I saw the this post (via @seandaniel) called “Why I plan on using the new Windows Home Server 2011” (a.k.a. “Vail”).
I have quickly ran my eyes over the blog post and well – I do NOT agree and I cannot accept the decision given the little I know.
Surely, I’m slightly different kind of persona and I am using WHS slightly differently and my priorities are different. For me it is a backup and storage machine that is used at home mostly. I’m accessing it very seldom from remote locations, just in case, when I need to grab some personal file.
So lets look at so called “just awesome stuff”.
I’m rarely using it. It is improved so that I can modify it? How nice, but it is so unimportant to me. With two small children at home I really don’t have time to “modify” it and I consider such time as wasted. I mean really, it’s not related to anything what this box is supposed to do – keep your files available and safe.
- Silverlight video streaming
I cannot imagine myself watching a Blu-ray RIP streamed via Internet and wireless connection, while I’m at hotel. Do you? One more nice to have that will be never used in my case. Most of the streaming is happening from WHS to Xbox @ home, when my kids are watching their content or myself – our personal stuff.
- Silverlight photo streaming
I would consider this to be a nice feature, if there would be a chance to share it easy with multiple relatives or casual “Oh, please …” type of friends. I’m considering writing add-in myself that would allow anonymous (with ticket) access to the defined set of photos on the WHS. Silverlight? Why not, it’s not that difficult, when you have appropriate data on photos. So is the photo streaming a “Wow”? It is most appreciated if it allows “anonymous/ticketed” access, but otherwise – thanks, but no. Thanks. I know my photos well.
- Moving files via remote access
Again, one nice feature, which will never be used by myself. If I’m about to touch any file, especially – delete. I will look (view it) carefully, if this is really the content I want to (re)move. I’ve done that locally over the shared folder and I’ll be continuing doing that.
It would be much more appreciated, if it could become a full Media Center with data storage in one box. DLNA itself is nice, however the only devices that support DLNA at home are my PC’s, which happen to play the content nicely without DLNA.
Regarding data protection, the talk is slightly different.
“What about the data on the server? Server’s hold data, isn’t that data safe? Yes of course it is. You can backup that data to an internal, or better yet, external hard drive!”. At this point, I have only one question – so why do I need WHS then? I can have regular ***ux box with backup to an external drive. And also, considering theft/robbery scenarios, I prefer backing up critical data (photos and some videos) to Amazon (probably cheapest #cloud option) to keep the data out of home.
My main interest here is to have flexibility with hard drive management (I have replaced one dead drive, added some additional, replaced smaller with bigger one) and data availability without having to deal with limitations of RAID configurations or “Copy paste wizard”.
Sean, you say “I ultimately agree with the decision given what I know”. Well, you maybe agree, but you didn’t convinced me and, it seems, many others around the globe.
The question here is what is more important: you or customers?