Windows Home Server, Day 3

Last night was exciting as we got another build of WHS to play with. Since I had no data on the box from the previous version, I just did a “blow everything away” install. Nothing exciting to report in this regard, other than it rebooted many times along the way. After the OS installed, it took awhile longer to download/install the motherboard/ethernet/video/cool’n’quiet drivers.

On a very cool note, Lorenzo pointed out (via a comment) that using the “Portable/Laptop” power scheme is one way to let the AMD cool’n’quiet system do its magic. I’d been going nuts looking for a “Minimal Power Management” scheme, which is what most doc on the web says to use, but which wasn’t an option on my box. Once set to Portable/Laptop power mode, I could see that the CPU speed was indeed adjusting to the load.

The client software install on both XP and Vista machines was very simple. Just drop the CD in, type in the server admin password prompted, and you’re off to the races. The end result is an icon in the notification tray area. From right clicking on it, I could get to the shared folders, connect to the server console, and initiate a backup. The server console viewed on a client machine looks exactly like the console on the server.

To try out the file throughput, I copied my photos (27+ GB) from my desktop to the shared folder. Watching CPU usage on the server box, I could see a small load ( < 20%) from the process that migrates files to the duplicated storage volumes. As an experiment to see if I could make the file transfer any faster, I temporarily disabled my real-time antivirus scanner. Almost immediately, the server console “Network Health” status changed to “Critical”. Clicking on the icon brought up a window that identifed exactly the issue (e.g., no antivirus software on machine ‘X’). Pretty cool!

As I was playing with all this, I saw a little balloon pop up telling me that an automatic backup was about to begin. At this point, it was getting way past my bedtime so I left the machine to do its thing.

Comments (8)

  1. Regarding power schemes, there are a few power management options that arent exposed in the GUI for fear of scaring people. However, if you were to locate the relevant API calls and structs you could produce an app that would give you more control. But there is no need to do that, when POWERCFG can do the dirty work for you, and show and set the AC/DC CPU throttle params, which are the ones that control fan noise the best

  2. MikeB says:

    Wow, very cool stuff.  This seems like a great product from what I have read.  Many applications, do you forsee a public Beta?

  3. Matt Pietrek says:

    Re: POWERCFG. Thanks! I’ll certainly have a look at that when I get home later.

    Re: Public Beta. Keep your fingers crossed. 🙂

  4. Great blog, I will be following this closely as this product sounds very promising.  By the sounds of it you were able to purchase your own hardware and install the OS on it.  Is this how the product is going to retail as well?

  5. Lachlan Grant says:

    Could you create a "WinHomeServer" or similar tag so we can keep a track on all related posts? 😉

  6. DevR says:

    I’m dying to get my hands on this so I can try it out for myself as a replacement for SBS at home.

    Do you have any invites up for grabs? Pretty please? 🙂

  7. onovotny says:

    While WHS doesn’t use AD (is not a domain controller), do you know if it’s possible to join it to a domain and take advantage of existing domain accounts?  That would be critical for me.

  8. Michael Waterman says:

    One thing I always missed in a home scenario was having central user accounts. I was wondering if this would be possible with whs?