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Why Server 2003? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Why was Server 2003 picked as the underlying foundation for this product?  It seems that most of the Server 2003 functionality is not being utilized like:

     

    ·        Reduced network support --Utilizing multi-Ethernet connections

    ·        Reduced mobility at home - Ability to login to any computer in your house and have it bring up your profile.

    ·        Reduced Print Server - How many typical desktop Printers were designed with Server2003 drivers?  - not many

    ·        Reduced Overall extensibility -

    • Printers must have 2003 drivers (many of today's home printers don't have Server 2003 drivers - consumer is out of luck)
    • Add-in cards tend to cause conflicts - limiting flexibility for future functions. e.g. Tuner cards, Audio, RAID, Graphic

      

    The list goes on and on... but you get the message.

     

    I understand you intended it to be a backup machine, but then why provide the ability for vendors to extend the functionality via the console.  I don't understand the dichotomy in your thought process.  You say you want Vendors to do all these great and cool things with the product, then when someone asks why a basic piece of Server functionality doesn't work, the answer is always because it is suppose to be a backup machine.

     

    For ease of use, you could have put that interface over XP or Media Center and it would have made a big difference.  People could easily move their Printers over because majority of manufactures make XP drivers or even Vista would have been better for long-term viability.  People could also install other functionality to enhance the overall value of the product. 

     

    Monday, July 30, 2007 3:23 PM

All replies

  • The short answer is, because it's a server.

    None of the consumer products you mention have the guaranteed stability or functions and none of them can provide 'better long-term viability'.

     

    These great  and cool things that vendors are doing, will all work with the underlaying technology and it has never been suggested that TV Tuner Cards etc are part of the WHS scenario. Also, the underlaying drive extender technology is far easier to use, for a non-technical user, than expecting them to build and match hard drives in a raid array. If you look through the SDK, it gives ideas of what can be extended and none of the things you mention, come into it.

     

    I would guess that V2, or whatever the next version is, will possibly be based on Server 2008 which will give more extensibility than 2003, but, if you read the threads on here, you will find the reasoning behind using 2003 at the present time.

     

    HTH

     

    Colin

     

    Monday, July 30, 2007 4:56 PM
  • I'm only guessing, but I would assume it's because Microsoft wants WHS to be a stable product. Windows Server 2003 is a well-tested, stable server operating system, with support (in the version that was used as the basis for WHS) for some critical features. Just because many features of Windows Server 2003 aren't used in WHS doesn't invalidate that choice; very few servers running Windows Server 2003 do more than scratch the surface of that OS. As for XP or Vista, I don't think either one would be a good choice for the basis for WHS, because they're too end user, desktop application oriented.

    I don't see the lack of support for multi-homing or bridging network adapters as an issue; very few home networks would allow for (or require) such functionality. Lack of Active Directory likewise. In a home environment, very few users are likely to have more than 4-6 users, and if you want to set up a "roaming profile" for a user it's not that difficult to do. (Where it gets tedious is if you have to manage dozens of users, with new users being added, and old removed, regularly).

    You'll find that most Windows XP printer drivers will install on WHS (though you may have to run the installer in an appropriate compatibility mode). You should choose your printer with a bit of caution; you want one with solid drivers, and you probably want to be able to skip the installation of the bloatware that too many printers today come with. But that's on the printer manufacturers.

    The hardware issues you mention are real, but in most cases the addition of that hardware "goes against" the concept of WHS, which is to provide solutions for a certain subset of common problems in the multiple PC, connected home. See the Microsoft marketing site for WHS for a better picture of what Microsoft's vision is. WHS isn't intended to be an 80 lb Swiss Army knife (which Microsoft is regretably good at producing) that does everything. It's intended to do some things very well, and to be extended in ways that don't interfere with that core functionality.
    Monday, July 30, 2007 5:04 PM
    Moderator
  •  ColinWH wrote:

    The short answer is, because it's a server.


    I would guess that V2, or whatever the next version is, will possibly be based on Server 2008 which will give more extensibility than 2003, but, if you read the threads on here, you will find the reasoning behind using 2003 at the present time.

     


    Because it's a stable server that's not based on beta code. Wink


    I have no idea what their release echedule is but I would guess that V2 will contain bug fixes and added features but I doubt it's a simple process to port WHS to 2008 Server (still beta), so I'm guessing post V2 and maybe even post V3.




    Monday, July 30, 2007 6:44 PM
  • I think what he is saying is that why did they take so many things out of the server product like the ability to have it run as a pdc so you can use roaming profiles etc.

    Tuesday, July 31, 2007 7:20 PM
  • WHS is designed to do certain things, reliably and with a dead simple interface for the home server administrator (who will likely have less technical skill than most posters here, and is probably called "Dad" by his supported users). Anything that breaks the user experience for that user is fair game for being removed or hidden. Anything that enhances that user experience is fair game for being included in the product, even if it doesn't play well with some feature of the underlying OS.

    AD in particular is overkill for a true home environment. In a home, there's a small number of users, and the user base doesn't change much. So you set every user up on every PC they need to use one time, and that's good for years. AD shines when you need to manage large numbers of users and PCs in a dynamic environment. But the price for that capability is complexity. The average home administrator probalby doesn't have the skills or knowledge to use AD effrectively.
    Tuesday, July 31, 2007 7:48 PM
    Moderator
  •  pimpininceylon wrote:

    I think what he is saying is that why did they take so many things out of the server product like the ability to have it run as a pdc so you can use roaming profiles etc.

     

    The reason why so many things were taken out of sbs2003 to make the base of whs2003 was simply to ensure that

    a) WHS doesn't cut in on the SBS market, it is going to be sold at a cheaper price point.

    b) WHS is intended for the home and not small buisnesses and a number of those features simple are not needed.

    c) If the features were not removed people could buy WHS and simply re-enable the features.

     

    Why Windows 2003 and not 2008? 2008 isn't out yet, expect that for the next release.

    Why Windows 2003 instead of Vista or XP? 2003 was designed to operate in a headless enviroment and has security policies to match, Vista and XP while they will work in such a enviroment were not designed for it.

     

    Sure, you can make good justifications why the functionality should not have been removed for the home user, the line needs to be drawn somewhere to keep the markets seperate.

     

    Tuesday, July 31, 2007 7:48 PM
  • Ya i know that i was just trying to requote him so people understand what he meant
    Tuesday, July 31, 2007 8:20 PM
  • Really What They Did Is Just Didn't Put Stuff Out In The Open It's All Still There Really Just Have To Find It  
    Tuesday, July 31, 2007 8:34 PM
  •  pimpininceylon wrote:
    Really What They Did Is Just Didn't Put Stuff Out In The Open It's All Still There Really Just Have To Find It  
    True. A fair fraction of it can break WHS in various ways, and using any of the "stuff" that Microsoft has hidden is unsupported. The intended use for WHS is to sit neglected in a corner, gathering dust, files, and backups, with almost no intervention from the administrator. Anything that isn't in that job description is probably not visible to the average user, because it requires Remote Desktop to get to the server and do something.

    But there are things that you can do with some of those additional features of Windows Server 2003 that are probably fairly safe.
    Tuesday, July 31, 2007 8:45 PM
    Moderator