The number of requests to participate in Beta 2 is now well north of 25,000. We're responding and getting invites out by the truckload. If you've submitted your request and haven't heard from us yet....stay tuned, we appreciate your patience.
Jupiter analyst and Microsoft watcher Joe Wilcox provides his take on the growing Home Server community here, pointing out that at this stage we're focused on working with enthusiasts. He's right; It's the enthusiasts like you that will help improve Home Server, further explore the application and hardware possibilites and, in general, drive the home server (lower case) product category within the industry.
Here's an article in a local Virginia paper highlighting the rapid growth of home networks among consumers. Research fim Parks Associates says there are 22 million home networks in the US.
Windows Home Server Drive Extender is a new technology incorporated into Windows Home Server that makes it easy for consumers to easily add more disk space to their home servers. Users will no longer have worry about disk drive letters (C:, D:, E:, etc. etc.) as they had more hard drives to their home server, since Windows Home Server treats the disk space as a large pool of available space. Remember this product is supposed to be easy to use, but also really cool ...
Windows Home Server Drive Extender provides the reliability benefits of RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) with the ability to use internal and/or external hard drives (USB 2.0 or FireWire) of varying sizes for additional storage. Once you add an external hard disk it is considered part of the home server storage, and you should not plan on removing it unless you no longer need it attached to your home server. New hard drives added to Windows Home Server are formatted before they are added to the available disk space, so be sure to copy any valuable content off of an external hard drive before running the Add wizard in the Windows Home Server Console.
Windows Home Server supports reliability by duplicating designated shared folders – so important data (e.g. your Photos, Music, etc.) will be stored on separate hard drives helping to provide protection against hard drive failure. Folder Duplication is configurable on a per shared folder basis, so a given shared folder can have multiple copies, with each one being stored on a separate hard drive.
One big benefit of this easy to use new technology is that it is easy to remove hard drives and the contents are automatically moved to other hard drives in your home server so that over time you can remove the older, smaller hard drives.
How is it different from RAID solutions?
Beta 2 - When, How, Where, Who, etc.
After 24 hours of announcing the survey for nominating yourself to participate in the Windows Home Server Beta 2 program, we had responses from over 10,000 people in 107 different countries. We get a new person filling out the survey every 7 seconds. Today, the number has passed 20,000 people from 111 different countries.
We are putting the finishing touches on the Connect Site for Windows Home Server Beta 2 and trying to figure out who will be the lucky ones and who will be sorely dissapointed ... needless to say - we don't really want to dissappoint anybody. Thanks in advance for your patience !
You will initially need to be able to burn your own DVD and CDs so that you can install the Windows Home Server software from the DVD and the Windows Home Server Connector software onto 1 or more of your PCs in your home. There is a 2nd CD, called the Home Computer Restore CD, that you can use to do a complete restore of a PC from a backup stored on your home server.
We are trying to provide an option for people in certain geographies with the ability to order Disk Kits and charge simply on a 'cost recovery' basis for those who do not have the means for burning their own DVDs and CDs. The Disk Kit option will not be available for all geographies - and information about this option will be posted on our Connect site, if and when you get accepted into the program.
Lots of other Questions - a few answers