Microsoft’s forward vision

I don’t get it.

Ubuntu can be a server or a user system but its certainly not a home server. I have no idea what happened to the ubuntu homeserver project but Microsoft have got the upper hand when it comes to servers in the home.

There is a large enough difference between a server in a home and server in a data centre. Microsoft understood this when they launched Windows Home Sever. They could have just re-bundled Windows Server but no they brought out a different cut of Windows Server focused on the home market. Its also different enough from a NAS (network attached storage device) due to its great range of Apps or Add-ons.

I’m not the only one to say this either.

95% of the would-be “nixers” are completely stunned, at that point when the Ubuntu Server installation states that it has finished and all that’s offered to the user is a black screen and a prompt line. Users … basically scrap the whole thing, install Windows and use … solutions which lack raw power but come with an comprehensive interface”

Like all the others I’m pleased to see that you decided to continue this project. I’m a new NAS end user: i first bought a Synology DS410j, but i realized quickly that the processor was far too limited for me. So I made a 4 bay NAS by myself, counting on freenas. My problem is that i use linux a lot (I have a Mythtv server), but i don’t know FreeBSD at all. So the promise of a linux based NAS is a very good news. You can’t blame people to defend their chapel. Don’t listen to them, walk and see ! I assure you that i’ll be among the first switchers and the first donators because your work is useful, there’s no doubt about that.

The closes thing to Windows Home server on Ubuntu is maybe Freenas (which requires you to format all your drives into UFS for the best use, oh and its BSd based. Theres also Amahi which takes over too much of your system (it likes to control the dns, which is a pain if you got a good router).

So what makes a home server?

  • Low Minimum System Requirements
  • Simple Storage Space Management
  • Scalable Architecture
  • Cross-Platform Client Support
  • File/Data Server.
  • Backup/Restore
  • Printer Server
  • Network Functions
  • Remote Access from the Internet

Windows home server does all this really well, Ubuntu Server edition falls very short.

What else is out there? Because to be honest I’m very close to installing Windows Hone server on my home server.

Open Media Vault looks pretty good but its not quite mature enough yet.

Canonical really need to get moving with this stuff… Microsoft had the vision to kick this off, now its time for Linux to lead this area. Just like how Android is now stiring up the mobile world.

Windows Home Server add-ons in the near future?

Window home server

So I'm still having problems getting my XP laptop to back up to the home server but while looking around I found a load of ideas for what could be added to Windows Home Server to improve its experience even further. I got a few of my own but heres a few I found while looking around.

  1. Memory Stick Backups – A service that will run on my desktop or laptop and automatically back up my USB memory stick whenever I plug it in.  Each memory stick should be backed up to the same location on the server no matter which computer I plug it in to.
  2. Download Manager – Automatically hand off regular downloads from Internet Explorer to be downloaded and stored on my home server.
  3. User Account Sync – Automatically create user accounts on client PCs for each Windows Home Server user account.  Automatically update passwords.
  4. Favorites Sync – Sync my favorites to a folder on WHS. (I know I can do this with foldershare.  Add-in would be much better.)  Also include Desktop Sync, My Documents Sync, etc.
  1. Activesync backups – How cool would it be if Activesync backups were also included in backups but as another machine.
  2. Bit Torrent client/server with TVRSS – Someones got add this one day soon, I mean imagine utorrent or azureus which both can be run headless or from the web, inside of home server. Also imagine being able to make any file or folder a torrent to share with friends and family.
  3. Podcast client – Same as the bit torrent one really but just RSS.
  4. Notifications – I would like to see notifications via email, im and other means.
  5. VPN – VPN tunnel between two or more home servers, so you can maybe sync up with off-site backup or a friends server.
  6. Rar support – Yes I could install Winrar but I don't want to and its about time windows generally supported rar like it supports zip.
  7. Webdav – Ideally it all shares would have the option of being a webdav share too. People are hacking this already using IIS.
  8. DAAP – Someones got to hack this into the home server at some point. I've already noticed people asking for itunes support on the windows home server forum.
  9. XBSP – No where near essential but support for the xbox media centre streaming protocal would be nice too.
  10. Zeroconf – Yes universal plug and play is ok but we need some zeroconf/bonjour/mdns to hook up to things like mac products and some of the devices you can now get.

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