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Alternatives to WHS? RRS feed

  • Question

  • While I am waiting on approval to test WHS, I wondered if anyone has been using the alternatives.

    OpenFiler , FreeNAS , in combination with any free backup solutions. (many more available)

    Without the MCE functions on WHS can you list some pros and cons of using WHS vs. one of these alternatives.  

    Think of this as an exercise to sell me, because I am what many consider the target consumer for a product like this.   I am sort of new to the whole Media Center PC craze but I do have oooodles of digital media on HD's, I like using MS products but MS $$ is always the main concern.  I'm techie enough to set something up and also not sure of the level of commitment required to setup and manage network storage.   This is something I would want to show my mom and say "you need one of these."  LOL

    Tuesday, February 20, 2007 6:18 PM

All replies

  • I cannot comment on the useability of WHS as I am not on the beta yet!  (hint....hint).

    However, I have used a product called Mirra, purchased years ago but bought out recently by Seagate.  Similar product to WHS as, it has no support for a monitor, mouse or keyboard, just internet and power.  It has remote connection from each host PC.  You choose which folders and files you want to back-up and it automatically back-ups those folders and files, up to 10 ten different variation (versions) of the same file.  It is even possible to access the Mirra through the internet and grant access to any of the files on the Mirra, so you could use it as a photo album site, as an example.  Great little product but has many limitations.  There is absolutely know streaming from the mirra to another PC or Xbox in the home. The Mirra only comes with one hard drive so if it fails your SOL.  It does not back-up an entire computer and the compression rate is non-existant.  So from my point of view WHS is everything Mirra should have been but they didn't get it done and have many years to try.  WHSFTW!

    If WHS works half as well as Mirra, which I have no doubt it will, and has 5 times more features then Mirra, which is stated it already does.  There is no wonder why I would like this product to have been available years ago, instead of, going to be available soon.

    Tuesday, February 20, 2007 8:21 PM
  • I've been using ClarkConnect linux for over a year now. It has some similar features to WHS. I mainly use it as a server for my music collection (3,000 cds, lps) running Slimserver.

    I built a small "shoebox" barebones system with about a terrabyte of storage. It's been running for a year and a half and has been down only once to add a new hard drive. It has Samba so it is easy to manage from Windows clients. WinSCP3 and Putty allow direct admin. Webmin web interface allows complete admin from a web interface. The ClarkConnect web control panel is similar to the WHS control panel.

    -CB

    Friday, February 23, 2007 6:28 PM
  • SME Server is also another alternative. I have been using it on a small P4 machine with a 250GB storage. Generally easy to manage through a web interface, allows a LDAP type setup, proxy caching, web server and even email server support. My only gripes with SME Server is that its always in development and being Linux, sometimes not that easy to modify and do much with outside of its web interface.
    Saturday, February 24, 2007 1:11 AM
  • I'd have to say that, judging by the comments here, there isn't really an analogous product to WHS. I understand there are some Linux alternatives, but from the original post, it seems the focus is largely on ease of use and practicality for digital homes. I fully understand that there are some truly awesome Linux and and 3rd party solutions out there, but my sense is that they are helpful primarily to the techie with lots of data and media, rather than a a standard home of mom, dad, 2 kids, etc, where the interface, automation, streaming, and backup functions require almost no learning curve and integrate nicely with what will almost surely be a Windows-based OS.

    Again, I'm not at all knocking the Linux or existing 3rd party solutions. They've got some really fantastic features and rock-solid performance. Home Server just strikes me as a product that is going after a larger and likely less technically inclined audience.

    But I'm of course open to counter arguments.

    Saturday, February 24, 2007 7:33 AM
  • Another alternative which I personally intend to continue using in conjucntion with WHS is unRaid by www.lime-technology.com the beauty of unRaid is your protected against failure of any one disk in the array, at only the total expensive of one drive which is used for parity.  for instance i currently have 9 300GB drives one is used for parity for the remaining 8 drives meaning I've got a total of around 2.2TB of usable storage. Maximum support currently for 12 drives giving a possible array of some 8TB using 750GB drives.
    Sunday, February 25, 2007 9:11 AM
  •   I have been using FreeNAS for about a year now and it seems to run rather well.

    The WHS is easier to get set up as far as the harddrive setup.

    One of the features I like with WHS versus FreeNAS is the ability to limit users for certain folders.

    Second, when adding another harddrive is also quicker and it adds it to the pool of storage space instead of

    creating another folder in your network.

    Hope the info helps

    Monday, June 4, 2007 6:40 AM