Windows Home Server was designed with software extensibility and hardware extensibility in mind. As the amount and size of digital content grows, the ability to simply add more hard drives and more space to store your collections of files, documents, presentations, spreadsheets, photos, music, audiobooks, recorded TV shows, and movies will become more and more important.
Windows Home Server Drive Extender was designed to allow people to easily grow the amount of available storage in their home servers. Some enthusiasts have a hard time grappling why the team didn't use RAID technologies, see this previous blog post for the reasons behind our decisions to invest in a new, consumer-grade solution - Windows Home Server Drive Extender.
Some users of Windows Home Server anonymously report data back to Microsoft about their home server configurations, by going to the Windows Home Server Console - Settings - General page and selecting to opt in to the Customer Experience Improvement program for Windows Home Server.
The team uses this information to understand how people are using the product and to help drive decisions in product planning for future versions of the product.
I thought I would share some data to help people understand how a "Windows Home Server" is in a completely new and different category than a "NAS (or Network Attached Storage)" device.
The Customer Experience Improvement data currently shows that already 29% of home server customers have 4 or more hard drives.
Also, I thought you would find these facts interesting:
Some people have larger digital collections of stuff than others, but as the costs of hard drives comes down and the size of hard drives increases, people will be able to easily store larger collections of user-generated content (e.g. digital photos, Hi-def home videos) and collect recordings of their favorite TV shows. If you had all 420+ episodes of The Simpsons stored on your home server, it would take over 600 gigabytes. If you recorded all of this season's games of your favorite NFL team in Hi-Def, it would require over 1 terabyte of disk space.
NiveusMedia recently introduced their Cargo Edition, powered by Windows Home Server. Today there current top configuration comes with 16 hard drive bays and 16 terabytes of storage.
Does anybody remember the 5 megabyte hardcards that shipped in the early 1980s? Sadly, I do ...
... I also remember people saying that they would never need any more space than 5 megabytes ... now that is funny! I wouldn't limit myself to a non-extensible NAS solution (as they may just be this generation's "hardcards") when you can invest in a Windows Home Server powered solution that will grow with you as your storage needs grow.
The Windows Home Server team is a very customer focused team. We listen to our community of current customers and future customers to understand the hot points and wishes. Some wishes take longer to make come true, while others can happen sooner rather than later.
When we first made Windows Home Server available in the System Builder channel, there was some debate about the right price for the software. Here are a few of the quotes from the Windows Home Server Community Forums:
· “$180.00 is a steep price for this OEM software”
· “I thought $180.00 was a bit steep, but I did it and I'm not suffering from buyer's remorse.”
· “MS should be selling OEM WHS for $99.”
The System Builder channel version of Windows Home Server has enabled lots of do-it-yourselfers to build their own home server with their desired hardware specifications. Our Windows Home Server hardware partners (HP, Fujitsu-Siemens, Tranquil, Epson) offer a range of solutions for people that do not want to build their own home servers. But, the home server team knows that there are quite a few people ("enthusiasts", "do-it-yourselfers", etc.) that will take on the support burden that comes with the System Builder version of Windows Home Server to build their own custom rig.
With our recent price drop - I was excited to see NewEgg offering Windows Home Server Power Pack 1 for $99.99. The debate is over.