Details on Windows Home Server

HP MediaSmart Server

Paul Thurrott’s Supersite for Windows has an extensive overview of the new Windows Home Server (WHS) announced by Bill Gates as CES kicked off. Windows Home Server will be a heavily modified version of Windows Server 2003 R2 which will focus on storage, sharing and remote access functionality while simplifying the server software enough to make it manageable by the average consumer.

WHS servers will only let you connect a power cord and an Ethernet cable. It will come with client software that you will install on the PCs on your network. The client portion of the software will control all aspects of the WHS, including monitoring the health of PCs, managing your backups (with support full disk images).

WHS supports hot-swappable storage. You can easily add and remove drives using wizards. WHS also does away with the idea of drive letters. WHS aggregates all of the storage attached to the server into a single store pool, regardless of whether that storage is internal, external, or a combination. As you add drives to the server, the available storage pool simply increases.

WHS will be available in the second half of 2007 and will be available bundled with WHS hardware or on its own if you want to install it on your own hardware. HP has already announced the MediaSmart Server running WHS. Using a 64-bit AMD Sempron processor and 512MB RAM, it will come with 4 externally accessible hot-swappable drive bays (capacity yet to be revealed) and 4 USB ports in a micro-tower form factor. Pricing was not disclosed but will be higher than HP’s MediaVaults.

Read more about this story