Many of you have likely read our Build Your Own Server
article, written by our Linux guru Ken Gypen. If you haven't, you definitely should - but if somehow it still
scares you when the "L" word is dropped, maybe you just need something...well, more Windows. Fortunately, Microsoft is prepping an answer with Windows Home Server, which just hit release candidate
For those not familiar, Windows Home Server is Microsoft's OS solution to a NAS box. You can drop it on any computer on your network and it will function as a "secure" file server (this is
an MS product, bear in mind), giving you both inter- and intranet access to your data. It will also allow you to organize that data into folders, though we fail to understand why this is so fantastically revolutionary. The OS is based off of Microsoft's popular Server 2003 architecture.
The system will also allow "add-on" hardware and peripherals that plug into your router or computer and provide further storage or accessibility. For devices increasing storage, it won't function like you might think - rather than just add another visible drive, it will simply expand the drive size listed on the network, effectively allowing you to "span" across two or more disks. You will also be able to set up the equivalent of RAID1
across the devices for data safety.
The RC version of the program is public, and you can sign up for it at Microsoft's Connect
website (which manages open betas and RCs). So if you're curious, go give it a try.
Have you got a thought on Windows Home Server? If so, drop it in our forums