Thank you Microsoft. WHS is a product that deliver a very nice suite of applications that have been so missing from the mix since the beginning of workgroup networking. I was skeptical at first--so I paid for shipping on an WHS Evaluation copy. I then took an old PC and gutted it. I added in a number of drives that I had "laying around" connecting them internally via the IDE connections and some via external USB Enclosures. I installed the software and it magically recognized all of the drives and added them into a software "array" of redundant drives. THIS WAS VERY COOL. I setup PC accounts for all of the PCs in my house and configured them to back up daily. The backup via the WHS Connector Software worked flawlessly whether it was Vista 32-bit, XP Pro, etc. Today, it doesn't backup Vista x64. I can't wait until it does in the next release.
Today, I replaced the hard drive in my work laptop with a larger drive. So I did a final backup of the entire laptop. I wasn't sure how the recovery disk would work here, so again I was skeptical--especially since laptops usually have a number of quirky NIC and HD drivers. I then removed the laptop drive, installed the new blank drive, and then booted the WHS Recovery CD. The system asked me for the server password; it found the correct system backup; it then had me setup my partitions on the new drives; and then suggested how it would map the backed up partitionsto the new drive. It took about an hour to copy 50 GB of data. When it was finished, the system rebooted recognizing the new hard drive and all of my system information was in tact. AWESOME JOB! I have had back software in the past that you thought was backing up your information only to find a problem when you needed to restore it. This software really works. I am recommending it to my friends, colleagues and family members. I am buying my evaluation copy as well.
Recommend improvements and features.
1) Full support for Vista x64 Client Connectors.
2) Support for MAC Backup in the future with a MAC Connector would be great for a few of my friends. You are missing opportunities here.
3) 64-bit and Dual Core Support would be nice in the future for running the "Balancing " process in the background.
4) The ability to have the Optical Drive in the Server available for burning files to it as a "networked" Optical Drive.
5) Integrated and affordable LIVE CARE One Antivirus centrally managing the home systems AntiVirus. Make it a Server License and charge for usage.
6) Centralized MS Office Home Edition usage and sharing from the server.
Glad to hear that you're liking your WHS. It's a rare pleasure to see a 'good' start to a thread around here.
As for your suggestions: 1) It's coming with Power Pack 1 for WHS (basically, service pack 1.) 3) A 64-bit version is rumored to be coming with v2 (which is rumored to be based off of Server 2008); however, WHS does currently support dual-core CPUs. That said, improvements to DEMigrator (the service that's responsible for 'balancing storage', among other things) are also part of PP1. 7) explanation?
As for 2, 4, 5, and 6, you should make those suggestions on Connect. (of course, search first - if someone else has already made the suggestion, vote on it.) The clearer you are on what you're looking for WHS to do / should have, and why you feel it should be there, the better.