I’ve been using WHS at home for a few months now and I REALLY like it. It’s been out for a while now, but it hasn’t really made a big splash. Basically it’s a server for your home. Duh. Why do I need a server for my home? Here are a few questions that will help you determine if you do:
1. Do you have more than 1 computer or laptop?
2. Do you have files (pictures, songs, movies, documents) that you would cry over if your hard drive died? (C’mon, we all know you’re not doing backups…)
3. Do you have an Xbox 360 you’d like to watch movies on?
If you answered yes to any of these, you should think about getting a Windows Home Server. A real world illustration: My wife mentioned that she thought she had a virus on her PC. Being the competent technology widow that she is, she booted into safe mode and started an online virus scan. It kept acting stupid, so when I got home, I popped in the WHS restore cd and booted to it. 30 minutes later we had done a full restore to the previous day’s backup, sans virus. Sweet.
There are lots of advantages to using it for your home, but I really think it’s a viable solution for very small businesses also. It has a hard limit of 10 users (and no upgrade path), but it brings a lot of functionality to the party for very little investment.
Look for a Do It Yourself piece in the next few days that will show you how to take an old PC and turn it into a Windows Homes Server. If you’re not into rolling your own, check this HP out for about 500 bucks.