the addresses of your friends, birthdays etc. Integrate this with Facebook and Linked-in to always be up to date. Also use a mobile solution to have the data integrate with your phone and then we're living in a utopia right? I think it would be great that if I end up with my car somewhere in Spain and I do know somebody in Barcelona, that I can search for my friend in my crm system, click the button "use address in TomTom" and drive there to say "HI!". That would be awesome.

But thats not possible, yet. WHS isn't designed to be an Domain Controller or even part of a domain. Doing so appears to be possible but it is very much unsupported. I'll dig a bit into this after the Power Pack 1 has been released. For the users who wan't to have AD and install CRM at home now, they should go and get Windows SBS and get it running in your home. Not only is this product a lot more expensive, it also doesn't have some of the neat featurs of WHS.

In short, Windows Home Server is a great product for what it's designed for: Allowing the home users to have a centralized place for their files and backups.