A quick note of interest... the Windows Home Server team released their release candidate publicly this week (see the blogs entry on this milestone here).
- The RC is available broadly to anyone who signs up at http://connect.microsoft.com/WindowsHomeServer
- The cool add-Ins that are already available: http://www.wegotserved.co.uk/whs-add-ins, and
- The contest to get even more add-Ins written http://blogs.technet.com/homeserver/
Home Server is the term I use personally... although more appropriate seems to be the "personal server." I've used the Mirra Personal Server (now Seagate) as launched by an old friend's company and found it to be easy-to-use and manage. Such systems are great for data file management and backup in the home, as well as for small businesses. My opionion is that for regular network backup and for sharing content across the network (and when configured correctly, via the Internet securely), a personal server makes it easier. For this category to be successful, it needs to be easy to use and configure, well supported by the manufacturer, and reasonably priced.
An example of how this works in a real home? This from the Home Server blog...
"What I found most interesting is how Home Server is helping them with their two home-based businesses, a video production company (Jeff) and a corporate gift basket and commercial packaging biz (Denise.) Video takes up lots 'o space, as we all know. Home Server's storage helps Jeff consolidate it all in one place...no more drive letter/external drive/CD insanity. And he really values how he can easily add more space as he needs it. Backup saved his bacon the other day, too. A video project got corrupted, but he simply restored it from a Home Server backup. "I lost 30 minutes instead of, perhaps, a client."