It looks like the unofficial is now becoming official. Windows Home Server (WHS), which I have discussed a few times on this blog, was developed to provide home users with more than one computer a means to safely backup every computer on a regular basis as well as be a central storage location for all of your digital media that you have. Now in reality people everywhere were using this software in Small Office/Home Offices all over the place because it made sense.
It was never originally intended for use in offices/small businesses but it appears based on a new site that has gone up at Microsoft.com that they are now embracing these SOHO as a great place for WHS to be used.
It is also a great price entry point because the WHS OEM software costs approximately $130 and can be had for less depending on where you get it from online.
Windows Home Server does have a limit of 10 users (for backing up files and having accounts on the WHS) but this is the perfect number for those SOHO’s that fit that size limitation. This is an area that Microsoft Exchange will not typically penetrate because Exchange is just to big and cumbersome to manage for such a small number of people. Way too much overhead.
So for Microsoft to be accepting that this is a solid role for WHS is a huge plus for this market and I am glad to see them doing it. WHS can effectively be run on an older computer that is no longer in use in your SOHO or it can be installed on the latest and greatest machine money can buy. I have it on a home built machine with two internal HDD and two external drives that gives me 750GB of storage/backup space for our home.
If your concerned about the limitation of 10 users on WHS you can create a Guest account with a password that will allow more than 10 people to access the files on WHS – it will continue to give you a central file repository and only costs you one backup account for your PC’s. Depends on what you find important.
Another great feature of WHS is the development community that has grown around it. Like my favorite blogging software, WordPress, WHS can be expanded through Add-Ins that extend the functionality of WHS. If you want to see a passionate community just go pay a visit to We Got Served run by my good friends in the UK – they have extensive add-in listings and reviews as well as a very active member community. Stop in those forums and ask your questions about WHS and you will not be disappointed.